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Reality Ensues / Video Games (A to M)

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  • Ace Combat:
    • The agility and tenacity of the Game-Breaker QAAMs may be what happens when you put a real-world nigh-unbeatable heater, a la the Python 4/5, the AA-11/R-73, or the AIM-9X, against planes that usually encounter missiles sloppy enough to be outflown without needing countermeasures.
    • Likewise, when Captain Bartlett in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War draws a missile away from Nagase, and then again when Nagase is targeted by a hidden AA position a few missions later, in both cases the missile stays right on them despite them pulling maneuvers that would have shaken off a standard missile in gameplay - must have been QAAMs.
    • Similarly in the Xbox 360 game Over G Fighters. Did you know that afterburner in the presence of heat-seeking missiles is a bad thing? On the other hand, unlike Ace Combat, the player (and also enemies) can sometimes break missile locks by turning enough to reduce their plane's radar cross-section.
    • One of the differences the competing Airforce Delta series has with Ace Combat is that the effect of air resistance on the control surfaces is more accurately depicted. Whereas Ace Combat tactics revolve around flying just above stall speeds to have maximum maneuverability and prevent overshooting and ending up in front of your target, planes in Airforce Delta all have specific speeds, much higher than in Ace Combat, where they're most maneuverable - slower than that means there's not enough airflow to properly change your heading, while faster than that means the systems to reduce airframe stress and your plane's inertia get in the way.
    • Air power being the number-one deciding factor in any sort of military engagement in the series means the armed forces of several nations and alliances are at risk of Crippling Overspecialization when weapons that are really good at taking out large chunks of an air force enter the picture. Ace Combat 04's "Stonehenge" is probably the most obvious case - a giant set of eight railguns that were designed to destroy an asteroid before it hit the planet turns out to be really good at anti-air operations when the enemy takes them over as their opening act of aggression. By the time the player character enters the picture, the enemy is already on the verge of winning simply because the sheer size of Stonehenge means they have guaranteed air superiority over roughly three-fourths of the continent.
      • Of course, the aggressor army gets their own dose of reality when Stonehenge is destroyed: They started the war in the first place because their country was in the midst of an economical and infrastructural crisis and they needed resources badly from the territories they occupied; the Narrator Boy notes that the army that took over his town literally bled the town dry of modern amenities, reducing the people to a roughly 19th century technological level. The only thing they had going for them was Stonehenge, and when it finally gets destroyed, they're pretty much completely on the defensive for the rest of the game.
    • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has the traditional Airstrike Impossible take place through highway tunnels. Jet planes are wider than cars. A lot wider. It's the tightest fit the series has ever seen, with only the very smallest planes having any sort of breathing room, and some of the very broad DLC planes needing pinpoint precision to thread the needle on the bulkheads.
  • AI War: Fleet Command: What happens when you make the AI with far more resources than you ever can have and no compunction against holding back sit up and decide you're a threat? Does it continue to arrogantly take its own sweet time about the pesky human problem? Nope! You get flattened, that's what.
    • In turn, what happens if you turn your back on a problem before you completely finish it off, and take too long to get back to it even as you get little hints it's growing out of control? It'll pick up all that trash you have lying around, grow strong on your scraps, and by the time you turn back around there'll be ten thousand plasma beams heading straight for your forehead.
  • Alien: Isolation:
    • Even after Ripley does get a few weapons it just takes two or three bullets, even fired from across a room, to take her down. Attempting any kind of head-on fight will end up with her dead within seconds.
    • Also, using the proximity scanner or hacking tools will alert others of her presence. They do emit pretty conspicuous beeps after all.
    • As expected of a stealth game, hiding and noise making play important factors in the game. In regards to the former, hiding is something that can only be done temporarily, since enemies are likely to double-check hiding spots if you remain in them for too long. As for the latter, making too much noise from anything you do, from just simply walking to fighting off enemies, can alert nearby enemies (most usually the Alien) of your presence. Not even NPC human characters are immune from this, since their gunshots and frequent talking can also attract the Alien.
    • Talking Is a Free Action is thoroughly averted. Except for scripted sequences which require the Xenomorph to be somewhere else, interaction with computers or conversations can be cut short by Ripley being tail-stabbed in the back.
    • The flamethrower is your best anti-Alien weapon, not because it hurts it, but because it's basically an animal and like most animals, it's scared of fire. Also like an animal, though, it's unpredictable, so sometimes instead of "flight" it might decide a better option is "fight", resulting in it charging you and knocking you down, or outright killing you if you are dangerously low on health.
    • Despite being driven by instinct, the Alien can learn from its experiences and will adapt to Ripley's tactics as the game goes on. Hide in the same place a lot and it will begin to check those areas more carefully. Distract it with the noisemaker enough times and it will start to ignore them entirely. Use the flamethrower too much and it will not only start to back away at the sight of it, but stay just outside of range and wait for Ripley to look away or turn her back.
    • Amanda isn't a soldier. When using the basic revolver, her aim is pretty bad because she lacks training with firearms, and so unless standing still and focusing long enough, most of her shots miss. Even other weapons she encounters that she can use both hands for in a more sturdy way have this issue. She's essentially a maintenance staff worker, not a fighter.
  • In Alice: Madness Returns, any time Alice falls out of Wonderland into reality tends to strike a nerve, as Alice is a helpless teenager wandering the streets of London and the game really drives that home; the second time you return, for example, Alice gets slapped unconscious by a pimp for trying to come to her friend's aid. Everyone is also aware Alice isn't entirely right in the head, a fact the Big Bad tries to use to pull a Karma Houdini; who would believe that a highly respected child psychologist raped and killed someone's sister with only the word of a known mental patient? Alice also admits he's right, then takes it into her own hands.
  • Alone in the Dark: If you light up a molotov cocktail (accidentally or otherwise) in the 2008 reboot, it simply cannot be stowed back in your inventory. Either you throw it away or it will explode right in Edward's hands after a few seconds.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons will sometimes have a villager talk about about their favorite cooking show from their childhood. It was described as "a kid's cooking show with NO adult supervision!". Predictably, unsupervised children and cooking are not a good combination and what resulted was bad food, a total mess and massive amounts of lawsuits.
  • Ao Oni: Hiding in a closet to avoid the monster sounds like standard horror faire... except standard horror games usually doesn't account for the monster seeing the player jump into the closet. Here, The Guards Are NOT Crazy: closet-diving with the Oni still in the room ends just as well as you'd think it would.
  • Near the end of Ape Escape 2, Specter decides to fight the player in a gigantic robot suit. While trying to stomp the player, he has the suit balance on one foot, concentrating all its weight on one small area... and the robot promptly falls through the floor.
  • Apex Legends: In Titanfall 2, players have used Grenade Jumping to pull off record-breaking Gauntlet runs. When Octane tried it, he blew his legs off.
  • In Armored Core 3, an extremely powerful AI called The Controller is in control of what remains of human society, including the Corporations who hire you for their various missions. Mirage, one of said Corporations, is the most openly rebellious against The Controller and is the most supportive of your missions acting against it, especially when it appears to be going haywire. But the Controller was still the only thing keeping human society from dying out for centuries. So, when it becomes clear that you might have to destroy it, the Mirage corporation directly tries to have you killed. After all, they have no idea what will happen if you succeed.
    • In Nexus, Crest (another Corporation and Mirage's main rival) is falling behind Mirage in terms of economic growth and is straining their resources to catch up. So when the Corporation decides to directly hire Ravens to serve Crest's interests solely, they end up almost bankrupting themselves in the process and and one of them actually turns on them. Turns out that mercenaries are expensive, especially when they're Ravens.
  • Assassin's Creed:
    • In all games, pickpocket victims who realize you're the culprit will try to punch you out. Problem is, the culprit is a battle-hardened warrior who goes through trained soldiers like a lawnmower. It doesn't end well for the civilian.
    • The first two assassinations from the second game are performed by someone who is A) completely untrained in the act of murder, and B) thirsty for revenge. Ezio doesn't kill his first victim with a single stab, he violently and repeatedly shanks him. And when killing Vieri, he angrily curses the dying victim before Mario angrily rebukes him.
      • Speaking of Vieri di'Pazzi, he's the only character who outright mocks the post-assassination conversations.
    • In every game from 2 onward when guns are introduced, the game treats them as an Infinity +1 Sword. Only the most durable of targets can survive even a single shot, and even as the arms race goes on and armor gets better to compensate for them it still remains one of the player character's most deadly and reliable weapons.
    • In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood:
      • Ezio gets shot at the start of the game and when he comes to he's seriously injured. At first, he can't even run or climb properly because of the injury combined with his age, and even after getting cured by a doctor he doesn't get his full climbing ability back until purchasing a climbing harness. Even being the Living Legend that Ezio is, even he can't resist the passage of time (by the time the game starts, Ezio is in his late 40s, in an age where it was common for people to be dead before even half of that) with the mediocre at best and outright harmful at worst Renaissance-era medical techniques.
      • Ezio's love interest, Caterina Sforza, rides off with the intent of reclaiming her home. After getting pulled out of the Animus, Desmond and the audience are abruptly told that she later died of pneumonia without success in her mission or ever seeing Ezio again. No matter how important or famous a person is, it's not uncommon to hear that they quietly died of something mundane.
      • Cesare Borgia learns the hard way that maintaining power requires money and support, which nonstop battles in other regions cost a lot of. Even in the theocratic/military dictatorship that was Renisscance Era Rome, you're not going to get much done if you're both being sabotaged and bleeding yourself dry.
    • In Assassin's Creed III while fighting the Big Bad, Connor ends up in a burning shipyard and has rubble fall on him. Upon waking up, he finds that he's been impaled through the side by a wooden beam. The following segment has him limping at an arduous crawl to chase after the equally wounded villain (who Connor shot when he tried to gloat, defying another trope), who he confronts in a bar half-dead, shares one last drink with, and kills. In one of the final cutscenes as Connor which takes place years after, he's still shown carrying himself with a noticeable limp in his side, he never entirely recovered from a wound that severe, but simply powers through it.
    • In Assassins Creed IV
      • Blackbeard, who is a One-Man Army deserving of his legend, dies when a British soldier cuts his head off while he got surrounded. That his death was so depressingly... quiet, leaves Edward in a slump for some time after.
      • In general, while the game starts off in an idealistic "Golden Age" of piracy and high seas plunder, by the end of the game the grim reality of piracy sets in all at once; the British navy, in response to the rampant piracy, finally muscles in to protect their lucrative interests around the Caribbean. Since the "heroic" side's cast are all rival pirates with whatever ships and crews they could scrape together against the might of the most powerful Navy in that period of time with trained and equipped sailors, the British quickly start putting a brutal end to piracy in the Atlantic. They start recruiting the worthwhile pirates as privateers in return for full pardons for previous crimes, and wiping out any crews that resist or refuse the offer. By the final few missions, Edward is left a depressed wreck of a man seeking a purpose to give his life meaning, while his allies and friends die around him or turn heel and join the privateering initiative.
    • In Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, Jacob successfully assassinates the corrupt Templars who are the medical, transportation, and economic leaders of Britain in rapid succession. Since these assassination targets had a complete monopoly on their given industries and Jacob gives the Assassins no time to locate friendly replacements, this leads to medical supply shortages, transportation rackets, and an economic depression that Evie has to fix in order for London to not collapse on itself within a year.
    • In Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, Alexios or Kassandra's decisions can have some depressingly realistic consequences. Sure, you can feel quite good about sparing the last surviving family of a plague-ridden village from execution, and them thanking you for sparing their lives later, but be prepared to learn that they've accidentally spread the disease again and caused more suffering, and you've also directly caused the deaths of soldiers and priests trying to protect the common good. Other decisions that seem clear-cut "good" and "bad" also have similar consequences, like sparing mercenaries from death resulting in them ambushing you further down the road, rather than them believing they owe you one.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt, particularly its sequel, nicely deconstructs the ideas behind Revenge. Particularly where it concerns our two main characters, Gunvolt and Copen.
    • For Gunvolt, it turns out that killing someone out of vengeance, no matter how justified you may feel, won't make you feel better. Even after killing Asimov and avenging Joule, Gunvolt still can't find the will to forgive himself and is shown to be plagued by nightmares about it. However, he does learn from this and in his True Ending Boss Fight with Copen, attempts to teach this to him.
    Gunvolt: I've been in your position! Vengeance won't help! It's not noble! It's giving into the worst of yourself.
    • For Copen, dedicating your life solely for revenge is unhealthy, won't make you feel better, and can have detrimental and lasting negative effects on your life. During his fight with Desna, a known Fortune Teller, she warns him that if he continues on his path, he'll lose everything he holds dear. And during the final battle with Gunvolt in his True Ending, Gunvolt also attempts to dissuade him from his path, having been in his position himself. And sure enough, he learns this the hard way when he finds out that his beloved sister Mytyl, who he had been fighting so hard to save, is actually an Adept, the very thing he swore to destroy. This forces him to fake his death and cut ties with her and his family, so she won't be involved in his battles again and won't know the monster he's become.
    • The sequel also gives us one of the villains, Gibril, whose Septima gives her power over blood and metal. During her boss fight, when reduced to a 1/3 of her health, she unleashes her Iron Maiden Special Skill, where she uses her own blood to create spikes along the walls, floors, and ceiling. Naturally, after repetitive uses of the attack, she keels over from excessive blood loss.
    • This also applies to the game's backstory. Superpowered individuals begin springing up in mass quantities at an unprecedented speed all across the Earth. What follows is complete global destabilization of society and world order, causing Adepts to be feared and persecuted by the human race. The only safe haven is Japan, and only because the Adept threat is managed by a morally dubious Mega-Corp who captures and performs inhumane experimentation on the populace.
  • Baldur's Gate:
    • In the first game, you finally get the chance to confront the Big Bad, Rieltar, as he holds a meeting with his subordinates. Attacking and killing him results in being thrown in jail, because the only tangible evidence to his guilt are a few torn letters that may or may not even have been written by him.
    • Likewise, when you confront the real Big Bad Sarevok, a Villain with Good Publicity, if you don't have any evidence against him, he points this out, calls you criminals out to start a war and frame him, and successfully turns every noble in the city against you. Come on, you're a Hero with Bad Publicity with a heavy bounty on your head, he's a respected soldier and duke of the city, who did you think they'd believe?
    • Walking around during a storm wearing plate armor? Get struck by lightning. What did you think was going to happen?
    • In the second game, Ellesime decides to exile her former lover, who has become a crazed megalomaniac Mad Scientist with a god complex, instead of killing him, hoping this act of mercy will cause him to seek redemption. However, when she does so, she also strips him of his soul, but not his magical powers. Long story short, he gets even stronger and comes back seeking revenge. Love Makes You Stupid at its finest.
    • As is now common in RPGs, it's possible to enter romances with some of your companions. Contraception isn't particularly common in medieval fantasy, so it's entirely possible for a female partner to become pregnant. At which point she can decide to leave you, since traipsing around dungeons fighting dragons and the like isn't a great environment in which to raise a child.
  • The Bard's Tale:
    • The "good" ending ends with the Bard saving the world from an ancient and terrifying evil. However, as nobody aside from a small cult who don't really like him know this, he's soon back to hustling inns for free booze and sex.
    • The various "Chosen Ones" encountered during the game are victims of this. Bright, bold lads setting out to meet their destiny, they're quickly murdered by everything from wolves to trow to zombies. One sheriff took to locking them up for their own safety.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Even though the electronic fences are built by the company Batman owns, even he can't get through without codes. And even when he gets half the code, he still needs to hack through. They were made to keep unauthorized people in or out of certain areas, and that includes Batman.
    • Batman can take out dozens of prisoners with delicate uses of flips, jumps, punches, and Batarangs. But try to take on a group of gun-wielding goons head-on, and Batman will quickly be turned into Bat-paste. Especially when he fights mooks with high-powered sniper rifles.
    • It turns out that the formula that rapidly turns men into giant monsters developed in prison by a corrupt doctor with nothing even vaguely resembling proper medical testing, tested on a bunch of lunatics with improvised ingredients, has unforeseen short-term and long-term side effects. You don't even actually defeat the first boss so much as he keels over from a heart attack two minutes into the fight. The Joker taking the formula directly leads to the next game's central plot, where he's dying due to the damage that the untested formula did to his body.
    • The series' approach to super-villains. Yes, they are dangerous but the problem lies in finding them or dealing with their gimmicks threatening innocent life. Once that's all done, things go how you'd expect when Batman, an Olympic-level athlete/expert combatant in full body armor and specialized weapons, fights people who aren't all this.
    • Batman can Offhand Backhand individual mooks easily. But when faced with multiple mooks, he has to pull his punches so he can be sure he won't kill them. As his combos get longer, he starts leaping across entire rooms to strike foes, since they're hesitating - and giving him breathing room to think - after seeing him smash their pals into the pavement.
    • While for the most part the games have no true time limits, there is one point in Arkham Asylum where Zsasz takes a hostage, knowing full well that he has no hope in a fight against Batman. However, Zsasz is also a compulsive murderer with a penchant for killing women and his hostage is a woman who has made his life hell for a long time. Players who linger for a while or let themselves be seen by him results in him killing the hostage instantly, which is Lampshaded by Joker. It's particularly jarring for experienced players, who usually assume that there is no time limit and want to listen to all of Zsasz's dialogue.
      • When you call him in City, he says he has three hostages. Batman eventually needles the psychopathic murderer about his life choices during the course of tracking his location, which enrages Zsasz and makes him drop the call. When you get to him, he now only has two hostages and there's a corpse floating in his hideout. He said Batman would regret pissing him off.
      • Early on in Arkham City, Batman is held at gunpoint by four mooks inside the church. If the player decides to wait around, the mooks will eventually shoot Batman dead.
      • Same thing in Arkham Knight where Harley Quinn has Robin being held at gunpoint. If Batman takes too long to intervene, Harley will kill Robin.
    • For most of City, there are an abundance of henchmen. After many of the inmates are killed in Protocol 10, there are a lot less heads to knock around.
    • Batman can pull metal grates off of walls. So can Joker, Nightwing, Robin, and Deathstroke since all of them are some degree of Badass Normal with strength training. Catwoman - who is more about stealth, agility, and speed - is not able to do this, to the point she asks Batman just how he does it at all.
    • The ending of Arkham City shows that Joker Immunity isn't always a sure thing. Attacking someone that is holding the only cure to the poison that is on the verge of finally killing you is not a good idea.
    • Also from Arkham City, Batman uses lethal force on both Solomon Grundy and Clayface. Considering they're both nearly impervious to physical damage (Grundy is literally an unkillable zombie, while Clayface is made of living mud) it's not surprising.
    • Harley Quinn's Revenge implies that, although not formally charged, the general consensus, at least among the remaining inmates of Arkham City, is that Batman killed the Joker. Murder by Inaction is still murder.
    • Origins has quite a bit:
      • Promotional materials for Origins mention "unconfirmed rumors" that Batman has personalized aircraft. When Batman discovers Bane's computer console and realizes Bane knows his Secret Identity, one of the monitors has a radar display. Bane figured it out by merely tracking the Batwing, and putting two and two together about where it takes off and where it goes to land.
      • Letting Joker ramble on too long while he has Batman at gunpoint will result in Joker killing Batman with a single bullet at point blank range. At this point, Batman is just another meaningless victim to the Joker, and without the clown's future obsession with turning the Bat insane like him, there's nothing stopping him from shooting Batman immediately.
      • During the credits, Jack Ryder is having a live conversation with Quincy Sharp and various political experts over the game's events, debating over how effective the cops are, the state of the country if such criminals can actually exist, and the failure of Gotham's prison system. The only one to escape criticism is Batman.
    • Knight has quite a few:
      • After the shit-storm in Arkham City involving Protocol 10, many of the surviving inmates sued Gotham City Hall for giving Hugo Strange the go-ahead for the protocol; many of them got a substantial payoff and were released from prison. Since the Gotham city government isn't obscenely rich (like most city governments aren't), the money for these payoffs came from budget cuts to Gotham city departments and services, like the GCPD and the Gotham Fire Department. This means big layoffs in both departments, which directly affects Gotham's ability to respond to emergencies during Halloween Night.
      • The police were unable to find all of the tainted blood the Joker sent to hospitals in the previous game. A statewide search and retrieval is not going to go off flawlessly, with any mistakes and errors caused by anyone in the chain of investigation preventing all the blood from being found.
      • Batman has three hideouts: Panessa, the clock tower, and his office. Each of these is occupied by just one of Batman's allies, two tops. All three are easily stormed by villains because there are no guards and the only security measures seem to be their innocuous locations and bio-metric recognition, which we see can be easily faked. Even the GCPD is attacked, but it takes a small army to make the attempt since the building is actually guarded by an entrenched force.
      • The supervillains pooled all of their money for a $3 billion army. As a result, they're so strapped for cash during Halloween that most of them have to do regular crimes just to get some income, with Penguin running guns and Two-Face robbing banks. This comes back to bite them as they lose whatever money they had left in the DLC chapters, thus losing their ability to pay for henchmen and means to fight the Bat Family.
      • Talia is mentioned a few times in the game, and despite Protagonist-Centered Morality, her impact on the world is mixed. Her family and Batman miss her, whereas Cash's entry in the evidence room calls her a terrorist, Alfred calls Nyssa the sanest of the Ghul family, and the Joker hallucination mentions seeing her in hell. The Joker one is especially poignant if you view him as a product of Batman's subconscious: even he couldn't totally deny Talia was evil.
      • Victor Zsasz was a recurring threat in the previous games, but it was clear that he only had Joker's support to make him a figure in the underworld, because the other villains were too disgusted or scared of him. With the Joker dead, Zsasz has been left to his own devices and is entirely irrelevant to the game's events, with his one appearance being incidentally on a security camera.
      • This is what the Knightfall Protocol is all about at the very end: when the Scarecrow unmasks Batman live on television, that's it, Bruce knows it's over. Batman relies on superstition and fear to be effective since he's just a normal human under the training and the high-tech gear, and having his identity revealed completely destroys that - not to mention as well that a successful vigilante like Batman, especially one prone to Arch Enemies due to his aversion to directly killing criminals, in a city as riddled with crime as Gotham, will have made a lot of enemies who absolutely will not hesitate to use any advantage they can get against him. He rounds up the last of the villains, races off back to Wayne Manor, and blows it all to kingdom come. It's uncertain if Bruce and Alfred died at the very end or not, but it's done to make sure no one goes after the other masked heroes connected to him.
      • After Batman's identity is exposed to the world, some mook chatter can be heard in the Playable Epilogue stating that even if Batman is Bruce Wayne, he is not any less dangerous.
      • Not all of the consequences of Batman's public unmasking involve villains coming after him with force. One of the mook conversations after the unmasking involves a couple street thugs planning to sue Wayne for everything he's got after all of the beatings he's given them in the past.
      • In an interesting minor example, the Riddler Trophies aren't just collectibles that exist only for the player to find - they're actually there in the game world. Enemy chatter reveals that the mooks sometimes try to retrieve them themselves, but either aren't able to solve the riddles or find they can't take them for other reasons (in Knight, it's mentioned that they electrocute anyone other than Batman or Catwoman who tries to touch them).
  • Batman: The Telltale Series: In Season Two, Episode 2, Bruce is forced to break into his own company, a guard is attacked and security footage captures him. However, while the guard is put on leave and Alfred replaces the footage with dummy footage, it does not stop the guard from telling the cops about it, while the dummy footage is easily seen through and results in Bruce almost getting arrested.
  • In Battle Brothers, Orc weapons are big, gnarly and deal tons of damage when they hit, but because they are ergonomically designed for beings much bigger and stronger than humans, your hired swords won't get a lot of practical use out of using them.
  • Battletech takes a lot of its cues for Overheating rules from its tabletop counterpart. Deserts and hot badlands make it harder to sink heat, snowfields make it easier. Standing in a river lets cold water wash over the heatsinks and improves cooling. Battling in space... makes heat management your worst nightmare. Space is NOT cold, in fact, there's very little for heat to conduct into at all, giving barren worlds and space platforms the most punishing heat modifiers of all.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine: Even if the boss of an animation studio is respected and talented, he'll lose his employees' confidence if he undergoes Sanity Slippage, introduces an Awesome, but Impractical machine, and allows for unsanitary working conditions. On the first tape recorder, Wally threatens to quit if another pipe bursts.
  • BioShock:
    • With the sole exception of the final boss in the first game, all the antagonists are dispatched with one blow or in a cutscene. Sure, most of them are intelligent and charismatic people with a vast array of people and resources under their control, but they're still ordinary people that are no match for the One-Man Army main character.
    • BioShock has this trope as instrumental to the fall of Rapture. The city was built as a place with no laws or morals, and so Rapture attracted sociopaths and sadists only concerned with their own power. Without laws or ethics, these people inevitably rose to the top of Rapture society due to underhanded methods or because Andrew Ryan favored them. The city's location under the sea meant that Ryan couldn't convince the best members of various fields (science, engineering, the arts) to come live in his underwater utopia, because those people were both sane and well-established, so he only got the desperate ones or visionaries who weren't up to the tasks set to them. Despite the "everyone can make it" propaganda, the citizenry still needed people to scrub the toilets, so there was a huge underclass disillusioned with the Rapture dream, furious at founder Andrew Ryan and his ilk. All this came to a head with the discovery of ADAM, the miracle substance that powers plasmids, and the city promptly tore itself apart fighting over this highly powerful and valuable resource, with those same sociopaths taking their chance to get more powerful by splitting into their own factions.
    • Fontaine directly benefited from this trope: when nobody feels like doing menial work and yet some people are forced into it, who is the likeliest customer for goods that make menial tasks go away? Suddenly he went from a small-fry thief and conman to one of the most influential people in Rapture because he saw something nobody else did and grabbed it with both hands.
    • So what happens when you build a massive city at the bottom of the sea? A hell of a lot of engineering problems, that's what. It's frequently mentioned that large parts of Rapture are leaking before society fell apart, and it only got worse since nobody's sane enough to do the upkeep when Jack arrives. Some of the Big Daddies can be seen patching holes, but they're hardly trained engineers or a coordinated maintenance crew. By the sequel, parts of Rapture have just plain collapsed.
    • The phrase "Code Yellow" is meant to make Jack's brain command the heart to start slowing. Except the heart is a muscle that works independently from the brain (as Fontaine notes, "The heart is a stubborn muscle"), so making it shut down via brainwashing is going to take a while while the brain figures out how to cause a stroke severe enough for it to be followed by cardiac arrest. This ultimately allows Jack to find a way to stop the brainwashing and cure himself. Not for lack of trying on the brainwashing though, as he suffers constant heart-attacks that reduce his max HP until he finds the cure.
    • The prequel novel Bioshock Rapture shows an incident that serves as a perfect example of the consequences of a completely privatized society: a grocery shop owner drives his main rival out of business by buying the local garbage collection service and charging the rival far more than he can afford, causing the latter's garbage to pile up, and clients to avoid his store as a result. Since this is not illegal, a public garbage collection service is anathema to Ryan's beliefs, and the grocer is threatening to buy the building hosting the rival's grocery and evict him (making him homeless and jobless in a society without any sort of social safety net) the rival resorts to Murder-Suicide.
    • The penultimate level of BioShock 2 reveals that Eleanor has been seeing through Delta's eyes the whole time, which has dire consequences for the ending if you've been harvesting the Little Sisters. After all, what else would happen when your little girl wants to be just like daddy?
    • Also from Bioshock 2, Persephone Correctional was meant to be the perfect dumping ground for Rapture's dissidents: almost unassailable, hidden on the edge of an oceanic trench, and kept secret from most of Rapture's populace, making it impossible to break out of. So, just about anyone Ryan didn't like was sent there for life... and given all the social problems mentioned above, that amounted to a lot more people than the guards could safely control. Plus, because nobody was ever released or paroled, the population just kept growing. Add to that the fact that many of the prisoners were being leased out to Fontaine Futuristics for plasmid testing, and the inmate population was dangerously unstable. When Sofia Lamb was sent to the prison, she was put to work in giving therapy to the inmates and rewarded with additional privileges for cooperation; as such, she was able to use inmate discontent, her privileges as a model inmate and her own charisma to stage an uprising and seize control of the prison - and because the facility was so well-defended, it was impossible for anyone to dislodge her. As such, Lamb was able to turn Persephone into her own personal Hotel Escobar where she could wait out the civil war in peace.
    • BioShock Infinite repeats the same scenario as Rapture in Columbia. The city is a miracle of technology, presenting itself as a divine haven far from the sins of the world below... with the same racism, imperialism, antisemitism and xenophobia as 1912 America. So not only does it get used as essentially a floating WMD (more than once in the Bad Future), but despite in theory being only open to WASPs they still need labourers, hence the oppressed underclass of "negroes" and "potato eaters", and the inevitable civil war that boils over because of their treatment.
      • Songbird is big, he's powerful, he lurks as a threat in the background of most of the game, he's intimately tied to the backstory of the deuteragonist, and everyone with even a passing knowledge of Video Game Tropes expects him to be fought in a big Climax Boss or even Final Boss battle. But Booker, for all his tricks, is still just a single human, and Songbird is still a giant flying Lightning Bruiser that's Immune to Bullets, so every time they cross paths Booker barely escapes with his life, incapable of doing the slightest shred of damage to Songbird. He's only defeated by a temporary Heel–Face Turn and then by dropping him at the bottom of the ocean since Songbird was not designed to withstand water pressure. Any timeline where Booker tried to fight Songbird directly quickly ended with Booker being torn to pieces.
      • The US government were not aware that Columbia had weapons capabilities. When the city got involved in the Boxer Rebellion, Congress was not happy with Comstock, and ordered him to return to the US. And when Comstock refused to return, the government declared that the entire city of Columbia had gone rogue, and cut all official ties with it. Even in the early 20th century, such a massive weapon would be a major liability to any sane government.
    • After Elizabeth killed Daisy Fitzroy, the Vox Populi don't simply pack up and surrender. Not only did the character's death fail to stop the Vox Populi's actions, but they are now even a bigger threat since Daisy is no longer controlling them.
  • The Blackwell Series: Throughout the course of her investigations, Rosa repeatedly breaks into homes and businesses, harasses multiple people well past the point where they want nothing to do with her, and is in close proximity to a lot of dead bodies. By the time of Epiphany she's banned from a hospital and two campuses, has multiple restraining orders put out against her, and being near to yet another freshly dead body gets her arrested, with the officer perplexed that she hasn't been arrested before, and the only reason she escapes being sent to prison is because of her Friend on the Force (a deleted scene shows that Police Commissioner Alex Silva has been protecting Rosa from police scrutiny for her own ends, but it isn't clear in the final product if that's still the case).
  • Blaster Master Zero completes its Golden Ending with Jason yanking Eve out of the Mutant Core's flesh before utterly vaporizing it. All's well that ends well? You're kidding, right?! Turns out hypermutagenic cells and viruses don't cease to exist just because the source body is obliterated, and Eve comes down with a case of corruption because of it. And because Jason and Eve are the only beings on Earth that know the mutants existed in the first place, there's no cure of any stripe anywhere on the planet. Time for another adventure, young Frudnick!
  • BlazBlue has several examples, as part of its overall Darker and Edgier tone.
    • Ragna destroying countless NOL divisions has made him a wanted criminal with a bounty worth trillions.
    • Following the Dark War, humanity had to relocate to high mountains due to the seithr concentration being too lethal for them at all lower altitudes. The main reasons that such mountains aren't covered in cities in real life is that they're both difficult to build on, and such locations are both too cold and the breathable air is too thin to support large cities. Humanity had a clear and present need to go up to the mountains after the aforementioned war, but the only way they're able to build those settlements and keep them habitable is through weather control devices that deal with these issues, and when one of them no longer functions, as shown with Akitsu-Kō, the place becomes bitterly cold.
    • Hibiki Kohaku being raised for nothing other than fighting has rendered him very psychologically unstable, to the point that he was willing to kill Kagura to become the ultimate killing machine.
    • The Yayoi family's practice of inbreeding under the belief that it's the best way to create new soldiers for the NOL causes a myriad of health issues for them, to the point that Tsubaki is the only person of her generation in the family to survive past birth.
    • If the main characters would have tried to reach out each other, realize the threat and work together instead of fighting constantly and minding their own business, much of the villains' goals would have been averted. This is underscored in one of Makoto's story modes, where she ends up in an alternate timeline where she tries to Set Right What Once Went Wrong; while she does some damage by tipping people off to things they otherwise couldn't have known, she deals the deathblow to the villain's plans for the cycle with one well-timed pep talk.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
    • The backstory involves the Alchemist's Guild attempting to prove their relevance in an age where machines were beginning to overlap and erase the old ways, which they did by summoning The Legions of Hell - ostensibly so they commit an act of Engineered Heroism - but didn't plan beyond just opening the portal (which ended up being way larger than they intended). Unsurprisingly, faced with such numbers the Alchemists were promptly overpowered with any attempt to stop the demons and created a massive infestation that killed millions before it could be brought under control. And when the world found out that the Alchemists were the ones who summoned it, completely intentionally, their leadership was executed on the spot and it just hastened the decline of Alchemy and Magic even faster.
    • Guns have, point for point, the most potential damage in the game depending on what gun it is and which ammo is loaded in it, as firearms are relatively new, demons don't know how to counter them, and even weaker non-blessed bullets will beat out the damage from a sword that isn't outright magical (the only exception are the extremely weak infinite bullets, which are presumably made with magic), all while keeping one safe at a range.
      • Special mention should go, however, to the word potential. These are still early firearms, meaning they're prone to all the failings of early firearms. The only way to rapid-fire the guns is implied to involve copious amounts of magic, and until endgame, actually getting usable bullets for the guns is a long, tedious, or expensive process.
    • Demons, on a whole, are far further along technologically than humans are, already possessing ID badges and security gates that use them. Many of the demons are also explicitly ancient powers, and many, such as the vampires, are intelligent. It only makes sense a culture that doesn't need to fear time or the church (the usual enforcers of New Technology is Evil in the middle ages) will come out ahead in an arms and science race when its smartest citizens can take however long they need to invent.
  • Borderlands: Being a Handicapped Badass will only get you so far in Pandora. T.K. Baha, for instance, is very handy with a shotgun despite being blind and missing a leg, and has killed his fair share of Rakks and Skags. But when he's confronted with a large group of ravenous Bandits, he's easily overwhelmed and murdered.
  • Borderlands 2:
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!:
    • Unlike on Pandora, enemies can't be set on fire everywhere you go, since Elpis is a moon with no atmosphere and little-to-no natural oxygen. The human population needs technology that creates an atmosphere and oxygen to survive, and most of the playable characters are equipped with portable oxygen kits for areas with no atmosphere... except for Claptrap, a robot who doesn't need to breathe.
    • After Jack discovers the Meriff to be a spy for Zarpedon, but decides to let him live and turns to leave, the Meriff tries to murder Jack by shooting him in the back. He misses point-blank, and quickly starts begging for his life, but Jack shoots and kills him. Jack is then much less willing to forgive his enemies - or even let his guard down around possible traitors - from that point onwards, seeing as it nearly got him killed the last time he did it.
  • Borderlands 3:
    • Torgue assault rifles/pistols/shotguns now deal explosive damage to you as well as your enemies if you use them in too close of a range. Their bullets are essentially grenades, after all.
    • The game gives us two-for-one in the game's second DLC, Guns, Love, and Tentacles. Turns out that A: the life of a Vault Hunter is kind of taxing on one's mental and physical health and leaving the lifestyle makes readjusting pretty hard, and B: even a Ultra-Badass Vault Hunter Veteran can't take on an entire corporation on their own (especially when the leader is not an egomaniacal asshat and is actually competent and out for your head specifically). Don't believe us? Just ask Gaige. By the time she turns up again, she has become a little more unhinged, possibly an alcoholic, and has been on the run from her deceased rival's father with only her robot Deathtrap for company for years. When Deathtrap breaks down near the end of the DLC, Gaige is absolutely broken, having been her only company for all that time. It's a Disney Death and he gets better, but still.
  • In Breath of Fire III, Ryu, Teepo, and Rei attempt to pull a Robin Hood on the nearby McNeil family, who is oppressing the villagers with outrageous taxes. The heroes bravely break into the McNeil mansion, defeat the McNeilsnote , and rob the place, returning the ill-gotten gain to the villagers. Unfortunately, the villagers turn on the heroes, afraid of reprisals from the McNeil and the criminal syndicate he belongs to, forcing the heroes to flee.
  • Bug Fables: Even the Everlasting Sapling, despite its powerful magic, would eventually wilt being kept in a sealed container in a place with no sunlight as it's still a plant, which the party and the cockroach elder discuss in the post-game epilogue.
  • Bully:
    • Attacking adults and teachers will be perilous, as they have far more health and can easily overpower and pin Jimmy. Prefects will also be a tough fight since they're physically prepared to wrestle combative students. If Jimmy tries to hide while in their line of sight, they will simply pull Jimmy out of his hiding spot.
    • Hitting younger kids will max out your trouble meter because Jimmy is both older and stronger, something he should automatically know better about doing. They also have smaller health bars due to their age and will look for the nearest authority figure to report you since very few younger students actually know how to defend themselves.
    • If Jimmy tries to be nice to the younger girls, then they might knee him in the groin for (seemingly) flirting with them because Jimmy's 15 and they seem to be 11-12 years old. If he pinches their butt, then the trouble meter will max out because he's sexually harassing an underage girl.
    • Since violence against a female is considered a social taboo, hitting girls will max out your trouble meter. Even if the girl started the fight, everyone will assume that Jimmy attacked an innocent girl for no reason. They have lower health as well to reflect this.
    • If Jimmy starts a fight in a specific territory, your victim's friends aren't just going to stand idly by. They will dive into the fight to back up their friend. If you're careless, you will end up fighting the entire faction. In other cases, you may get an audience of students circling around you.
    • The Greaser chapter deconstructs the love triangle tropes. Johnny Vincent's girlfriend, Lola, has been dating a preppy boy behind Johnny's back and Jimmy has to help intimidate the boy. Does Johnny's paranoia end there? No, he gets insanely paranoid and tries to attack Algie the nerd for helping Lola, as he believes she's cheating on him again. In reality, she was just stringing him along so he can do her homework. She was also trying to flirt with another rich boy for $100, just as Algie and Jimmy confronted her. By the end of the chapter, Jimmy also starts dating Lola and ends up in a gang war between Greasers and Preppies. After fighting Johnny, he tells him that he doesn't want Lola as a girlfriend because she's a disloyal slut who loves being in the spotlight. You can only string someone along for so long before they realize you're not worth it and find someone better.
    • In "Here's to you Ms. Philips", Jimmy is roped into helping the art teacher prepare for a date, under the assumption that Ms. Philips had feelings for him, only to find out that she was getting ready for her date with her coworker, Mr. Galloway. Ms. Philips is in her thirties and Jimmy is only fifteen, so if his fantasy came true, then it would be considered a sex offense.
    • As is Rockstar tradition, the Final Boss also falls under this. Jimmy Hopkins is a scrappy Combat Pragmatist who's been spending the entire game time fighting constantly, and as a result, getting stronger and learning more ways to beat people up. Gary Smith, his archenemy, is a Smug Snake who's been hiding behind the scenes making the other kids do his bidding. When you finally get to fight him, he's just as easy to beat up like anybody else. Even Elite Mooks Damon and Bif are tougher to beat in a one-on-one.
    • How Gary gets expelled at the end of the game. Gloating (via screaming at the top of your lungs) about your activities will inevitably get someone's attention. Crabblesnitch heard Gary's rant and immediately expels him when the fight is over.
    • The Nerds are among the weakest fighters in the game and will be butchered in a physical fight. They only start mildly improving when they opt to create weapons (i.e spud guns and firecrackers) instead and use them against their opponents.
    • Zoe Taylor attempted to report Mr. Burton, the Gym teacher, for sexual harassment, but the authorities didn't believe her because he had a better reputation than her and he had believable excuses, which resulted in her getting expelled from Bullworth Academy. Mr. Burton does get his comeuppance a year later after Jimmy (who was, at this point, a hero for saving the academy after fighting Gary) reports him. A sad truth in life is that the authorities can make mistakes and their opinions can effect their judgement; just because you report a crime doesn't mean the authorities will automatically believe you, especially when the criminal has a better reputation and portrays themselves as an unlikely suspect.
    • Students will take any reason to fight and they will not take insults lightly, even if you try to apologise afterwards. These are students who have had to fight and be tough to gain a modicum of respect, they will not mess around when someone threatens them or challenges them.

    C-D 
  • Call of Duty:
    • Modern Warfare 3, during the tank gunner section in "Goalpost". Is the M1 Abrams a badass Cool Tank? Yes! Is it a good idea to drive it and all 57 tons of its weight into a parking garage only rated for 30 tons? Decidedly no. The crew realizes this about half a second before their tank falls through two stories into the basement. They survive, thankfully, but the fall - and several of the other cars falling on it through the massive hole it made - messed up the systems of the tank enough that they're forced to continue on foot.
    • The actual Make the Bear Angry Again-styled Russian invasion in Modern Warfare 2 is next to impossible for modern Russia to pull off due to all of its strategic post-Soviet losses, especially considering it is able to invade America and do some serious damage. It then turns out in Modern Warfare 3 that the invasion really was just one powerful punch from Russia, and that there is no way for the country to sustain an invasion of NATO nations - Russia gets pushed out of America simply by destroying the fleet they have parked along the DC/New York coast because that's all they were able to send, meaning that World War III lasts only for a mere two months, and even before then the Russians were attempting to sue for peace given their inability to do anything after the initial onslaught. Turns out the fury of the Russian people wasn't enough to make up for the intelligence, logistics and strategic nightmare that is launching a World War with next to no allies.
    • Soap's death is another instance. Getting thrown out the top of a clock tower following a bomb explosion and smashing through various scaffolding on the way to the ground is bad enough, but then add on not being even two full months past a deep stab wound to your chest. Yuri is dazed for a while, but ultimately gets up on his own and is able to fight after a minute or so; Soap has to be carried through the whole level and leaves a near-entirely-solid trail of blood behind him until he bleeds out on a table.
    • The AC-130, in the various campaigns, is treated as a sort of undefeatable Infinity +1 Sword of air support that all but guarantees a successful mission - but its first appearance was where it shined because it was exactly the sort of situation the AC-130 is deployed for in reality, at night with no enemy anti-aircraft weaponry (due to the player and their squadron taking out the only cache of Stinger missiles the enemy had to take down their air support), and as the series went on it went to lengths to demonstrate the actual weaknesses of strapping that much firepower into a slow-moving and low-flying cargo plane. For starters is its appearance as a Kill Streak reward in the second game, where it lays down the hurt just as well as it did in the first game's campaign, but its only defenses are flying high enough that bullets can't touch it and having two sets of flares to draw away missiles - as soon as those are exhausted, it's a sitting duck that goes down in a single hit. MW3 goes even further, with AC-130s being deployed in noticeably more risky situations. In the campaign it's flying over a contested city, requiring a flight of fighter jets to protect it from the enemy, and even with that it still needs to retreat halfway through the mission as soon as enemy jets show up to harass it. In Special Ops mode there's also a level where one is flown over a mine directly in enemy territory - and the first objective for the player on the ground is to haul ass to disable the air defenses within a minute before they simply shoot the AC-130 down.
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow's bad ending, Celia Fortner kills someone's Love Interest or appears to, at least. That someone just so happens to have the potential to become a Person of Mass Destruction if sufficiently angered. Needless to say, Celia does not leave with her life.
  • The "Farewell" DLC chapter of Celeste begins with Madeline's grief over Granny's death causing Badeline, the manifestation of her fears and insecurities, to re-emerge. In reality, mental issues aren't something you can have an epiphany on and then be done with forever. Something can always happen that triggers a relapse.
  • Chrono Trigger: In the first area, Millennial Fair, you can pick up someone's lunch to replenish your HP. Just a classic bit of video game kleptomania which will have no further consequences? Not so, as later you're put on trial and the person in question testifies against you, lamenting that you ate their lunch right off the table.
  • City of Heroes: The Freakshow are a gang of anarchists that replace parts of their bodies with cybernetic weapons to better smash the state. More dangerous members have replaced both arms with weapons, which makes them deadlier for heroes to face, but the game points out that this also means they have to rely on less-augmented Freakshow to feed them. Tellingly, the leaders of the Freakshow have only one cybernetic arm each.
    • One early mission for Praetorian characters has Praetor White send you to buy flowers as an Apology Gift to his girlfriend. Unfortunately, this mission takes place the day after the tutorial, which focused on a joint terrorist attack by the Destroyers and the Resistance. So many people bought flowers for memorials to those that died in those attacks that the vendor's stock is already depleted, forcing you to steal flowers from the decorative gardens around the Magisterium.
  • In Command & Conquer: Generals, General Alexander is often considered the hardest General to fight by far, despite having assets not all that much greater than any other General. The reason for this is simple: Whereas every other General likes to take their time mocking your feeble attempts in the early game and gradually ramping up the level of force they use against you, Alexander comes at you full-force, immediately, when you are still at your weakest. This also works in reverse: Alexander may be incredibly dangerous on her own turf, but playing as her in any meaningful aggressive way is really hard because she specializes in defence based on existing infrastructure; take that away and she's easily crushed.
  • In Cultist Simulator, no matter how much mystical power you accumulate or how many followers you have, at the end of the day, you still have to pay your bills. Fail to have a regular source of income and your eldritch cult leader will go hungry and die. And all the mystical Lore in the world won't help if you get put in prison for the rest of your life.
    • Getting appointed to the Board of Glover and Glover provides you with a well paying cushy job that leaves you plenty of time to pursue your occultist activities on the side. Unfortunately, such high level positions are invariably Slaves to PR. If you build up Notoriety while serving on the board, your partners will initially turn a blind eye but if you do it enough, they will kick you out of the company permanently with a bunch of hush money to avoid the inevitable scandal.
  • Daemon X Machina: Savior is a pilot from an old-money noble house. He joins missions to see if they're "worthy of his sword" — after other mission slots are filled by competent Outers who actually need the paycheck — and then invariably finds some philosophical excuse about his personal justice to sit back and let the rest of the team do the work. Not only does pretty much every other company resent him, but when a Let's You and Him Fight puts him into an Outer versus Outer battle he can't avoid, it turns out he's completely full of shit — his Arsenal has tons of expensive toys, but it's horribly optimized (only melee weapons and absolutely no ballistic armor) and he's far and away the least dangerous pilot in the fight. Typically, the player will doubtlessly stomp him before outnumbering his Hypercompetent Sidekick for the rest of the mission. Savior then tries to get all dramatic about experiencing his first defeat, only for everyone to treat it like a temper tantrum, asking what he expected when he's never fought before and then took on pilots with actual experience. His company promptly loses all of its mystique, and he has to get off his ass and actually work for future contracts.
  • DanMachi: Memoria Freese: During the Goblin Slayer crossover campaign Dungeon & Goblins, Bell Cranel, the DanMachi protagonist, alongside several characters he was with before being warped to Goblin Slayer's world, discover that killing the goblins of said world will neither make their bodies disappear nor would they leave behind a crystal. Goblin Slayer himself also points out to Bell that the same goblins will not emerge from the walls as the ones in the Orario dungeon would.
  • The Final Boss of The Darkness, Uncle Paulie, is built up as the catalyst for all of the misery in Jackie's life, from the death of Jackie's girlfriend to getting blown out of a window by a bomb. Jackie finally makes it to Paulie, and Paulie goes down just as easy as the Mooks Jackie had been slaughtering to reach him. After all, Paulie's a normal human being, and a rather overweight and old one, at that. Jackie has the personification of all evil living inside of him. If anything, it's more of a Curbstomp Battle Cutscene Boss than a final boss fight.
  • Darkest Dungeon is a deconstruction of living in the darker counterpart of a D&D style Adventure-Friendly World; the explorers you hire to delve the suicidal dungeons for a pittance are dysfunctional mercenariesnote , each with their own personal quirks and flaws, and fighting against monstrous abominations from the unholy undead to the alien eldritch and beyond will both break them in new ways or drive their resolve to face greater challenges (mostly the former). Every damaging obstacle, every critical failure, every brush with death stresses your party, and if you don't help them recover before they reach a breaking point, you run the risk of driving them insane and letting the worst of their personality come out, which in a game about teamwork and strategy, can and almost certainly will be fatal for all involved.
  • Dark Souls: Part of the reason the franchise (and its fellows) are Nintendo Hard is that they just don't pull punches. Think you'll run into a group of low-level Mooks without a plan and win? HA HA HA—No you won't. Think that the various giant armor sets will make you invincible? You'll be a Mighty Glacier unless you have the right stats and you'll always have SOME weaknesses. Want to challenge that dragon guarding that bridge? You'll need real superhuman stats, clever placement and/or the proper equipment/spells active just to survive its Fire-Breathing Weapon. It's only thanks to (sucky) Complete Immortality do you have any chance, as your many and varied demises will prove; you're a living hunk of jerky in a Death World and only artificially powering yourself up with countless souls can you even hope to survive the myriad horrors that await you.
    • And that well at Firelink Shrine? You might believe there's some secret down there... but it is, in fact, just a well. Jumping down it gets you killed. Surprise.
    • Wielding a BFS or other large weapon in tight corridors sometimes results in your weapon clanging uselessly against the walls.
  • Dawn of War:
    • There are several occasions when important characters get swiftly killed with little fanfare. Bale is easily killed by Angelos after the former's backup deserts him. In Winter Assault Sturnn is killed by Gorgutz in seconds by beating him into bloody pulp, because Gorgutz is a hulking green monstrosity and Sturnn is a normal human with fancy equipment. Retribution has Merrick go up against a Tyranid Hive Tyrant, and get killed even faster.
    • Dawn of War II and its first expansion Chaos Rising have the player achieving glorious victory over the enemies that threaten to engulf the subsector and destroy the Chapter, both ending in a triumphant speech by Gabriel Angelos about how heroic you are. The second expansion, Retribution, is set ten years later and shows that "defeated" is not the same as "gone"; remnants of all the different enemy factions are still making a mess of the subsector, all sides keep funneling in reinforcements to the point that all the planets are engulfed in constant fighting, and the situation has deteriorated so much the Imperial higher ups consider Exterminatus to be the best option.
    • During Dark Crusade, several of the strongholds play out this way. Gorgutz of the Orks is defeated by pitting his forces, notorious for in-fighting if they feel like it, against each other so that he not only stands alone on the field, but they're also trying to kill him to become the new Warboss of the local Orks. The Necrons are known to be unstoppable in combat, so instead their catacombs are nuked to cause a cave-in, completely disabling their abilities of repair and reinforcement. The Imperial Guard are regular humans and prone to cowardice and rebelling against bad officers, so the player can pit them against each other as well if it appears that the player in charge would be a better leadership than their own high command. The Tau venerate their Ethereals to the point of fanaticism, so killing the spiritual leader breaks their morale so hard they just pack up and flee.
    • Chaos Rising has Multiple Endings, and while the two Purity endings involve the Force Commander being made Captain of the Fourth Company or joining Angelos in purging corruption within the Blood Ravens Chapter, the partial to total Corruption endings feature your strike force being sent on a hundred-year Penitent Crusade to atone for using Chaos artifacts, the Commander getting a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from and then being executed by Angelos in person with the implication that your men are either dead or going to be soon, or all your squads joining the Black Legion and fleeing into the Warp, with a vow from Angelos to pursue you wherever you go. In the case of the former two: you didn't think you could endanger civilians for personal gain, steal a dead Battle Brother's equipment, deliberately kill fellow Marines who didn't understand their reasons for fighting you were bogus and use suspiciously Warp-like abilities without Angelos finding out and without suffering the consequences, did you? And in the latter case, did you really think you could slowly but surely give your squads over to the influence of Chaos and you wouldn't lose yourselves to the Dark Gods?
  • Dead End Road: You can wish to be the grand ruler of the entire world. Too bad it doesn't mean you have the skills to maintain control over it.
  • Dead Space.
    • In most of the games in the series, the vast majority of weapons are actually futuristic industrial and mining tools. The majority of the games aren't set on military installations (Dead Space took place on a mining ship, Dead Space: Extraction on a mining colony, Dead Space 2 on a civilian space station and so on) and the protagonists use whatever they have on hand. The major exception to this is Dead Space 3, since several areas in the game were former military installations or the wreckage of military vessels, so actual firearms are plentiful. This isn't really a problem as the Necromorph's weaknesses mean that cutting tools are more effective than firearms anyway.
    • The Big Bad of Dead Space 1, Dr. Mercer, ultimately welcomes a converter to turn him into a Necromorph, seeing it as his ascendance at the end of his insanity. Surely he hulks out into some badass, unforseen specimen of a Necromorph fitting a Climax Boss before the endgame, right? Nope. He turns into a completely run of the mill infected that your upgraded weapons can take out in one hit at this point, and that's assuming that Isaac doesn't beat him to it and just kill the Infector before he can even turn. He may have been the Marker's disciple but to the Necromorph virus he was just more meat to convert and wasn't more special than any other human.
    • Dead Space 3
      • Isaac Clarke, and the team investigating Tau Volantis, manage to find an old space shuttle in order to travel to the planet's surface and continue their mission. Too bad that the shuttle was around 200 years old, as were all the available replacement parts (what few there were), thus they didn't have the time nor resources to fully restore the vehicle. Upon using it to enter the planet's atmosphere, it works well... for awhile, but eventually the ship's age and lack of proper maintenance catch up with it. The ship breaks apart close to the planet's surface, killing 2 of its crew members and stranding the rest on the planet's frozen surface.
      • During the Action Prologue Isaac uses stasis to slow down an automated car on the freeway. Because it only stopped the one car and not the ones behind it however this ends up causing a pile up.
      • Later on Isaac must use stasis again to stop a fan as he is rappelling down a shaft. After passing it he quickly has to cut to line in order to avoid being pulled back into the blades once the fan resumes spinning.
      • Unlike the Necromorphs, Unitologist soldiers are living beings and are not Made of Iron. When Isaac uses high powered engineering tools like his plasma cutter on them you get to see why safety regulations exist. Furthermore, it only takes a single shot to the head, from any weapon, to instantly kill them.
  • Deltarune: As the sequel to Undertale, it likes to have realistic consequences for things and a touch on the more fantasy-esque formula:
    • Unlike in Undertale, where even the worst villains could be befriended and redeemed (with the exception of the player on the bad ending path), the Big Bad of chapter 1, the Spades King, is an irredeemable despot who refuses attempts at reasoning, and tricks the party member who believes in Undertale's message of "nobody is truly evil" as part of an I Surrender, Suckers that almost gets the party killed. A realistic, surprisingly brutal, though perhaps needed bit of reality from Undertale.
    • Much like the Genocide route in Undertale, attempting the "Violent" route in Deltarune doesn't end favorably for the party. After defeating King, Lancer shows up and says he had to bar the door because the entire Dark World is trying to break in to capture and kill the party, forcing them to hurry to the Fountain of Darkness and leave. The Spades King may be a tyrannical despot who's taxed his citizens into poverty and locked up threats to his rule, but in that situation, he's still a better alternative to letting a band of outsiders - who have beaten up and attempted to kill everyone in their path on their quest to destroy the Fountain that King said will bring a new age to the Dark World - get their way. The player's aggression basically made King the one in the right to the Darkners' eyes and justified his extremism, which means he suffers no consequences as a result.
  • Destiny 2:
    • Guardians are ageless superpowered warriors with decades if not centuries of combat experience each, a regenerative Healing Factor and Resurrective Immortality which makes death a minor inconvenience. Without the Light its a completely different story. While skilled they are entirely mortal and take heavy casualties from simple attrition, with many suffering from a Heroic BSoD.
    • Late in the story the adviser tries to make demands of Ghaul, reminding him how he gave him everything and made him the warrior that he is. Ghaul gets annoyed and chokes him to death.
    • Guardians' Resurrective Immortality only works because of their Ghosts rebuilding their bodies and reviving them once the Guardian's taken enough of a beating to kill them. If the Ghost is destroyed, that Guardian can't come back, even if they're not currently dead.
    • The Plot-Triggering Death in the Forsaken expansion shows that no matter how badass a Guardian may be, they aren't invincible. When resident Cloud Cuckoolander Cayde finds himself surrounded by Uldren Sov, the Scorn Barons, and dozens of Scorn Mooks, he is quickly overwhelmed, subjected to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and then killed with a bullet to the head.
    • During Cayde's Last Stand in Forsaken, there's a brief Hope Spot where he takes out his Ghost to heal himself. Unfortunately, it turns out that healing is NOT a free action. The moment his Ghost shows itself, it is immediately shot down by one of the Scorn Barons.
  • Deus Ex, a minor patron saint of deconstruction, lets reality happen quite a few times.
    • In the 'Ton Hotel, JC will hear from Gilbert Renton that his daughter, Sandra, is being pimped out by a local thug (and NSF commander) named Jojo Fine. You can wait for Jojo to arrive and begin a conversation threatening the former before a fight breaks out. You can also kill or knock out Jojo long before he confronts the Rentons... at which point, Sandra calls out her father for never having done enough to deter the kinds of people who caused the lifestyle she currently has, and (correctly) points out that if JC hadn't been present, her father would have died. She then flees the city for parts unknown. If you give Gilbert a gun to defend himself with (in a bid to satisfy his Papa Wolf tendencies)... he will most likely die during the gunfight, because he's a civilian with no weapon training versus a terrorist who is prepared for the situation, unless JC directly intervenes to stun Jojo.
    • At one point, The Dragon decides that it's much, much smarter to just order his troops to kill you, rather than actually have to go through the complicated business of waiting for the Explosive Leash to kick in. Notably, he also activates said leash — which for newer models like you is a relatively slow and seemingly-natural death rather than instant death by explosion — just to be sure. You can pick off all the guards before he decides to sic them on you, resulting in him responding that "You win this round, Denton."
    • During the escape from UNATCO HQ, JC confronts an Obstructive Bureaucrat who realizes that trying to shoot the Super Soldier is not a good idea. He listens until you give your resignation notice and turn around to leave... at which point he'll pull out a pistol and shoot you in the back. At higher difficulty levels, this single bullet can (and likely will) kill the player in one shot.
    • Upon reaching the base of the Universal Constructor, Maggie Chow appears and states hostilities towards J.C., while wielding a Dragon's Tooth Sword, to boot. JC is a nano-augmented Super Soldier who may be carrying several different weapons, health items, body armor and tools... while Maggie has no armor, and is only wearing a standard Chinese dress uniform. A single well-placed shot to her head takes her down as easily (if not easier) than any other enemy, and she has to run several seconds towards JC to attack, while the latter is likely armed with a ranged weapon that is already aimed at her.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution:
    • If you're cocky enough to act like Rambo or the Terminator, even basic mooks will make you regret it fast.
    • If you Take Your Time getting to the Sarif factory, the terrorists occupying it will have killed off all the hostages, even though it's not explicitly a Timed Mission.
    • Similarly, a major named ally will die if you take too long to kill her attackers, even though there's no explicit timer here either.
    • In The Missing Link DLC, a Belltower commander makes mention that a number of their people that Jensen "peacefully" knocked unconscious by bashing them in the face with a metal fist are in comas. If you do a non-lethal and/or stealth run through the mission then the commander will point out that even though Jensen hasn't killed anyone, all that means is that the character is extremely resourceful and more dangerous than someone just shooting people, and that the soldiers under his command should be even more vigilant in the event Jensen decides to start taking lethal options.
    • When the head of a powerful mega corporation is approached by an intruder demanding information, she doesn't just cave in, she talks until she can trip the alarm and run for the panic room.
    • Being invisible or transparent in real life would allow light to travel through you. Because of this Jensen can pass through laser wires while invisible without setting them off.
    • When a random civilian tries Mugging the Monster by threatening to call security forces on Adam, you can get him to change his mind by pointing out how easy it would be to break his bones. There's nothing keeping you from exiting the conversation and just killing or knocking him out on the spot either.
    • A crooked bouncer demands money in exchange for the location of a missing prostitute. If you refuse to pay he'll point out that it's pointless to threaten him since "It's not like I have the info conveniently on me...". If you knock him out or kill him, you instantly fail the mission because he really didn't have it on him. In another case of ensuing reality, once he gives you the info you need, there's nothing stopping you from knocking him out or killing him to get your money back, which he WILL have on him.
    • An in-game example happens if you get jump enhancements (especially the ground-pound attack) before you get the Icarus Landing System will result in you being hurt for jumping too high; they only improve the force in which you lift off, not reducing it when you come back down. In extreme cases, this can actually kill a player who is unaware of this fact.
    • While infiltrating the Police station, Adam can convince an old colleague to give him security clearance, allowing him to move around the station more openly. However, doing so will get the man fired for giving an unauthorized individual permission to enter restricted areas.
    • The Final Boss is shielded by a pane of indestructible glass. The conventional method of defeating them is to use one of several options to lower the glass. However, despite being indestructible, it's still glass and thus transparent, meaning if Jensen is carrying a Laser Rifle, he can simply shoot through the glass and end the fight in less than a minute.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
    • Hugh Darrow's psychosis-inducing signal, causing all augmented humans around the world to go temporarily homicidal lasted, at most, an hour. In that hour, the thousands of people with augmentations caused millions of deaths, billions of dollars in property damage and turned the order of the world on its head. The aftermath was profound. The augmented, who were once touted as superior to baseline humankind, are now persecuted with near impunity by both individuals and governments, feared and segregated from the rest of humanity. Augmentation technology is effectively brought to a complete halt, used only sparingly, and even then it still invites scorn. Some cities, like Dubai, who put a heavy emphasis on using augmented labor, are devastated both physically and economically, and by the time the game takes place, these places still haven't recovered. For the individual augs, in addition to having to deal with the new prejudices and societal pressures, many of them suffer mental disorders, both from the trauma of the signal itself, and from struggling to come to terms with what they did while under its influence.
    • Going off a point from the first game, Adam is still, despite having more time to be used to his augmentations, not invincible. Just after the mission in Dubai, a bomb goes off at the train station he is at and Adam is nearly right next to it. He's startled, moderately injured, and his augmentations are heavily damaged as a result of being so close to the blast. As a result, he is temporarily put on leave so he can recover from the attack, as nobody, not even an augmented badass like Adam can just walk off a bomb going off next to him and be perfectly fine after.
    • Although augmentations are obviously pretty advanced sci-fi technology, its explained that they still operate like most forms of technology do, so they have updates and other such factors. When Adam finds out he has several new augmentation power-ups installed somehow, he finds out he cannot simply use them because his original augmentations were designed around him, so trying to use new augmentations without care is like trying to use high end tech on an out of date machine; the new tech overloads the out of date operating systems unless Adam disables some of the older systems to clear up space for them.
  • Devil Survivor: The Yamanote line in Tokyo gets locked in by the SDF and food rations are only dropped in sparingly. It takes very little time for the people to turn to anarchy, and start fighting over any food available or otherwise falling into lawless ways. Even several police officers begin to abuse their status and kill, since the lockdown is considered a lawless zone and they can do whatever they want. If one ignores the supernatural aspect of a demon summoning app giving people the power to fight with demons on their side, this is what would happen to a metropolitan area being closed off for prolonged time.
  • Devil Survivor 2:
    • After the big route split, you can talk to your companions who didn't side with you or are alive and try to convince them to rejoin you. If you lack a high enough FATE bond with them, they refuse to join you, citing that while they may like you, the fact you were willing to fight them over differing views means they don't feel like they can truly trust you, before leaving for the rest of the game. Sure you might of fought alongside them before, but unless you have a strong bond with them before fighting them, your friends won't just automatically forgive you for being willing to hurt them over a differing perspective.
    • Your phone being the source of the Demon Summoning App means that your ability to do things in a given day is determined by how much battery is left on your phone. This is mostly used for gameplay purposes, but at one point roughly halfway into the game, Joe ends up in trouble when his phone dies and he is attacked by Demons while trying to help people escape. It's the only instance of this happening narratively in game but the point still remains that forgetfulness is a sure fire way to die when you have to rely on one means of survival.
    • The game applies this to the concept of Screw Destiny as well. The Death Videos show how someone will die and thus the person's fate can be altered so they survive, but there is a big difference in knowing someone will die versus actually preventing it. Just because you know someone might die doesn't mean it automatically is prevented, you need to actually work to save them and cannot just hope things work out. Take your time before running off to help them? They'll die because you took too long. Didn't help your friend who was obviously hiding their pain from you? They lose the will to live because they couldn't move forward. Also, some people simply cannot be saved, no matter how hard you try because while you might want to save someone, the person in trouble might not want to be saved or might not care; in every story route at least one character dies, and you can end the game with barely four allies left if you are not careful.
    • The Nicea app was released to pretty much everyone, meaning in theory everyone can summon powerful demons to fight for them. Naturally there are people who take to using their new powers to bully others, or begin attacking people to get what they want now that society has collapsed. Without laws to keep people in check, there will be people who take advantage of it to hurt others. Also, the widespread usage of the app means many people who summoned a demon died because they either failed to control it, or were killed by another, leaving plenty of phones around that can now summon demons freely.
    • Even in a world with demons and magic, being shot with a gun is likely going to be fatal no matter how skilled you are with using said demons or magic. If you fail to arrive quick enough, Ronaldo will shoot and kill Makoto once she is weakened from combat. Makoto is still a regular human after all.
    • Joe's FATE revolves around him struggling with how to handle his sickly girlfriend and how he is afraid that she might die. As a result, he tends to be late and avoids seeing her because he doesn't feel he can handle seeing her as she is. After going through Character Development and realizing he needs to be mature and see her, Joe goes to visit, and learns she died already before he could see her. Doesn't matter how much development he got, a person invoking Take Your Time will cause them to miss important moments, plus the fact that in a end of the world type situation, sickly people are likely not going to last very long.
  • Disgaea Dimension 2: The Fall of Overlord Laharl ending has Barbara, the Krichevskoy Group's Champion, become Overlord. Unfortunately, since she was conditioned her entire life to follow orders and never have any free thoughts of her own, it comes as little surprise that her reign as a Puppet King is very short.
  • Dishonored:
    • Corvo may have a vast array of powers, but when it comes down to it, he's still physically an ordinary human - getting in a scrap with guards and getting shot, or falling a long distance without breaking it via blink will do substantial if not fatal damage to you. The same applies to every normal human too. Any fight you get in tends to be dangerous because of the numbers, but a single target will die quickly regardless of if you cut him down with your sword or just shoot him dead. This includes all of the major targets; most are no better than mooks when you fight, and even the tougher ones you can simply kill at range before they even know you're there.
    • While Corvo also has a bunch of wonderful toys, his handheld crossbow doesn't pack much of a punch, one-hit-killing is only possible with a headshot or an incendiary bolt. Daud's own wrist-based crossbow has the same weakness, and he ultimately gets far more mileage out of it in a takedown animation where he fires the bolt into a guy's neck at point-blank range, then has the crossbow pull it back into position when it rearms itself.
    • The last assassination targets don't even try to fight Corvo; by this stage, whichever way you have played, they know all too well they can't win.
    • Killing every enemy you come across will not secure any kind of victory. The dead guards will just be replaced with less than savory new recruits, your enemies will increase security with more elaborate death machines sooner than they would in a pacifist run, and your own allies will get increasingly disillusioned and/or paranoid with you. And much like Eleanor Lamb above, Emily Kaldwin learns by watching you, so if you decide that violence is the way to go, so will she. She's also the rightful successor to the throne, so having a young Empress learn that violence solves all problems will not end well.
      • And what happens when there are corpses everywhere? Rats, that's what happens. Filthy rats, carrying the plague.
    • Corvo and Jessamine were secretly lovers, except it wasn't a secret to anyone, given everything from their obvious closeness to the daughter they had out of wedlock. The reason no one ever said anything about it (unless you let a dying Pendleton talk in High Chaos) is because of the sheer Refuge in Audacity of it all.
    • When trying to find information on Delilah, Daud has the option of getting it from Abigail Ames, either by helping her, or torturing it out of her. Should the player choose to help her, she'll sell a favor in a later level. Should the player torture her instead, she'll still sell the favor, except it will actually be an explosive trap. Abigail's not the forgiving type.
    • If you chose to ambush Campbell down in the basement when he is going to try and kill Curnow, but don't do it when he is clearly about to kill Curnow, Curnow will attack you. Even though you were trying to save his life, without knowledge that he was going to be killed, from his perspective Corvo, a wanted man and an assassin, just jumped down and attacked someone of high rank in front of him who, up to that point, was still technically an ally. If you want to save him and avoid fighting him, you need to wait till Campbell is about to kill Curnow, at which point he thanks you for saving him.
    • You can choke out enemies for a nonlethal run, but the unconscious NPCs can still die, and it's counted against you. Make sure you put any knocked-out guards on a table or a bed, because if they're on the floor, rat swarms will eat them, and it will be all your fault.
  • Dishonored 2:
    • The previous game's points regarding human vitality, taking on multiple enemies at once and the consequences of killing every enemy you come across all apply here, with the exception being that the rats are now replaced by parasitic flying insects.
    • It's mentioned several times that Emily and Corvo knew about Luca Abele's despotic regime, but were content to ignore it until it led to them getting deposed. As a result, a number of people consider them partly responsible for how bad the situation has become in Serkonos.
    • Near the end of a Low Chaos playthrough, Meagan Foster drops a huge bombshell about herself; she's actually Billie Lurk, one of the assassins who murdered Jessamine, aka Emily's mother/Corvo's lover. Despite Meagan being one of their staunchest allies, and whatever the player might want to do, neither Emily nor Corvo will take such a damning revelation well. At best they'll acknowledge that Meagan's changed since then, after making it very clear that they'll never forgive her. At worst they'll be openly disgusted with Meagan, and want nothing more to do with her from that point on. They can even murder her, and it'll be considered avenging Jessamine.
    • The Overseers' music boxes work like a charm on Outsider powers... but not on anything else. So when the Overseers march on Delilah, they get wiped out because the clockwork soldiers are machines, not sorcery.
  • Divekick features The Baz, a fighter whose special moves have him shock his opponent with electricity. Final Boss S-Kill flat out tells him that this is blatantly illegal, and his ending has him barred from any future Divekick tournaments because his electric powers ended up putting multiple divekickers in comas. This is implied to be a big reason why he's been kicked out of countless other fighting tournaments.
    The game is called "Divekick", not "Electrocute People".
  • Don't Escape: 4 Days to Survive: Each night has a threat level which you must try and get as low as possible, with the actions you take before nightfall reducing the level of danger by varying amounts. On most of the different story branches (the game will randomly select a different threat for each night from a choice of two or three), there are more options to reduce the threat level than necessary, so you don't have to do everything you possibly can to reduce the danger to zero. If you get the acid rain path on the third night and reduce the threat level to zero, but you don't cover the hole in the roof of the house, the game will still treat it as an imperfect result, since the acid rain still gets in through the hole.
  • Doom Eternal:
    • Engaging in a relentless one-man war against The Legions of Hell will take its toll on you. By the time the Night Sentinels find him, the Doom Slayer is barely clinging on to both body and mind.
    • While he was obsessed with its utilization in the previous game, Samuel Hayden sought to deviate from his original Argent Energy research and help the ARC develop substitute forms of energy using the Crucible as his sample. He was firmly pro-human despite all the atrocities he committed under the UAC, and realized the hypocrisy of furthering humanity using an energy source literally made from human suffering.
    • The final living Hell Priest tries to taunt the Doom Slayer with the fact that he's currently standing on the holy ground of the Night Sentinels and if the Slayer kills him and taints holy ground, he'll become the enemy to the closest thing to "his people" he's ever had. The Slayer doesn't even pause for a second before blowing his head off with the Super Shotgun. The Hell Priests had caused Hell on Earth, doomed billions of humans to death and an excrutiating And I Must Scream leading into Cessation of Existence as Argent Energy and the only other Night Sentinels left were loyal to the Big Bad anyway, so the Slayer had nothing to lose and everything to gain besides just revenge by saying "screw this" and killing him, holy ground be damned.
  • Dragon Age II:
    • The Amell Family Shield is virtually worthless (at least, by the time you find it). Unlike the other examples, it doesn't appear in any quest, and seems to just be an excuse to let the player actually equip one of the numerous Amell family crests they will have seen hanging up all over the city.
    • An example that crosses over with Jerkass Genie and Be Careful What You Wish For: Xenon, the owner of the Black Emporium, once wished for eternal life. He got his wish, but it didn't do anything to stop his body aging because he never took that into account, and by the time you meet him, he's an ancient, immobile and unhinged corpse.
    • Playing Hawke as a mage gives you an opportunity to reveal as much to a group of Qunari Arvaarad-essentially the Qunari's "handlers" of mages and hunters of rogue mages. Being that the Qunari fear magic and only see mages as safe when they're restrained and under guard (and those who are separated from their handlers, even for a short time, are immediately killed on suspicion on being "corrupted") they react predictably to how one would think they'd react to a foreign, unbound mage standing right in front of them: They freak out and immediately attack.
    • The lack of the Arcane Warrior specialization in this game (and Inquisition) is attributed to the fact that is the Warden who discovered such magic. You can't have a type of lost magic if the person who discovered it never shared it with anyone.note 
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • Loghain returns from the disastrous battle at Ostagar, gives a rather brusque explanation of what happened that paints him in a flattering light, then starts making high-handed demands for the nobility to fall into line and accept his authority. Unsurprisingly, the Ferelden nobility (many of who despise Loghain as a Nouveau Riche climber) see his actions as little more than an opportunistic power grab and ignore his demands, and his heavy handed efforts to force them into line push them into starting a civil war to depose him.
    • The ending of the Dwarves Succession Crisis shows how not all situations are not as black and white as "appoint the Reasonable Authority Figure as king" like you might expect. Harrowmont is a good man who wants to do what is right, but he is also a firm traditionalist; he doesn't push to bring reforms to society because the status-quo is more important to him and the majority of the senate. So if he is appointed king, he ultimately fails as a king because he is a Slave to PR who wants to keep the senate on his side, causing the already Dying Race nature of the Dwarves to get worse. By contrast, while Belen is ruthless and honorless, especially if you are a Noble Dwarf background, his radical viewpoints and belief in the strength of common people are ultimately what Orzamar needed to get back on its feet, as the ending shows him making things better for the starving masses of casteless, as well as establishing much-needed relations with the surface.
    • Magic allows you to shoot lightning at people, raise the dead to work for you, or call down giant firestorms on your enemies... but is also feared and hated by most of the world, and performing magic without explicit permission from a major organization is outright illegal.
    • The Dwarf Noble origin notes that the old Aeducan family shield they find is crude by their current standards and only of symbolic value.
    • Alistair is beyond pissed if the player tries to forge a grand redemption arc for Teryn Loghain by inducting him into the Wardens. Alistair is unable to forgive or forget Loghain's atrocities and storms off, leaving the party permanently.
    • Helping the Dwarven priest build a church in Orzammar leads to its destruction and his death, since the atheistic dwarves are outraged by him spreading foreign beliefs. These events draw the attention of the Chantry which is said to be considering a holy war against the city following this.
    • In return for their aid during the blight the Dalish elves are given lands to settle. However tensions quickly arise with an independent elven state forming in the middle of Human lands. Things deteriorate faster if the Warden choose to ally with the werewolves, who are given those lands instead.
    • The most popular way to handle the Landsmeet is to name Alistair as king, due to him being the bastard son of the late King Maric, with or without having him marry Queen Anora. Another possible solution is for a male human noble player character to marry Anora himself and become a monarch. But if you make a comment about becoming "King," Anora will swiftly remind you that you'd be her prince consort and that she'd still be the one calling the shots.
      • If you executed Loghain, marrying Anora is taken off the table. You just killed her father, what makes you think she'd marry you after that?
    • Most NPC that you had to fight seems to think that they had a chance to win against the Warden. However, the Warden is a member of an order knowned for being one of the best and finest soldiers of the world. Is even worst in Awakening, some people still think they had a chance against the person that killed the Archdemon. Some people, like Zevran, made pretty clear how shocked they are about how stupid this people can be.
    • The tendency in role-playing games is to recruit former enemies into your party when given the chance. After all, that's how you get their cool skills and fun new characters. You can do this with the assassin Zevran — he's sent to murder you, but once you defeat him, you can choose to either kill him or recruit him. But if you recruit him, his former employers place a bounty on his head and make his life miserable, and unless you put a lot of effort into enhancing his loyalty, he'll betray you and defect back to his former team once an old friend gives him the opportunity to do so.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • The Ferelden Nobility were sympathetic towards the Mages with Arl Eamon even allowing the mages shelter in his estate of Redcliffe. But if you side with the mages, once you complete their recruitment quest, the monarch of Ferelden, which can be either Alastair or Anora, will personally arrive to tell the mages to leave the country because they abused the hospitality of the monarch and Arl Teagan, supported a Tevinter cult responsible for the murder of the Divine (Thedas' equivalent to the Pope) and expelled the Arl from his own estate.
      • There is no change based upon the above choice despite one crucial detail if Alistair is present in that scene - Fiona is his mother. She doesn't reveal the fact as he is unlikely to believe her, due to the lie she asked Maric to tell him.
    • Impersonating a Grey Warden is a very serious offense. You can lose Blackwall permanently as a result.
      • Two characters both show admiration for the Grey Wardens and believe them to be heroes who protect the weak and defenseless. It goes badly for both characters because their primary duty is to stop blights, not play heroes. Blackwall's is a major hint that he's lying right from the start as any Warden who invokes the right of conscription would use it not to train humble fishermen but to forcibly recruit new wardens from people who would be executed or killed otherwise. The other, while she is willing to seek out the Wardens to join, will end up dead unless the Inquisitor recruits her for themselves due to the Wardens being highly suspicious of them.
      • Related to the above, should the player use Blackwall's Grey Warden connections to obtain resources for the Inquisition, the people who provided the resources will demand reparations once Blackwall's duplicity is revealed, seeing as you pretty much committed fraud against them.
      • You can invoke this back on the people demanding reparations if you choose Cullen's option: Regardless of Blackwall's duplicity, those resources were needed against a threat by Darkspawn (albeit not a Blight/Archdemon-related Darkspawn) and since you are now allied with the remaining Grey Wardens (or exiled them and seized their holdings), the resources now rightfully belong to the Inquisition.
      Cullen: I'm sorry, did we embarrass a duchess at a soiree by stepping on her gown, or was the sky torn open and Haven beset by an ancient darkspawn magister? We needed the gold. We needed the men. You would have persuaded someone to part with them, with or without the treaties. We are not making reparations for doing what we had to do. What no one else could have done.
      • Another Grey Warden point; the Wardens are revealed to have effectively been tricked into summoning a demon army for the Big Bad. Is it any small wonder that some of your companions will call for you to exile them as a result of this?
    • Take a Third Option is not always the best decision. Out of the three possible candidates for Divine, Vivienne, being both pro-templar and a mage, is arguably the most controversial. Most characters with an opinion on her appointment are surprised at best and more than a little wary of her ambition and iron-fisted methods, and depending on what choices you make, she can kick off her rule by having the remaining rebelling mages mercilessly suppressed by the Templars.
    • Vivienne is initially presented as a possible romantic choice because of the option to flirt with her, but as revealed when you first meet her, she's already in a loving relationship with her lover Bastien. He dies from an illness, but you cannot attempt Comforting the Widow.
    • Being hailed as The Chosen One doesn't automatically mean you're The Hero - the first thing the Herald has to deal with is the Chantry declaring them and all those who support them as heretics.
      • People will be skeptical of your claim to being the Herald of Andraste if you're not a human. This is due to official teaching of the Chantry that humans, while still shunned by the Maker, were not nearly as shunned by other races, as well as being a mostly-human organization.
    • The Qunari Inquisitor, if they try to discuss what it means to be Qunari with The Iron Bull, will be coldly shot down - Bull states that the Inquisitor isn't a follower of the Qun so has no right to call themself a Qunari.
      • The Iron Bull, if declared Tal Vashoth, goes into a Heroic BSoD due to the teachings of the Qun saying that those who abandon the Qun are insane, which was the justification he used for killing deserters of the Qun. If he doesn't go insane then that means he killed a lot of innocent people.
      • Bull mentions that the Qunari are not fond of wearing shirts, given how much trouble it is to put one on when you have a large pair of horns growing out of your head.
      • Another Iron Bull one; he and Solas won't get along before his personal quest is completed due to their highly contrasting beliefs (Bull's support of the Qun versus Solas's love of free will). In one bit of random party banter, Bull will try and reach out to Solas by claiming that while parts of Thedas would be better off under the Qun, he doesn't want this to happen because it would necessitate war and death. He expects Solas to approve, but Solas does the exact opposite; regardless of whether or not he approves of the means, he's still espousing the belief that the world would be better off under a totalitarian and extreme anti-individuality system of beliefs.
    • One side quest has the Inquisitor collect pieces of an ancient sword and ask Dagna to reforge it, only for her to explain that you cannot remake a sword from its shards. She instead makes a new one using the collected pieces as inspiration.
    • The Revered Mothers of the Chantry are just old women - their most effective weapon is their unified voice and the Chant of Light. It's no wonder that Lord Seeker Lucius was able to completely shatter their illusion of power by assaulting one of them.
    • Trying to re-appropriate the culture of another civilization is highly offensive to those from the original culture, especially if you get it wrong. This is why Solas hates what the Dalish have become, especially when their Facial Markings, which they think is to honor the elvish gods, happen to be the equivalent of a Slave Brand.
    • According to Varric, Hawke had to go on the run after his game due to the events of the last chapter making him a scapegoat. Also the general corruption of the city alone was enough to have numerous calls for the city to be the target of an Exalted March even before the incident with the Qunari and an apostate committing a terrorist bombing of the local Chantry.note 
    • Related to the above, when Cassandra learns that Varric had lied to her about not knowing Hawke's whereabouts, she angrily confronts him over it. Varric asks her what she was expecting, given that she kidnapped him and interrogated him about the location of one of his closest friends.
    • As Dorian's backstory proves, even in a world where homophobia is nonexistent and being gay is seen as little more than a sexual quirk not unlike a fetish, it can still be problematic if you come from a culture that emphasizes strengthening and continuing your lineage. And of course, parents love to try to 'fix' their children - even if involves dangerous magical experiments.
    • The most difficult way to end the Orlesian civil war is to gather enough blackmail fodder to force all three factions—sitting Empress Celene, her cousin Duke Gaspard, and elven spymaster Briala—to work together instead of playing out the Kingmaker Scenario. But despite seeming like it'd be the most rewarding option, it's actually the worst. According to the epilogue, once the main danger is past, they're on the verge of starting the civil war up all over again since none of the underlying issues are addressed. You can reunite former lovers Celene and Briala, which results in the best in-game rewards, long-term stability in Orlais, and more rights for the oppressed elves. However, you have to implicate Gaspard in plotting against Celene and let her sentence him to death, even though he's no more or less guilty than Briala, and backstory reveals that Celene isn't a stable relationship partner in the first place; you can't just give a bunch of sappy love letters and assume that all the serious relationship wounds have healed themselves. In all cases Briala can not take the throne herself because she is not royalty, so she has to rule through Gaspard or Celene, preventing her from fully reforming the system. In other words, to get the ending you want, you have to play The Grand Game.
    • A key plot point of the Trespasser DLC is that Ferelden and Orlais are unhappy about having an independent military organization like the Inquisition on their borders, with Ferelden calling the Inquisition out on some of their more controversial actions and wanting them disbanded, and Orlais wanting more control over the organization.
    • At the end of Trespasser, it's pointed out that an organization like the Inquisition will inevitably fall victim to internal corruption as it expands.
    • Relationships are a bit more realistic in that not every love interest is available to every player. In addition to gender preference, some characters have racial preferences as well, and party members' approval meters are invisible to the player and harder to manipulate. You can no longer shower them with gifts to make them like you, and you can't avoid disapproval by not bringing them on quests where you know they'll disagree with your actions, such as leaving Sera, who hates magic, at home when you do a quest supporting mages. It will get back to her. Bioware may have felt they were perpetuating "Nice Guy Syndrome" in previous games by implying that as long as you make all the right moves with your crush and tell them what they want to hear, they will mindlessly fall in love with you regardless of your personal traits. In reality, some people are just not into you.
    • There is technically no Blood Mage specialization for a mage Inquisitor, due to it being seen as inherently evil. In previous games, it was always the preferred spec for a purely-offensive playstyle, and storywise, no one was in a position to stop you. But in Inquisition, the player character is the leader of a religious organization tasked with keeping the peace across Thedas. The Inquisition depends on the goodwill of the public to function, and it's already controversial if the leader is a mage (especially one that isn't human). There is no way the Inquisitor can get away with openly practicing blood magic without losing crucial support. Necromancy, which has been confirmed to be just another form of blood magic, is tolerated—just barely—by being a Nevarran cultural practice, but blood magic is right out.
    • Divine Justinia V wanted the Warden to be the leader of the Inquisition. However, this never happened because she doesn't count the Warden had their own agenda and banished following it. And even when the Warden never banished, there's the fact that they can reject the offer by invoking the grey wardens' neutrality.
  • Dragon Ball Heroes is mostly a card game type video game so there is little story aspect, but the first few animated openings for it show some of this with the point of view character. He's initially excited about being sucked into the world of Dragon Ball, but although he does come in as a Saiyan, he's still a child with no grasp of how to use the powers a normal character in that universe would. In the very first opening, he tries to attack Cell, and gets easily beaten back and does no damage since he has no idea how to use his powers. Slowly over the openings, he can be seen getting a bit stronger, but it takes him a while to unlock the Super Saiyan form, and he generally can't stand up to most villains because of his inexperience until way later.
  • Dungeons of Dredmor plays several tropes to their natural conclusions for humor. For example:
    • Extremely powerful books on cloud magic will barely even assist you inside the dungeon, because there's no windows at all and you're underground.
    • Mana is restored through drinking booze. As a result, the Age of Wizardry came to an end due to the great wizards all succumbing to alcoholism and its complications like belligerent colleagues and dwindling funds for and quality of booze.
    • Several double-weapons like the Double-Quarterstaff and the Dire Halberd are actually rather terrible, because the sheer difficulty of handling them makes them rather useless in actual combat.
    • Heavier, more protective helmets tend to obstruct your vision, reducing your viewing distance as a result.
    • The "Water Supply Fluoridation" debuff is in there as a Doctor Strangelove reference, and your bodily fluids are sapped, but the tooltip helpfully remarks it also did what it actually does and strengthened your teeth, buffing your resistance just slightly.
  • One of the many endings available in Duck Season revolves entirely around this trope. Upon discovering that he's being stalked by a menacing figure who knows where he lives - in a neighborhood recently struck by a spate of serial killings - the player character can respond by simply calling the police and telling them what they just saw. Police Are Useless is completely averted in this case, and they deal with the situation decisively.
  • DUSK: Various previous FPS, including its main inspiration Quake, have an ordinary person Punching Out Cthulhu without needing any explicit protection against the otherworldly foe's more exotic powers. Here, though, Nyarlathotep just up and corrupts Dusk Dude into its new dragon, no Heroic Willpower or other save whatsoever. This comes right after revealing that it spent the whole fight pretending to actually get hurt. Were you really expecting mundane weapons with no explicit exotic or mystical properties to hurt, much less kill, an Eldritch Abomination?
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • The huge material properties overhaul resulted in a few of these, as a simple damage multiplier for each metal was replaced with actual stats for tensile strength, shear and compressive yields and so forth. Adamantine turned out to be incredibly strong and lightweight, making for excellent edged weapons like swords, but when players forged blunt weapons like warhammers and maces from it, the results were disappointing.
    • You planning on subverting that river into your base for a fresh water supply? Water carries motion still, so without proper planning you might just flood your base. See that awesome battle on a mountaintop, with people fighting and dodging? Well, one combatant just dodged off a cliff, and is now plummeting to his death. Despite the odd, and often fun, physics of the game, sometimes it will start behaving realistically enough for you to realize that you've just screwed up.
    • The mechanics behind that most insidious of threats, the Catsplosionnote  seems pretty ridiculous. But think about it for a second; how would you feel if someone killed your pet, even for "the greater good"?
    • The Dwarven Economy was a dire case of Artistic License – Economics, but that's not what lands it here. Getting the economy to "work" required minting hundreds, possibly thousands of coins. All of which were treated as unique objects, tracked individually and each with their own crafting level and description. Modern (2019) computers would struggle with that, hardware at the time was inevitable brought to a crawl. That was the main reason it was Dummied Out and ultimately nixed completely.
    • The update that fixed the Bonsai Forest problem, instead giving out huge trees that yielded multiple logs, also showed one of the problems with the aversion of this trope; namely, that a giant tree's collapse can and will injure anyone it falls on, including the woodcutter if he's standing in the wrong spot. Don't give woodcutters pets if you don't want a tragedy, and remember: Accidents happen.
    The oak wood log strikes the woodcutter in the right foot and the injured part explodes into gore!
  • Many of the cutscenes in Dynasty Warriors 7 invoke this with Annoying Arrows. In one scene, Pang Tong succumbs to a wound that resulted from taking an arrow intended for Liu Bei, Zhou Yu dies in a similar fashion, and another cutscene has the famous Eye Scream scene with Xiahou Dun (at least as much as can be shown in a T-rated game). To say nothing of Wu.
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  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • Using Dragon Shouts in a city or town will result in a guard asking you to stop. Magic or not, those shouts are awfully loud, and some of them can cause a lot of collateral damage, so of course it would make the locals nervous. On the other hand, when pressed, the guard will admit that there's not actually a law against it since there's only a handful of Tongues in the world, who generally don't leave their monastery, and of course using Shouts outs you as the Dragonborn. But they'll still ask you to knock it off.
    • If the Dragonborn already has a bounty on them in Whiterun when they try to enter the city for the first time, the Guard will try to arrest them, since a known criminal just walked up to them.
    • The Vigilants of Stendarr are a sect of Church Militants that aggressively hunt the daedra and other supernatural beings. Walking up to them while carrying a daedric artifact, or while wearing full daedric armor, will cause trouble.
    • Realizing he's lost, Alduin decides The Battle Didn't Count and retreats. While he plays it off as inconsequential, his followers, staunch believers in Ass Kicking Equals Authority, are none too pleased that their leader ran from a fight his opponent rightfully won, making quite a few question his authority and right to lead.
    • The Big Bad of the Dawnguard DLC plans to block out the sun, in order to allow the vampires to dominate Tamriel. It's pointed out that, while such a plan would give the vampires a huge advantage over the mortal races at first, it would eventually lead to their doom, as practically everything else on the planet - including the vampires' prey and their sources of food - needs sunlight to survive. It's also mentioned that the danger from such a scheme would likely force an Enemy Mine between the Empire, the Stormcloaks, and perhaps even the Aldmeri Dominion.
    • Also from Dawnguard, the aforementioned Vigilants of Stendaar try to go after the Volkihar Vampires, a clan directly created by Molag Bal and thus much stronger than the feral vampires around Skyrim. They not only get massacred in the field, but the Volkihars lead a counterattack on their HQ that completely wipes the order out. For all their preachiness on cleansing daedric corruption, they were a group that only killed feral vampires, daedric cults which at best are six members strong, and the occasional Werewolf, so they were completely caught off-guard by an organized counterattack from a large force.
    • In the Dragonborn DLC, cultists approach the Dragonborn in a public (and possibly well-guarded) place, and proceed to taunt and attack them. You can probably figure out what happens next.
    • The Dwarven Crossbow has the highest base damage of any ranged weapon in the game. This is because it uses the same pulley system as modern-day compound crossbows, making it mechanically superior to even the highest-end standard bows.
    • Being locked in prison for an extended amount of time will lower the Dragonborn's skill scores, or at least their progress towards their next skill increase. This shows how out of practice they have become from prolonged incarceration.
    • Crimes being comitted have a realistic level of nuance to them, especially in comparison to the other Elder Scrolls games;
      • If the guards find a dead body in their respective hold, they will actually stop the Dragonborn and question them on why they were hanging around a body and have their weapon drawn at the scene of the crime. If the player refuses to answer their questions, then you'll become a major suspect and they will arrest you under the suspicion of murder. While the player can talk themselves out of it, the guards will remain suspicious of you.
      • In the Dawnguard DLC, the player can receive side quests to assassinate a specific vampire, who is hidden in one of the major cities. Normally, you'd just kill the vampire without question, but the non-hostile vampire is in a public place with no visible or proven evidence of vampirism on your part. If you just attack the target, all city guards will immediately turn hostile and attack the player. To them, you've just murdered someone in cold blood and have become a threat to their city. The only reason the player can tell which person is the target of the quest is that the player character's nature as the Dragonborn lets them see a vampire's Glowing Eyes of Doom, but nobody else can see this, so it's not admissible evidence by any standard.
      • Grelod the 'Kind' is a sadist who enjoys torturing the children at her orphanage, insulting, belittling, and even shackling them, and preventing them from getting adopted so they can be abused until they grow up to be miserable and homeless. Once you kill her, the guards ignore the event because Grelod was probably going to continue torturing children, while untouchable by the law, until the day she died. Of course, there are still consequences - you did steal the contract from the Dark Brotherhood, after all...
      • A dark variant of this is from the mission "Delayed Burial": if you choose to help Vantus Loreius frame Cicero for a crime then Cicero will be wrongly imprisoned under those charges. A few days later, Vantus and his wife will be found dead after Cicero proved his innocence or escaped from custody. If the player joins the Dark Brotherhood after this, then they'll discover Cicero is actually one of the best assassins in the guild and rightfully pissed off about being framed and being forced to open the Night Mother's coffin to prove his innocence. To Cicero, all he asked for was for Loreius to help him fix his wagon; he had no malicious intentions, he never tried to threaten him into coercion and he definitely would have paid him for his time.
      • The Thalmor are effectively Elven Nazis who preach racial superiority and genocide with goals of The End of the World as We Know It, as a result even the Imperial-aligned characters hate their guts. The game actively defies The Friend Nobody Likes and makes it clear that people are willing to overlook crimes towards them as a result. Murdering a Thalmor agent in cold blood in Imperial-aligned territories will only get you a measly 40 gold assault bounty, basically as a slap on the wrist with a wink on the side from the local authorities, and in Stormcloak territory you won't even get that. Kill the Thalmor emissary in Imperial-aligned Markarth, and the local Jarl (who REALLY didn't like the guy but couldn't do anything without endagering his holdings) will slip you enough Septims under the table in thanks you can pay off the bounty and still come out with a profit.
      • The Dark Brotherhood is another faction that is universally met with fear and hate, being a shadowy independent group that has regularly killed people for money. If you kill the leader of the Dark Brotherhood and report it to a guard, they'll send you to Commander Maro; the leader of the Imperial Emperor's special forces who's been ordered to destroy the Brotherhood, who will praise you for killing her. He'll send you to kill the remaining members and the Dragonborn will be generally hailed as a hero for finally eradicating the guild of assassins.
    • Astrid attempts to force the Dragonborn into a But Thou Must! and Sadistic Choice situation by kidnapping the Dragonborn and having them kill one of three people in the room to repay the "debt" they acquired for stealing their kill. Instead, the Dragonborn can freely choose to kill her instead, as they have no reason to follow her demands and nothing is stopping them from doing so.
    • There is a quest where a Nord named Golldir enlists your aid in clearing out a necromancer who has holed up in his family's crypt and is raising his ancestors as undead. If you begin helping yourself to any of the valuables in the crypt, Golldir goes ballistic at you for stealing funeral offerings and riches that belong to his family (he begrudgingly goes along with it if you rationalise it as payment for helping him).
    • The Dunmer's state in this game is a mix of poor fortune and reality deciding to bring their decadence down on them. With the Tribunal no longer in place, the Ministry of Truth, which was being held above the city of Vivec by the Tribunal's power, falls to the earth and triggers an eruption of Red Mountain, which destroys Vivec and spreads destruction across Morrowind, killing scores of Dunmer and flooding the few unaffected portions of the province with refugees in a massive disaster known as the "Red Year." And what do the Dunmer, still reeling heavily from the disaster and overwhelmed with trying to recover find waiting for them next year? A pissed off army of Argonians still on a war-high from the Oblivion Crisis and deciding now's a very good time to pay them back for their millenia-long Slavery practices, an Empire disinclined to help them because they're dealing with their own problems, and a homeland rapidly becoming uninhabitable as the Red Mountain continues to spew ash into the skies above Morrowind. Ultimately, the Dumner's own superiority complex, slave-holding practices, and loyalty to the Tribunal earned them nothing but the destruction of their society. Even 200 years afterwards the Dumner are still a broken race barely starting to pick up the remains and rebuild their own society, with their culture as a whole having been more or less forgotten by all but a few long-lived members, and their posturing and superiority completely wiped out.
  • In Fable II:
    • You can shoot the villain as he is doing his Motive Rant. If you hesitate, one of your companions (Token Evil Teammate Reaver) will pull the trigger.
    • In one of the weapons' descriptions, a marksman named Wicker challenged Reaver to a duel. Reaver simply shot him in the head.
    • If the Hero's spouse is killed, their children will be taken by protective services, since a single parent who is always on the road cannot be trusted to take care of them.
    • In the game, you can choose to have protected or unprotected sex with consenting strangers. If you choose to have unprotected sex then the event may result in an unwanted pregnancy or a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Fallout:
    • Hitting a woman in the groin hurts them every bit as much as it does with a guy.
    • You can actually try to talk the Big Bad down from his evil plan at the end without fighting him, but it won't work if you go about it by trying to convince him his plan is evil. As far as he's concerned he's already doing the right thing by turning people into mutants because it's the only way to unify the wasteland, so he'll just brush you off as yet another obstacle to progress. To succeed in talking him down, you have to find out that his Super Mutants are all sterile so his planned "unified humanity" will die out within a generation. He'll accuse you of lying to him, so you need to counter by asking him if any of his mutants have had kids, at which point the penny finally drops.
    • If you convince the water merchants to sell water to the Vault to give yourself more time to find a working water chip, then congratulations, you've made it easier for the Super Mutants to find it, giving you less time to deal with them. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
    • If your Intelligence is 3 or less, you play as a bona-fide Idiot Hero with altered "dumbspeak" dialogue options. You'll be locked out of a lot of side-quests because most people won't even give you the time of day, nevermind ask you for your help. Why on earth would anyone trust their dangerous/important tasks to someone who is obviously brain-damaged in such a dangerous world? Plus, you'll probably end up screwing over a lot of people in your poorly thought out attempts to "help" them.
  • Fallout 3:
    • The first villain you encounter is the Overseer of the Vault you start in. You might think you could just kill him, but doing him in will cause his daughter and your friend Amata to angrily confront you about murdering her father- a completely justifiable reaction if your friend killed your parents.
    • Returning to Vault 101 after killing the Overseer and attempting to peacefully talk the new Overseer (Allen Mack) into changing his ways ends about as well as you'd expect - being forced into a fight to the death with him. Allen explicitly states that he doesn't want to talk things out with you, because, from his viewpoint, the previous Overseer attempted to do just that, and you killed him for it.
    • Colonel Autumn learns just what happens when you stand, pretty much unarmored, less than ten feet in front of someone in a fire fight. It'd be hard to find a player who didn't just turn on VATS and paste his head in a second.
    • The core game also ends with the player activating Project Purity and fulfilling their father's dream of supplying clean water to the entire Capital Wasteland. Then Broken Steel came along, acting as a Playable Epilogue, and if the player visits Project Purity they'll find that said dream isn't quite as glamorous as James made it out to be, as somebody has to deal with all the bureaucracy and paperwork that comes with running a massive water distribution network, and they're not happy about it.
    • It gets even worse if you proceed to activate Project Impurity. Anyone with even the slightest hint of radiation exposure is targeted by the modified FEV - i.e. anyone who's ever set foot outside of a Vault. You can even kill yourself in Broken Steel after activating Project Impurity by simply drinking three Aqua Puras.
    • Double-pointer with the ghoul Roy Phillips. He is one of the biggest assholes in the series, plotting to slaughter the inhabitants of Tenpenny Tower so he and his band of ghouls can move in (which he justifies by them being racist assholes, even though just being around him for 5 minutes makes it clear that he's no better than they are), and even working out a peaceful solution in which the ghouls can live in the tower without bloodshed will still lead to Roy killing the humans at the first provocation. Sometimes, there are just some people that absolutely cannot be swayed from their mindset or personal beliefs.
    • But unfortunately, unlike every other evil character in the game, killing Roy will award you negative karma, because the popular radio DJ Three Dog is absolutely convinced that Roy is the real victim in this scenario, making him a Villain with Good Publicity. Even if journalists are ethical and committed to reporting the truth, sometimes they get the facts wrong. You kill Roy and get caught, Three Dog will treat it like a cold-blooded racist murder and broadcast your "crime" across the Capital Wasteland. The only way to avoid bloodshed is to negotiate an agreement between the two sides, and then assassinate Roy without being caught - with his influence removed, the other ghouls will settle down in peace.
    • The Superhuman Gambit deconstructs the superhero genre. Canterbury Commons is the battleground between 2 characters, The AntAgonizer and The Mechanist, who have been fighting each other for months with mutant ants and robots, and every adult in town has gotten sick of this. They found it funny the first time (since they were just fighting ants) but are now annoyed by the constant attacks and want you to do something about it.
    • If you have low medical skills, then you may end up killing your patient or making things worse.
    • The Fat Man is the most suicidally dangerous weapon in the game as it requires you to only use it on enemies that are far enough away, even then you can still take radiation damage. If you use it at close-range, you will die immediately since you are in the range of a nuclear bomb.
  • Fallout: New Vegas
    • One side-quest given to the player by Alice McLafferty involves stopping the production of more caps being made at the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters located outside of New Vegas. If asked why, she explains that, because caps are the primary currency used in the Mojave Wasteland (the NCR and the Legion use paper money and gold/silver coins respectively but caps remain more widespread), having a machine that just simply creates more caps without any regulation is essentially the same as counterfeiting money; left unaddressed, it will cause a devaluing of caps as a currency, threatening to hurt business for anyone who uses caps (i.e. anyone who does business outside the NCR or the Legion).
    • The human wave tactics utilized by Caesar's Legion had proven effective in the past against tribals with similar close-combat weapons as themselves. Then the First Battle of Hoover Dam showed the Legion exactly what happens when you use human wave tactics against a more modern-styled entrenched army with automatic firearms and explosives.
    • The NCR might be the strongest faction of the Mojave, but they still have to move men and resources to the area from their home territory. Naturally this means the military force in the Mojave is so spread out that the Legion can send small strike teams deep into NCR territory without much resistance, and Raider groups can form quickly because the NCR can't police the areas enough to get rid of them for good. This also means towns under the NCR's banner have grown disgruntled about being tax-paying citizens that don't get anything in return for doing so, especially when their towns get attacked.
      • The Glory Hound trope is given this through the NCR. General Oliver wants a dramatic Final Battle to conclusively end the Legion threat so as to increase his fame. The problems with this is the following: a final battle situation requires the enemy group's entire forces to commit to it and usually are the result of an event like a prolonged siege. Instead, due to the vast majority of the NCR's troops assigned to defend the Dam, the Legion's troops and spies have free rein to travel the Mojave without NCR checkpoints or patrols to catch them, with meager NCR forces defending other locations of interest. Indeed, if the Courier doesn't do anything to stop the Legion's actions beyond the Dam, the Legion will catch the NCR off-guard with a massive attack by the Fiends on Camp McCarran, while the Great Khans pick off random NCR troops elsewhere in the region, the Strip will be hit by a terrorist attack arranged by the Legion, and while the Dam might face the Legion's heaviest troops, the lesser ones will simultaneously attack lightly or undefended targets like Camp Golf or Novac. The Second Battle of Hoover Dam is ultimately a Deconstruction of the "final, decisive battle" trope. It's just Hollywood-style bad tactics at its finest.
    • The conflict between the NCR and the Great Khans was a curbstomp in the NCR's favor because of this trope, nearly wiping out the Great Khans in the process. The Great Khans, an openly hostile raider group, was deliberately harassing the NCR for petty reasons. Naturally this incurred the wrath of the NCR to fight back, which nearly spelled total doom for the raider group. The NCR is a cohesive military force with well trained soldiers and supply lines, while the Great Khans are just a group of raiders sticking together with whatever they can find in the Mojave.
    • In relation, the Bitter Springs Massacre. The Great Khans attempted to hold-up in a canyon area to hold off the NCR. When it was clear the NCR would be victorious, the Khans tried to move their non-combatants safely away, which ended with them being gunned down by the NCR. Not only did the Great Khans not attempt to warn the NCR that they were going to do so, the NCR had no way of knowing the non-combatants were even not a threat during the middle of an intense fight between the two. As for the NCR, when they did realize what was going on, it was too late. Without lines of communication set up like phones or some manner of telecommunication, the soldiers and leaders had no way of communicating information quickly enough.
    • Having a technological advantage, even a large one, won't matter much if you're facing a force that beats you in numbers by a significant enough margin, as the Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood of Steel trying to hold the HELIOS One Solar Power Plant found out when they ended up nearly getting completely wiped out by the NCR. The only reason the NCR avert this is because they actually provide both numbers and good equipment that they can easily replace, meaning that they can trade blows with the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood cannot do the same with their limited numbers, especially an issue with their Powered Armor and high-tech weaponry being almost impossible to replace if destroyed. Also, it's a really, really bad idea to appoint a scientist with absolutely no knowledge of military tactics whatsoever and who cares for nothing other than obtaining his prize, no matter how many of his soldiers he has to sacrifice to do it, as the leader of your faction.
    • Having a nation run by a single person isn't new, but making yourself the sole defining trait that unifies your people together will result in things falling apart when you eventually die. As smart as Caesar is, because he formed a Cult of Personality around himself and is set up to be seen as a god among men, it means that should he somehow die, the Legion will inevitably fall apart because he was the only thing holding it together to begin with. If you kill him, pretty much everyone agrees that the Legion will break even with Lanius as their leader because Lanius simply lacks the power and charisma to keep them united. You can actually point this out to Lanius if you sided with the NCR, letting him know the Legion is doomed to fail after they lose Hoover Dam and that even winning would at best be a Pyrrhic Victory.
    • On the flipside however, the game defies Decapitated Army with the Legion. You killed Caesar? You made sure that in the long term the Legion will fall apart, but at the present the Legion is still too big of a force to simply keel over right away without him. Just killing the leader doesn't mean the army will automatically give up and surrender; if anything, it drives them to war more because now they have a personal reason to fight.
    • If you win too many times at the casino, they will ban you from playing there. Not only because they can't afford to keep paying you; the other reason is because nobody is that lucky, and they will ban you under the assumption that you're cheating somehow.
  • Fallout 4:
    • Using Stealth Boys or legendary armor with the Chameleon effect turns the player character invisible, along with anything they're holding. Good luck trying to aim with transparent gun sights.
    • To get people to join your settlements, you have to set up radio beacons broadcasting invitations and signals that they can follow to reach their new home. You know who else can listen to those signals? Raiders, Gunners and Super Mutants looking for a new and easy target.
    • The Commonwealth Minutemen are a militia group pledged to each others' mutual defense, not a formal army or government, and their weak command structure almost led to the group's extinction. Losing their headquarters of the Castle, its radio tower, and their best leader all at once meant that members stopped supporting each other, so when a band of hostile mercenaries attacked one settlement, not enough people came to its defense to fend them off. After being massacred by Gunners, mirelurks and ghouls, by the start of the story there is only one remaining active Minuteman in the entire Commonwealth. Most wastelanders admire their intentions but thought their end was stupid, and are understandably reluctant to entrust the safety of their settlements to them again.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel are operating in the Commonwealth from their huge, slow-moving zeppelin, the Prydwen. While it offers a safe haven against most of the native threats, the Minutemen can build artillery batteries in their allied settlements, all over the Commonwealth. If the latter go to war with the former, one sudden barrage will wipe out most of the Brotherhood in a cataclysmic fireball.
    • The Railroad is actively battling the Institute, but has little support from the rest of the Commonwealth. That's because the Railroad is focused on liberating Synths, which most people view with fear and suspicion due to the Institute's use of them as infiltrators. Deacon, a Railroad agent, will express his frustration that his group doesn't do more work helping ordinary humans, since it would build goodwill, give them access to more resources, and help them sell their message of synth/human coexistence. As the Railroad doesn't have the same power of authority as the Brotherhood or Institute does, supporting them likely means that the Commonwealth is essentially back to square one unless also you ponied up in the Minutemen and developed your settlements.
      • The Railroad ending also shows what happens when you deviate from an established plan and lock someone out of the loop, even for their own safety: Liam Binet, who had been assisting synths escape from the Institute but was intentionally not informed of his own involvement with the Railroad or any of their plans, is devastated and severely pissed when the Railroad puts their final plans in motion that results in the Institute getting destroyed, and ends up giving a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the Railroad before killing himself. Fairly understandable, considering they kept him completely in the dark and just killed everyone he ever knew and loved in the name of freeing synths. Desdemona is deeply ashamed by this, because she knew that Bidet was right; the Railroad just wiped out not just a family, but arguably an entire community in the name of freeing synths, something that seriously does bring to light that the Railroad cares more about synths than actual humans.
    • The Railroad's secret password to access their hidden underground base is Railroad. The player character can point out to the Railroad's leaders how bad that password is, for them to counter that most wastelanders don't know how to spell or read. This is a post-apocalyptic setting with no public education, remember? That said, the Brotherhood of Steel has Scribes who are extremely erudite and therefore do figure it out and storm the lair.
    • If the player sides with the Institute, they can become its new Director... and still have only minimal control over its operations. After all, Father gave you the position without consulting the other department heads, and you're some unknown actor who walked out of the wasteland, not a fellow scientist who worked their way through the ranks normally.
    • Siding with the Brotherhood of Steel gives a rather unhealthy dose of reality, especially for those who played Fallout 3. Without Owyn and Sarah Lyons' influences, the Brotherhood's interests in helping the Wasteland community has pretty much dwindled to almost zero and they're returned to their quasi-feudalistic and religious ways reminiscent of the West Coast Brotherhood. Because of this, should you destroy the Institute with their help and establish them as the dominant power, they pretty much subjugate the Commonwealth and declare martial law, sending heavily-armed patrols out to exterminate synths and "negotiate" for needed resources. Needless to say, many of the Commonwealth's citizens, while relieved to be rid of the Institute's threat, are unsure if the Brotherhood's authoritarian ways are a better or worse solution.
    • The Wreck of the FMS Northern Star shows the sad reality of the Language Barrier. The raiders here are Norwegian, so none of them speak English, and the game doesn't provide any translation for what they're saying. So they are actually defending themselves from you because you didn't understand their warnings. All these raiders are also ghouls, they've been around before the bombs and their paranoia is more than warranted.
    • Sometimes the enemies will react with horror when they see the Sole Survivor kill one of their own. Enemies or not, they were still part of a clan who regularly fought together to survive the unforgiving wasteland. On the other hand, they are still callous psychopaths who will react to death with indifference. As shown by Hardware Town when one raider kills another one for talking too much.
  • Fallout 76:
    • There are a variety of ways in which you can contract deadly diseases. A few examples include getting bitten by infected animals, eating uncooked or spoiled food, drinking water that hasn't been filtered or boiled first, and sleeping in beds that are low on the ground or exposed to the elements.
    • An additional danger to water is the fact that, with the game taking place very soon after the war, the water is much more irradiated, so you run increased risks of radiation sickness from both drinking and swimming in water.
    • Food spoils if left uneaten in your inventory for too long. If you keep it in a refrigerator, it will stay edible.
    • Unlike in Fallout 4, cooking food will not eliminate radiation. It does make it safer to eat by eliminating disease, but radiation isn't something that you can cook out of food. Same deal with boiling water.
    • Because there are no NPCs outside of a small handful of peaceful robots, there are very few ways to earn caps, and just as few ways to spend them on items. To succeed in this game, you will need to not only complete quests for rewards, but learn survival skills, such as repairing your equipment and living off the land.
    • The survivors in Appalachia had more than enough resources between them to fight off the Scorched, with the Responders' vaccines, the Brotherhood of Steel's technology, the Free States' early detection systems, and so forth. Unfortunately, the various factions of the region would not learn to trust one another. The Brotherhood found this out the hard way when they tried to request the Responders' aid against the Scorched, only to be snubbed as a result of the Brotherhood's bullying the Responders for tech. As a result, the Scorched spread through the region until nearly all human life was wiped out.
    • The Order of Mysteries was run by Shannon Rivers, a washed-up former actress who'd never run any sort of organization before. Sure, she develops a “rank” system predicated on skills learned, missions completed and mentorship of younger girls by older girls, but her lack of organizational leadership leaves her blind to a deep-seated morale problem in her daughter Olivia, and is caught off guard when mission failures and casualties rack up. She never ever suspects betrayal and compromise and is flummoxed when Olivia betrays her. And then Olivia gets her own dose of hard reality when the raider gang she betrayed her mother to turns around and kills her.
  • Far Cry 3:
    • The protagonist, Jason Brody, is just a regular, directionless guy who will inevitably panic when he kills a man for the first time, in self-defense or not. And when you end up having to do it over and over again, even for a good cause (freeing his friends), it won't have a good effect on you.
    • In the introduction, Jason and his brother Grant escape from a camp, but barely get twenty feet away from its outer wall before setting down to look over a map and try to find out what to do. Unsurprisingly, Grant promptly takes a bullet through the throat, Jason only avoiding a similar fate because Vaas, the opening villain, is just that crazy to be impressed by their escape attempt.
    • Jason's friends do not react well to his growing bloodlust. Liza even completely freaks out over how much fun he is having while fighting the pirates during their escape.
    • Jason is set up as a bog-standard Adventure FPS protagonist. A somewhat average guy winds up in an exotic location and becomes what amounts to "the chosen one" to save the locals and is given an enemy he can kill carte blanche without consequence. The result isn't a hero, it's an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight.
    • When Jason starts killing the pirates, he eventually starts enjoying it the more he does it because they are faceless soldiers and because he can justify their deaths to himself. That all changes when he meets Buck, a sociopathic rapist holding one of Jason's friends as a sex slave and is using him as leverage for Jason's services. By sending Jason on multiple suicide missions and then finishing their business by telling Jason he had no intention of releasing Jason and Keith, Buck breaks Jason's already fractured sanity and naivety. Buck is the first real threat Jason encounters and was not a faceless soldier like the pirates. Buck had to die and his death is not played heroically or justly as Jason furiously stabs him with the dagger for the first time.
    • Hoyt is implied to have died much earlier than his boss fight suggests and that Jason hallucinated an extended fight with him while slaughtering his guards due to the reality of killing his enemy being anticlimactic.
  • Far Cry 4: At the start of the game, Pagan Min asks you to wait for a bit as he takes care of some business. The game expects you to leave the table, discover De Pleur torturing the other guy captured with you, and ultimately start the plot. If you do wait for a bit (around fifteen minutes)... Min comes back and resolves the business he invited you for, which actually leads to an alternate ending of the game where everything is explained and you accomplish Ajay's goal in under an hour.
  • Far Cry 5: The game begins with the police approaching a cult to arrest its leader, Joseph Seed, for suspicious activities. The marshal wants to arrest Joseph, while the sheriff thinks they should leave so they can get the national guard to handle Joseph and the cult. The group detains Joseph, but the cult causes the helicopter to crash as it's taking off, and this convinces the cult to start their mission and start capturing civilians. The only good ending is when the player refuses to arrest Joseph Seed; after hearing Joseph repeat a phrase from the helicopter ride, the sheriff wisely chooses to retreat because Joseph has a spy and obviously has a plan against them. In real life, the authorities have been told to never underestimate a criminal and have had it drilled into their heads that trying to use brute force is the dumbest decision you can make when you are outmatched and outnumbered.
  • Racing game Fatal Inertia has the Time Dilator power-up, that slows time around you while leaving your craft immune, adding up to a few seconds of enemies stuck the wrong side of Bullet Time while you surge ahead at normal speed. However, the way the powerup works in-universe means outside observers see everything still moving at normal speed, and the device's user suddenly going at several times their previous velocity. One of these outside observers is physics. So much as glance off a solid obstacle and one suddenly finds out where the title comes from.
  • In Fate/Grand Order, Chaldea is supposedly a branch of the Mages' Association, but has no stated purpose, operates like a private army full of Heroic Spirits, is funded with money from an unknown origin, and was headed for a year and a half by a man with no legal background (and since then by another Heroic Spirit). Part 2 opens with the Mages' Association investigating and deciding Chaldea is too suspicious and too dangerous to be allowed to exist.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War has several examples, most of which predate what would later become series cliches.
    • The typical Fire Emblem plot of "Prince invades evil empires, kills their dictators and everyone lives happily ever after" doesn't end so well here. Both Verdane and Agustria end up crippled by Sigurd's actions, and even one generation later neither country has fully recovered. Sigurd becomes hated by many within both nations because of this, and it isn't until the Grannvale Empire is corrupted by the Loptous cult and cause the child hunts that his son rises up to save the realm, at which point they change their views on Sigurd's actions.
    • Eldigan is of the Camus Archetype, fighting Sigurd's army under orders of King Chagall. He used to be friends with Sigurd and his sister is part of your army, so normally Fire Emblem recruitment logic applies, right? Well, Lachesis can convince him to think twice about Chagall's orders, causing him to retreat to question him, upon which he's immediately executed for treason by Chagall since Eldigan disobeyed orders. The only consolation is that you don't have to personally kill him. If instead you attempt to have Sigurd speak to him, Sigurd tries to appeal to their friendship to stop the fighting, but Eldigan refuses because as much as Sigurd is his best friend, Sigurd still is a threat to his home and lord and won't back down from doing his duty.
    • Keeping Heroic Lineage going ends up requiring a lot of incest, both of the Kissing Cousins and Brother-Sister variety.
    • Travant attempts to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist by ambushing and killing Quan and Ethlyn while on route to help Sigurd on the grounds that their actions would bring ruin to Thracia. In doing so however, he ends up turning them into martyrs in their homeland and he becomes incredibly unpopular thanks to what his own people see as a betrayal of one of his loyal and good-hearted lords. The result is that their son Leif is able to muster up a rebellion who overthrows Travant, because as the son of the two, he is seen more favorably than Travant is.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance plays out like a typical High Fantasy story, with a group of mercenaries and a secret princess going on a world trip and gathering allies before defeating the bad guy and liberating their hometown. The direct sequel Radiant Dawn then shows all the ugly aftermath of this. Crimea's nobles don't like suddenly answering to a Queen whose existence was a secret until she led the liberation, and her soft-heartedness leads to unrest and insurrection. Daein's citizens had no interest in the Mad King's War, and launch a liberation campaign of their own to regain sovereignty from an abusive suzerain. Begnion's apostle made a deep cut into the senate's corruption and openly pledged to do much more; all this did was consolidate them against her and ended up with her removed from power, the senators feeling free to commit all sorts of atrocities with their overwhelmingly powerful military. The Laguz nations find themselves needing to fight a war while having no cultural knowledge of the logistics and consequences of doing so, and the lingering Fantastic Racism throws more fuel to the fire. The unrest and upheavals in every corner of the continent results in a world war or would have, if not for a timely Diabolus ex Machina.
  • Late in the story mode of Fire Emblem Warriors, a villain has the protagonists' mother on an altar ready to sacrifice, and says he'll spare her if they set down their swords and step away. They hesitate, but do so, only for the villain to pull an I Lied and sacrifice her anyway... or try to. He didn't make the rest of the army put down their weapons, not even the expert marksman wielding a divine bow that can manipulate wind. Takumi puts an arrow through the villain's hand before lampshading how short-sighted that was.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses:
    • Students who don't have combat experience will express some nasty These Hands Have Killed shock if they finish an enemy during their first real battle. A few of them, such as Linhardt and Dorothea, never truly come to terms with having to kill people.
    • Characters who had been recruited into your house have negative effects of staying loyal to a house that is now fighting against their homes, families and friends. Some like Ferdinand have their entire family history damaged while others like Ingrid express guilt over betraying their home. Even Byleth isn't exempt from this. If they join the Black Eagles, Leonie will call them a traitor because they sided with Edelgard who was partially responsible for their father Jeralt's death.
    • While previous Fire Emblem protagonists bounce back quickly in the face of trauma and hardship with little long-term effects on their mental health, this is not the case with Dimitri whose trauma of being a Sole Survivor witnessing several loved ones die a violent death and several events in the story ended up twisting his sanity and turning him into a Sociopathic Hero. Unless Byleth is there to assist him in the Blue Lions route, Dimitri gets himself killed with his self-destructive behaviour. Even then, he notes in his S-support with female Byleth that he will almost certainly have to struggle with his mental issues for the rest of his life.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's:
    • In the original game, Freddy Fazbear's Pizza suffered a combination of highly violent events, including a man murdering five children, blood and mucus leaking from the animatronics, and the bite incident of 1987. The restaurant is set to close a few months after the game is set.
      • The Custom Night allows you to set the difficulty of the separate animatronics, from a number between 0 to 20. After you beat the Custom Night, you get fired for tampering with the animatronics.
    • In Five Nights at Freddy's 3, set thirty years after the original game, the management of Fazbear's Fright insists on using the old wiring of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, despite it being very outdated and in a state of extreme disrepair. This ends up causing a fire that burns the whole place down, as shown in the game's good ending.
    • The climax of Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location has the player character killed when Ennard scoops out their internal organs to use as a disguise to escape Circus Baby's Entertainment and Rental. The Custom Night's minigames reveal that Ennard never realised that human skin doesn't last long after its owner has been killed, and as such people quickly notice his skin turning purple.
    • Ultimate Custom Night makes use of the Air-Vent Passageway trope, as did many of the other games in the series. But while Mangle, Springtrap, Ennard, and Molten Freddy have no problems with climbing through the ventilation shaft in front of the player, Withered Chica (who is a Big Eater) will get stuck in the vent as she tries to get out (which if this happens, will also keep every animatronic in the same vent except Mangle from getting out as well), though she will eventually wiggle free a short while after she gets stuck.
    • Later games in the series establish that while the collapse of Freddy Fazbear's Pizza did do some damage to Fazbear Entertainment, it's not the only enterprise they had. Corporations don't usually keep all their eggs in one basket. There's even a game in the series that exists in-universe as an attempt to put spin on the rumors surrounding their establishments.
  • For Honor:
    • Killing Apollyon doesn't stop all of her manipulations and plans cold. By the time she dies, the factions have been at war for years and aren't going to stop just because the Chess Master is dead. She even lampshades this by asking the Orochi if they thought everyone would just go home after she was dead.
    • Runa interrogates a Samurai Mook for information, forgetting she can't speak his language, and learns nothing.
    • This actually happens during a few of the heroes' optional multiplayer executions. Such as Lawbringer preparing to give his opponent the coup de grace, only for them to die of their injuries before he can. Or Warlord ramming his sword through someone's chest and having trouble getting it out afterwards.
  • Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon:
    • Weapons degrade and break when used, with no means of repairing them. The end result of this is that you can end up wielding a broken stick against the Final Boss. On the other hand, it's still entirely possible to win under these circumstances.
    • The robot character PF dies when her batteries run out (as does Crow), since there's no way to recharge or replace them, and nobody who knows how to do so.
  • Friday the 13th: The Game: Counsellors can leap through windows as a last-ditch attempt to escape Jason. If the window is closed, or positioned on the second story, or both, the player will injure, or possibly kill, themselves.

    G-H 
  • In Get Dumped, Michi's boyfriend Arashi has decided to break up with her and she's desperate to win him back on their last date. Except that it turns out there's no magical formula to do so; sometimes someone just doesn't love you the way you love them, as painful as it may be. In addition, Arashi points out to Michi in the true ending that her obsession with spending as much time as possible with him and putting him on a pedestal has left her with no time to have a life of her own and unable to act normally around him, and that she's more in love with her idealized image of him than with the real him.
  • Geneforge: Completing quests for one faction still doesn't prevent you from accepting and completing tasks from opposing ones. They will inevitably catch up to your playing as a double agent and snuff you out in full force.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
    • Adaptive camo is your primary means of hiding from enemies. Most other games would simply say "you're invisible" and leave it at that, but not one under the Tom Clancy brand. One of the two major things shown about it is that it only works on non-living objects - your characters' weapons, equipment and clothes are all cloaked, but bare skin isn't, thus they take precautions to cover as much of their bodies as they can. The other is that it also doesn't work if the thing trying to be cloaked moves too fast - you yourselves cannot move faster than a crouch-walk without losing camo (AI teammates notwithstanding, and that's assuming you're not playing multiplayer or the PC version's hardcore difficulty where moving at all drops it), firing a gun temporarily knocks it out from the movement of your gun's bolt and hammer and the like, and your autonomous drone's own camo only works while the drone itself is inactive and strapped to your belt or in ground-crawler mode, rather than in its flight mode where its propellers would be moving too fast for the system to work. The issue of aiming an invisible gun is also addressed, with the regular ironsights and the actual crosshair on powered and/or magnified optics left uncloaked. And, all be told, just like real camouflage it isn't perfect - get too close and people will notice something's off (as several missions do by having civilians running around, who will stop and stare or start to panic when they notice the mostly-invisible figures passing through). There's also only so much it can do against enhanced vision or sensors, as well; while it does actively cloak your heat signature to counter thermal vision, backscatter X-ray optics, or "magnetic view", see through it just fine. Tanks are also able to see right through it, so whenever you find one on patrol you need to put something solid between you and it even with camo up.
    • Tanks themselves are subject to this as well. A more standard Call of Duty clone would give you a rocket launcher with a nearby infinite supply of ammo, C4 charges, or anything to just take care of tanks yourself every time you came across them - even the original Ghost Recon frequently had enemy tanks that you yourself had to destroy with anti-tank weaponry, and friendly tanks who would go down just as easily to enemy AT soldiers if you didn't scout ahead and take them out first. This game, however, is barely willing to let you get away with this on an IFV (a smaller and much more thinly-armored vehicle compared to a tank); as highly-trained and extensively-kitted as you are, you're still a four-man team against a tank. Just about every time a tank shows up, your best bet to surviving the next five seconds is simply sitting tight and letting it pass. Even when you do get into an actual fight with one, you still can't take it out yourself - every time, you simply need to keep your head down and hold out until air support can drop a bomb on it for you.
  • Ghost Trick
    • The country the game takes place in hasn't used the death penalty for several years, with the result that when the need to carry out an execution arises, they have to use a very old electric chair. Said chair short-circuits and blows up when the guards try to fire a test charge through it.
    • At one point, you have to try to help an innocent man escape from prison. It's later pointed out that regardless of whether or not the escapee's guilty of the crime they were convicted for, escaping from prison is still a crime; had Cabanela not stopped Jowd's escape, it would have caused Jowd problems even if he did manage to prove his innocence.
    • Making a hard hat hit a guy in the face with the speed and force of a moving bullet leads to exactly what you think will happen. Also, Yomiel has the same sort of powers of the dead as you do, so if you trick an item in full view of him, he will notice what's up and cut his monologue short, resulting in another non-standard game over.
    • As Cabanela and several others point out, if you want to become the head of a special investigation unit - or get any major unelected civil post really - you're going to need a pretty spotless career record to have any chance of getting the position. This ties back into the above about catching Jowd when he tries to escape from prison - Cabanela doesn't believe Jowd is guilty of what he was imprisoned for in the first place, and his obsession with his spotless record is because becoming the head of that special investigation unit is the best way Cabanela can think of to get Jowd off the hook legally.
  • Ghost of Tsushima:
    • If Mongols see Jin as the Ghost mow down several of their buddies in seconds, they'll do what any sane man would do: drop their weapons and run for their lives.
    • Keeping a bow drawn actually takes quite a lot of effort. Jin can only hold a full draw for a few seconds before his aim starts to wobble and he loses his grip on the bowstring.
    • While you can play Jin as a One-Man Army, there are spots that will chew you up and spit you out regardless of health or gear marked as "overwhelming forces", which are only removed by story missions.
    • During "The Undying Flame," Jin has to climb a mountain in the middle of a harsh winter and needs to stop by fires to warm himself up or he'll take damage, eventually leading to death from hypothermia.
    • Jin's first stealth takedown is noticeably crude, with the sentry even managing to let out a small scream before Jin realizes he has to cover his mouth.
    • Ryuzo is having a hard time keeping the Straw Hats together, as the group is too big to avoid Mongols and feed themselves. It doesn't help that most of them are mercenaries and aren't used to hunting or gathering food that doesn't belong to someone else.
    • The game severely deconstructs the Honor Before Reason aspect of the Samurai code; Jin learns the hard way that "honor" means jack squat when you're fighting an enemy that not only doesn't play by the same rules but also knows how to exploit them, which Khotun Khan readily demonstrates at the beginning of the Mongols' invasion; Lord Shimura sends one of their strongest Samurai to Khotun's landing party and the man formally challenges him to an honorable one-on-one duel in an attempt to break the Mongols' spirit. And what does Khotun do? Throw a goblet full of oil all over him, light him on fire, and decapitate him while he writhes in pain. This goads the rest of the Samurai into retaliating, abandoning their defensible chokepoint and getting themselves slaughtered in a horribly one-sided battle.
    • In a nation like Japan where honor is so significant, especially for the Samurai who are essentially defined by it, Jin's gradual abandonment of his honor repeatedly earns him harsh criticism for not only casting aside the code he was raised from birth to uphold, but also spreading this pragmatism to the peasantry so they can take back their lands without relying on their Samurai masters. This becomes such a big problem that even after saving Tsushima, the Shogunate calls for Jin's death because his underhanded, shinobi-style ways could undermine the Samurai and ruling caste now that there's an entire island's worth of people following Jin's example, while using the Samurai code as a socially-justified excuse to execute him.
    • Lord Shimura's dedication to fighting honorably predictably blows up in his face at the start of the game, but it really hits him in the second act. He decides to attack a fortified position head-on, and even after suffering severe casualties, he is insistent on finishing the job. Predictably, Jin and Yuna are horrified at the death toll and have to beg him for permission to rest and tend to the wounded.
    • Jin develops wolfsbane poison as a weapon against the Mongols. However, it's only natural that a cunning and resourceful leader like Khotun would find a way to reverse engineer it and subsequently use it against Jin and his people. It's also noted later on that knowledge of the poison has spread among the populace, with one silk merchant using it to take out his only competition and a farmer using it against another he was feuding with.
  • God of War (PS4):
    • Kratos's apparent downgrade of combat prowess from the previous games makes sense as Kratos has spent years trying to live in peace. He's not as good as he used to be because he is out of shape.
    • Atreus's first combat almost gets him killed, since he is a child at the moment the fact he almost gets killed by someone is very tramautizing especially for a child and even being trained by Kratos its gonna take time to get over that and will end up very much afraid and troubled by the thought he's gonna have to deal with these things alot.
    • Right out of the gate, Atreus doesn't have any hesitation fighting the Draugr because they're undead monsters who are beyond their time on this world, but, early in the game when him and Kratos are attacked by cannibals, Atreus ends up stabbing one of them to death in self-defense. Killing a human, even murderous cannibals, leaves him in traumatic shock, and he ends up breaking down in tears despite not wanting to show Kratos any weakness. Relatedly, the developer commentary notes that Kratos' advice to help Atreus get over this of "Close your heart to it" was the worst possible thing to tell the traumatized boy, and it sets him up to start going down a dark path later by basically telling him killing people isn't any different than killing monsters, as opposed to being a heartbreaking but sometimes necessary action.
    • A good portion of the game has Kratos keeping his dark past from his son and deliberately keeping himself distant from Atreus as a well-meaning attempt to protect the boy from him. Because of Kratos's refusal to properly communicate this, Atreus naturally perceives his father's cold attitude as Kratos hating and disapproving of him.
    • Freya thinks that explaining her intentions and telling Baldur that she genuinely loved him would be enough for the latter to forgive her. Baldur remains furious and still wants revenge for what she had done. A simple explanation was not enough to make up for Baldur's suffering.
    • When the truth finally does come out about Atreus' heritage, Atreus initially seems to take it with shocking ease. Unfortunately given his own experiences with the gods that are not his father or Freya at that point in the story (and potentially a bit of corruption from outside magic) he ends up becoming cold and brutal, giving Sindri a cruel "The Reason You Suck" Speech, disobeying Kratos' commands and doing whatever he wants in combat, and it comes to a head when he murders Modi in cold blood and later shoots Kratos after Kratos accidentally destroys the gateway to Jotunheim. Thankfully, after that last one Kratos manages to right the ship before Atreus becomes a cold blooded murderer that would make Ares blush. A child is not going to take to the news that he's a god, in a world where Jerkass Gods are the rule and not the exception, gracefully, especially not since Kratos absolutely refuses to allude to his own violent past and leaving Atreus to form his own opinions.
  • God Eater:
    • Fellow God Eater Eric der Vogelweid decides to take the time to introduce himself to the player character midway through his first mission with them. As a result, an Ogretail sneaks up on him and attacks, killing him before the player or Soma can save him. Even if the player had been able to react fast enough, Eric would have been likely killed anyway. Not paying attention during a mission is easy way to die, after all.
    • The God Eaters get to live somewhat comfortable lives in Fenrir, but that's because they have a role to play for the Fenrir command. As a result, the normal people, or even families of God Eaters such as Kota's, are living in slums or relatively poorer living conditions. It's shown that the people are frequently protesting Fenrir's policies because the living conditions just suck for normal people, and Fenrir can only do so much to keep them happy.
    • After The Calamity wiped Fenrir HQ off the map, Fenrir Credits suddenly had no backing. Every remaining administrative unit, all having been briefed on such possibilities, realized an economic crisis right then would doom humanity completely and quickly made it clear they'd continue honoring the currency 1:1.
    • The first God Eaters were hailed as Super Soldiers and heroes for being able to fight Aragami. The stronger second-generation New Types were regarded with a bit more suspicion, for being both stronger and more unstable. Post-Calamity, what remains of humanity is terrified of the conclusively superhuman Adaptive God Eaters. Thus, any AGE is shackled in their cell anywhere except the battlefield and treated like dirt by the fearful populace.
      • Exactly because of this, all Chrysanthemum has to do is treat the Pennywort AGEs like human beings and Hilda has them eating out of her palm. They're completely aware they're being played, but it's not an offer they can refuse.
  • Granblue Fantasy:
    • Lecia heads off on her own to confront the heroes personally, in order to understand where their strength comes from. However, while she was gone, Ghandarva lead an attack that devastated Amalthea. While Lecia is vital in defeating Ghandarva, she's still punished for abandoning her post and is strongly recommended by Monika to resign her position as Captain.
    • The Grand Blues Channel quest "Bittersweet Symphony" has the captain set up a band of different musicians in the crew with different styles, and places the meek member in the leader role. The outcome? He's unable to get any of them to cooperate or compromise after days of practice, and the thing ends up a failure.
  • Doubling as Early Installment Weirdness, the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series only gives you one attempt at a mission unlike the later games, as failing a mission will cause it to disappear from the chapter that the player is currently in. This is certainly true for people who work for criminal bosses, who are only given one chance to do a job correctly, and can't re-do it if they fail.
  • Grand Theft Auto 2: One of the ways to get to the next district and ultimately leave town is to simply make enough money to get out. The other is to do enough missions for all three gangs in a given area, playing the respect of the three against each other, until they collectively realize that doing missions for all three of them means you've been hurting all of them at every opportunity, and they all come to kill you.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV:
    • Niko killing loan sharks to try and save Roman (who is buried under massive gambling debts) solves nothing - for each one he kills, a new, far more nasty one just comes by and takes his place.
    • The game's Final Bosses are hardly any tougher than any of the other random Mooks you've been killing. They have slightly more health thanks to body armor, but other than that, they're no tougher, and will likely go down quickly.
    • In previous games, using a Pay n' Spray to alter your car at any moment would automatically dispel your wanted meter to zero, even when the cops had you in their sights. Do it in plain sight here with cops watching you, and that won't fly at all: they naturally saw you going into the shop, so of course they're not going to be fooled by a sudden new paint job.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, after spending five years being a meth addict, Johnny from The Lost And The Damned was killed easily by Trevor.
    • In a more humorous example of this trope, pressing the jump button next to a surface too tall to climb will lead to you smacking off it and landing flat on your ass.
    • The Merryweather Heist. As badass as the crew are, even they know they won't survive if they keep the nuclear device they stole, because just about every military force in America would try to snuff them. They make the wise move to put it back.
    • The premise of the "Legal Trouble" mission is that a lawyer has taken the only analogue copy of a film Michael has been co-producing, prompting him to go and chase her down to get it back. At the end of the mission, Michael's co-producer points out that - in the age of modern filmmaking - they've got several copies of the film saved digitally.
    • Similar to the GTA IV example above, the final antagonists pose no threat and are killed in rather offhanded ways without any real build-up for final confrontation.
    • Constantly jumping into and out of cars means that the main characters don't wear seatbelts. Which means that if you hit something at high speed, you're going out the windshield.
    • In past games, you could point your gun at civilians in their cars and they would quickly hop out. You try that here, and the civilians in question will attempt to run you over.
    • Parachuting out of an aircraft doesn't make that aircraft disappear, it just means that there's now an uncontrolled aircraft that's going to crash somewhere. See online videos for hours worth of abandoned aircraft crashing into that car the player parachuted down to steal, the escorted vehicle that has to reach the destination untouched, the player who just landed, the player still parachuting down...
      • Adding onto this, in real life, an aircraft crashing, no matter what kind, will result in someone calling the police, so try not to act too surprised when you suddenly get a two-star wanted level when your abandoned plane plows into a residential neighborhood.
    • As Lester points out, while robbing a jewellery store at night might have been a stealthier option, it also would have entailed having to work around the fact that the goods are no longer displayed in quickly-breakable cases, but are locked up in a safe for insurance purposes.
      • In the same mission the crew gets temporarily held up by a security guard because their bikes were parked in the wrong spot - however good your big getaway plan may be, you still need to remember the various minor laws and regulations involved.
    • Even if you take the best crew, and do the stealthiest approach that ensures no one dies, you still have to escape the police in a heist. Even if everything goes right, you are committing a robbery in the middle of a metropolitan area in broad daylight.
    • During the Merryweather plane job, Trevor has to fly by the military base. If he climbs too high, and that can be just high enough to avoid crashing into a big tree or a bridge, he winds up on their radar, and if he stays on their radar for too long, the military will immediately attack him since an unidentified aircraft is on their radar. Similarly, Trevor's crash into the Merryweather jet has materials falling out of the plane automatically, since the air pressure proceeds to suck all the heavy equipment out. When the military try to force Trevor to head to the military base, Trevor tries to invoke the threat of ground casualties if they shoot him down. The second Trevor is over the desert, the military shoot him down.
    • Steve Haines's use of the protagonists to further his career predictably has the Agency and the Bureau catch on to him. While the two agencies are at each other's throats, and they both are shown to have plenty of corruption, Haines's superiors are predictably not corrupt and begin to investigate him. Destroying the evidence the FIB have on him similarly doesn't work out too well, as the Bureau immediately suspects Haines of being behind the raid.
      • If Option C is not chosen, Haines proceeds to out Norton's corruption to the public, and Norton will soon be fired. Despite Norton being one of the most sympathetic authority figures in the series, the deal with Michael was still corrupt in the first place.
    • As a result of the trio's various antics, the Bureau and the Agency begin to start going after them hard. Norton points out to Trevor during the Kortz Center shootout that if Norton dies, the Bureau will immediacy begin to aggressively pursue them, and Michael points out that Haines is still alive and will try to blame all of the criminal acts he committed on them. Keeping Dave alive is the only way to avoid the government's wrath as there is no way for the protagonists to escape two government agencies. This argument is similarly used in Option C for keeping Norton alive, as the gang kills a well-known millionaire and a top FIB agent respectively, something that would not go unnoticed, unlike the Triad's and a gang leader would.
    • In Option C, killing Haines gets Trevor a two star wanted level. Despite the fact that Haines is a corrupt and evil individual, Trevor still murdered a federal agent, possibly on live TV depending on how the player approaches it.
    • During the Merryweather train job, Trevor claims he needs money, and Michael points out that he had savings. Trevor immediately points out that he couldn't access the savings because Michael blew their identities in the prologue. Trevor was a well known bank robber and a wanted fugitive, so when the government got his identity, they immediately got the authorization to shut down his bank accounts, leaving him penniless.
  • The first third or so of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the missions set in Los Santos, has CJ following in his predecessors' footsteps by doing whatever he's told by whoever tells him without question. The rest of the game, from his exile from Santos up to at least returning to it after San Fierro and Las Venturas, is all about him learning his horribly violent and destructive actions have actual consequences. Help his aspiring rapper friend by breaking into the mansion of a professional rapper, killing his entire security detail, stealing his lyric book, and later brutally murdering the rapper's manager? Said rapper attempts to commit suicide after CJ's aspiring rapper friend makes it big with obviously-stolen lyrics. Kill everyone who had concrete proof of a Dirty Cop's dealings? When said cop finally goes to trial, he gets off scot free due to the lack of evidence, resulting in riots. The first half also has this come up much quicker, possibly as foreshadowing to the above - one mission has you set a Ballas stronghold on fire, then immediately have to brave those flames to rescue an innocent woman you accidentally trapped in the building. She goes on to be the first character you can date in the game, though there's the implication that it's because she only knows you as the Grove Street OG who saved her from a burning Balla stronghold and not as the crazy asshole who set it alight in the first place.
  • Half-Life:
    • Half-Life laughs at the Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion trope: the scientists come up with a Clever Plan to shut down the Xenian's teleporters and prevent them from sending additional troops over. Long story short: the Clever Plan fails. It turns out that advanced alien civilizations are also smart enough to cover the weak points in their invasion strategies and come up with Clever Plans of their own. Who knew?
    • Gordon Freeman kills a chunk of an alien invasion and almost a whole battalion of soldiers, fights through a warzone, and goes to the aliens' homeworld and kills their leader, all by himself. Unlike nearly every other video game ever, stories of his exploits spread to make him a living legend Shrouded in Myth, and by Half-Life 2 somewhere in the ballpark of two decades later, La Résistance instantly rallies around him, the Vortigaunts practically worship him, and the new alien invaders target him on sight and relentlessly try to kill him, because they know exactly what's coming for them.
    • The back-story for Half-Life 2 showed what would really happen if an advanced alien empire actually decided to invade Earth. It resulted in a Curb-Stomp Battle that lasted only seven hours before humanity surrendered. The only reason humanity survived afterwards was because Dr. Breen convinced the Combine that they were worth more as soldiers & slaves than as corpses.
    • Half-Life 2 is all about fighting back against an oppressive regime, taking the fight to them, killing their figurehead and destroying their main stronghold. Episode One is all about how severely damaging a colossal alien structure powered by an exotic, dangerous substance has destructively explosive consequences. Episode Two is all about how losing one leader and one stronghold is a mere inconvenience to an interdimensional empire, and that a counterattack would be swift and terrible.
  • Halo:
    • A minor one: the Arbiter's armor might look cool, but it's quickly explained that his armor is very out of date compared to the more common armor of the Covenant forces. This results in weaker shields, and the built-in camouflage being very short compared to the standard armor of the other Covenant forces. Even if the armor has practical uses, the armor was made first and foremost to be a symbol to the Covenant forces to see, so its actual military application will be behind as a result.
    • In Halo: Reach, most of the deaths of Noble Team count as this, bringing home the hopelessness of a single squad of heroes trying to save an entire planet from an alien invasion. Jorge blows up a Covenant super-carrier with him on it, then at least a dozen more jump into the system (Planetary invasion, remember?) Kat is a genius Super Soldier in high-powered armor, but if her shields are down and she's not paying attention to her surroundings, she can be shot in the head like anybody else. The fatally injured Carter crashes a dropship into a Scarab, but that just barely gives his squad the chance to advance further because they're up against a whole ground army. Emile takes down one Elite, then gets stabbed In the Back by another while he's celebrating. Even Noble 6 is finally overwhelmed by the endless Covenant forces at the end. Jun is the only member of the team to survive the events of the game, because he was sent to escort Dr. Halsey off the planet right away.
    • The backstory takes the time to explain a lot of the realities behind creating super-soldiers out of pre-teens. Two standouts come from the Powered Armor they wear - what happens when an unmodified human wears a half-ton suit of armor that moves in response to their thoughts and tries to move his arm? The armor moves its arm from one spot to another in a flash, their arm gets liquefied, and then they promptly paste the rest of themselves convulsing in pain from that. SPARTANs can only wear the armor safely because of their improved reflexes and advanced materials grafted onto their bones to make them virtually unbreakable - but that also came with the risk that the prepubescent candidates for the program could have their bones essentially pulverize themselves once growth spurts started hitting them; 30 of the first 75 children abducted to become SPARTAN-IIs were killed from complications during or following the augmentation process, and another 12 were crippled badly enough that they couldn't serve on the front lines.
      • Also, the armor itself is ludicrously expensive (one admiral once complains that the cost for a single SPARTAN could produce a small fleet of ships), and only the SPARTANs' proven effectiveness keeps them in the game. Which doesn't mean there aren't various factions trying to exploit them and/or create knockoffs, with varying levels of success.
    • This also comes up in regards to cloning. The quickest and most common manner is creation of "flash clones", which are designed to age at a hundred times the rate of a natural-born human - the result being a human that lacks the muscle memory of their progenitor and, within a month or so of creation, will begin degenerating until they invariably die of some manner of neurological or physiological disease. Flash cloning is as such usually restricted to the creation of new organs for someone in need of a transplant, programmed to start aging at the normal rate once they've been transplanted. There are also two notable cases where the short life for a flash clone is not a hindrance: first, ONI is able to draw suspicion away from themselves for the kidnapping of the children that became the SPARTAN-IIs by replacing them with flash clones - for all their parents knew, their children suddenly died of natural causes early in their lives. It also allows for the only confirmed case in the series of there being both a live person (Dr. Catherine Halsey) and a "smart" AI based on them (Cortana) - creation of such AIs is done by scanning the neural pathways of a human brain in a manner which destroys that brain, so naturally most brains used for the purpose are taken from corpses, but a flash clone's brain would work just as well.
    • AIs themselves are also subject to this. "Dumb" AIs are programmed in a more traditional fashion, and while they are very well-versed in whatever they're designed to do, they can't learn new things or adapt under changing circumstances - it'd be like trying to make Microsoft Word run Doom. "Smart" AIs are instead created by replicating the neural pathways of a human brain on a nano-scale, giving them more human-like abilities to learn - but since their "brain" is artificial, that gives it a hard limit on what it can learn and process before it starts devoting so much processing power to analyzing and processing what it already knows that it overloads itself and can no longer function under normal parameters. "Smart" AIs, as such, have a lifespan of about seven years - and any that get close or even go beyond that time limit start to go rampant.
    • In the wake of the defeat and dissolution of the Covenant, the alien species that formed it almost immediately begin suffering civil strife in the post-war aftermath, and many of the constituent species are suddenly having to adjust to the removal of what was the center of their culture, politics, religion and military for upwards of three and a half millennia. Both the Sanghelli (Elites) and the Jiralhanae (Brutes) are dealing with civil wars, with the Sanghelli in particular dealing with a faction that wants to re-establish the Covenant. The only species to thrive after the end of the war are the Kig-Yar (Jackals), who as Hired Guns had no real investment in the Covenant, and thus were able to adjust quickly to its fall.
    • A subtle example in Halo 2, relating to the aforementioned Scarabs. The Scarabs that the Chief/Arbiter encounters in this game are noticeably different from the ones later in the series - they're larger, more cumbersome, and are piloted by conventional crews instead of giant Lekgolo colonies. From when the Covenant first arrive in Earth orbit, it's established quite quickly that they weren't actually expecting to encounter humanity there - and the following game reveals that the real reason the Prophet of Regret came to Earth with such a tiny fleet was to dig up a Forerunner artifact, the Prophet of Truth having conveniently neglected to inform him that it was their enemy's homeworld. Therefore, it's quite likely that, in contrast to the more combat-ready variants in later games, the Scarabs seen in Halo 2 were actually excavation equipment hastily repurposed for combat; the Covenant equivalent of a human army driving a construction excavator into a war zone. Predictably, the Scarab, while tough, is completely unsuited to traversing the narrow, rubble-filled streets of New Mombasa and ultimately winds up trapping itself at the end of a canal, allowing the Chief to board it and take it out of commission. It appears the Covenant learned their lesson somewhat, as all the Scarabs seen in Halo 3, besides being more agile, engage the Chief in wide-open areas in which they can easily turn to face threats, making boarding them without disabling them first nigh-impossible.
  • In Harvest Moon 64, if the player romances Elli, they can see a unique event where Elli's grandmother Ellen dies. And not of anything violent or preventable; Ellen just dies of old age. That doesn't stop Elli from going into a deep depression about her grandmother dying, requiring the player character to keep helping Elli work through it by talking to her and being there for her. And it takes almost a full season of time before Elli starts to feel better, even if the farmer is there for her every day. Just because We All Die Someday doesn't make it hurt any less.
  • The plot of Helltaker involves the title character journeying into Hell with the goal of assembling a harem of demon girls. By the time of the epilogue a few weeks later, he's learned the hard way that he is not a Harem Genre protagonist; having a bunch of girls living with him doesn't automatically make them devoted to Helltaker, nor does it stop them from constantly misbehaving, bossing him around, breaking his stuff, threatening and inflicting bodily harm, and stabbing him in the back (oftentimes literally). In other words, they act like rowdy, troublemaking roommates instead of the Horny Devils another game might portray them as (except for Modeus). The only ones that seem romantically interested in Helltaker are Beelzebub in the secret ending and possibly Modeus, given her blushing at the idea of a date with him and being the only one hugging him in the normal ending. None of the rest apparently even view Helltaker as a sexual partner, and Azazel is confirmed by Word of God to be a lesbian who's deeply in the closet due to her status as an angel and only interested in "studying" the demons. While Helltaker is visibly stressed out by the entire situation, Beelzebub notes that living a life without suffering is impossible, so you may as well enjoy yourself every chance you get, and the normal ending shows that Helltaker views it this way too and is simply happy to have made friends.
  • Homeworld:
    • The Kushan have build a mothership capable of building up a large fleet, with their enemy being the Taiidan Empire, a massive galactic superpower. The Kushan stand no chance in direct warfare, and, knowing this, take extreme pains to avoid their main fleets.
    • The Taiidan Empire was in the middle of civil strife due the wanton cruelty of the emperor, so his advisors went and ordered the destruction of Kharak and the destruction of the Kushan, as per the millennia old forgotten treaty that forbade their Hiigaran ancestors to develop again the hyperdrive, to reaffirm his all-knowing and all-powerful status. This act actually triggers a civil war, as many civilians figure out that if the emperor and his advisors were willing to wipe out an entire species for trying to escape certain death then they're already on the kill list.
      • The rebelling civilians are many... But with much of the high officers being chosen specifically for loyalty, most of the military remains on the emperor's side. The Taiidan Rebellion suffers multiple defeats, and only survives because the Kushan stumble on the last leader of the rebellion and figure that if their enemy is trying to kill him then he's their ally.
    • The Taiidan emperor's antics have caused strife against the rest of the galactic powers, especially ordering an attack against the Bentusi, the main trading power in the galaxy. As such when the Kushan manage to shoot down his flagship the other powers, rallied by the Bentusi, step in and force the Taiidan to give up on Hiigara.
    • In his paranoia, the Taiidan emperor made the Empire's power structure reliant on the throne, had killed all potential heirs and claimants to the throne, and relied on cloning for succession (he himself being apparently a clone of his predecessor). So when the Taiidan Rebellion destroys his genetic samples right after his death the Taiidan Empire spontaneously collapses, allowing the rebels to establish the Taiidan Republic and co-opt most of the military.
    • The Kushan, who renamed themselves to Hiigarans after resettling on their ancestral homeworld, have advanced military technology and a strong production base, with the Taiidan Loyalists who want to re-establish the Empire and wipe them out being a fraction of the old Taiidan military. The Hiigarans also had a starting population of about half a million people, so the Taiidan Loyalists still pose a deadly danger to them.
  • In Hotline Miami the player character starts suffering some horrific PTSD hallucinations as a result of all the ultraviolence he takes part in.
    • On a larger scale, any single hit from a melee weapon or gun (barring the use of a certain mask) will insta-kill the player by pasting his skull. Likewise, the mooks of the game all go down from a single hit to the head.
  • House Flipper: The description for the House on the Moon states the house was built by an Eccentric Millionaire who thought it would be cool, before he realized that his commute to work would be literally impossible.

    I-J 
  • Iji:
    • Going One Woman Army and slaughtering everyone in your path, then asking the enemy leaders to leave peacefully goes about as well as expected, and does serious psychological damage to Iji. Even in a Pacifist Run neither the Tasen or the Komato are going to just pack up and leave, because they're fighting for their own reasons. And despite Iji's efforts, she's still one person in a war, most people dying no matter what she does.
    • The horrible deconstruction of the Alien Invasion trope. There's no sneaky infiltration or Old-School Dogfights with alien vessels or a heroic Last Stand against swarms of invaders. The Tasen do just what you expect of a civilisation capable of interstellar travel meeting an unfamiliar, possibly hostile world; they park their fleet in orbit and fire on everything at once, devastating the entire surface of the planet. And because No Biochemical Barriers is very much not in effect, they didn't even need to preserve the biosphere. Iji isn't fighting to save the Earth from destruction, she's fighting to save what they missed.
    • Both the new endings in 1.7 are the result of this. In the Perfect Pacifist ending, sparing Iosa results in her killing both Iji and Tor while their guards are down after the final boss battle. Asha might have been deranged enough to kill himself over wounded pride, but of course the murderous psychopath holds more of a grudge. It's a cold comfort that reality also bites Iosa, as Tor's 2IC was watching and she's facing insubordination and mutiny charges. In the Total Berserker ending, getting too trigger-happy and killing the only person who can call off a planet-sterilizing orbital strike ends exactly how you'd expect.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
    • Harley Quinn allying with Batman and helping fight the Regime did not fix the fact she helped the Joker cause the incident that set the whole story of the game into effect. Several of Batman's allies point out that she could easily slip back into her old ways, and that she isn't excused for her actions. Harley herself even admits that she hasn't quite gotten over her villain phase and struggles with the mental damage that came from it.
    • It turns out the whole "superstitious, cowardly lot" thing only works when nobody knows who you are. Thanks to Superman revealing Batman's secret identity in the tie-in comics, criminals simply aren't afraid of him anymore.
      • The way Superman does it is Actually Pretty Funny; Batman, being Batman, disables the Watchtower's power and sends it plummeting out of orbit seconds before Superman outs his identity to the world. So what does Superman do? He gets Cyborg, who's basically a living supercomputer, to post "Batman is Bruce Wayne" on Twitter.
      • This is further enforced by one of Scarecrow's intros with him in Injustice 2:
        Scarecrow: I used to fear the Batman.
        Batman: You still should.
        Scarecrow: Nobody's afraid of Bruce Wayne.
  • inFAMOUS:
    • When Cole discovered his electric powers shortly after the quarantine around Empire City was set up, his Best Friend Zeke tried to set up a business where Cole would recharge batteries and other electronics in exchange for food. This idea backfired because everyone was naturally afraid of Cole's superhuman powers.
    • Near the end of the game, John tells Cole that destroying the Ray Sphere won't necessarily put an end to the current conflict. Sure, it will stall all interested parties for some time, but the Ray Sphere can and will be rebuilt with enough time and recources.
  • inFAMOUS 2 shows that Cole's best friend Zeke wasn't Easily Forgiven for betraying Cole to have powers in the first game. While Zeke's had a change of heart, he also has to do everything he can to make it up to Cole, since he is still very wary of Zeke after what he did. In fact, it took near the end of the game for Cole to fully forgive him and reconcile.
  • Augustine spends the entirety of inFAMOUS: Second Son kicking puppies with wild abandon and abusing her power to suspend people's rights. When there are Bio-Terrorists to "protect" people from, she gets away with it. When a Good-Karma Delsin undermines her rhetoric by fighting the DUP's oppression and ultimately subduing her for the military to take away? He doesn't even have to follow it up; a backlog of very public human rights abuses means she's screwed.
  • Inside: During the final stage of the game, you become part of and take control of a giant Body of Bodies. While said monster may be able to smash its way through walls and windows, that doesn't mean that doing so doesn't hurt it - every time you do so, expect to hear a lot of moans and groans of pain. In addition, given how big and heavy said monster is, it manages to crush humans it lands on and break floors by sheer accident.

    K-L 
  • Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg:
    • If the Chinese Triads take over the Legation Cities, it usually results in several major powers (including Japan and the Entente) deciding that a collection of cities run by a ruthless criminal syndicate is something they cannot allow on their borders, so they declare war on the Triads. Oddly enough, the ragtag Chinese gangsters tend to get horribly fucked in the resulting war, as unlike Japan and the Entente, they don't have things like organized armies and a navy and air force.
    • If the Entente succeeds in retaking Britain and restoring the United Kingdom and doesn't ban the socialist-leaning Progressive Party, then they will run in and almost certainly win the first general election. The British people have lived under a socialist regime for more than a decade until now, a regime that came into being because of massive popular resentment against the monarchy and a brutal reprisal against a miner's strike.
  • Kerbal Space Program, as an extremely accurate simulation of space flight, has plenty. Parachutes are realistically portrayed. They aren't foolproof. Parachutes won't deploy properly if you are traveling too fast (i.e: still firing off a rocket), aren't oriented properly and for reasons that should be obvious, don't work in a zero-atmosphere environment like space. It's recommended you don't try building your favorite sci-fi show's iconic spaceships at first. Disappointment, and plenty of explodiness, will probably ensue.
  • killer7
    • KAEDE is the only one of the Smiths to lack an Unorthodox Reload (while everyone else just effortlessly flings empty shells and magazines out of their guns and slaps in new ammo in less than a second, she takes the time to slide her magazine in properly). Unfortunately, this also means that she has the slowest reload in the game, and if she reloads while zoomed in, it causes her to fumble with the magazine while putting it in, making it take even longer. This eventually proves to be her downfall in the fight with the Handsome Men, as Handsome Light Brown reloads faster and takes her out while she's reloading.
    • Kevin, in turn, is probably the easiest of the Smiths to aim with because he settles for throwing knives instead of a gun. While this means he has a slower fire rate than most of the others since he effectively has to "reload" after every toss, he won't be stuck with an actual reload at an inconvenient time and he doesn't have to worry about recoil throwing off his aim.
    • Since your main resource for healing and upgrading is the blood of your enemies, how easy or hard it is to get that blood also depends on this. Kevin, again, sits on one extreme, with his knives causing noticeable amounts of the stuff to bleed from whoever you hit with them, because that's how knife wounds work. On the other extreme is MASK - except for the few enemy types that only he can kill, MASK never gets blood from enemies, because even in cases where his grenade launchers could cause wounds that would bleed if they were made with a knife or a regular bullet, the heat generated by the grenades' explosions would instantly cauterize them.
    • Coyote holds his gun practically upside-down. It may look cool, but his recoil and accuracy are absolutely terrible as a result.
  • Killing Floor's Specimens were created as part of an experiment in "neurological redundancy", i.e. removing the brain won't immediately cause them to die. Shooting them in the head is still the single most efficient way of dealing with them, though, because while they might not need that primary brain to keep functioning, they do still need blood pumping through them, and removing the head opens up some pretty big arteries for that blood to escape from - if a Specimen doesn't die immediately from a shot or slash that takes off their head, they'll still keel over from the blood loss through their neck-stump after a few seconds of blindly hobbling about.
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance is built on being a game where reality has a vice grip. Henry has to eat or his performance will suffer and he'll eventually starve, he has to sleep or he'll start getting heavy-lidded at inopportune times, people won't want to talk to him if he hasn't bathed and especially not if he's covered in blood from a fight, and if he sustains a bleeding wound, he has to take time to patch it or you'll find him bleeding out and dying without warning. More specific examples:
    • Henry starts the game as a peasant's son. He's the child of a highly respected smith, which gives him a bit more of a headstart, but he's still a serf. When his hometown is razed he has absolutely no hope of fighting and has to run. When he attempts a Roaring Rampage of Revenge he gets utterly humiliated by a common bandit and his journey would have ended then and there if not for a stroke of sheer dumb luck. He can't read without investing a significant amount of time to learning, his self-trained swordplay is an utter joke that he has no chance of seriously winning with until he devotes himself to training, and Crippling Overspecialization is in full effect with his skill spread; being good at fighting and being an upstanding individual will do you no good if you're sent on a mission requiring subterfuge and lockpicking.
    • Henry mouthing off to his "betters" doesn't go well. This is the early 1400s, so the medieval caste system is in full effect and Disproportionate Retribution for failing to show the expected respect is a very real risk; if Henry backtalks the Custodian of Sasau, regardless of his connections or his own standings, he spends the night in the stocks, and if Sir Radzig wasn't looking out for Henry there's a non-zero chance he would have been killed for it.
    • Armor Is Useless is brutally averted. Plainclothes versus even a set of chainmail will make the difference between being killed the first time an attack connects and coming out victorious. Helmets Are Hardly Heroic? Nope, go without a helmet or keep your faceguard up in a fight, you'll probably take an arrow to the face and watch your health disappear.
    • Late in the game, Henry has to rally his allies to take a camp of organized bandits well entrenched on a tall hill. Despite having a number equality and a good position, it ends up being a Curb-Stomp Battle for the good guys, because even with a perfectly proper defense and good equipment, the enemy force was still just a bunch of bandits and mercenaries versus a well-trained and even better equipped army, who took notice of and exploited the one gaping weakness in the defenses (the ramparts were too long to devote patrols to all of them, allowing a pincer attack).
    • Unlike a lot of games, fast travel isn't teleportation, just fast-tracking the journey that would have taken place for the players' convenience. Because he lives in bad times, there's every chance for Henry to get nabbed by a snare while traveling the road, get kicked out of fast travel, and have to actively run from or fight off a bandit ambush.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, during the House of Valor questline (focusing on Gladiator Games), the reigning Champion, who has been sabotaging all of your fights, sends the Player Character to meet with an "agent" in a secluded spot. The agent is an assassin meant to kill you, but with a fairly easy persuasion check you can just tell him that you've been slaughtering entire teams of hardened, deadly gladiators almost singlehandedly. The assassin will realize he's vastly out of his league and promptly hightail it out of there.
    • When Agarth meets the protagonist and sees their ability to change fate for the first time, he is utterly terrified. While the player might think that being able to Screw Destiny is cool, anyone else would find such a thing horrifying.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Early on in the first game, Sora ends up in a Heads I Win, Tails You Lose fight against both Leon and later Cloud. While Sora will eventually grow up into an army-destroying Keyblade Master, he's just beginning his quest and can barely take out the most basic of Heartless without having issues. Going up a seasoned warrior like Leon with no support is a difficult battle, and even if you manage to win, Sora exerted himself so hard to pull it off that he passes out anyway. Same for Cloud, even if you manage to win in the difficult story fight with him, he's both a veteran warrior and supercharged with Darkness. Hades backstabbing him by letting Cerberus into the arena is the only reason Sora survived the encounter.
    • Later on in the series, Master Yen Sid tells both Sora and Riku that they'll effectively have to reset their training from Step 1 to prepare for the final battle with Master Xehanort, as while their self-taught Keyblade styles have been sufficient for Heartless and Nobodies, fighting another Keyblade wielder is a different matter, especially one as dangerous as Xehanort who could already keep pace in an uneven fight against multiple other master-level Keyblade wielders. Not to mention that not having official training doesn't let them tap into the truest of a Keyblade's powers like Formchanging and Shotlocks, both of which are remedied by the time of III.
    • In Dream Drop Distance Yen Sid has Lea and Kairi trained for the upcoming Keyblade War so as to fill the requirement for the seven warriors of light. However there's not near enough time to really train the two before the events of the third game. Sure Lea has some combat experience with his chakrams but not so much with a keyblade and Kairi only got hers in the second game before being summoned to be trained. So when the confrontation with the 13 Seekers of Darkness take place, they're utterly overwhelmed and it takes a Reset Button from Sora (with the help of Kairi) to try again and do somewhat better the second time.
      • Related to the above; when you use a power to an extent beyond what it's meant for, something will probably go wrong. The "Power of Waking" Sora eventually succeeds in unlocking is meant to dive into the world inside a lost heart and restore that heart to its former existence. But when all of Sora's friends are blown into the abyss, Sora uses that power to chase their hearts across many actual worlds, pursuing the Heartless called the Lich to save those hearts. The force of his using that power actually causes time to rewind a bit in the Keyblade Graveyard, and all this is most certainly NOT how the Power of Waking is meant to be used. Young Xehanort mocks Sora with the claim that he's condemned his heart to the very abyss he saved his friends from, and Mickey warns him after the final battle that he might not come back if he does it one more time. Sora accepts the risks, dives back to save Kairi (successfully), and apparently disappears as a result. How and when he's coming back for the next saga is still a mystery.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, Kairi's fight with the Master Xehanort illusion is one big instance of this trope. Kairi has had her Keyblade for a year at most while Xehanort is a seasoned master with years of exeprience under his belt. Unsurprisingly, though she puts up a good fight, Kairi is unable to land a single blow on Xehanort, who effortlessly dodges all her attacks and is clearly toying with her like a trained boxer toys with a rookie. It takes an unexpected intervention from Sora to turn the tables, which convinces Kairi that she still needs training, so she decides to train under Aqua.
  • In Episode 3 of King's Quest (2015), Graham learns from a magic mirror that his future wife is locked away in a tower on the other side of the world. He grabs a ring and sets off. When he arrives and climbs to the top of the tower, he finds two princesses and immediately proposes to one of them. She immediately rejects him on the not entirely unreasonable grounds that she has absolutely no idea who he is. When he goes to propose to the other one, she cuts him off by pointing out that she was present when he proposed the first time, and also points out that she doesn't really like the idea of being Graham's Plan B. Courtly true love just leads Graham to an embarrassing Epic Fail.
  • The final boss of Kunio-tachi no Banka is the only enemy in the entire game to use a gun. Unless you're at full health, if you get shot by that gun you will die - being one of the two toughest high-school brawlers in Japan doesn't mean you're tough enough to shrug off bullet wounds.
  • The Last of Us:
    • Ellie is very handy with a knife when an enemy is focused on Joel. However, she's significantly smaller than any of the game's enemies and lacks the strength and reach to effectively take them on in melee combat without the element of surprise. She won't try it as an NPC, and if the player tries it while playing as her, it won't end well.
    • In the summer chapter, Joel and Ellie go to meet one of his contacts in the suburbs of Boston. Bill is a stubborn, asocial asshole. When you're getting ready to leave, you find his partner Frank hanged in the living room of one of the safe houses. If you investigate, you can find that Frank was fed up with him and was going to leave, even if that meant probably getting infected by the zombies. He got bitten and decided to kill himself before he turned. Everyone has a breaking point and you can't treat your significant other like crap forever and expect them to stick around, even in a Zombie apocalypse.
  • La-Mulana
    • What happens when an explorer goes into ruins designed to be utterly and totally deadly? He dies. A lot. These death traps were designed to kill intruders and the unworthy that fancied themselves the heroes of prophecy, so of course they'll be highly lethal if not instantly fatal gotchas that you gotta watch out for, and they're all over the game! Lemeza's only real advantage over the hundreds of bone piles of failed adventurers is that he (according to the manual) has Ninja training from being half-Japanese.
    • Also Lemeza tried to go to the ruins with a full armament, only for airport security to call foul on someone trying to sneak through a plane with lethal weaponry, resulting in all of it being confiscated except for his whip, which he only got through by throwing a huge enough fit over it being a "harmless antique" that they gave up. You can eventually buy a gun from one of the villagers, but the ammunition for it is the most expensive item out of any shop in the game at 400 gold because the shopkeeper explicitly says he's smuggling it for Lemeza's sake, so he has to force him to pay out the nose so the reward is worth the risk.
    • In the backstory, all sentient life was the creation of an Alien being known as Mother. Mother wished for nothing more than to return to the stars and birthed 8 races including modern man to accomplish this. However, several races fell into infighting over Mother's power, whether it was right or not to let her leave them alone, or just outright wishing to usurp her, resulting in Mother wiping them out. You're eventually told that because Mother IS the ruins her dream was impossible from the very beginning because there's no way that any civilization, no matter how advanced, could move a body that massive back into space, especially not with Mother's tendency to wipe them out if they reached that level of advancement out of fear of being left behind. Ultimately, the best option is to Mercy Kill her because her dream is impossible, she's decayed and suffering on earth, and she's already preparing the creation of the 9th child to wipe out humanity for ignoring her plight.
    • And going into the sequel, having granted Mother the aformentioned Mercy Kill and the La-Mulana ruins having crumbled in response is Lameza heralded as the hero who saved the world? Nope, he's seen as a crazed terrorist who destroyed a world heritage site for the sake of some ridiculous fables and is on the run from Interpol.
    • The 2nd Children were a race of giants who destroyed themselves in a civil war over returning the Mother to space. In the first game you're told in the mausoleum dedicated to them that the factions were the rebels led by the traitorous Sakit whose first strike was to kill Leto, and the loyalists led by the noble Abuto. In the sequel you meet Sakit himself (the boss in the first game being a replica) and he mournfully explains that he was the loyalist, Abuto was the traitor, and Leto was Sakit's wife who he loved dearly and mourns for even now (especially because he killed her in self-defense because she bought Abuto's manipulation). Abuto wrote history to villanize Sakit and make himself look like a paragon because at that point the giants had wiped themselves out, so he wanted his enemy to go down in history as the villain who damned their society.
    • Also in the sequel, the traps in Eg-Lana are far more deadly, well-hidden and plentiful than even the most trecherous areas of La-Mulana. La-Mulana was designed by the 7th Children to kill the unworthy while leaving room for a chosen one to emerge victorious. Eg-Lana was a prison the 1st children designed for those who wished harm on the Mother, they didn't want anyone getting in and especially didn't want anyone getting out, so of course the instant-kill gotchas will be much more severe and gratuitously used.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel:
    • Just because Rean has just acquired a Super Robot and has knowledge of how to pilot it implanted in his head, doesn't necessarily mean that he can pilot it effectively. Sure he could take on a Real Robot and coast on through the superior firepower that his mech has, but against a guy who has more experience in piloting his own super robot? Tough luck. Cue the Bolivian Army Ending of the first game.
    • When Rean wakes up at the start of the second game, he starts off weaker than he was at the end of the first game. He's been in hibernation inside Valimar for a month, and thus has become rusty due to a lack of training in that time.
    • While the Soldats devastated the Imperial Army at the end of the first game, this is because Soldats were a new technology that was being developed in secret, so everyone was taken by surprise. Once the army learns more about how the Soldats work, the battles against the provincial armies become more even, as while Soldats have more mobility than tanks, they lack their firepower, so the Imperial Army is able to develop counter-tactics to deal with Soldats.
  • Leisure Suit Larry
    • Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards:
      • You can get an STD that destroys your genitals from unprotected sex with a prostitute, be shot by a clerk for stealing from his shop, and try to leave a cab without paying its cabby only to get beaten by him.
      • Giving the pills (which are an aphrodisiac) to Faith. She will chug them down, become VERY desperate for sex... and immediately run to her boyfriend. Why would she have sex with an ugly, low-status man like Larry when she already has someone far more attractive?
    • A non-lethal example happens in Leisure Suit Larry 2: Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places), where Larry goes to the home of Eve (the woman he ended the previous game with with) only for her to not only forget about him but angrily demand he gets his stuff out of her garage before going away. Turns out having what was a one-night stand with a woman doesn't mean she'll stay fond of you, let alone remember you. This happens again with the next game, which has Larry's wife from the last game tell him she's dumping him for another woman. As Larry learns the hard way, you saving a woman's island doesn't mean the two of you won't have any marital problems or that any annoying behavior of yours she notices after getting to know you won't offend her.
    • Patti in Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals can try to offer sex for a male stripper, only to get shot down by said stripper refusing then pointing out how her experience has made her a STD risk. Patti gets told upfront that the stripper won't touch her unless she shows him what is, in his words, a clean bill of health.
  • Lethal League: The titular Blood Sport is a mix of dodgeball and baseball that involves hitting your opponents in the face with a ball that can fly at the speed of Mach 1. Somebody wound up dead, and the entire sport was banned.
  • The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince: The Princess, who is actually a wolf that has hunted for her food all her life in the forest, gives the Prince raw meat, thinking he'll enjoy it, and is completely caught off guard when he spits it out instead. The Prince has to explain to her that people eat meat after cooking it, because eating it raw will make them sick.
  • The Indie RPG LISA is a complete Deconstruction of the No Woman's Land and a Post-apocalyptic world ala Fist of the North Star. When all the women mysterously died out under the "Great White Flash", society crumbled instantly, and the entire male population is doomed to eventual extinction of the human race. This leads the men to insane, amoral acts as a way to cope with themselves before dying off. Electricity is out, so all the health restoring items are jerky and other foods that don't require refrigeration. Water is now filthy and alcohol is now a safer choice. When party members die in battle, they stay dead. Campfires are more common than the safer tents, but leaves players open for predators, thefts, and kidnappings. The main character Brad himself isn't exactly an ideal father. Finally, Buddy being the only living female left on the planet leaves her an open target for nearly the entire population. While others want to keep her around to give hope by repopulating the Earth, some want her for some nefarious plans. Even worse, Buddy simply wants to have her own life around but everyone, no matter how well-intentioned they were, controlled her, leaving her quite resentful to most of the males.
  • Little Nightmares II:
    • The Hunter's preffered method of killing Six and Mono is by attempting to blast them with his shotgun. However, the game averts Bottomless Magazines by having him reload his gun before firing, giving his prey ample time to escape.
    • Speaking of the Hunter, Six and Mono take him down by blasting him with one of his shotguns. The noise made by the shotgun is extremely loud and Mono isn't wearing any sort of noise canceller, so he is temporarily deafened by the extremely loud noise. (This is represented by the game not playing any audio for a few seconds.)
  • Frequently in The Long Dark:
    • Fighting a wolf in hand-to-hand combat, even with a weapon, will almost always result in extreme injury or even death. It's impossible to fight back against a bear, which will just pin you down and rip you to shreds as your character screams in pain and terror.
    • Eating uncooked meat will result in getting food poisoning, and drinking untreated water will result in getting dysentry.
    • The cold is a constant threat and even just a few minutes of exposure can cause great harm. If you catch hypothermia, getting better from it will require several hours of rest and keeping your temperature above a certain level.

    M 
  • Drive around like a maniac like you do in that other open-world crime game while playing Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven and the police will chase after you. They won't just blow your head off for a traffic violation, though. Pull over and pay for a ticket and you can go on your merry way. Don't, and they'll start chasing you to arrest you. Pull out a gun or act too violent on the road, and then they will use lethal force, just like cops in real life.
  • Mark of the Ninja: Rock Beats Laser is averted, in gameplay and as a plot point. Elites can't be stealth killed with your sword unless you stun them first, but die easy if you trick a fellow mook into shooting them for you. The only reason your ninja clan has survived into the modern era, despite not using firearms and body armour, is because they have a trump card in the form of a poisonous flower that acts as a Psycho Serum that gives you magic powers. Also, the game begins as a result of your clan trying to rob advanced gears from a well-armed security company (due to the aforementioned flowers being all dead without replacement) without getting help from their sole member that can use said magic powers, and possibly use violence against said company's personnel as well. They, predictably, got caught, and the company retaliates as a result.
  • Mary Skelter: Nightmares:
    • Jack's blood is able to purify the built-up Corruption of Blood Maidens and also pull them out of Blood Skelter; even before he joined the Blood Team, he would frequently cut himself and allow his best friend Alice to calm herself with his blood. The first time he receives medical attention, he is diagnosted as a chronic anemic, and is portrayed as being physically frail and prone to falling unconscious.
    • Aside from the self-regenerating Nightmares, guns are NOT worthless against the creatures of the Jail. The problem is that, being stuck underground, humanity quickly ran short of supplies. The game drives this point home by having the Big Bad pull a handgun on the Blood Team, who gives it every bit of respect that a normal, non-empowered group of teenage girls would.
    • The Liberated District, humanity's only stronghold within the Jail, only exists because Snark allows it to. Mary Skelter 2 demonstrates this by having the Mysterious Nightmare, something not created by or otherwise under the control of Snark, easily trash the place and kill almost everyone.
    • It's heavily implied that Red Riding Hood's drive to be a Cool Big Sis stems from mental trauma from an incident ten years prior to the game where she reflexively offs a fellow Blood Maiden who was inadvertently driven into Blood Skelter by Red Riding Hood. Mary Skelter 2 piles on by establishing that this moment was possibly the best thing that could happen to both Red Riding Hood and humanity in general, as Red Riding Hood grows up to be irresponsible and impulsive without it.
    • Another one regarding Red Riding Hood is that, near the end of the first game, it is revealed that her "father", Professor Tohjima, is Snark. Despite Snark all but laughing in her face after the reveal, she has conflicted feelings for the rest of the game, because familial love can be difficult to break even if it is blatantly one-sided.
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda: The trip from the Milky Way to Andromeda took 600 years. As a result, while the Initiative's destination might have seemed like a good place to start new colonies 600 years ago, by the time anyone actually gets there, things have changed a lot.
    • Due to your Player Character's father sacrificing himself to save the PC and making Scott/Sara the new Pathfinder, the leadership of the Andromeda Initative have an Ensign Newbie as the Human Pathfinder instead of the experienced soldier they were hoping for, and at least one of them is extremely vocal in their dislike of it; the others have accepted that you're their best shot at this point and are much more supportive, ex. giving you a Cool Starship because, inexperienced or not, you're the only Pathfinder they have.
    • The angara, the species native to the cluster the game takes place in, had a brutal First Contact with the kett who preceded to oppress and outright murder them for eighty years. So, naturally, they don't trust the Milky Way species right out of the gate and it takes a major victory against the kett and the rescue of a major angaran leader before they become open to diplomatic relations. Even then, some angara are suspicious of the Initative and their resident anti-alien faction still tries to kill you even as you help the angaran resistance fight the kett. Even in another galaxy, people still have different opinions when confronted with the same situation.
    • Vetra's Loyalty Mission ends with the party confronting a crime lord who's holding her sister hostage. Said crime lord is an entirely normal human, lacking even specialized armor or biotic powers, so the minute the fight starts, she's gunned down the same as her henchmen.
    • A side-quest on Kadara has Ryder track down a geologist for a "businessman". They eventually find his body in the cave he'd been gathering samples in. Ryder wonders what, on a crapsack world filled with violent scavengers and hungry creatures, was the cause of death. As SAM states, it's gravity. He fell and broke his neck.
    • It's mentioned many times through the game that lots of people in the Initiative, regardless of their reasons for doing so, left behind friends and family in the Milky Way, and are starting to have that really sink in once they wake up. It's also mentioned that everyone was briefed extensively that this was going to happen before they set off, so it's not like nobody was warned, but there's a difference between knowing something will happen, and then actually having to live it.
    • Dr. Lexi T'Perro, the medical officer on the Tempest, at one point tries to distribute some advice on Post-Traumatic Stress. Regardless of how anyone else might claim, they are in the middle of a war, facing death on a daily basis, and that does take a toll, regardless of how badass someone might be.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Wrex's family armor, instead of being equippable and possibly the best piece of armor for Wrex, is obsolete by the time he retrieves it three centuries after his father's death. It turns out that he only wants it for sentimental reasons. In a setting where new advances in weapons and armor are constantly being developed, old pieces of technology don't hold up very well.
    • At the beginning of the game, Ambassador Udina attempts to expose Saren's operations and crimes to the council. However the only evidence to his argument is Shepard's "vision" and possibly one unreliable eyewitness. This goes about as well as you'd expect. Saren even points out the audacity of such a claim, since even if Shepard was their top spec-ops soldier instead, no civilized court could accept a dream as hard evidence. One dialog option can even have Shepard point this out. With that said, when solid evidence is obtained of Saren's crimes, the Council immediately dismisses him from the Spectres.
    • Taking a Third Option is given this later on. If you attempt to take a middle-ground between Paragon and Renegade when dealing with Wrex on Virmire, Ashley will step in and kill Wrex; if Shepherd both refuses to help the Krogans cure the Genophage but also refuses to destroy the cure, Wrex gets impatient and Ashley shoots him in "defense" of her captain. Ashley will slightly call you out on the fact you couldn't make a choice despite being a leader. Shepard, in turn, can call Ashley out on killing a squadmate without orders.
  • Mass Effect 2
    • You can ignore the loyalty sidequests, but what do you think will happen when you take a team of people who aren't properly motivated to fight millennia-old Eldritch Abomination servants?
    • Or if you ignore the upgrades, what do you think will happen when a mere frigate with little in the way of weapons and armor is going to do against a race of aliens that cleaved your ship in half at the beginning of the game? Or, if you're feeling extra stupid, make dumb choices about the roles each of your teammates have during the final mission?
    • Ashley and Kaidan show what happens when a close ally is left in the dark when there are people who want them out of the picture. After two years of mourning, they are not even remotely happy when everything available to them says that Shepard faked their death to join a known terrorist group and they're not inclined to believe that Shepard was the first proven resurrection in recorded history or that Cerberus really wouldn't do anything to alter Shepard even if it was true. Of course, this is the one time in the series when Shepard isn't even allowed to make a token verbal defense, like pointing out that they weren't in touch because they'd been in a medical coma for two years as their body was rebuilt due to all the damage they'd suffered from being spaced and crashing into a planet from orbit.
    • Ever wonder why real spacesuits have as much of their life-support system stored inside the suit as they can? The destruction of the Normandy and Shepard's subsequent suffocation before re-entry shows you just how dangerous external air hoses would be in the off chance that they got snagged on something.
    • The Normandy's destruction is also notable as a reminder that even Shepard is mortal. By the end of the first game, Shepard has killed entire armies, but having their ship blown out from under them is just as fatal as it would have been at first level, and it's only the quick intervention of Cerberus that lets you continue using the same character.
    • Not stopping the reckless teenager from joining an assault against a renowned vigilante leads to the poor dude unceremoniously biting it the second he enters the fray. No matter how determined he may have been, he's just a kid, armed only with a pistol, going up against a trained killer.
    • Delaying the final mission after your crew has been abducted leads to their messy liquefaction at the hands of the Collectors.
  • Mass Effect 3
    • In the Eva Core fight, if you fail to gun her down before she gets to Shepard, you catch a Hot Blade through the face and die. No medigel, no Heroic Resolve, no barriers biotic or kinetic, nothing will save you.
    • The Extended Cut adds the Refusal ending, in which Shepard refuses to accept the options that the Catalyst provides. This promptly leads to the armada fighting for the Crucible to be completely wiped out, heralding the fall of galactic civilization once again at the hands of the Reapers. What else would you have expected from rallying the galaxy into devoting their resources into constructing and protecting a superweapon regarded as the last hope against the Reapers… and then deciding not to use it?
    • While Take Your Time is in full effect for most of the series, there are two notable exceptions in the third game, which drive home the fact that when you receive word that the enemy is besieging a school full of biotic students or searching for a bomb that can destroy much of a planet, you cannot afford to wait around.
    • Similar to the second game's suicide mission, you should not assume that Ashley or Kaidan will simply take your word that you aren't being controlled by Cerberus, especially not when Cerberus troops are being turned into Husks. How much effort you put into regaining their trust determines whether they survive the standoff at the Citadel.
    • More Dakka is given this trope with the Quarian and Geth conflict. In preparation for the war against the geth, the quarians have armed every single one of their 50,000 ships, and some have the kind of guns dreadnoughts have. You'd think that'd be a hell of an advantage against the geth, except it isn't, because what the ships don't have is good armor, so they've just become even more vulnerable. Worse, by arming all their ships, the quarians forced the geth to target and destroy ships that they normally would have ignored if they hadn't been armed.
    • The finale of the game brought us the long-awaited confrontation between Shepard and Harbinger. Feeling pumped up and ready to take on the leader of the Reapers? Harbinger utterly massacres the entire assault team with little effort from miles away, Shepard included (though they survive, barely). What exactly did you think was going to happen when foot soldiers go up against a 2-km tall Reaper dreadnought?
      • The entire final battle is like this. No matter how many War Assets you've amassed, you're still facing an entire fleet of reapers. Even ground battles against their (expendable) husks go rather poorly, and the heavy weaponry intended to destroy the one(!) Destroyer in the way of the Conduit into the Citadel is mostly wiped out before it can even get into place, and interference prevents the few shots actually fired from landing on target until EDI finds a way around that. And then when you finally seem to be home free, guess who shows up?
    • As pointed out by Nyreen in Omega, Dating Catwoman might seem like a good idea, but that kind of relationship tends to result in conflicts because of the differing ideologies and often won't last long.
    • One might expect the different races to start cooperating once the Reapers arrive and it becomes apparent that everyone is royally fucked unless they start working together. Just about every race Shepard asks for help wants something first: the turians want the krogan to help, the krogan want a cure for the genophage, the salarians want the krogan to not get the cure, the asari are focused on their own fight, the hanar, drell, volus and elcor are basically nonentities, the batarians want the humans to get fucked, the quarians are too focused on wiping out the geth and getting their homeworld back to care about the Reapers, and the geth would have helped, but the quarians trying to kill them all drove them straight into the arms of the Reapers, because it was that or get killed.
    • In the "Citadel" DLC, the Big Bad, Shepard's clone, intends to kill Shepard and take their place. The trope comes into play in two places: the first is the plan to break into the Citadel's archives, because even though the clone's DNA is identical, other forms of identification like fingerprints aren't, and so have to be replaced for the scheme to work. The second is when Shepard points out the single greatest flaw in the plan: the clone only looks like Shepard. S/he doesn't have Shepard's memories or personality. There's no way in hell s/he'd be able to fool anyone who knows Shepard well, like Admiral Hackett.
    • Playing a hero who constantly kicks the dog might have been fun in the previous games, but a Renegade Shepard here is portrayed as being a terrible choice for the galaxy and many actions in the previous games done under a Renegade playthrough backfire in the players face simply because of how petty they were. A Renegade Shepard who is an asshole to everyone effectively severs most of their allies and resources, resulting in a harder experience compared to a Paragon Shepard.
  • Max Payne:
    • Reality ensued all over poor Vinnie, a mob lieutenant with more enemies than friends and such an incurable fanboy for a cartoon Kid Hero that he'll cosplay without hesitation. Doing so straps him into explosives, and since that puts him in an Enemy Mine situation with Max, you figure The Hero should be able to save his life. And he did. Temporarily.
    • In the third game, the favela Gangbangers can threaten Max because of their numbers and Max's Cutscene Incompetence. They are still an untrained rabble, however, and are utterly dominated by trained, better-equipped paramilitaries or military police special forces.
    • You could say that reality ensues every time you exit bullet time in the middle of a jump in 3 and land with an audible thud. Or when you don't consider your trajectory properly and, thanks to Euphoria, collapse over an inconvenient couch or slam roughly into a wall and drop straight out of bullet time, struggling to stand up while continuing to take pot shots. Max's experience in this game is much more tactile than the previous games.
      • Leap down a flight of stairs and Max will slide down them and smack into whatever's at the bottom.
    • At one point, a character suicide bombs some mooks. Rather than leave a few burnt corpses, it results in the victims going from mooks to messes.
    • Max spends most of the first two games popping painkillers in his mouth like M&Ms in order to restore his health. Sure enough, come 3, he's addicted.
    • After you defeat the final boss of 3, Max and DeSilva let him live because they already have more than enough to put him away for a while. He even gloats that he'll walk. At which point, Max cripples him because it was even more believable than him managing to survive a plane explosion unscathed. Soon after, he's found dead in his prison cell. Officials comment on whether he committed suicide because he was politically ruined, or if the prison guards decided to execute him for sponsoring an illegal organ trade. Either way, the media decides he's old news.
    • If you find a gun with a laser sight in 3, it will shake violently whenever you do anything, making it very difficult to aim with.
  • MechWarrior
  • Megadimension Neptunia VII plays this for laughs by applying it unexpectedly. Arfoire assumes direct control of a Dark CPU, a skyscraper-sized humanoid. The protagonists scout her out as she chases them, and find out she's moving a lot slower than they expected. Arfoire has no idea of her new body's physics and keeps tripping over.
    • Battling against one runs into this trope in a slew of ways as well. A special field is required just so the party can get high enough to take a proper shot at them. Dark CPUs are so big that basic attacks would be pointless, only special attacks can be used (and certain specials that require being grounded are still unusable). Despite violating the Square-Cube Law, the Dark CPU is still so massive that simply jumping straight up and falling back to earth produces enough of an impact to injure everyone present. And so on.
    • In another scene, the protagonists discover the villains have an airborne battleship and wonder how they were able to procure one. Cut to the villains having a Seinfeldian Conversation about having bought the thing on finance and its effect on their budget overheads.
    • A Cosmic Retcon is applied to the nations, changing their government structure. Lowee now has a lot in common with an RPG class system, with aptitude tests needed to get any sort of job, and when you do, it's all you do. This is a horrific dystopia that gives the guy on top far too much power and prevents those under him from organizing any ability to do something about it.
  • More than a few enemy descriptions in the Mega Man Legacy Collection compilations or in Mega Man 11 mention the corners that Wily had to cut when making them due to time, resource and budget constraints. Even when you're an evil genius, building an army of Killer Robots every other year or so is incredibly costly.
  • Mega Man Zero shows that just marching up and killing the dictatorial leader of a dystopian nation-city isn't going to magically solve everyone's problems. The first time Copy X is killed, the Four Guardians simply keep his death a secret and everything in Neo Arcadia continues on as normal, and when said leader is brought back as a puppet leader for Dr. Weil and Zero kills him again, Weil publicizes his death to demonize Zero (because even as a dystopian hellhole, the populace have still been propagandized for years and won't just change their minds at the drop of a hat) before stepping up and taking the reigns himself, turning Neo Arcadia into even more of a nightmarish hellhole.
  • Mega Man Battle Network:
    • The need for proper computer security is hammered in repeatedly, as every almost single incident in the game is caused by black-hat terrorists hacking every element of the heavily networked and computerized world.
    • MegaMan.EXE may be the strongest NetNavi in the world, but Lan himself is just a normal preteen. Multiple times across all six games the usually thuggish, expertly trained and morally unscrupulous villains actively try to kill Lan with their own two hands or with deathtraps that Megaman can't save him from, requiring a Big Damn Heroes from a more physically powerful character. Battle Network 5 even explicitly opens with the villains ambushing Lan and his friends and stealing their Navis to make sure they can't interfere, Lan and Megaman only escape because the villains Failed a Spot Check because Lan passed out behind a dividing wall.
    • In the second game, Lan goes to a foreign country. At the airport, a random NPC offers him a ride to the town. Lan takes it, and gets his battle chips stolen. This is why you don't talk to strangers, kids.
  • Mega Man Legends 2 combines this with Bag of Spilling as Roll is forced to sheepishly admit that she had to sell all of Mega Man Volnutt's weapons and gear, all high-end and worthwhile, to pay for all of the repairs done to the Flutter, which was damaged near the end of Mega Man Legends. They're Diggers and they just came out of the last game empty-handed and broke (The Bonnes took the gigantic crystal for themselves)
  • Mega Man X5
    • The plot revolves around the Maverick Hunters attempting to prevent the Eurasia Colony from crashing into the Earth by destroying it. However, even if the player succeeds in destroying it, pieces of the colony still make it through the atmosphere and crash into Earth anyway. It's not the near-extinction-level event that it's implied the entire intact colony colliding with Earth would be, but Mega Man X6 makes it clear that even in the good ending the aftermath is still devastating.
    • The heavily foreshadowed fight between X and Zero comes to pass after several games' worth of foreshadowing over the better part of a decade, what actually causes it in the good ending? Lifesaver tells X about a connection between the maverick virus and Zero, and the stress of the situation combined with a lack of clarity results in Zero attacking X out of fear he's going maverick because of his sudden paranoia (if playing as X) or X trying to bring Zero in because he feels like it's too dangerous for Zero to go after Sigma (if playing as Zero). The two's destined battle was caused by a mix of Poor Communication Kills and politicking between Signas and Livesaver while leaving X out of the loop.
  • Mega Man 11 has Mega Man utilize an old prototype of Wily's Double Gear system made during his university days, after Wily decides to revisit the concept in his next world domination bid. While this initially gives him a slight leg-up on his opponents (who are only equipped with either a Speed or Power Gear,) Wily eventually unveils his perfected Double Gear system, which can run indefinitely, making it objectively superior to Mega Man's years-old, antiquated prototype.
  • The Mental Series has the three protagonists kill their way through four games to get to where they need to be. This is all glossed over until the fifth and final game (befittingly entitled Murder Most Foul), where the three are now the most wanted criminals in the country after all the murders that they have committed.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid 3 there's a point where you see The End out in the open and defenseless. If you're quick you can shoot him in the head, averting a boss battle with him later - on the other hand, the area is then manned by twenty guards instead of one boss character. Or, since The End is so old, you can just save during the boss fight with him and wait a week (according to the PS2's internal clock), and he'll have died of natural causes - just be sure it's been at least a week, or else loading your save will result in Snake getting ambushed in the midst of a nap and getting instantly knocked out.
      • Also of note is the camo system. If you decide to hide yourself in a bunch of tall grass but you still have that blue camo you used for the water, you are going to get spotted. Likewise, even if your current camo matches up perfectly with the environment, standing up and running around is going to make you much more noticeable than if you properly crawl through or simply stay in your hiding spot until the enemy passes by.
      • Any meat you keep in your inventory for too long will start to decompose, as Snake has no way of preserving it while on missions. Having him eat the rotten meat anyway will work as well as you'd expect. The only way to keep meat that won't expire is to catch live animals, but not everything is small enough for you to carry around on you, and you can only carry three at most. In addition, fresh fish will rot faster than fresh meat, just like it does in real life.
      • While Snake will eat whatever foods the player tells him too, he does have a sense of taste. Eating foods that he likes will give him more stamina, while those he does not will give him less. However, feeding Snake too much of the food that he likes will cause him to get sick of it, restoring less stamina than it initially did. At the same time, giving him more of the food he dislikes will cause him to develop a taste for it, increasing the stamina regained.
      • Snake does the Janitor Impersonation Infiltration routine twice, once as a scientist and once as a maintenance technician. It works fine with the soldiers, who don't know every single scientist or janitor, but if one of the real scientists or technicians gets a single good look at Snake's face they'll realize he's an impostor and your cover will be blown.
      • Don't use a fake death pill while in somewhat deep water, or you'll drown before you get the chance to use a revival pill.
      • Likewise, one of the single most dangerous parts of the Virtuous Mission portion of the game is the Dremuchij swampland, simply for the fact that most of that portion of the level is deep mud. Snake, obviously, can't breathe mud any better than he can breathe water, as you'll quickly discover when one of the gavials in the area knocks you over into it and Snake immediately drowns.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4, even though one of the game's "features" was an expanded arsenal of firearms and associated controls, only on the lowest difficulty, "Liquid Easy", can Snake take enough damage to get away with anything approaching a stand-up or run-and-gun fight, as he's still one old operator against however many enemies, whether human or Gekko.
      • Mention also goes to the game's Final Boss, which goes from a two-part nostalgia trip, to a romanticist revisit of Snake Eater, to a sad scene of two ragged, tired old men slowly slugging their fists at each other.
    • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
      • As early as the first mission the game shows that just because Snake and allies shut down the Patriots and their System, the war economy couldn't stop cold. It just went on to the next leg of the arms race, cybernization and nanomachines. Courtney even points out that the other cyborgs Raiden fights are basically SOP troops under another name - only, since there's no System to suppress their emotions or prevent them from knowingly committing atrocities, they're even less predictable than the guys from four years ago.
      • Midway through the game Jetstream Sam decides to tear Raiden's worldview to shreds by letting him hear the supressed thoughts and emotions of the Faceless Mooks he's spent the game fighting. Turns out all of those people Raiden has been ripping apart like tissue paper aren't the puppy-kicking sociopaths knowingly serving a cause that seeks to start a new War on Terror, they're normal people who accepted the jobs for their health, to take care of their families or to pay the bills, and hearing their non-supressed thoughts they're terrified of dying. With Raiden's justification that they were evil monsters who knew what they signed up for ripped away, it causes him to suffer a massive Heroic BSoD that nearly gets him beaten to death, forcing him to release Jack the Ripper, who can kill remorselessly without caring about their sympathetic reasonings.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2 had Solidus Snake point out that, while the huge Metal Gear/sea craft Arsenal Gear was an impressive weapons platform complete with an army of Metal Gear RAYs and a full complement of high-yield nuclear weapons in addition to its information control capabilities, without a proper naval and air escort it was completely useless. "A floating coffin", as he put it.
    • And of course there's the whole stealth aspect of the series. Super Soldier or not, and no matter how badass the previous cutscene made you look, you're still just one guy against a heavily-armed compound full of guards. You're not going last very long without some sneaking, trickery and guerrilla tactics.
    • Try rolling up some stairs and you'll bash your head against them and tumble back down. Raiden can at least cartwheel down stairs without knocking himself on his ass, because his cartwheel doubles as a jump, but only insofar as he can cross short gaps if his destination is level with or below where he starts from - trying to cartwheel up a set of stairs has the same result as Snake trying to roll along them.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain includes Dynamic Difficulty in the form of enemy soldiers adapting their tactics around yours, making it increasingly difficult to use a single preferred strategy of infiltration. To name a few examples: if they see too many comrades or prisoners being Fulton extracted, they will start reacting to the appearance of Fulton balloons more quickly and even start employing sharpshooters to take out the balloons. If you like to go for headshots, they will use sturdier helmets, but if you prefer body shots, they will start using body armor and riot shields. If you prefer to use CQC, they will start carrying shotguns. In many cases, you can send soldiers from Mother Base to intercept supplies of tools the enemies use to counter particular strategies, but you can only stop a few at a time, and only temporarily.
      • Take Your Time is quietly averted during the mission to rescue Kaz Miller. Take more than an in-game day to rescue him and Kaz will have died before you arrive, giving you a Non Standard Game Over. That's what happens when an amputee is left to bleed to death: he bleeds to death.
  • Metroid:
    • A Space Pirate Log in Metroid Prime reveals that their Science Team tried to make their own versions of Samus's Chozo technology for their use, including the Morph Ball. For reference, the Morph Ball is a device that compacts Samus into a sphere almost one meter in diameter without any lasting physical harm. However, the mechanics of this technology are a mystery even In-Universe (except maybe to Samus), the species that developed the original is presumably extinct, and the Pirates are only working off what they've seen in action (the one person who uses it hunts them for a living, so it's not like they can ask her). Their attempts at replicating the Morph Ball ended up lethally mutilating their test subjects; Science Team deemed it a hopeless investment and moved on from it (which is saying something for Science Team). The closest any non-Chozo entity has come to safely replicating the Morph Ball is Sylux's Lockjaw, which is stolen Galactic Federation technology, and the Federation is Samus's most frequent contractor.
    • Metroid: Samus Returns
      • The outcome is the same as in the original game, but unlike the original game, Samus is prepared to kill the Baby Metroid as soon it hatches. Even ignoring that Samus was sent to SR388 to exterminate the Metroids because they've been repeatedly used as living WMDs, one should still be cautious around the newborn spawn of a hostile animal (and even larval Metroids are notoriously hostile). Samus only dissipates her Charge Beam after enough time to conclude that the hatchling has no interest in harming her.
      • During the fight with Proteus Ridley, the Baby Metroid tries to drain the boss's life energy a few times to help out Samus. While adult Metroids are difficult to dislodge while feeding on prey (Samus requires bombs to do so), the baby was only recently hatched, and thus, its fangs are tiny and not fully developed. As such, Ridley, being a much larger and more powerful creature, is able to shake it off easily, and the only reason he doesn't kill it is he needs it alive.
    • Super Metroid features Crocomire, who is defeated by being backed onto an unstable bridge and has its skin gruesomely melted off in acid. After it vanishes off-screen, the ominous pre-boss room theme starts playing. After Samus runs over to the spiked wall, the boss theme starts playing again, which seems to indicate that Crocomire is still alive and ready for a second phase. The skeleton of Crocomire breaks through the wall to leap at Samus... only to comically collapse and die before it can do anything else.
    • Metroid Fusion has a few cases.
      • One that makes up a major part of gameplay is the emergence of the X parasites, which are revealed to have been kept in check by the Metroids - the same ones Samus wiped out over the previous two games. Turns out you can't just entirely remove a species from its food chain and expect what's left to sort itself out without severe repercussions to its ecosystem.
      • Samus' fusion suit is a massive downgrade in protection, because a lot of her old power armor had to be forcibly removed after the X parasite infection nearly fused it to her skin in the process of killing her. This is reflected by Samus taking the most point-for-point damage out of any game in the entire franchise because her power suit isn't as thick and durable as it was, as it has barely if any plating on it. As well, the reason the SA-X is The Dreaded that Samus can't even think of fighting until the endgame is because that's where her infected armor pieces and lost upgrades went to - it takes Samus having the explicitly armor-piercing Plasma beam to even damage the SA-X.
      • At the end of the game, Samus is forced to draw a line in the sand by destroying SR388 with the BSL space station. While her planet-destroying exploits have been ignored in the past because the likes of Zebes and Phaaze were space pirate bases or other extremely dangerous places and their presence wouldn't be missed, the Federation had vested interest in SR388 and it was one of their space stations used for extremely dangerous black-ops bioweapon research. Samus' final narration states she fully expects to be court-martialed or declared an outlaw for what likely amounts to an act of terrorism against the Federation's interests.
  • Mindshadow (an adventure game released in 1984) - At one point fairly early in the game, you tie a vine around some rocks near a cliff to climb down. If you're carrying too many items (which, given the genre's "take anything that's not nailed down" mentality, is fairly likely), the vine will snap under the load, resulting in a game over.
  • Minecraft.
    • Swords can be made of (in order of ascending rarity) wood, stone, iron, gold, and diamond. For the most part, the rarer starting materials result in stronger weapons, except golden swords deal as much damage as wooden swords and break even faster. It came as quite a surprise when the players realized the second-rarest material made the weakest weapon, and a lot of people thought it was a bug... until they remembered gold is one of the softest metals in the world; just like in real life, gold weapons are only good for decorative purposes. However, gold is also used in conjunction with redstone in a number of craftable items that are considerably more useful, such as powered track. While gold is a terrible material to make armor, weapons or blunt instruments out of, it is well known as an integral component in precision electronic devices.
    • When parrots were first introduced in Snapshot 17w15a, they were tamed with cookies, likely due to being the closest thing Minecraft has to a cracker. This was a bit problematic as the cookies were clearly chocolate chip and chocolate is actually poisonous to parrots. They tried to anticipate the problem by adding a splash screen in the same update that said "Don't feed chocolate to parrots!", but decided to instead invoke this trope in 1.12-pre3 by making cookies insta-kill parrots, complete with poison particles as it dies. Now you have to tame them with seeds, which are a far more reasonable parrot food.
    • Hostile mobs with a known weakness to environmental conditions (such as sun or rain) will actively seek shelter from those conditions. Skeletons and Endermen won't pursue you into an area hazardous to them.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The series takes a fairly grounded and realistic approach to its premise. Anyone who wants to fight monsters powerful enough to destroy towns not only needs to be tremendously skilled and strong, but also Crazy-Prepared enough to be ready for anything.
    • However, even with all their gear, armor, and weaponry, Hunters are still regular humans going up against monsters many times larger than them. It only ever takes a few good hits from a monster to wipe out a Hunter's health bar, and any attack can send them flying.
    • 3/Tri/TriG/3U has a quest that pits you against the colossal Elder Dragon Jhen Mohran, chasing it down with a Sandship. Contrary to environmental damage not normally appearing in the game, Jhen actually can and will destroy the Sandship if you don't learn how to use its armaments to hold it off, resulting in a quest failure.
    • World is set in the New World, where the only human settlement is the Research Commission's base in Astera. While it's fairly safe, it must be self-sufficient, as getting a ship there and back is a very risky proposition that depends entirely on the tides cooperating, which often doesn't happen for years at a time. Resources are pretty tight, and everywhere outside Astera's walls is untamed and dangerous wilderness; it's not the sort of place where you want to be having kids. It doesn't stop accidents happening, and with the vicious currents, sometimes they simply have to grow up in the New World.
      • The supply provisioner notes that when the first fleet founded Astera, being a temporary research outpost with a small population, they tried to be a moneyless society. Things quickly got too personal so they had the second fleet bring a few crates of currency so business stayed business and grudges didn't form.
      • The meals prepared by the Meowscular Chef are immense, more than a human Hunter should be able to eat. There's a good reason for such massive meals, however: between all the moving around you will do when fighting monsters and the size and weight of your armor and weapons, you're going to need a lot of extra calories to provide the energy needed to survive the fight. It's the same reason athletes eat giant meals before working out.
      • In the crossover event with The Witcher, when the Commission tries to pay Geralt a hefty bounty for killing a Leshen, he's forced to turn them down. As he notes, whilst what they're offering him might be a small fortune, it's in a currency none of the kingdoms in his world recognize, meaning it'd be worthless the minute he returns.
    • Spin-off Monster Hunter Stories:
      • For the first time, it's shown what happens when a large monster breaks into a settlement, and it's terrifying. Just in the minutes it took the town militia to respond, a Nargacuga destroys several buildings and causes multiple human fatalities. A year later, the town is still fixing some of the damage.
      • The game takes place in the same world as the main series, and it's immediately pointed out that while bonding with monsters is a traditional practice for Riders, the rest of the world views the ability to tame and ride such destructive creatures with all the fear and suspicion one would expect.
  • MORDHAU:
    • Armor is not useless, and in fact it will save your life in the frontlines if you cannot dodge or parry something. And sharp weapons will have a terrible time going through metal, while doing a number on cloth and flesh. This is especially true of helmets; if you think you can show off that face and hairdo you spend a while on prepare to have your skull repeatedly split in half, impaled, reduced to chunks and separated from the rest of your body.
    • The stamina system makes sure to cover the fact that parrying, swinging and blocking, a battle in general, is a terribly tiring affair. If you're too tired to hold your weapon properly you're going to drop it as soon as you try to catch yet another attack with it.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Mortal Kombat 9 is the first game in the series where Johnny Cage performs his infamous Groin Attack against female Kombatants. In previous games, he'd do his split but not punch them, under the assumption that it wouldn't have the same effect on someone lacking testicles (despite the fact that he'd perform the move on robots in Mortal Kombat Gold, which realistically would hurt him more than the robot). In reality, getting hit down there hurts women just as much as it does men, and 9 finally reflected that. No idea why it still works on the robot characters, though.
    • For all of its emphasis on Gorn, a tie-in comic to Mortal Kombat X shows some surprisingly realistic consequences for Kotal Kahn. He earned his nickname of "the Blood God" by drinking the blood of his enemies, even encouraging a Central American tribe to do the same with Spanish invaders. When Kotal Kahn went into the future, he found the tribesmen were all dead because they weren't used to the diseases in the Spaniards' blood, which effectively wiped out their civilization.
    • Brutalities, in general, are essentially what would happen if the special moves acted in real life (i.e. D'Vorah's and Reptile's acid burning the flesh off someone, Kotal Kahn's macahuitl cutting someone in half, etc.).
    • Mortal Kombat X takes place 25 years after the events of the original trilogy, and the returning Earthrealm characters are appropriately older with their adult children joining the fight. While the Edenians are relatively unchanged due to their slower aging, and the divine and undead characters don't age at all, the older humans are at least 50 (Kano is 60, as he was already 35 in the first game) and they look it.
    • Sonya Blade has been established as a Frontline General since Mortal Kombat X. This catches up to her in Mortal Kombat 11 and she ends up KIA, which is the last thing you want happening to a leader and exactly why modern generals do not lead from the front.
    • Mortal Kombat 11 examines Kitana's desires in her arcade ending. She gets to go back in time and view Edenia in its prime. But despite being Edenian by blood and royalty at that, she knows nothing of their cultures, attitudes, cuisines, or traditions, as Shao Kahn prevented her from learning anything about her heritage growing up. But on the other hand, her upbringing under him was what shaped her into the woman she is today, and she can't just undo that. Kitana comes to accept that she really is an Outworlder. However, it doesn't end all negatively, for she will learn the ancient Edenian ways to make Outworld a much better place in the meanwhile.
    • Losing his wife causes Jax to become a recluse. When someone loses their Living Emotional Crutch who helped them get over their trauma and PTSD, they do not take it well. And knowing his daughter is out there fighting supernatural forces, Jax had a panic attack due to the sheer stress of being unable to reach her when Earth's communications went down. It makes him very susceptible to Kronika's charisma and promises to change the past.
    • Shang Tsung's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder is known across the realms by the time of 11, and none ally themselves with him without expecting him to betray them. It ultimately makes him kind of predictable, as Fire God Liu Kang lied to him about needing to control the Hourglass' decay so that he could monitor Shang Tsung's activities and attack him in his moment of triumph, a ploy right out of Shang Tsung's own playbook.
    • Guest Fighter John Rambo can eat bugs to replenish his health, but if he tries it too many times in a row, he'll eventually get sick and puke.
  • The Mother trilogy is no stranger to this either, being devoted to deconstructing the RPG genre:
    • Various adults will question the party's free-range nature, with some pointing out that they should be in school.
    • In EarthBound Beginnings:
      • The game pits Ninten and co. against three giant robots, each more powerful than the last. In a normal RPG, the heroes would defeat the robots with their strength & abilities alone after a challenging battle. As it turns out, giant robots tend to be very resilient and very powerful. These three can instantly KO a single party member, and can only be damaged by heavy artillery or another giant robot.
      • Related to the above, the fight against R7038 ends up leaving Teddy in critical condition, presumably dead in the original 1989 version. Being beaten to a pulp by a robot the size of a large building will do that to you.
      • The Bla Bla Gang stops attacking the party once Teddy joins. Sounds reasonable enough. However, as soon as Teddy leaves the party, the gang members go right back to assaulting the heroes at the slightest provocation. Just because Teddy was acquainted with you doesn't mean that his gang members will consider you an ally.
    • In EarthBound:
      • Ness gets a bike early on, which allows him to get around faster as opposed to just walking everywhere. Once Paula joins him, he can't use the bike anymore. Because it only has one seat. But if everyone else is dead, meaning that only their ghosts are following Ness around? He can ride that bike just fine.
      • Buzz Buzz is basically the Exposition Fairy and tells Ness of his upcoming journey to save the world. He's also a powerful PSI user and is necessary to defeat the first Starman you meet. Despite this, he is still a bug, and no amount of PSI can stop him from dying when he gets swatted.
      • After Ness defeats Frank Fly and forces the Sharks to disband, he earns the key to the Traveler's Shack and can access Giant Step from there. After completing the dungeon, he is immediately arrested for trespassing. Then, given the trilogy's setting, Ness gets subjected to a police beating (he manages to defeat the police, though).
      • Jeff has a very strained relationship with his father, Dr. Andonuts, since the latter's been absent from most of his son's life. Anyone with a working grasp of human psychology (or has watched Neon Genesis Evangelion) will know that reuniting with an absent parent is a very strained process, as the parent is essentially a stranger to their kid.
      • Many of Ness's enemies show up in Magicant (a world inside Ness's mind), calling Ness out for killing them and their acquaintances. This is inevitable, as what kind of mentally composed person in real life shows no remorse over harming others?
      • Near the end of the game, Giygas pulls a last-minute invasion on Onett, implied to be the start of his conquest of Earth. At this point, Giygas's men have been dropping like flies because of Ness, who's already awakened his true potential and is growing closer and closer to achieving victory. Given this, it's understandable that Giygas would panic and throw in everything he's got to try and stop the kid.
      • After Giygas is finally defeated, you'd expect Porky to be left at the mercy of Ness and his friends, begging for, well, mercy. Guess you forgot that Porky's a devious, borderline-psychopathic child who always finds a way to bail out. Porky proceeds to travel to a different era, and decides to taunt Ness about it twice, as expected from a kid of his nature.
      • Though it was Bowdlerized pretty handily in the US release, Porky's descent into villainy comes from a grounded place in the original translation. An early game scene implies his father's a deadbeat lowlife whose idea of punishment is close to abusive, and the second Porky steals the Mani-Mani statue and starts serving Giygas, his father joins him to ween off his success without so much as telling his family where they're going, only to be left alone when Porky takes Monotoli's chopper to make his escape from Fourside. In the ending, his dad's drowning his sorrows in a "coffee shop" without even thinking of returning home and his mom's started an affair and doesn't even seem to care where her son and husband got to. With a trainwreck family like that, Porky becoming a sociopathic monster serving an Eldritch Abomination isn't surprising in the least.
      • After Giygas' defeat, a boy in Onett taunts Ness about all the homework he'll have to make up after skipping possibly weeks of school to go save the world.
      • Many of the items you find in trash cans are broken, and need to be repaired by Jeff before they can be usable. Because they're garbage.
    • In Mother 3:
      • The first enemy in the game is a mole cricket who decided to pick a fight for no reason. Predictably he puts up almost no resistance and is beaten in a couple of turns. 3 years and 7 chapters later the mole cricket encounters the party again and says he's spent every day training and preparing for this rematch... but he's still just a mole cricket, even not accounting that the party's own experiences have toughened them up and there's two powerful PSI users and a master thief, it's likely you'll take him out in a single attack, and even if you faff about until he attacks he'll barely scratch you.
      • After Lucas loses his mother, the trauma he experiences is portrayed disturbingly realistically. He is virtually catatonic for much of the first three chapters, seldomly talking and spending most of his time crying in solitude. As an adolescent, meanwhile, he has several flashbacks of his mom when she was still alive, and chapter six can be interpreted as a product of his grieving imagination. Overall, Lucas forgoes both Angst? What Angst? and Wangst, instead mourning his mother's death as any other person would.
      • On the subject of Hinawa's murder, Flint's immediate response to it is also very realistic for someone like him. He's not afraid to put up a fight and get his hands dirty, and spends the first half of chapter one literally fighting his way through a burning forest. So, when he hears that his wife was found mauled to death, his aggressive side kicks in and he physically lashes out at everything & everyone around him.
      • After Lucas learns that Claus is the Masked Man, the inevitable "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight occurs. However, Lucas can't do anything to fight back for most of the fight. This is a kid who's lost most of his family at a young age, and has been sent to hell and back trying to save the world, all because he is one of a select few people who can use PK Love. Seeing that his final challenge is to relive one of his darkest memories is clearly gonna trigger something in him.
      • Then, when Claus finally regains his senses, he kills himself. Why? His mother died when he was young, his own life nearly ended during a failed revenge attempt, and for most of his life he was the mindless slave of a Psychopathic Manchild. Given the fact that he is still a youth with a developing brain, he instantly jumps to the first (and easiest) solution he can come up with: suicide.
  • Myst III: Exile: Saavedro's plan hinges entirely on Atrus being the one to come after him, and he's so certain that this will be the case that he never bothers to check once the player has followed him. When he's finally confronted with the reality, he flips his shit.
    • Similarly, the fact that you're not Atrus doesn't mean Saavedro's just going to let you go. Once in Narayan, you have to find a solution that works for all parties, because if you don't, this trope will hit you hard: and in most of the options, literally. If you go back to Tomahna without finding a solution, Saavedro will follow and kill you, Atrus and his family. If you leave Saavedro on the platform but go back to him, he'll kill you. If you do as he asks and flip the switches, he'll throw the Releeshahn book into the water and leave. If you get the book back but leave him stuck between the platforms, Atrus will call you out for it. You have to get the book back and let Saavedro go home to get the ideal ending.
    • After Myst firmly established Sirrus and Achenar as a pair of psychopaths who tortured and murdered hundreds of people, is it really so surprising that there's at least one person out there who came looking for revenge?
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