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    N-O 
  • The entire plot of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle kicks off because Travis killed most of Jasper Batt's relatives. This was something that happened in the first game in a bunch of copy-pasted side missions with almost no fanfare, and neither Travis nor the player expected it to come up again or have any real consequences. That extends to Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes as well, since Bad Man is out for Travis' blood for killing his daughter, Bad Girl.
  • Octopath Traveler functions like a Low Fantasy with magic, meaning that reality has its place even with the magic.
    • Cyrus could not save several townsfolk from dying during a kidnapping spree because the volumes of blood required to create the hoard of blood crystals the chapter villain possessed had to come from somewhere.
    • Supplies and concentration are required in order for humans to sustain a flow of reinforcements. Vanessa extorted the people of Goldshore and was unaccustomed to resistance, and thus was unprepared for her guards being knocked out more than once by Alfyn. Likewise, Orlick's automaton is costly and difficult to repair, and will not function in the slightest once Therion trashes it.
    • Alfyn treats Miguel despite Ogen's request to let the man suffer; it is only revealed after the fact that Miguel is a mass murderer and thief who terrorized Saintsbridge many a time, and once he's back in proper health he goes right back to lawlessness. And while killing Miguel does end his threat to the village, Alfyn had to break the apothecary's oath and his own personal beliefs to do so, and the resulting damage to his convictions lasts into the next chapter.
  • The bad endings of the Oddworld games certainly qualify: making less than a token effort to save a group of people/creatures in dire straits will make them much less willing to help you when you're in trouble, if they don't decide to just screw you over beforehand.

    P-Q 
  • Paladins
    • Played for Laughs with Maeve, who is a Knife Nut with a seemingly bottomless supply of throwing knives. However, if she loses a match, she'll complain about having to retrieve all of the knives she's thrown.
    • In the backstory for Furia, she tries to protect her sister from the Magistrate's forces. Try as she might, she is easily defeated because she is just one untrained civilian fighting trained soldiers.
  • Papers, Please has the player working border security, determining who can or cannot enter the country, and morality frequently comes up against practicality. You can let people in who are desperate but don't have the right forms, but too many penalties mean you won't have enough money to care for you and your family. You can accept bribes, but the extra money will get the authorities suspicious of you. Denying someone you've been warned about entry when their paperwork is in order will get you a penalty, but letting him through will result in him killing the young woman who warned you. And revealing that you have evidence linking you to the local subversive element will get you arrested.
  • Parasite Eve 2 features a type of special, genetically engineered bio-weapon called a GOLEM which is outrageously strong, resistant to small arms gunfire, and armed with a gigantic sword. Eventually, a plot development leads to a unit of GOLEMs squaring off with an entire company of US Marines... where it turns out that 'being really strong' and 'having a big melee weapon' doesn't quite compare to dozens of highly trained and coordinated soldiers opening fire from long range with assault rifles, sniper rifles, light machine guns, and grenades.
  • Reality hits players in a surprising way in PAYDAY 2: just because you can replace the red dot on a powered optic with a hand Flipping the Bird doesn't mean you should. The regular dots and crosshairs for a sight may be boring, but at least they actually show you where the bullet will hit. Likewise, you can select the color your sight's crosshair displays in, but you're going to be hindering your ability to shoot accurately with it if you don't pick a color that will stand out regardless of what you're looking at with it - there's a reason many crosshairs in older shooters default to a bright green or red.
  • In Peasant's Quest, the humble peasant hero Rather Dashing goes through a bunch of trials to prepare himself to fight Trogdor the Burninator. When he finally reaches Trogdor's cave he's immediately flash-fried, because he's one ordinary guy trying to fight a giant fire-breathing monster.
  • Desert Bus from Penn and Teller's Smoke and Mirrors is Reality Ensues incarnate, made as a response to the violent video game controversy and meant to be the most realistic video game ever made. The entire game is about driving a bus from Tuscon to Las Vegas. For eight hours. Of real time. There's no pausing the game ("Does real life have pause control?"), and you can't just hold down the gas button with something while you do something else because the bus constantly veers to the right, and if you crash, you have to get towed back to Tuscon. Also in real time.
  • Persona 3
    • The Condition mechanic. Characters you take into battle will be in worse condition the next day, affecting their performance in battle, and using them for consecutive days will cause them to catch a cold. After all, your party has to stay up until midnight if they want to explore Tartarus, limiting their sleep schedule along with the pressures of a normal school life. The protagonist is most affected, since you Can't Drop the Hero, and have to go through their social life with limited social stat gains and limited actions if you allow them to get sick. Managing your schedule, Tartarus included, is important for keeping your party in optimal condition.
    • Takaya's Weapon of Choice is a magnum revolver. In combat, the characters have proper armor and can stand up to his gunshots, but Junpei (though he gets revived) and Shinjiro get ambushed and shot in weaknesses in their armor (if they had armor on at all at the time) and die within a minute of being shot. The game's empowered cast may be Shadow-killing, Persona-empowered individuals, but they're still humans, and without proper protection a gunshot to the vitals is just as deadly as it is in real life.
    • No matter how much of a charmer you might be, your friends still have their own personal boundaries that they want respected. If you try to hug Yukari during a particularly low point in her Social Link, it causes your rank to reverse because while you meant to comfort her, you essentially ignored her own boundaries, something someone like Yukari does not appreciate. Also, saying the wrong thing to someone, even if you have high social stats, will still upset them since no matter how charming, courageous, or smart you are, what you said is still hurtful or upsetting, so they still do not like it and get upset at you.
  • Persona 4
    • As obvious as it may seem to the player that those people thrown into the TV should simply accept the harsh truths that their Shadow is telling them, thereby saving you and the rest of the party a boss battle... it's very difficult for the characters in question to simply come to terms with the parts of themselves that they're least proud of (and some weren't even completely aware of) staring them in the face, that are also bringing up all their worst fears and insecurities in front of strangers they don't trust. Nobody would be able to react in a positive manner in those circumstances. By the time the party goes to save Naoto, Kanji even says it's better that they "spill the whole thing" and just clean things up afterwards, otherwise Naoto will just end up still hurting from the experience.
    • An early-game scene has the player character and Yosuke gather weapons to defend themselves in the TV-world... and both are arrested by mall security because Yosuke was waving them around in the mall's food court, in a small town that recently had one of its residents murdered. The only reason that the protagonist and Yosuke weren't interrogated by the police was due to the protagonist having a relative (Uncle Dojima) on the force.
    • At the end of Yosuke's Social Link, Yosuke confesses that he'd always been jealous of the protagonist, and they work out their issues with a fist fight. Unfortunately, someone saw Yosuke and reported him to the police, resulting in Yosuke getting in trouble for fighting.
    • The Inaba police hire Great Detective Naoto Shirogane to help investigate the serial killer case. Naoto is an Insufferable Genius who continually contradicts and questions the police... which causes them to remove Naoto from the case entirely late in the game. Turns out you can't piss off your bosses over and over and get away with it, and that's without even getting worthwhile gains to back up Naoto's "I'm smarter than all of you" attitude. That said, it's also implied that not only is the adult male-dominated police force somewhat dismissive of Naoto as a young high school student that happened to be a detective as well as a woman, which is why she hid her true gender, but they also didn't want to admit that the juvenile suspect they publicly arrested for the Inaba serial killings didn't actually kill the first two victims, an unfortunate reminder that some public authorities prefer to save face rather than do what is right.
    • When the School Festival rolls around, the protagonist is given the option of voting for what the class will be working on. But Thou Must! make a Group Date Cafe, because the protagonist is one individual in a class and is in no position to decide for the others.
    • Late in the game, Adachi uses a pistol as his weapon and just uses it as his basic (read: weakest) attack and nothing compared to his powers. The Anime of the Game, however, treats the protagonist having a gun pointed at him with all the realistic threat and severity of someone bringing a sword to a gunfight, supernatural powers or not.
  • Persona 5:
    • The protagonists inflict Heel–Face Brainwashing on corrupt adults. Eventually, they successfully manage to do this to the Big Bad, who's been leading a political conspiracy. However, this doesn't immediately solve everything. The evil conspiracy ends up covering for the Big Bad because they would also be screwed over, and due to their control over the media, the public doesn't care. Furthermore, even after Mementos is destroyed and society starts moving to convict the Big Bad, he can't be found guilty without evidence. And since the Metaverse is gone, The Dragon is (presumed) dead and the conspiracy obviously unwilling to testify against themselves, the only person left who can testify against the Big Bad is the Protagonist, who has to confess to being the leader of the Phantom Thieves and be sent to Juvenile Hall due to his prior record.
      • And even that gets its own dose of reality ensuing, this time in favor of the Phantom Thieves. Joker ends up in juvie for all of two months, as all of the good he had done as the leader of the Thieves lead to his Confidants and allies proving how unfair and bogus the initial arrest was. The arrest is eventually removed from his record, and he's released early. Prosecuting him as a Phantom Thief would prove to a now very aware society that the police were scapegoating him.
    • The game itself begins with Joker ambushed by the police and arrested. He may be a Persona-using window-jumping Phantom Thief, but even he doesn't stand a chance all alone against an army of armed policemen, especially with his Thou Shall Not Kill policy.
    • The protagonist's backstory starts out with saving a woman from being raped by startling her attacker (later revealed to be Masayoshi Shido), causing him to stumble to the ground. However, Shido has a ton of connections to the police force and political world, so the protagonist gets arrested and sued by the man he "assaulted", ending up with a criminal record.
    • The Phantom Thieves meet in fairly public places to discuss their activities. Combine this with Ryuji, who has No Indoor Voice, and he very nearly spills the beans several times. In fact, Makoto was already tailing the gang under orders from the principal, and gets solid proof that they're the Phantom Thieves thanks to Ryuji's inability to keep his mouth shut.
    • Most of Joker's Confidants have someone antagonizing them, and leveling up their Confidant link requires going to Mementos and changing that someone's heart. The Confidants will notice that this change of heart happened after Joker learned of their problems, as well as when Joker specifically asked for the person's full name, leading them to correctly conclude that Joker is one of the Phantom Thieves.
    • The school rooftop is repeatedly stated to be off limits because the plot kicked off with Shiho attempting suicide by jumping from it. When the group's trespassing up there is finally noticed, they get a warning and it's properly locked.
    • Late in Sojiro's Confidant link, Futaba's uncle claims that Sojiro is an abusive parent to Futaba (so he can get money from Sojiro) and that Joker attacked him, after falling down in front of two witnesses apart from the so-called attacker. While a police detective shows up to Leblanc, he just asks a series of questions to everyone involved, including Futaba. By the end, it's clear that the uncle filed a false police report, so the detective bids the group good day and leaves without arresting anyone.
    • Played for laughs during the trip to Hawaii. During the group's stay in a hotel, Mishima gets a bad stomachache. This is because he's visiting from Japan, and he drank American tap water. Ryuji even comments that one of the first things the students were told on the trip is not to drink the tap water for exactly that reason.
    • Like in the previous two games, you can romance multiple girls. They all find out on Valentine's Day, and it doesn't end well Joker.
  • Pokemon has enough examples to merit its own section.
  • Police Quest
    • As police lieutenant Sonny Bonds, you have to follow police procedure by the book to avoid the myriad of ways you can get a game over. While some decisions are obvious (such as not shooting someone who has a gun drawn at you), some are not. Shoot someone who only might be reaching for a gun in his glove box? Turns out he was an unarmed FBI agent, and you're fired. Forget to frisk the raving lunatic? He'll draw a knife and kill you. Need to open a door with a battering ram? You have to get permission from a judge to use it first.
    • There are also non-fatal ways this shows up, too. In the third Police Quest, you can miss points if you fail to follow proper procedure when writing someone up for a ticket. You can also question witnesses, some of whom lie or are uncooperative with the cops. Many of them aren't even hiding anything, and have no real reason to lie; they just don't want to talk to the cops, simple as that.
    • Police Quest II ends with a shoot-out in which Sonny shoots a suspect; as a result, the suspect dies. Sonny is immediately put on administrative leave for three days as the Internal Affairs division of the Lynton Police Department reviews if his actions were justifiable homicide. Thankfully it's deemed to be so, and they award Sonny by giving him a two week vacation with pay for taking down the bad guys... unless Sonny pulled the trigger first in the shootout. In that case, his actions were not in self-defense, and Sonny instead gets arrested for murder.
    • Police Quest III has Sonny notice that his wife isn't getting proper medical care on one of the machines in the hospital. Rather than fiddle with the dials himself, like many an adventure game would expect you to do, the correct solution is to bring it to the attention of the hospital staff who know how the machines work, and let them fix it.
    • SWAT 1 has internal affairs coming in anytime you have to use a firearm, even if the mission was a success. This is done to review if the shot you took was justified. Accordingly, justified shots have you reinstated and commended, while unjustified shots get you arrested, ending the game.
      • Using a flashbang on an elderly woman with a bad heart has her die immediately. There's a reason flashbangs and the like are emphatically less-lethal weapons and not "non-lethal" ones - because there simply is no such thing as a non-lethal weapon.
    • SWAT 2 would suspend an officer for shooting a suspect as well, even if it was justified.
    • When playing the terrorist campaign in SWAT 2, any terrorists who are severely wounded during a mission will be labeled "maimed", and cannot participate in any further missions. It's not like they can just go to a hospital, after all.
  • In the backstory of Portal 2, Cave Johnson is the Crazy Awesome Pointy-Haired Boss of Aperture Science, who has no qualms whatsoever about working with hazardous experimental substances, blatantly ignores the advice of his scientists because Screw the Rules, I Have Money!, and wildly misapplies potentially revolutionary scientific breakthroughs because he doesn't realize what they could do. Unfortunately, it's not a cartoon, and these practices have the same result they would in real life, i.e., he dies slowly and agonizingly from exposure to dangerous chemicals while his company collapses into financial ruin.
    • Chell's boots are what happens when people apply this to a game during design. During testing of the first Portal, the playtesters refused to accept that a human being could survive the falls Chell has to survive on a regular basis, some pointing out that Gordon Freeman, the protagonist of Valve's earlier Half-Life series, would be pasted by the kinds of falls Chell has no problem surviving. The developers applied a Hand Wave by giving her boots that are described as diffusing the shock of landing and ensuring she lands on her feet. This restored the playtesters' suspension of disbelief.
    • It turns out that moon dust actually can be dangerous. Who knew?
    • One of the pre-recorded messages from an alternate Cave Johnson in the Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC is Prison Warden!Cave telling his test prisoners why the Air-Vent Passageway trope is dumb: ventilation shafts are not a secret escape tunnel, they're how the Prison Ship is ventilated. You try to escape that way, you're most likely just going to end up in the air conditioning unit. And since it's also pretty dusty up there, you have a good chance of dying, especially if you're asthmatic. In short, just don't try it.
      • Also, Prison Warden!Cave installed a Force-Field Door on all of his prison cells instead of metal bars. Then the power goes out, and all the prisoners get loose.
      Warden!Cave: Man, those blue force fields looked good, though. Every time I saw one, I thought, "Wow! I am in space." Still, though... A door made out of paper would have been better in the long run. Would have at least slowed 'em down for a second.
  • In Project Zomboid, the power grid and, more devastatingly, the water works will stop working after about a month of in-game time, as the society keeping those amenities up and running have (literally) died off. If you haven't stockpiled lots of receptacles of water and built wells and rain collectors by that point, you're pretty much screwed.
  • Punch-Out!!
    • In all the games Little Mac is... well, a runt. The entire franchise is a series of David vs. Goliath matches where even the infamously-pathetic Glass Joe and Gabby Jay have height and weight advantages on Mac, which ties into why the game is Nintendo Hard and places so much emphasis on dodging blows. There's a reason that outside of MMA, contact sports leagues don't mix lightweights with heavyweights; even when the heavyweight is holding back, a clean punch will clear the lightweight's clock. Super Macho Man, Mr. Dream and Mike Tyson in particular are massive walls of muscle, and all of them can send Mac to the floor in two or three solid hits no matter what game they're in.
    • In Wii, after 100 losses, both Mac and Glass Joe are given pieces of headgear that lowers the damage they take from head blows. Determinator or no, no sane business would let someone take that kind of head trauma for that long without intervening; it's a huge legal liability to them and a huge hazard to the fighters. It also turns out that Glass Joe got seen by a doctor after his 100th loss and was diagnosed with a legitimate medical condition that caused him to be easy to knock out. The headgear helps mitigate this condition, and thus with his previously-unknown Achilles' Heel fixed he finally becomes something approaching a threat in his rematch.
    • Also in Wii, there's a "Last Stand" mechanic which involves Mac tapping into his inner Determinator to avoid being K.O'd for one final shot at victory. It's only the one shot however, because it doesn't matter how scrappy you are, you can't will yourself out of unconsciousness, especially if you're already on your last leg. It's not reliable either, and seems to be dependent on just how much of a beating Mac has taken before falling down for the final count; him getting up after a few rounds of getting occasionally hit is one thing, but getting knocked down multiple times after being beaten within an inch of his life in a single round tends to leave him on the mat unconscious.
    • Once more in Wii, the true ending is locked behind a mode called Mac's Final Stand, which is basically Mac's last blaze of glory before retiring. It features endless nonstop matches of all of the circuit fighters coming at Mac in their Title Defense peak condition, with Mac having to retire after his third loss. While the entire thing has an air of Bittersweet Ending to it, Mac has probably just flat out reached the limits of what his body could achieve and take, hence retiring after the last "life" is lost. Not to mention that while his career may have been short-lived in the grand scheme of things, his endearing struggle and determination made him a Living Legend among in-universe boxers and their fans, to the point a wall in a museum is devoted entirely to him.
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    R 
  • Radiata Stories.
    • At the start of the game, Jack is defeated easily by Ridley in their duel. Ridley is a noble with access to the best trainers, money to buy better gear, and in general the conditions to make it into the knights without issue. Meanwhile Jack is a peasant with nobody to really teach him, and little resources on hand to use. Naturally, the more skilled fighter easily wins.
    • If the player goes with the Non-Human route, Jack gets labeled a traitor who kidnapped Ridley, the princess. Although Ridley left on her own, and Jack only went along at first to protect her and try to convince her to return home, because he was the last person seen with her, and was leaving with her, he gets labeled a traitor since for all the people know, he really did do it. After all, Ridley didn't tell anyone she was going to leave.
    • When Jack and Gantz try to join Theater Vancoor after being kicked from the Knights, they both fight Jarvis, arguably the second best fighter in the guild in a Secret Test of Character. While both lose, Jack is given the okay to join from Gerald, while Gantz is rejected. His reasoning is because Jack has the aptitude for the group, while Gantz, who was a sheltered nobility, would not fit in well at all. Not helping is that Gantz applied just after drinking heavily in response to being kicked out of the knights, whereas Jack, being younger, doesn't drink and thus is able to at least seem professional despite his younger age.
  • Radiation Island: Since it's a survival game, many common sense rules apply: starvation, infection, and radiation can all kill you; falls can break bones; sleep means you aren't eating, so you're going to wake up hungry; water will drown you if you stay submerged for too long. Other nasty realities:
    • Taking too long to root around in your pack or loot a chest gives mooks a fine opportunity to sneak up on you.
    • Escaping mooks by taking to the water in a canoe won't work—crocodiles just swim after you, zombies follow you by walking along the bottom.
    • Everything is out to kill everything else, not just you. It's common to wander the island and find random Organ Drops from animals killed by mooks. And what do you get when zombies can infect animals? Poison-spewing zombie beasts that are much worse than their mundane versions, and travel in packs.
  • Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, while the final villain of the game is delivering his Motive Rant, he pulls his gun on you, you pull yours on him in return... and then he continues ranting at you for a few more minutes before shooting, at any point during which you can shoot him in the face. This contrasts with the confrontation with one of the Co-Dragons much earlier in the game, where you're not given control back until almost the very end of the interaction with him - if you shoot him at any point before he pulls his gun on you, you fail the mission and have to restart; but at the same time, you've got maybe half a second to react once he does pull the gun before he blows you away with it, because he knows he's not going to have time to dick around and keep taunting the three heavily-armed SWAT-type people already pointing their guns at him.
  • Red Dead Redemption:
    • No matter how much of a badass you are, taking on the army in a standup fight won't end well. And that's how John Marston dies, when Edgar Ross decides that You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
    • The game's epilogue. So you faced your father's killer and killed him in a duel? Hooray! After all these years, you finally got your revenge! Too bad your father is still dead and remembered as a brutal criminal even if he was a good guy, and no one but you knows what Ross did so he goes down as a retired cop who was brutally gunned down while fishing. Oh, and also too bad that the days of the old west and vigilante justice have come and gone so you'll spend the rest of your life as a depressed loner on the run from the authorities. What? You thought you could get revenge and everything would be awesome? Nah, what do you think this is? An old western movie?
  • Red Dead Redemption II:
    • If Arthur is Covered in Gunge and/or hasn't bathed in a while, people will refuse to interact with him. Being covered in blood may result in people actually running away from him, possibly to the point that the local law enforcement acts hostile to him. And of course, walking around with a mask covering your face while openly armed isn't the best way to get people to talk to you.
    • People you beat up have a chance of getting up and can either try to continue the fight or limp away. However, hit them with a gun in your hand, and they will stay down for good. After all, getting hit in the face with a fist hurts, but being hit in the head with a heavy metal object can actually kill you.
    • Enemies that are set on fire are unable to be looted because anything of value they might be carrying would be charred and thus worthless.
    • John can get away with a lot of carnage in the first game since he's basically a government-sanctioned hitman; the Bureau will turn a blind eye to John's crimes as long as he stays useful. Here? He, Arthur, and the rest of Dutch's gang have no such luxury. Every time the gang pulls off a high-profile stunt (like the shootout in Valentine or the raid on the Braithwaites' house), they have to immediately move to a new place because the law isn't just going to wait until they strike again.
    • It doesn't matter how many deputies, policemen, Pinkertons or bounty hunters they kill or escape from, the Van der Linde Gang is still only a handful of struggling, nomadic criminals going up against the limitless, established resources of the United States government. The outcome is never really in doubt; it's more a matter of when.
      • Related to the above, killing the man financing the Pinkertons isn't going to stop them. Considering Leviticus Cornwall was extremely powerful and wealthy, the Federal government can't ignore such a high-profile assassination, resulting in even more people being deployed to find the gang.
    • While the Grays and the Braithwaites hate each other, they aren't stupid enough to not realize that Dutch's gang is working both sides, especially since they had Arthur approach both sides and attacked one family immediately after attacking the other.
    • Much like Devin Weston, Angelo Bronte believes his vast wealth means he can get people to do anything he wants; all he has to do is name the right price. Also similar to Weston, he finds out the hard way that having more money than God is worthless when offered to men who are devoted to ideals other than wealth.
      • Beforehand, his men also discover that intimidating local businessmen and murdering the odd policeman does not mean you're capable of going toe-to-toe with seasoned, skilled, and heavily-armed outlaws who have survived dozens of gunfights over the years.
      • Finally, murdering a man as influential as Bronte by storming his mansion guns blazing is bound to bring the law down on the gang. When the gang's bank heist in Saint Denis goes sideways, John says they should have left Bronte alone.
    • Just because you're a hardened badass who cheats death on an almost daily doesn't mean you're invincible; Arthur might be your archetypical gunslinging outlaw, but he's still only human. This is best exemplified when he's kidnapped by the O'Driscoll Boys and tortured by them; he's so busy overseeing the meeting between Dutch and Colm that he fails to notice one of Colm's men sneaking up on him until it's too late. And even though he escapes with his life, Arthur passes out from his injuries while riding back to camp and takes at least two weeks to fully recover.
    • Relating to the above, since this game is a prequel to the first one and Arthur doesn't appear in it, what happens to him? Is he killed in a robbery gone wrong? Is he gunned down in a defiant Last Stand like John will eventually be? No. He's diagnosed with tuberculosis after contracting it from one of Strauss's debtors near the beginning of the game. Arthur's death is a slow, painful, and completely unavoidable one, because the medicine and technology to treat diseases that aren't such a big deal today don't exist yet.
      • Similarly, traumatic brain injuries weren't widely understood or easily treated at the time. After a botched robbery results in a trolley crash where he hits his head, Dutch begins showing signs of a TBI, which goes untreated. This is implied to be one of several reasons for his rapid mental decline and erratic behavior.
  • What happens when you put structures designed with mostly Rule of Cool in mind under real-world physics? According to Red Faction Guerrilla and its extremely robust destruction engine, they collapse. The game designers had to take a crash course in real-world architecture to create buildings that would stay up long enough for the player to destroy them.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In most video games, a weapon with a Laser Sight will always be steady as a rock so the player can see where the laser is pointing at. In Resident Evil 4 and future installments, like in real life, attaching a laser sight doesn't magically remove the hand sway.
    • Resident Evil 2:
      • A quick look at a Licker will reveal that they don't actually have eyes; the entire top halves of their heads are exposed brain. While most games would simply ignore this and have their AI sense and attack you like regular enemies, here it is canon that Lickers are completely blind, they rely on their hearing to hunt their prey. As such, it's completely possible to sneak right past them just by walking slowly and not bumping into them. In the same vein, Claire's bowgun in the original game and her SMG with the silencer upgrade in the remake are the best weapons to fight them with, since they don't make noise when they fire. Which means you can pelt a Licker to death with zero effort while it blindly flails around trying to figure out what's killing it.
      • The remake is essentially Capcom updating classic survival horror mechanics for modern times. As such, they've made it so that several conveniences people have been asking for in older-style survival horror games actually work against you. Hate the static camera angles? Say goodbye to auto-aim to compensate for your ability to make headshots. Hate the loading screen doors? Now every door can be easily opened, but just about every single enemy can now follow you through them.
      • Leon was a rookie cop in the original game, but in the remake, it shows heavily. He has trouble handling his first zombie because he's unprepared, he nearly has a breakdown when he fails to save a fellow officer, and has to be reprimanded by Marvin because his training and heroic mindset will get him killed. This is also seen when he meets Ben; he refuses to let him out of his cell before checking with Chief Irons, even when Ben tells him that Irons can't be trusted, simply because he's following protocol, which results in Ben's death when Mr. X breaks through the wall and crushes his skull.
      • Leon arrives in Raccoon City in his civilian clothes, instead of his police uniform, which he receives upon arriving at the police station. Uniforms are almost never issued before the first day, so Leon wouldn't have had it with him until after he reported for duty.
      • Claire is just a regular civilian with some gun training for self-defense. Like Leon, she is unprepared for what's happened in Raccoon City, especially because unlike Leon, she was never expecting to run into a dangerous situation like this. Like Leon, Marvin has to reprimand her because if she hesitates, she's as good as dead, but he's noticeably gentler about it than he is with Leon, since she's just a concerned citizen looking for her brother. This can also be seen in how Claire and Leon often react to certain traumatic moments; whereas Leon tends to give a sad sigh or restrain his anger, Claire nearly breaks down in tears, and is more vocal with her frustrations.
      • Leon's fellow officers were planning a welcoming party involving a puzzle for him to figure out to open his desk for the first time. When the outbreak happens, the party decorations and puzzle remain in place because with how chaotic things were, removing them would be a pointless waste of time better spent reinforcing the building.
      • With the exception of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, previous games rarely show children being victims of a B.O.W. attack. In the remake, Adult Fear is on full display; Robert Kendo refuses to let Leon and Ada come near his infected daughter, who is implied to have been bitten by her mother, whom Robert may have already killed. Moments later, when he takes her back inside to "put her to bed" with her mother and they hear a gunshot, even Ada is left in Stunned Silence for a moment.
      • Unlike almost every single game in the series, the knife can break after being used too many times. Using the knife to break things or stab enemies will naturally have it lose durability. Even worse, it's possible for it to be stuck in the enemy if used to escape - if you want the knife back, you still need to kill the enemy and get it back. Furthermore, unlike in the first game's remake, the knife is used to stab zombies in the torso when used as a defensive move. And if a zombie attacks you from behind, you're unable to use your equipped subweapon to free yourself.
      • As opposed to being crushed by debris or attacked by G-Birkin like in the original game, Annette gets slammed against a concrete wall. Claire tags in to finish off her husband in her scenario, and Annette survives long enough to get back to Sherry and cure her of the G-Virus, but dies from her injuries moments later.
      • Unlike in the original game where Leon blindly accepts Ada and puts his trust in her, Leon is rightly skeptical of Ada for a while, and it isn't until she tells him she's going after Umbrella that he even remotely begins trusting her. Ada is being suspicious, knows more than she's letting on, and is skilled enough that she's been able to survive where others haven't. When Annette later warns him about Ada, Leon drills her for answers. Because what reason would Annette have to lie to him when she's dying?
    • Resident Evil 3 (Remake):
      • In the original game, it's implied that Jill's investigation into Umbrella was going on relatively unimpeded until the outbreak went into full swing from Sept 23rd to the 27th. In the remake, Chief Irons and Umbrella swiftly swooped in to stonewall Jill, with Irons suspending her from the force and placing her under house arrest with 24/7 surveillance. Considering he's on Umbrella's payroll and how fast Nemesis gets to Jill's apartment, it's likely he was just keeping her contained so she could be silenced. In fact, Nemesis' deployment container is shown having landed just up the street from her apartment, confirming this.
      • Jill's nightmare and the notes in apartment reveal that she is worried that she and the rest of the S.T.A.R.S. are infected, since they were likely exposed to the T-virus during the events of the first game.
    • Resident Evil 4:
      • Used amusingly at the beginning. How is the evil Umbrella corporation finally destroyed? Through a daring black-ops raid with soldiers fighting its myriad monsters in one final battle? The heroes of the previous games banding together and taking out its leaders one by one? Nope! The U.S. government freezes its assets in retaliation for the destruction of Raccoon City, and the highly publicized disasters plaguing the company cause its stock prices to drop, sending it into bankruptcy! One statement from the developers in a Nintendo Power article says that there was no way the US government would have allowed Umbrella to continue operating after being responsible for a disaster that forced them to nuke one of their own cities.
      • That too gets a dose of Reality Ensues. Simply removing Umbrella from business does not magically evaporate all the data, personnel, research data and equipment. Their B.O.W.s and viruses are sold to the highest bidder on the black market, the highest level researchers are able to continue their viral weaponry without a traceable line, and the BSAA is formed to counteract the outbreaks that follow.
      • The fact that the BSAA is an NGO also results in reality ensues, as the US Government decides to have its own group to deal with it, the FBC (Federal Bioterrorism Commission), leading to Interservice Rivalry. Later, the FBC is replaced by the Division of Security Operations after the FBC is dissolved due to them giving bioweapons to terrorists in a plot to get rid of the BSAA.
      • Apparently, Salazar believes Talking Is a Free Action. Too bad for him that Leon does not. Both times that Salazar tries Evil Gloating, Leon makes him pay for it, first by pinning his hand to the wall with a knife, and the second by seriously damaging his hearing.
      • Speaking of the BSAA, they take massive casualties in both Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6. The next time they show up, they send a single agent leading operatives that are part of "Blue Umbrella", a PMC dedicated to bioweapon containment and disposalnote . Turns out, all military or paramilitary groups have limited amounts of personnel and resources, so if they keep taking large amounts of casualties, they'll eventually need to rely on others to provide manpower for their operations.
    • Resident Evil 7: Biohazard: the deputy’s conversation with Ethan seems to hand him the Idiot Ball, considering that he doesn’t seem to listen to Ethan at all. However, from his perspective, a man appeared in the window of the house admitting that he trespassed on the property before rambling fairly nonsensically about being kidnapped in a way that leaves his mental faculties in serious doubt. While the player may support Ethan because they know the whole situation, the deputy has no such background knowledge. Moreover, the situation does not matter: a cop is not going to hand over a gun to a civilian just because the civilian asked him to. The fact that Ethan even got a pocketknife is nothing but lucky.
  • In Rimworld:
    • Assigning a colonist with poor cooking skills as the town chef or using a filthy kitchen can result in food poisoning from tainted meals.
    • A colonist receiving poor medical care can have an infection and die, or be left with a scar that causes them pain and loss of motor control for the rest of their lives. Infections are much, much more deadly than the wounds that cause them, and sometimes amputation is the only option to a bad one.
    • Smoking too much smokeleaf can lead to asthma and lung cancer, and likewise, too much alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis of the liver.
    • Make a body purist wear a cybernetic limb? They will most likely revolt or be upset.
  • Riven: Gehn taught himself the Art, and as a result, his understanding of it is flawed. While he managed to successfully write Ages, writing an Age does not necessarily mean that it's a stable Age, and as a result, Riven is on the verge of collapsing. Atrus has to stay behind so he can edit the Riven descriptive book enough to keep it going while you're in there.
    • If you use the Trap Book to trap Gehn, and then link into it again, Gehn will just leave you in there. Why the hell would he free you, knowing what the book does?
  • In R-Type Delta, the strongest ship in the game is the Cerebus, a protoype ship fused with Bydo techology. This makes it twice as powerful as the other more traditional R-Type ships in the game. As a result, many of the challenging levels in the game are easier to complete. However, the final level takes place in the Bydo dimension, and when the ship tries to escape after killing the final boss, the Bydo dimension is able to absorb it before it can break free, because of the Bydo fused inside the ship, causing the game's only Bad Ending. The other ships are able to escape, because of the lack of Bydo in them - the game's covert way of punishing you for taking the easy way out.

    S-T 
  • In The Saboteur the final boss is just an average human that has gone insane due to your actions up to this point. He is left broken, drunk and just accepting death as even if you don't shoot him, he will just jump to his death on his own.
  • Saints Row:
    • Benjamin King went the same pathway the player does in later games: He built a gang with the purpose of stopping the violence caused by Los Carnales. After many bloody battles, the Vice Kings were able to put a dent in their operations to get them to stop. However, King got too accustomed to power and didn't want to give it up, even going as far as to venture into white collar crime. Because of this, the Vice Kings ended up doing prostitution rings to bring up money and keep the finances for the rank and file, while the Carnales' regained their strength and allowed a third gang made of white suburbanites to come to fruition.
    • The end of the Vice Kings arc. Tanya usurps power by sleeping her way to the top, but because she doesn't have any real street cred to her name like Benjamin King did, many members start infighting and/or dropping their flags. Furthermore, it's obvious that Tanya doesn't have King's business sense which would've fared horribly for Kingdom Come Records. It's highly implied that her reign would have been short lived even if the Saints didn't kill her.
  • Saints Row 2
    • The Boss' no longer caring about "cleaning up the neighborhood" mirrors what happens to gangsters in real-life: a lot of gangs have, in fact, been formed to establish a semblance of stability in their neighborhoods, but as soon as the money and the drugs and the perks come in the gangsters are simply in it for power.
    • Kazuo may be a successful crime boss back in Japan, but he knows nothing about how American gangs operate. When he takes over the Ronin, he ends up being an even worse boss than his son Shogo - who, for all his ineptitude, at least understood how different things are in the States compared to back home.
    • In gameplay, an arrest simply takes a bit of money and has you respawn outside the police headquarters, ready and able to continue your crimes and rampages where you left off. In story, the Boss wakes up from their coma in the hospital of the maximum-security island prison, and Gat is on trial for his various crimes, with the news speculating that the only possible outcome is being sentenced to death.
  • Saints Row: The Third opens with the death of Johnny Gat, who pulls a Bolivian Army Ending against Philip Loren to help the others get away. There's really no overstating what a person of mass destruction he is, but he's not a superhuman so a bullet to the brain takes him out like it would anyone else. At least until IV changed it so that Johnny easily beat Loren and would have killed him if not for Zinyak's intervention, as befitting the game taking the diving board into Denser and Wackier and no longer held by realism.
  • Saints Row IV: The Boss may have beaten countless numbers of gangsters, policemen, even a State Sec with futuristic weapons, but nothing prepares them for a massive alien overlord with superpowers. The Boss tries, oh do they put up a fight, but once Zinyak decides to stop playing around and use his powers the first fight quickly becomes a Curb-Stomp Battle in the villain's favour.
  • In Scribblenauts, you can create anything and put it next to anything, with fairly realistic results: people will eat food, run from wild animals, die when attacked; predators and animals who were attacked will fight back and kill each other; buildings will be destroyed if sufficiently damaged; putting two rabbits together will result in them breeding until they fill the item limit... and while you can put things like walls and fences in the way to hinder attackers, don't expect them to last long if the attacker's big enough or strong enough.
  • The Secret World: You're a supernaturally-empowered secret agent who works for one of three ancient conspiracies and goes to the worst eldritch hotspots in the world, killing monsters and saving the world... but half the [PC]s have never heard of you and a quarter hate your guts. Thing is, you're basically an expendable minion working for the super-villains: (1) You're using a major connection to Agartha that most magic users will never be allowed to touch, (2) you started this job just a few months ago and are borrowing power from conspiracies that are stronger than you will ever be, (3) said conspiracies are borderline psychotic and regularly ruthless (the Templars are classic Knight Templar no matter how fervently they try to pass that era off as a teenage phrase, The Illuminati outright admit they're selfish pricks, and the Dragon like to tip over Disaster Dominoes and poke butterflies so they can get data on the resulting hurricanes). No matter how much power you get or how self-justified you feel, your character would be next to nothing without the conspiracies, and those conspiracies are 90% super-villains - to the point that the Illuminati had to issue threats just to make sure you joined and the Dragon flat-out abducted you. You are not the hero, you're the cleanup roadie, and most of the epic showdowns are just you stalling the boss so the real heroes can get into position with magic stronger than what you're wielding - or you've been temporarily empowered by forces you don't have access to even on your best day. In fact, on the one day you end up taking the fight to the apparent Big Bad in Tokyo, the only reason you survive the encounter is because said character doesn't actually want to fight you.
    • Illuminati players are warned of dire consequences if they piss off their chosen faction; given that they're the apparent "heroes" of the game, this might be taken lightly by said players... up until the failures in Kingsmouth and Egypt make it abundantly clear that the Illuminati weren't joking. After all, they wouldn't be the organization they are today if they weren't prepared to make good on their threats: letting Excalibur slip through your fingers results in you being KO'd and hauled off to Questions and Answers for a very thorough dressing down; getting on the bad side of the Orochi Group in Egypt results in a diplomatic backlash so severe that when you get back to HQ, there's an assassin waiting for you. And the only reason why you don't end up dead is because Kirsten Geary steps in.
    • The aforementioned Tokyo story arc ends with the players leading an all-out attack on the Orochi Group's headquarters and attempting to kill the apparent Big Bad. As you progress through the penthouse, CEO Samuel Chandra flat out warns you that he is going to make your life a living hell if you continue; naturally, you ignore him - after all, even with Orochi's vast resources, Chandra can't very well declare war on a secret society like the Illuminati or the Templars, can he? Well, it turns out he doesn't need to: after all, Orochi's a legitimate corporation, and actually has even more pull than the secret societies because it doesn't need to conceal its existence. You arrive home to find that Chandra has sent the security footage of your break-in to the media, successfully framing you as an international terrorist. From then on, you are a fugitive - in both the legitimate world and the secret world - and the only way to avoid ending up being subjected to random assassination attempts is to have your face surgically altered.
    • As demonstrated in both The Secret World and The Park, Nathaniel Winter spent a fortune building Atlantic Island Park on a relatively obscure island off the coast of Maine, using his immense wealth and government connections to ensure that the construction continued despite the numerous fatal accidents. Once the park was actually opened, the "accidents" continued, this time killing several guests - some of them children. End result? The Park was closed within two years, and Nathaniel Winter's continued attempt at bribery left his reputation in tatters and his finances ruined. Because construction is a dangerous business, corruption can sweep a few worker deaths under the rug, but once paying guests and children start turning up dead, nobody's going to look the other way.
    • After four combat zones populated by Badass Normal types able to ward off zombies, ghouls, cultists and Filth infectees with minimal resources and often minimal training, the spinoff game The Park and its continuation go to great lengths to show what happens when untrained Muggles are pitted against the heavyweights of the secret world. Hint: it's not a David vs. Goliath scenario, but an unmitigated tragedy. There's no fighting, no gunplay, no Heroic Willpower, no chance to resist, just an entire game featuring Lorraine being tormented, tortured and traumatized for life.
      • Soon after, she's given an opportunity to be special. As in, force-fed an Agartha bee against her will. She spends the next few decades in constant psychological trauma, as she's forced to work as a supernatural United Nations agent - witnessing nightmare scenarios that make The Park look like a regular park (including Hell), sent on suicide missions regularly (because her health insurance is so 'good' she literally can't die - but she can feel pain), all while nightmares of Winters murdering her son haunt her every night and her organization doesn't do shit about him because they're too busy getting strangled by bureaucratic red tape to deal with one haunted theme park out of dozens. She goes to great lengths to get fired, and when they refuse to dispose of her because she does such a good job even though her work amounts to little in the end, tries to commit permanent suicide.
  • Senran Kagura:
    • When the Homura Crimson Squad goes on the run as renegade Shinobi, their greatest threat turns out to be... getting enough to eat. They're assassins, not survivalists, and while they have a working knowledge of edible plants, they live in a city. In addition, the Crimson Squad have a very difficult time finding clients who are willing to hire assassin dropouts with no official backing, not when there's new evil shinobi from the well-established Hebijo Clandestine Academy. Their only recourse is to find jobs - minimum-wage part-time jobs that don't mind the fact they have no legal papers of any kind or proof of formal education. Plus they're all busty, healthy young girls... you can imagine where this would go if this point was taken to its logical conclusion.
      • A specific example in Shinobi Versus- Haruka, the most overtly seductive of the bunch, tries to play the role of a sexy cashier (in fast food), and seduces a high-school boy right in front of everyone. The result - she gets fired, and the angry manager tells her that he is not running a brothel. Haruka then mentions that this is the 20th time she has been fired for trying to use her charms on the job, which just created unwelcome distractions with catastrophic results. For example, her traffic guard job made cars crash into each other, and when working as a private tutor, she flirts with the kid and opens her shirt a little- cue the kid's mom getting furious and kicking her out.
    • Shinobi are capable of some pretty outrageous stunts and special powers, but these require them to be at their physical peak. From a story perspective, the very first serious blow landed is the match ender, since being injured will slow a Shinobi down, making them easy to finish off. First blood means the loser has to choose between running or dying, with very few exceptions. The only exception to that, Murasaki, is armed with a special power that would make her The Dreaded if she were actually training.
    • The above example also is brought up in Homura's backstory in the first game. It turns out she became a evil Shinobi because while in middle school, she killed a would-be assaulter in self defense. Despite it being self defense, she is expelled from school and her good Shinobi family formally disowns her and kicks her out, because the thought of a "normal" young girl (who was actually in training to be a Shinobi) being able to kill an adult at that age simply isn't going to fly by most of society's standards, and incidents like this threaten to break the Masquerade that Shinobi on either side need to uphold.
    • The narration does occasionally mention that living with such huge breasts comes with its own problems - it's mentioned the girls only avoid back pain because they're physically strengthening themselves anyway, Asuka notes hers can get in the way and speculates the only reason Katsuragi's even bigger pair don't is because she doesn't use her arms, and Yumi laments that she'll never be able to wear a kimono properly (at the time they became popular, the female ideal was a slim, straight figure, so Yumi can't get one that fits which doesn't show enormous amounts of cleavage).
  • Shadow Complex:
  • In Shadowrun Returns
    • Choosing to reveal you killed his community elders to Law causes the PC to pause and actually consider the consequences. Mainly, that informing a large and skilled hacker group that you killed their leaders is a great way to have all your secrets dug up and made public. It's so stupid that the PC decides ultimately not to do it.
    • The PC has the option to give Law some meta-data on their runs so he can post it on the Shadowland BBS. This lands him in hot water with Kindly Cheng, who is rather upset that he's been posting information about her team and their runs online, putting everyone at risk.
  • Shadow Warrior (2013): After spending a big part of the game chasing after Zilla, Wang duels him for about five seconds before simply cutting off his sword hand since, despite gaining Super Strength from his deal with Enra, Zilla is still just an old man who appears to never have held a sword in his life while Wang is a trained assassin.
  • Near the end of Shenmue III Ryo finally comes face to face with Lan Di and fights him to avenge his father... and gets utterly curbstomped once more. Despite all his training, and the real-world time passed between games, only four months of in-universe time have passed since the beginning of the story, which is nowhere near enough time to become as skilled as a martial artist like Lan Di, who is likely over a decade more experienced than Ryo.
  • A lot of the deaths or otherwise failure scenarios in Sierra's games fit under this. Among other events in them.
  • If you check the right area in Silent Hill 2, you can swipe Pyramid Head's Great Knife and use it for yourself. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Unfortunately, it turns out that a gigantic knife with a blade roughly the same dimensions as a surfboard is fucking heavy, so James can only drag it around behind him, and it takes all his might just to hoist it up for an attack. There is an equally realistic benefit that isn't immediately obvious; what happens when you turn off your flashlight and start walking down dark passages, loudly scraping the iconic weapon of something that's The Dreaded, even to other monsters in Silent Hill? They think you're Pyramid Head and go well out of their way to avoid you, allowing for skipping some combat and saving precious resources if you don't mind stumbling around in the dark.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • The ending of Honor Among Thieves has the title character fake amnesia in order to be with his love interest. When she discovers his deception early in the fourth game, she pretty much dumps him on the spot, and it takes nearly the whole game for them to reconcile.
    • In Thieves In Time, Penelope's Face–Heel Turn isn't so surprising when one remembers they're a criminal who had their enemies in a flying competition killed so that they could win and joined Sly's gang under the lure of riches. It's a reminder that not everybody who Sly works with is a Noble Demon who'll stick with him and his friends through thick and thin.
    • There are clue bottles in the first, second and fourth games. When you collect them, you break the glass bottle to collect the clue inside. Given that these bottles bounce up and down like Animate Inanimate Objects and have no regard for gravity, occasionally floating in midair for no reason, they're very clearly established as a gameplay mechanic, so you'd think that guards wouldn't be able to hear you collect the clues. You'd be wrong, since shattering glass is pretty loud.
    • In Band of Thieves, Sly and the gang's attempts to win Jean Bison's Lumberjack Games by sabotaging him are all for naught, since the judges are in Jean's employ and he just threatens them into giving him a good score, even when he clearly failed the current game. Then when the Gang incapacitate and disguise themselves as the judges in a last desperate attempt to win, Jean almost immediately realizes they're not the real judges (on account of his "judges" suddenly getting taller/shorter and changing their skin colors) and knocks them all out.
    • Also from the second game, when Clockwerk's jaw clamps down hard on Bentley at the end of the game, he's instantly left paralyzed and he spends the rest of the series in a wheelchair.
  • Mitsurugi of the Soul Series is a Ronin who once challenged an Imperial rifleman to a duel to prove the superiority of his discipline and weaponry. His motivation from the second game on is to wield Soul Edge in the hopes of defeating the Tanegashima rifle, because that duel did not end in his favor at all; he charged the rifleman and was quickly shot down.note 
  • Of all things, South Park: The Stick of Truth does this for its Infinity +1 Sword. As the game is a LARP, everyone uses weapons hodgepodged out of normal supplies. The Sweet Katana? It's an actual sword, purchased from a shop.
  • In the opening of Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in The Spinal Frontier, Roger is court-martialed and bumped back down to a lowly space janitor for all the mayhem he caused and the regulations he broke saving the day in the last game, Space Quest V: The Next Mutation.
  • The later games in the S.W.A.T. series are realistic shooters, much like Police Quest above is realistic to police procedure. You play a member of a SWAT team, who realistically must break down doors with specialized ammo, not fire on civilians, and must secure a scene, including all evidence in it such as dropped weapons, before moving on. The game is even set in the same universe as Police Quest, with Sonny Bonds being a SWAT captain in the fourth game. That said, the game does go a little too far in its portrayal of what SWAT officers are expected to do; for instance, in SWAT 4 you're penalized for "unlawful use of deadly force" if you shoot a bad guy with a regular firearm at any point before he shoots (at) you - in a game in which you can barely survive taking five bullets across a mission.
  • A key part of Spec Ops: The Line's project as Deconstructor Fleet is its use of this trope. At one point Capt. Martin Walker and his squad use a white phosphorous mortar to kill a large group of soldiers in a base barring Walker's way to an objective. The game cuts to an overhead camera depicting each soldier as a white blob, as the player gleefully rains down death from above upon the helpless foes. Then, you get to walk through the carnage you just caused, seeing and hearing your soon-to-be-dead enemies crawling around on their hands and knees, screaming in agony and begging to be put out of their misery. And that group of stationary enemies huddling in the back of the base? They were civilians.
    • A bigger one is the central premise. Walker and his team are a recon crew, they're supposed to bring back word if they find survivors so the army will know it's worth sending in a full-scale rescue. Trying to play hero and get directly involved instead of doing their job not only gets the team killed, it means hundreds of survivors that would have been saved die needlessly too.
  • Spider-Man (PS4):
    • The prologue ends with Spider-Man putting away his long-time Arch-Enemy, Wilson Fisk. Do things get easier from now on with the crime rate going down? Nope! Putting away the largest crime boss in New York results in an Evil Power Vacuum with several gangsters and criminals going wild to take his place and/or take whatever Fisk has left. Likewise, putting Fisk away doesn't automatically put a stop to his operations, as several missions involve going after several of his underlings trying to continue Fisk's heists and businesses or trying to release him.
    • What happens when you're in Perpetual Poverty and regularly fail to pay your rent on time? You get evicted from your apartment, as Peter finds out the hard way.
    • Miles attempts to sneakily KO a Demon, only to be quickly disarmed and grounded. Since the Demons are professional terrorists that can take on international mercenaries and Miles is an ordinary teenager, this is to be expected.
    • If you fail to prevent a street crime from going down, you can't retry it. If you don't even try to stop a crime, Jameson gets a call from the victim or a friend/relative of theirs saying that they now agree that Spider-Man isn't a hero after all.
    • A side mission deals with a copycat Spider-Man, who ends up being a Badass Normal capable of saving lives and defeating thugs with nothing more than his karate skills and bravery. However, when he tries to take on Wilson Fisk's men - hardened criminals armed with machine guns - he's completely out of his depth and would have certainly died if the real Spider-Man hadn't shown up in time to save him.
    • Martin Li, AKA Mr. Negative, is a powerful and dangerous supervillain... but he's also never fought another super before, while Spider-Man has spent eight years doing just that, and all previous bosses were long-time arch-enemies of his who have repeatedly upgraded. As a result, Martin constantly wears himself out from using his powers too much, and Spider-Man doesn't need much more than dodging and punching to ultimately defeat him despite explicitly holding back to try and help him, as opposed to the previous bosses who require far more strategy and effort to defeat. And unlike Kingpin, he fails to even inflict Clothing Damage on Spider-Man.
    • One of the backpack collectibles you can find is the Spider-Signal. Peter never used it because he couldn't figure out how to make it bright enough without making it too hot to safely handle.
    • The constant string of accidents and small fires caused by Otto and Peter's experiments eventually leads to them losing their funding and having all their equipment confiscated by Oscorp.
    • Peter's tendency to act the same both in and out of the suit means that while the average person likely couldn't make the connection, those who actually know Peter can easily figure it out. Otto did have the benefit of seeing the damaged suit, but his intelligence combined with the hints Peter gives him subconsciously without even noticing (Both Peter and Spidey crack jokes in tense situations, for example) allow him to connect the dots. And since Aunt May raised Peter, she would have little trouble noticing their similarities. Peter's small social circle is one of the main reasons why his identity isn't more widely known.
  • Splinter Cell:
    • Across the original trilogy, at least, Fisher is a clandestine operative who needs to be equipped as lightly as possible for the purposes of quietly moving and fitting into or jumping up to places leading to where he needs to go. As such, bullets tear through him easily because he's wearing very light armor, and even in an advantageous position pitched firefights will quickly exhaust your ammo supplies because you can only hold, at maximum, two extra magazines for your handgun and one for your rifle.
    • The Laser Sight added to the handgun in Pandora Tomorrow gets a healthy dose of this. The presence of the laser does not, in fact, make Sam suddenly hold his arms more steadily than he already could, and even when holding still in a crouch the dot will bounce noticeably. What it does do, however, is tell you exactly where the bullet you fire will hit, rather than having to work with the crosshair giving an estimate on where it could go, unlike in many pure shooting games where the laser (if it even serves an in-game function) simply tightens that crosshair a little bit but otherwise does nothing to prevent bullets from exiting the barrel at angles you'd expect from buckshot. You still want to shoot from a steady position and from close range with the pistol to make sure your shots count, but as long as you can see the dot and time your shots right when the laser is on top of what you want to hit, you're going to be much more accurate with the laser than without.
    • In Chaos Theory, Sam is facing down Shetland on the rooftop, with their guns drawn. Shetland goes on a Motive Rant, ending it by saying that Sam "wouldn't shoot an old friend" and putting his gun away. Sam can, at this point, opt to put his gun away, triggering an I Surrender, Suckers moment where Shetland draws his gun and catches a bad case of knife in the heart for his trouble. The other option is to just shoot him in the face the moment he puts his gun away.
    • Conviction. Normally, EMP devices in media are depicted as being rather benign, temporary things. Even a large EMP bomb only takes about a minute or so to recover from. The game even includes a small EMP device that only temporarily disables electronics. But when two of three EMP bombs go off in Washington DC, the results are horrifyingly realistic. The traffic grid immediately breaks down, all the lights go out and in general, anything electronic including cell phones and defibrillators go out and stay out.
  • Star Citizen prides itself on its (relatively) realistic physics for space combat. However, it pairs these realistic physics with fanciful Space Fighter designs, leading to some glaring design flaws in many ships. The Mustang is one of the most glaring, as it has the main engines mounted off-center from the center of mass, which means that it continuously nosedives unless its ventral thrusters are firing.
  • StarCraft:
    • The Terran Campaign of the original game has as its main focus a classic story of rebels trying to overthrow a corrupt confederate government. As it progresses however, it becomes increasingly clear the Rebel Leader, Arcturus Mengsk, isn't quite the idealistic revolutionary he appeared to be. The campaign ends with him crossing the Moral Event Horizon by causing an Alien Invasion on the Confederate homeworld, resulting in billions of deaths, and the new government he establishes ends up being just as bad as the old one.
      • Expanded Universe material shows that before the events of the game, the Confederacy was a laughably inept, top-heavy government run by corrupt and incompetent people who would gladly nuke a planet into oblivion just for opposing them and being Arrested for Heroism was a very real possibility, and most of the people under their rule were looking for any excuse to be rid of them. Only superior firepower and a consolidation of military training and supplies kept them in power for so long; the moment they were up against Mengsk, a charismatic figure who won much of the Confederate military over to his side and a competent strategist who knew how they operated and could think around them, the war was over before it even started.
    • The Protoss campaign in the first game ended with Tassadar committing a Heroic Sacrifice to kill the Overmind, leaving the Zerg Swarm without a leader and putting an end to their invasion of Aiur, the Protoss homeworld. Right at the beginning of Brood War, it's revealed that, even without a leader, the Zerg are still rampaging everywhere on Aiur, just in a more disorganized way, and the Protoss are forced to leave anyway to ensure their survival.
    • In StarCraft II, Rory Swann discusses how he and some fellow miners rose up against the Kel-Morians oppressing them... and almost got themselves all killed if not for an intervention by Jim Raynor, because they were hopelessly out-gunned.
      Swann: Havin' right on your side ain't no match for Gauss guns and combat walkers.
    • Heart of The Swarm shows that even after Kerrigan is cured of Zerg infestation, she's still nobody's best friend. As the Queen of Blades, she went out of her way to antagonise and backstab everyone else in the galaxy just because she could, and no one has any reason to think differently of her because as far as they know, she was still herself when she did all those things. Only Raynor has any real appreciation for her, and even he can't accept it when she voluntarily goes back to being a Zerg-Human hybrid considering she killed an old friend of his and he was forced to kill another to keep her alive in Wings of Liberty, so as far as he's concerned she just invalidated his sacrifices.
    • The Nova campaign ends not with a Boss Battle but Nova executing the Big Bad, since she's the best Ghost in the Dominion, and her opponent is an elderly general.
  • Star Fox 64: The eponymous Star Fox team is a mercenary band hired by the Corneria Defense Force to take on bioterrorist Andross. And sure enough, once you beat the game, The Stinger after the credits is an invoice to Colonel Pepper for their services. The amount, and Pepper's reaction, differ based on your final score.
  • Star Trek Online: "Broken Circle". Turns out that frontally attacking a fortified position where the other side outnumbers you thousands to one tends not to be a particularly bright idea.
  • Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II incorporates this with its collision damage system, to account for high-speed impacts from any direction. If you use abilities to make you run faster (Force Speed) or jump with more force (Force Jump), what do you expect to happen when you then run into a wall at faster-than-top speed or jump more forcefully into a low ceiling? You take damage just the same as if you fell a long way, that's what.
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic:
    • The entire war with the Sith in the first game is seen largely as a Jedi matter. Since very few people outside either the Jedi or Sith orders understand or can even particularly tell the difference between the two, the conflict is even called the Jedi Civil War by most of the galaxy in the sequel.
    • Revan killing Darth Malak in the first game didn't instantly fix everything. While the larger war is over, its aftermath still has a massive effect on the galaxy. The monumental damage alone from both the Mandalorian and Jedi Civil Wars will take years if not generations to fix, and political tensions are high (with the story arc on Onderon, particularly, dealing with the very real possibility of them leaving the Republic and inspiring others to do so as well) as the Republic struggles to regain its footing and begin the reconstruction. Part of it is that Revan, at least in the second game, was presented as something of The Chessmaster, giving himself to the Dark Side as a Necessary Evil and fighting the war in such a way that, no matter who came out on top, the galaxy would be stronger for it, able to continue functioning as it did before the wars and ready to take on the True Sith once they came knocking. Contrasting this is Malak, your typical Saturday morning cartoon-type villain who followed Revan to the Dark Side simply for the power it offered, with no greater agenda other than total conquest and making up for a lack of tactical prowess by having limitless reserves of personnel and ships to throw at everything that got in his way - perfect for the usual tone of Star Wars, but also so prone to mindlessly and absolutely obliterating even a minor obstacle with the full force of every fleet that could aim in its general direction that the Republic had to spend decades rebuilding afterwards.
    • The remaining Sith didn't just disappear, either. The remnants simply went into hiding and continued attacking the Jedi from the shadows - and without any sort of centralization to give the Jedi a big, easy target the way the Jedi have given them every time they tried to gather after the war, they've come far closer to wiping out the Jedi than they did in open combat.
    • While Visas Marr in The Sith Lords has a lightsaber and Force powers, Kreia points out that she's had little formal training, since her master is less an actual teacher and more an Eldritch Abomination that simply saw a useful tool among the millions of other people he fed upon. The Handmaiden, likewise, took a vow from her master Atris not to learn the ways of the Jedi or Sith, but it's surprisingly easy to make her break that vow with little more than some wordplay - because, for one, she feels she can learn more about her Jedi mother by following in her footsteps, and for two, her master set this rule for her disciples while furnishing practically her entire academy with Jedi artifacts and holocrons.
    • Part of Kreia's motivation comes about because of this. She was originally a teacher at the Jedi enclave, having been Revan's first master as well as teaching several other Jedi - all of whom went on to ignore the Council's decision not to interfere with the Mandalorian War, and fell to the Dark Side upon "winning". Especially with as dogmatic as the KotOR-era Jedi are presented, what else do you expect to happen when everyone you teach ends up becoming evil? The other part relates to the Force itself - as unrealistic as its existence is, the fact that it seems to have a will of its own that people can't really influence is exactly the sort of situation a Control Freak like Kreia would abhor.
    • G0-T0's story arc is about what you'd expect to happen when the kind of droid intelligence seen as adequate for handling the reconstruction efforts of an entire planet is programmed in a ridiculously simple fashion. He was given only two directives - producing options to rebuild the Republic, and following all the laws of the Republic. Unfortunately, the kind of state the Star Wars galaxy is in on any given point in its history, much less in the immediate aftermath of a devastating war, meant that he quickly determined that it was simply not possible to follow both directives; any practical plan to rebuild the Republic would require breaking one or more of its laws. Notably as well, when he "broke", he decided to keep following the first directive while ignoring the second, rather than just going berserk and building a robot army to kill everything like he probably would have if he were written by the first game's team - while all of his activities in the game are illegal to some degree, most of it also works out in such a way to remove people or organizations that would cause further destabilization in areas that the Republic is currently too preoccupied to deal with themselves, particularly with him holding the attention of a local Hutt crime lord so he's too busy trying to fight Goto to profit off of all the suffering from the war (and only letting him go after you get him to agree to sell fuel to a space station that's in desperate need of it).
    • On a more humorous note is the treatment of cortosis, a unique metal that shorts out lightsabers when they come in contact with it, and is weaved into all the non-lightsaber melee weapons in the games to explain why lightsabers bounce off them like nerf bats rather than cutting through them and leaving the wielder defenseless. Of course, cortosis was never so much as hinted at in prior Star Wars media, and even in works that came after KotOR it's at best treated as incredibly rare and incredibly obscure unobtainium - because the galaxy ran itself out of cortosis four thousand years ago by melding the stuff into absolutely everything.
    • The Mandalorians being a Proud Warrior Race who value strength and are always itching for the chance to test it leaves them ripe for manipulation into instigating an ill-fated war against the rest of the galaxy as a prelude to the Jedi Civil War. On the other hand, their respect for strength means that very few of them harbor any ill will against the Republic or the Jedi for beating them, leading to somewhat odd situations such as, in conversations between the quiet and aloof Bao-Dur and the boisterous, bloodthirsty Mandalore, Bao-Dur being the less civil of the two, constantly leveling thinly-veiled threats and insults (because his people's colonies were the Mandalorian's first targets) while Mandalore (whose people simply picked a fight against a stronger opponent and lost) is, at best, somewhat boastful of how close they came to winning before the Jedi stepped in.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • Early in the Imperial Agent storyline, the Agent is summoned to have a face to face meeting with Darth Jadus, a powerful Dark Lord of the Sith and a high ranking leader of the Sith Empire. Players can choose to make the Agent act rude and disrespectful towards Jadus throughout the meeting....but Jadus will eventually have enough of the Agent's insolence and if they ignore his warnings to stop, he'll execute them on the spot with Sith Lightning, leading to a Non-Standard Game Over.
    • In general, the Imperial Agent's storyline shows what it's like to live in an Empire run by the Sith, and exactly what a terrible mess it would be. Without Intelligence around to clean up their messes and run damage control in addition to their normal duties, the Empire would have been destroyed by its own rulers' infighting long ago. The Empire's situation goes from bad to worse once Intelligence is disbanded.
    • The Bounty Hunter kills a Jedi general and blows up a Republic cruiser to win the Great Hunt. A little while after, they are branded a terrorist and public enemy number one of the Republic. It doesn't matter if it was Nothing Personal, their actions were bound to catch up with them.
    • Early in the Inquisitor's storyline they are tasked with killing Darth Skotia. The only reason they are able to accomplish this is due to him being more machine than man and being able to exploit his cybernetics. If they try to lay claim to the deed later, they are brushed off, since no one believes they could have possibly done it.
    • The Sith Inquisitor's first confrontation with Darth Thanaton is barely a Curb-Stomp Battle. Despite being extremely talented and possessing unique Force abilities, the Inquisitor is still laughably outclassed. Were it not for the force ghosts bound to them the Inquisitor would have died then and there.
    • When the Inquisitor defeats Thanaton, he decides the Battle Did Not Count and retreats to Korriban to get the Dark Council's help. However, he fails to realize that running away to beg for help would mark him as a Dirty Coward too weak to deal with an upstart Lord. When the Inquisitor arrives, the Dark Council doesn't lift a finger to help Thanaton and happily grant the Inquisitor his seat once he is dead.
    • Playing as a Light-side Sith class and you'll find that once you start making headway, people are, if anything, even more scared of you than they would be a dark-side character because a Sith acting how a light-sider does is unheard of, and the fact that you can rally allies through genuine compassion and pragmatism instead of manipulation, death threats and blackmail while guaranteeing genuine loyalty in a society as cutthroat and betrayal-prone as the Empire is almost impossible for other Sith to fathom. Not to mention that being able to pull off the feats of power and political manipulation that a Light-sider does means your opponents are very wary of what you could become if you snap. Ultimately, a Dark-side Sith character is feared because they know what they're capable of; a Light-side Sith character is feared because they're unpredictable.
  • Stardew Valley opens with you learning you inherited a farm property from Grandpa who died XX years ago. Since it's been abandoned for over a decade (at least), the property has become overgrown with trees, shrubs, grass, and erosion-exposed rocks, which you will have to clear away if you want to do anything useful with the land.
    • Raiding trash cans for items will disgust anyone who sees you at it (except Linus, who does the same).
    • Fixing up the Community Center and driving the cheap but oppressive Joja Mart out of business doesn't do any favors for Jodi or Pam, who shop at Joja because they can't afford Pierre's high prices, or Shane, who worked for Joja and consequently loses his job.
    • A lot of characters with severe personal problems simply can't be fixed by The Power of Friendship or The Power of Love. You're a farmer, not a therapist. Penny will still have a rocky relationship with her mother, Pam will merely become a Functional Alcoholic if you get her job back, marrying Shane and having him live on a peaceful farm won't undo years of poor mental health, and Sebastian will still be estranged from Maru and Demetrius.
    • Early in Leah's route, you accidentally walk in on her having a heated phone call with her ex. When she asks you what you think of her break-up, you have the option of asking for a kiss instead. Not only does the option itself note how creepy this is, if you select it, Leah will kick you out.
  • It's not addressed in the previous games of the Streets of Rage franchise, but the fourth game does acknowledge that dishing out vigilante justice is very much illegal. The game's first level ends with the police arresting the player characters after they beat up several Syndicate members, with them having to break out of a holding cell and then fight their way through the police precinct in the next level. During this level and others, you'll have to deal with cops who aren't on the Syndicate's payroll, but are merely trying to enforce the law, and are perfectly happy to fight you and any Syndicate members onscreen with them.
Cherry: Listen, lady. Can't you see the Syndicate is behind all this?
Estel: Shut it! You broke the law, and it's my duty to put you in jail.
  • Super Paper Mario:
    • The fourth world you visit is in outer space. And maybe Batman Can Breathe in Space, but Mario can't! The first time you enter it, you have to be taken back to Flipside because of this, where you obtain a "helmet" of sorts. If you repeatedly refuse to put the helmet on when you go back, you will get a Non-Standard Game Over. What else did you expect to happen?
    • The sixth world has the intended gimmick of having you face a gauntlet of 100 Sammer Guys. However, after you beat the twentieth one, the situation involving the void becomes too dire, and so the gauntlet is cut short and they intend to just give you the Pure Heart at the 26th gate, with the remaining Sammer Guys yielding without a fight. Enlongated events don’t work so well when you’re facing the potential end of the world.
  • In Super Smash Bros.:
    • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl in the Subspace Emissary story mode:
      • Snake attempts to hide from Lucario and Meta Knight using his trademark cardboard box. In his home game, mooks would be fooled. But not Lucario, who immediately notices something strange about a cardboard box in the middle of an otherwise-empty hallway. Likewise, once more enemies arrive to harass the group, Snake immediately tries to hide behind a wall, because in Metal Gear proper, taking on that many enemies at once head-on would be suicide.
      • Captain Falcon makes a Dynamic Entry from his speeding Blue Falcon. But because he is going so fast, he doesn't notice the crowd of Pikmin and promptly kills them all as he lands and strikes a pose.
      • Ganondorf and Bowser's battleship's defensive cannons manage to hit and destroy the Halberd, whose large size makes it an easy target.
      • Likewise, one good hit from Kirby is enough to take down the battleship.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
      • The World of Light trailer has countless rays of light disintegrate the characters with barely any effort from them meaning anything. Seeing as this is, well, light, only an object moving at relativistic speeds can hope to avoid being annihilated. Because of this, Kirby's Warp Star, which in canon can travel between distant planets in minutes if not seconds, was the only thing that had any chance of dodging such an onslaught, and even then, Kirby had to push the thing to its limits to pull that off. Despite being labeled as "the fastest thing alive", Sonic canonically cannot outrun a pseudo-singularity, let alone an actual black hole, and time spent evoking the Chaos Emeralds would be time not spent evading radiant death, Pikachu's well-being notwithstanding.
      • Likewise, characters with powers or equipment that are less fantastical than their compatriots are outright hosed in the face of such overwhelming destruction; Snake's cardboard box might fool guards in a stocked facility, but out in the open it can't buy even one extra second of life, while the Inklings are not immaterial when submerged in ink, and even that does no good when the attacker is willing to tear up the land to rid itself of them. The Duck Hunt duo and the Villager panic like the end of the world is coming (because it is), while the Wii Fit Trainer doing yoga poses is all she can do to stay calm in the face of the apocalypse.
      • Poor Luigi in Simon Belmont's reveal trailer ends up stumbling into the more realistic, gritty and lethal Dracula's Castle and unlike the ghosts in his own game who can be weakened by a flashlight and sucked up, Luigi is left running scared from the monsters, his plunger shots don't do more but make the mummies chasing him pause at his audacity, and when he has the bad fortune to run into Death, his soul gets ripped out of his body. Thankfully Simon manages to save him in time from that last misfortune.
      • This is what ultimately defines all three of the endings to World of Light. Galeem is a light-based being of absolute order, Dharkon is a darkness-based being of absolute chaos, and both are absolutely antipodal to each other, seeing the fighters as merely pawns, albeit very rebellious ones, in their 'game'.
      • If you focus one down, the other will gleefully use the opening to harness all its power to obliterate all its opposition in one fell swoop. The entire purpose of a pawn is to be used by a higher power, and the defeat of its sworn enemy is the end of any pawn; did you expect your "benefactor" to spare you in the end?
      • This actually works against both Galeem and Dharkon; they are so antipodal to each other that the mere concept of working together for any length of time is anathema to them, and fighting both at once is a melee a trois where attacks from any party can hurt both other parties indiscriminately. This abject lack of cooperation between the two superpowers makes the fight against both sides at once easier than it should be as a result.
  • Tales from the Borderlands:
    • The series really likes to point out the physical weaknesses of the protagonists Rhys and Fiona. In the first episode, Rhys tries to kill a bandit with his bare hands, only for the bandit to be amused by the attempt and later be annoyed by it. Rhys is a corporate businessman turned janitor, he's out of his element on Pandora and has had no reason to train for this sort of thing.
    • Fiona is just as unprepared physically, as she is mainly a con-artist and scavenger. When she tries to shoot Vallory (who is incredibly strong and is effortlessly holding a missile launcher) in mid-air, Vallory simply throws the gun at her, causing Fiona to be knocked to the ground and pinned by the sheer weight of it. To further elaborate on how heavy it is, both Sasha and Fiona had to hold it, just so Fiona can have a steady aimed shot.
    • In the episode "Catch a Ride" the gang is caught in a car chase. While laying on the hood, face to face with August pointing a gun at him, Rhys assumes he was going to fire and quickly rolls out of the way. Only for August to stare at him in confusion and point out how futile and naive it is to try to dodge a bullet at that distance.
  • Tales Series:
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World shows the after effects of the heroes' actions from the previous game by showing how they saved the worlds, but made many new problems by not warning either world of their intentions. Since the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla were separated with minimal contact or understanding, when the two worlds are merged together suddenly, the people of both worlds suddenly become afraid and form military groups to defend their ways of life from what they see as basically aliens. Also, while the protagonists are hailed as heroes by some, just as many despise them because their actions caused problems unaddressed in the original game; Marta's mother was killed when the Mana Tree rampaged in Palmacosta, and none of the heroes did anything to stop it nor save them, so from her perspective, she has every reason to hate Colette for her failure because she was supposed to prevent events like that. Oh and the racism Half-Elves endured? It doesn't go away at all, instead now pushed aside to a degree by the new racism found by the two worlds merging.
    • Tales of Berseria:
      • The game likes to shine a harsh light on the collateral damage Velvet causes. One of the biggest examples is Hellawes, where early on, Velvet has the entire port firebombed as cover for stealing a ship. Most games would go the Inferred Holocaust route or show the town bouncing back from the damage - not here. The town remains inaccessible for over half the plot because it simply doesn't have a dock big enough to moor the Van Eltia anymore. Even once the port is repaired, it's still only barely functional because sunken wrecks are blocking most of the docks, and they can't be moved from the arctic waters. The destruction of the merchant fleet cratered the town's economy, they're limping along on relief supplies and being lucky enough to have an older generation who have the know-how to resurrect the fishing industry. Austerity measures are in place, and the town has been all but cut loose by the Abbey for no longer having a worthwhile export. And things go From Bad to Worse late-game, when Velvet commits an act of terrorism in the sister village (as in, terrifying the population to get something from the government) causing it to be evacuated and the Abbey to declare it a no-go zone, meaning Hellawes is now flooded with refugees and cut off from its only cheap source of fuel. It's stated that if not for another upheaval waking the Emperians and undoing a decade of global cooling every settlement on the landmass would have been abandoned.
      • The Abbey of Innominat, and especially its leader Shepherd Artorias, practice The Needs of the Many as their absolute philosophy. It's repeatedly shown that this isn't just unsustainable, but morally abhorrent. Artorias is a The Sociopath with a Lack of Empathy who murders, deforms, imprisons, tortures, and exploits his own family for the "greater good" and relies on being a Villain with Good Publicity. The Abbey itself tests its new members' potential and then assigns them a permanent rank based on performance, with no hope of promotion and limited horizontal mobility - consequently, they have serious manpower issues as most people aren't fanatical enough to consider this a viable career, and those that are tend to notice how stagnant the job is and quickly develop motivation issues. People and even entire communities can be cut loose to starve or get eaten by Daemons, and they're expected to like it since it's for the greater good (but the people who are kept comfortable have a convenient blind spot to this bit of logic, and the Abbey knows it). Since all needs are accounted for, the prices for goods and licenses to trade are strictly controlled in a command economy - everyone on the ground can see how fragile this is and both price gougers and a black market are already well-established. The party frequently comments that things are only going so well because the Abbey maintains an illusion of peace, has a charismatic leader who looks like a Messianic Archetype, and has the royal family in a stranglehold, but peel back the surface and their world-spanning power structure is a house of cards that won't outlive the Shepherd. This is one of the first and most obvious signs that there's far more going on - the Abbey is aware of all this and their endgame involves brainwashing the entire planet to make this madness sustainable.
      • On a subtler note, Easy Communication is averted. The ability to teleport meaningful distances is extremely rare, and far-speak artes are the domain of only one or two mages like Melchior. This means the party, as distinctive as they are, have no trouble going wherever they want once they obtain some reasonably legit ID - news travels slowly, and when their reputation does precede them, the reports are an exaggerated mishmash of all the individual party members that doesn't even resemble them individually.
    • Tales of the Abyss:
      • What happens when you take a ten year old noble who recently lost all of his memories, motor skills, and general knowledge about the world, throw him back home and tell him he can't leave until he's almost twenty? As the game shows us with Luke, it causes them to grow up into a Jerkass with no social skills, no friends, and nobody to truly turn to. Then, when Luke gets teleported outside the city, he's completely ignorant about simple things, like buying food requiring money.
      • Also, being totally sheltered and ignorant about the world around him makes Luke incredibly easy to manipulate. This is exactly what Luke's sword teacher, Van, was counting on. By setting himself up as the only person Luke could trust, Van makes Luke into an Unwitting Pawn.
      • Luke refusing to own up to his mistakes, even if he wasn't entirely responsible, doesn't mean his new friends will just ignore his behavior, forgive him, and be happy to talk to him. Instead, they abandon Luke in disgust for his attitude, and partly because they can't afford for him to emerge from his coma. While Luke does genuinely start trying to make up for his mistakes later in the game, and becomes much nicer and respectful, not everyone forgives Luke for what he's done. For a while, even Luke doesn't think he ought to be forgiven, no matter how much he tries. His depression and guilt briefly turns him borderline suicidal.
    • Tales of Vesperia:
      • Out of the all the recipes, including the new ones from the Updated Re-release, Repede hates a resounding 18 out of 42. Those recipes are either sweets or include onions, both of which are toxic to dogs.
      • Estelle being a princess is revealed early on in the game, and save Karol, all the heroes already knew. Not only did Yuri find Estelle in a castle, but her mannerisms, naive outlook on things, and her obviously sheltered life made it clear she was someone important.
      • As skilled as Yuri is, he is still only a young adult with a few years of combat training under his belt. When he tries to duel Don Whitehorse in the Updated Re-release, Whitehorse easily overpowers Yuri and defeats him. Whitehorse might be a bit old, but he's an incredibly skilled swordsman with many years under his belt.
      • A lot of Karol's actions before his Character Development fall into this. He's a twelve year old kid in a world with monsters and many other threats; naturally, he grows up being scared of them and being a bit of a coward. He's fighting things even grown adults would struggle with, after all.
    • Tales of Xillia:
      • What happens when Milla loses the Four Spirits of the Elements, on whom she has relied for all sorts of things, ranging from being able to swim, fight or use magic? She can barely do things on her own. She can't swim, has no idea how to properly use her sword and can't do any proper combos during battle, until she gets a little instruction from Alvin on how to fight. Once she gets that part down, her natural ability lets her improve very fast.
      • Alvin has repeatedly backstabbed the party, but keeps getting let back onto the team. While this mostly is allowed and shrugged off by Jude, who is rather idealistic and naive, the rest of the party keep their suspicion about Alvin. Eventually, they do allow him to return, but only because they know that he'd follow them anyway and willingly taking him in would give them the advantage of being able to keep a close eye on him. As such, he is not Easily Forgiven. The sequel proves that he is still trying to better himself, so that people can trust him again.
      • Once again for Alvin, he is trying to shake Jude out of his Heroic BSoD while on the cusp of one of his own by trying to egg him on into getting angry. During this event, Alvin accidentally shoots Leia and almost kills her. Contrary to it being dropped after Leia is healed up, their interactions become extremely awkward, stilted and they try to avoid each other. Things take some time to get better between them.
      • The shooting has another aspect of this trope to it as well. Despite being a trained marksman, Alvin was emotionally distraught at the moment and waving a loaded pistol around. It was only a matter of time before someone took a bullet.
  • The backstory of The New Order Last Days Of Europe gives the Axis massive breaks to let them win a decisive victory in World War II... and then stops giving them breaks the moment the final peace treaty is signed, leaving them with the consequences of draining occupations of huge chunks of Europe, Asia and Africa, costly genocidal campaigns, political infighting, economies built on looting and a liking for grandiose projects ranging from wasteful to outright damagingnote . Consequently, it does not take long for their economies to collapse, leaving them barely hanging on and tearing the Axis apart, with Germany in particular on the brink of collapse by 1962. This in turns leads to the Italy-founded economic compact and counter-German alliance being nearly impossible to keep together — uneven distribution of the economic benefits breeds resentment between the members, and Enemy Mine between rivals gets shaky when the common threat begins to look obviously weaker.
  • In the Thief series, Garret is, well, a thief, and not equipped or trained for a stand-up fight, something the player will painfully learn if they try going One-Man Army like in so many other games.
  • Trials of Mana:
    • Angela's prologue has her thrown into the aptly named Frostbite Fields wearing nothing but a highly Stripperiffic leotard. Less than ten minutes later, she starts coming down with hypothermia.
    • In contrast to the Lovable Rogue type of mercenary, Duran is loud, brutish, uncouth, and smells bad. Also, the first time Duran goes up against the Crimson Wizard, he gets curbstomped, because Duran's never faced anyone who uses magic before.
    • Hawkeye is a thief in a gang of them. Once Hawkeye decides he no longer wants to be part of the gang because of their growing corruption, they don't graciously let him leave; they try to have him killed (it didn't help that he was framed for the murder of one of their own). When he returns to the gang as a hero trying to stop the end of the world, only two of them side with him and the rest are all Mooks who have to be cut down.
    • Kevin can transform into a werewolf and kick major amounts of ass, but he can't control it. The first time he transforms, Kevin kills his beloved pet Carl (or so he thinks), and spends the rest of the game hating his power.
    • Both Kevin and Charlotte are Half-Human Hybrids whose genetics give them significant abilities, but also cause a fair share of problems. Both of them have some sort of brain deficiency as a result of being a mix of two species, with Kevin talking in Hulk Speak and Carlie still having the mindset of a small child (and looks to match) despite actually being fifteen.
    • Riesz is an Action Girl, but she's not a One-Man Army. When raiders invade her kingdom, kill her people and kidnap her brother, she has to run in order to find help. She also never gets a chance to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, instead having to find ways to stop the plans of the Big Bad while putting her kingdom's reconstruction on hold.
  • Tomb Raider (2013) depicts Lara's transformation from an optimistic university student to a Shell-Shocked Veteran after besting the horrors of Yamatai. The trailers for the sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider show Lara in therapy to treat her PTSD.
  • Touhou: Mountain of Faith's plot is all about this. The stated job of a shrine maiden is to protect human settlements by battling youkai; Reimu is too lazy to even investigate all but the most dangerous youkai incursions, so the human village doesn't like her very much or pay tribute to the god she represents. When the Moriya gods move in with a shrine maiden who actually does take youkai-hunting seriously, they are instantly popular and nearly put Reimu's shrine out of business entirely.
  • Used wonderfully in Treasure of the Rudra. A few days after the other protagonists have already received their magical Power Crystal, Squishy Wizard Surlent is still lacking his. Being a scholar, he finds it inside an ancient artifact he's set out to research. It promptly flies towards him to merge with his body... and the impact kills him. Instantly. He has to claw his way back up to the surface all the way from the realm of the dead.
  • In the third game of the Tropico series, pissing off either the USA or the USSR too much will result in them invading you - at which point you will get an instant game over. No matter what you do, the military of a small island republic would have no chance against one of the Cold War superpowers. The only surefire way to protect yourself from an invasion is to either ally with the other superpower - which will anger the nationalists of your nation for becoming beholden to a foreign power - or develop the capacity for nuclear weapons.
    • Dystopia Is Hard is also in full effect, especially in later games of the series. Anger one faction enough and they unite to make your life miserable: the Capitalists will crash the economy, the Communists will send constant rebel attacks, the Religious will turn church attendants against you, the Militarists will attempt a full-blown coup, etc.
  • Trillion: God of Destruction. The eponymous antagonist is a world-destroying mass of a trillion curses. Your Overlords are going up against it solo, with short-notice training and limited opportunities to retreat. They're going to die. It is hammered into the characters, and then the player, that going up against Trillion is a true Suicide Mission and the best they can hope to do is do enough damage before their inevitable demise that they might be able to wear it down before they run out of time or candidates. This realization, especially the first fatality, horrifies everyone and morale starts to become a serious problem.

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  • In Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Captain Avery's utopia of Libertalia goes exactly as well as you'd expect from a society run by ruthless, cunning, and greedy pirates. The concept was a great way to lure wealthy pirates into joining, which made them easier targets to track down. Libertalia's founders hoarded all the wealth for themselves and forced the rest of the population into poverty and enslavement. Eventually, the founders turned on each other in a brutal Gambit Pileup that resulted in everyone getting slaughtered, and their massive treasure was lost to history.
    • Nate pulls out an old grappling hook he used as a kid. When he tries to throw it, he fails miserably as he hasn't used something like this in years.
    • The typical Uncharted puzzle has Nate figuring he has to ring a series of bells in a tower in sequence. When Nate tries, he finds too late that a mechanism constructed centuries ago is not in the best of condition. It takes one ring for the bell to collapse downward and smash the passage open.
  • Under Night In-Birth:
    • The Final Boss Hilda is one of the most powerful In-Births to appear for many years, and what she can do with her powers outclasses most of the rest of the playable cast. However, she's also drunk on her power and throws attacks around carelessly. Much weaker characters like Linne remark that Hilda is easy to beat so long as you fight smart and bait her into making herself vulnerable. Zigzagged Trope in her encounters with protagonist Hyde: Hyde is a relatively new In-Birth but has had a month of intensive training from two seasoned warriors and the inherent powers of his Cool Sword to help even the scales. In his Arcade Mode, he beats Hilda through a combination of these, Hilda's carelessness and good old Heroic Willpower. The game, however, does treat it as plausible that these fights could go the other way, as seen in Hilda's Arcade. There, she overwhelms Hyde and Linne on raw power, takes the aforementioned Cool Sword and straight-up murders the pair of them.
    • Phonon's backstory reveals that she was fascinated with the idea of surviving an encounter with a Void and becoming an In-Birth to gain superpowers, which she hopes will help make her someone special. Guess what, Phonon? Being attacked by an Eldritch Abomination is terrifying and puts you at serious risk of death! There's also the scene where she first encounters Hilda and expects a posturing showdown that will give her a chance to stoke her reputation, and is shocked when Hilda immediately goes for the face.
  • Undertale
    • Shopkeepers won't let you sell items to them. The first shop you visit even lampshades the absurdity of buying random junk from people who walk in. You can sell items at one specific shop, but it's said outright that it's because that shopkeeper belongs to a race of Cloud Cuckoolanders, and they're also really bad with money and desperate for patronage.
    • Poor Sans the Skeleton. When he realizes he is too tired to outfight a player on a No Mercy Run, he resorts to an alternate tactic: trying to trap you in battle forever by never finishing his turn. Unfortunately, he fails to factor in the fact that standing around forever is pretty damn boring and falls asleep within minutes, giving you the opening needed to finish him. But, to be clear, he was trying to bore the player into quitting the game.
      • Sans' boss fight in general. He only has 1 HP and outright stated to be the weakest monster. The only reason he's the hardest boss in the game is because he breaks every single combat rule he can such as dealing continuous frame-by-frame damage instead of allowing Mercy Invincibility, sidestepping attacks instead of tanking them like every other character, getting in a sneak attack at the start of the fight, attacking the player in the menu, and the aforementioned last resort of never taking his turn in hopes of getting the player to quit out of boredom.
      • The following is also a trend in Death Battle: He eventually uses up all his energy in a powerful and flashy attack that doesn't kill you. This backfires horribly.
    • Undyne on a Pacifist Run is defeated by failing to factor in the fact that that big heavy suit of armour may protect her from all sorts of attacks, but it just becomes a wearable oven when she's trying to chase some little kid through Lethal Lava Land. She quickly gets exhausted and collapses from heatstroke, which is where you come in to dispense a nice cool glass of water and a dose of Defeat Means Friendship. Or empty out the water cooler on the ground and walk away.
    • A No Mercy Run overall can be seen as this in regards to playing as a Villain Protagonist. Most games that have the option of being "evil" often try to play it off for Rule of Cool, Rule of Funny, or still have you in a "lesser of two evils" situation. Not Undertale. To do a No Mercy run, you need to go out of your way to hunt down and kill absolutely everything you can, and the game will make you feel horrible for it. The quirky humor of the game vanishes, replaced by a dark and dreary ambiance. The NPCs will either run from you in terror or treat you like the despicable scum you are. All the encounters are either pathetically easy or hair-pullingly hard so that you never get to actually enjoy yourself in battle. Your sympathies throughout the whole thing will lie with the victims. All of the game's puzzles are automatically solved (because Flowey is helping you), and all non-essential areas are warded off by force fields, so you can't do anything except fight. And most importantly, if despite all that you still go through with it, you can never "reset" your way out of the consequences - short of tampering with your computer, your sins will remain with you forever.
    • If players accept Sans' offer of mercy in the No Mercy fight, he then kills the player in an unavoidable attack. What? You'd think Sans would simply forgive you for killing his brother and the others?
    • Killing anyone, even if it's just one person, will net you consequences: Sans will call you out for it, Undyne will refuse to make friends with a murderer, and a lot of the NPCs will react if you murder their loved ones.
    • On that same note, if you go on a murderous rampage but stop short of a No Mercy run, you will absolutely not be Easily Forgiven. You're still a killer, just not a genocidal killer. Sans will still hate you if you murder his brother, Undyne (if left alive) will be plotting your death, and Alphys will say she should have killed you when she had the chance.
    • Undyne's cooking lesson goes exactly how you'd expect it to: pounding the vegetables for the sauce just covers you and all available surfaces in crushed vegetable matter, using energy spears to stir the pasta dents the pot, and turning up the heat to maximum sets the whole place on fire. As Undyne herself admits, "Man, no wonder Papyrus sucks at cooking."
    • Many bosses on Pacifist Run will be clearly holding back against the player: Toriel stops attacking them if their HP drops below certain value (though she can still kill them by accident, leading to a minor Non-Standard Game Over), Papyrus can't even kill them, as even his strongest attacks will only bring their HP to 1, Asgore won't kill the player until after he reduces their HP to 1, and both Undyne and Asgore can be talked down, resulting in their stats getting lowered. At the end of the day, they're all fighting against an innocent child, whose only crime is the fact that their death is required to free a race of completely innocent and peaceful monsters from their eternal prison. With even the Big Bad Asgore being an Affably Evil Tragic Anti-Villain with a well-deserved good publicity, it's obvious that their consciences make them hold back.
  • The Unreal Tournament games play this in regards to No OSHA Compliance. A lot of the "real world" (for the games' time period) venues the player can battle in are workplaces which would be incredibly unsafe to work in, including being able to easily wander into something that smashes you to bits, tendrils of flesh-searing energy easily jumped into, no guardrails along walkways that you could fall a long way off of or into something dangerous, etc. They're available as arenas for the Tournament thanks to the Liandri corporation confiscating them from their original owners because of these dangerously-unsafe working conditions - the only reason they remain as such afterwards is that people dying in them is the point now, and it adds to the challenge of fighting for your life in them.
  • Until Dawn:
    • The end of Matt and Emily's section in one chapter has them cornered on a cliff by a herd of deer. The next chapter promptly defuses the cliffhanger when Matt points out that they're deer, not predators, and he and Emily calmly walk through the herd, which (unless you trigger the QTE where you attack one) just back away peacefully.
    • In any ending where Sam is one of the survivors, she'll outright refuse to tell the police that the true threat on the mountain is explicitly supernatural and just cryptically tells them to explore the mines. Even as broken as she acts, she's probably aware she'd either be laughed off or it would be attributed to a mental break like Josh suffered. In the Golden Ending this does get two officers eaten by Josh as he's turning into a wendigo, but likely means word will come back that there's a serious threat on the mountain as opposed to letting history repeat because it's passed off as an urban legend or a scared teen suffering PTSD after her mentally unwell friend spent part of the night terrorizing them.
    • It's revealed that Josh has been on a wide variety of antidepressant medications for a very long time, and that just prior to the game, he decided to give up on his meds altogether. Needless to say, his doctor warned him that quitting the drugs mid-course would be extremely dangerous, but Josh was under the impression that he could cure himself via catharsis - more specifically by committing a karmic prank on the friends who accidentally got his sisters killed. It doesn't work: Going Cold Turkey on antidepressants only makes Josh even more volatile, a fact that only becomes all the more obvious when you find a list of devastating withdrawal symptoms among his medical history - and realize that he's been suffering from just about all of them over the course of the game. The whole thing ends up with him being reduced to a sobbing, barely-coherent wreck of a human being, assaulted from all sides by terrifying hallucinations - to the point that he can't even defend himself. And then he gets either killed or captured by the Wendigos.
    • In the first half of the game, while playing as Chris the player can repeatedly attempt to try and sacrifice Ashley's life. Doing so will bite him hard late in the game. When attacked by the Wendigos, Chris attempts to get inside the locked cabin Ashley's currently hiding in, and if you did choose to sacrifice her earlier then she'll refuse to open the door and leave him to get killed. This is the same man who hours ago showed a perfect willingness to sacrifice her to save his own skin, so do you really think she'd trust him at all by this point?
  • Urban Reign: The final boss of the game is the corrupt mayor, William Bordin. Not being a hardened street fighter or skilled martial artist like the other characters, he falls easily to a few attacks.
    • On the other hand, Bordin is the only character to use a gun and it deals a One-Hit Kill... no matter how tough your character is. Turns out that being a skilled martial artist or hardened street fighter doesn't make you capable of surviving a bullet to the head.
    • William Bordin is also a playable character. He is a secret character with very high requirements to unlock. Naturally, you'd expect him to have amazing stats befitting an Infinity+1 Character. Well, you'd be wrong. Turns out that former head of a security company turned city mayor isn't conducive to being a skilled brawler.
  • In Utawarerumono:
    • The rabbit-people bring out their ultimate weapon: Humongous Mecha. The best anyone else has amounts to pointy sticks. They slaughter their enemies en masse, and are completely invulnerable to you, the player, fighting spirit be damned. Well, until you become a giant divine monster yourself.
    • Early on in the game, Hakuoro and the villagers start an uprising and are ultimately successful in overthrowing the corrupt, despotic emperor. Do they live happily ever after? No, because now Hakuoro has to actually run the country as its new emperor, and there is a ton of work involved in ruling a country, especially one that is just recovering from a civil war. Not to mention that other surrounding nations try to take advantage of the country's weakened state by launching their own invasions.
  • Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception: Anju, the young Princess of Yamato, has a Precocious Crush on Oshtor, one of her father's generals. So she decides to fake a kidnapping of herself to get Oshtor to come save her and invoke a Rescue Romance. Well... Oshtor does come to her rescue, and he is furious with her. Not only did she put herself in danger, but the people who were involved in her "fake" kidnapping are now all wanted for high treason and will certainly be executed when caught. While Oshtor is aware the kidnapping was fake, the rest of the Empire only knows that their Princess was kidnapped, and Oshtor's word is not enough to sway the courts. Anju is deeply disturbed that her rash actions have resulted in people being put to death for crimes they did not commit.
  • Early on in The Walking Dead: Season Two, you meet and befriend a Post-Apocalyptic Dog. Unlike most examples of this trope, it's a starving animal which has been living in the wilds with no human contact, and it has absolutely no sense of loyalty to its new-found human friend. When Clementine attempts to share a can of beans with it, the dog snatches the whole can and then attempts to maul Clementine when she picks it up. This is Truth in Television, as taking food away from a dog is a really good way to get bitten, even in the case that the dog in question is not particularly hungry and thoroughly domesticated and friendly with most people.
  • Valkyria Chronicles:
    • After Welkin reads Faldio's journal, discovering that he was the one who shot Alicia, causing her dormant Valkyria powers to awaken, he confronts him on the matter in Varrot's office and asks if he really did do the deed, which the latter admits. Enraged, Welkin slugs Faldio and blasts him for his actions, believing it only escalated the conflict between Gallia and the Empire, while Faldio argues that he did what he had to do to ensure Gallia would stand up the threat. Varrot interrupts their debate while acknowledging their logic, but states that infighting among comrades is unacceptable, Freudian Excuse be damned. For his transgression, Faldio is sent to the stockade until further notice. Now, at this point, you would think that since he was justifed in hitting Faldio, Welkin would get off the hook. Well, think again, because he's stuck with 24 hours in isolation, though it's practically a slap on the wrist compared to Faldio's punishment.
    • Valkyria Chronicles 4 breaks down the Straw Utopia of Gallia through several encounters with reality:
      • Gallia has a stance of "Armed Neutrality" and not allying with either superpower during the war. When the Empire crosses the border to attack a civilian factory town, the government chooses to keep this stance. Are the populous happy to have the moral high ground? Nope, vast swathes of the population were outraged, and pretty much every able-bodied Gallian willing to fight promptly emigrated to do so under Edinburgh's flag. This also had the side-effect of leaving Gallia's own regular military a hot mess of corrupt dynastic lines and lazy soldiers who never expected to actually fight.
      • The first game showed the Gallian militia driving out the empire nearly single-handedly. The fourth clarified this was completely unrealistic - Federation ranger squads on a top-secret mission destroyed Imperial supply lines as a target of opportunity, which hamstrung Maximillian's war machine.
      • Crymaria was taken from an isolated village as part of an empire-wide genealogy project to find young women with high concentrations of Valkyrur blood. While it's never said out loud, being from an isolated village with high amounts of DNA from a long-extinct race, her emotional stability and various psychological issues are quite obviously the result of inbreeding.

    W-X 
  • Warframe:
    • The Tenno are actually human teenagers who are controlling the Warframes. When the player Tenno first awakens from stasis, they're so weak they can only crawl, since they haven't had to move in god knows how long. Even after regaining their awesome powers and the ability to move freely in The War Within, they're still a frail teenager with no armor or shields. While this can be mitigated somewhat with Focus trees adding extra health or armor, they are still far more vulnerable than their armored and shielded Warframes.
    • The creation of the Warframes themselves came about as a result of this. Yes, the Tenno have astonishing powers that can vaporize enemies and make mincemeat of anything that stands in their way, but their bodies and minds are still only human, and not capable of adequately containing and utilizing those powers. The Warframes were created both to protect the Operator and provide a more effective outlet for their Void energies.
    • If the player takes too long to abduct the target after incapacitating them in a capture mission, they will bleed to death as a result of the wounds they've sustained.
    • While its possible to break each container and open every locker in sight, you will rarely find more than a paltry handful of credits, since the owners are either dirt-poor cloned soldiers or brainwashed wage slaves. The Tenno's real income comes from the payout for completing missions, rather than what you find during them.
    • Being invisible may prevent enemies from seeing you, but firing non-silenced weapons can still alert them to your presence.
    • The objective of Spy missions is to obtain information without letting the enemy know its been stolen. If the Tenno trip too many alarms, the Lotus will order them to leave no witnesses, in order to prevent the enemy command from learning what's happened.
    • The Orokin empire was a brutal dictatorship where damn near anything could result in being executed. Being a scientist who can't offer any proof of progress? Executed. Being a soldier who lived to retirement age? Execution. Being a clone who did anything other than slavishly fight and die for the empire? You guessed it. Eventually this extremely brutal mindset resulted in the Orokin collapsing from the inside out as scientists who couldn't keep to their horrifically tight deadlines and clones sick of being treated like cannon fodder created rebellions, which lead to the rug being pulled out from a decadent society that relied on the backs of effective slave labor, and from there the Orokin empire folded like a house of cards.
    • The Orbiter that acts as the Tenno's home base is not self sustaining, and Word of God says that the reason Tenno must pay to use their own foundry is because Ordis needs the money to pay for maintenance and upkeep.
  • In Wasteland 2:
    • While pistols are the only firearm which can be used at close-range with no accuracy penalty, that's the only range they're really useful at, and they're usually not packing much power either. Pistol specialists will soon find themselves being horribly out-ranged and out-gunned by practically everybody else by the time the mid-game rolls around, and the player who decided to try and build one will feel very silly.
    • Of the recruitable companions you can get later on besides your initial squad of four, one is a ruthless raider who only wants to join you for the chance to kill people, one is a deranged alcoholic hobo who wants a life of adventure and danger, and one is an old wannabe-badass with delusions of grandeur. That is, they're all crazy fucking idiots with no sense of team-work or discipline and hence have absolutely no place in your professional military outfit. You'll need a very high Leadership skill to stop them from going rogue and getting themselves or your teammates killed at every turn.
  • Wellington Wells, the setting of We Happy Few, is kept running by overpowering the guilt of having done A Very Bad Thing by everyone taking Joy, a powerful antidepressant. Joy, however, is not some sort of perfect miracle drug - like any pharmaceutical, different people react differently. Some need it more than others, and some can't handle it at all, either having no effect or aggravating their depressive symptoms. And in further reality, a society built around the facade of happiness enforced Joy use brings don't tolerate these "Wastrels" well at all, let alone the "Downers" who voluntarily avoid the stuff. As for Wellington Wells itself, it's already circling the drain. With a population perpetually high off their tits, civil upkeep has fallen massively behind, food shortages are hidden only by the drug-induced haze, and a total collapse might already be inevitable.
  • The '_____' ending of The Witch's House is achieved by this. The titular witch is a bloody torso who is also missing her eyes. If the player just waits at the opening screen for an hour, the witch dies from her wounds, and the player can leave without ever entering the house.
  • The Witcher franchise is known most for its dark and more serious take on fantasy. What happens when you're an alchemically enhanced mutant trained to hunt monsters which are far less of a problem than they were before? Work is hard to come by, and people call you a freak and monster for being a mutant. Geralt may have abilities greater than a regular person, but he's still a man. Run head long into enemies with no planning and expect to be killed.
    • In a shout-out to Assassin's Creed, a white robed man can be found dead near a cart in The Witcher 2 prologue. Turns out a small amount of hay isn't enough to cushion the impact from falling several stories.
    • The Witcher 3, it doesn't matter how much of a Kavorka Man Geralt is, or how impressive his bedpost count is, he is not in a Dating Sim. If Triss and Yennefer find out Geralt's been romancing them both they will dump him, permanently, after they humiliate him.
    • Geralt's choices in the third game can also be this, if you assassinate Radovid and allow the Nilfgaardian Empire to conquer the Northern Kingdoms, rather than helping Radovid win the war. Turns out that, if the player believes it so, a mad tyrant of a king that allows a cult to persecute people for no good reason is far worse than allowing an empire to roll in and conquer the unstable and nearly constantly-warring Northern Kingdoms.
  • In Wolf, you're perfectly capable of killing cattle - if you don't mind the rancher showing up and shooting you (and, naturally, killing you very quickly; no Almost Lethal Weapons here). You can also attack human hunters, assuming you're feeling suicidal. The smart thing to do is exactly what real wolves do: avoid humans if at all possible.
  • World of Warcraft, despite being a world where magic is common, still manages to have a few brushes with reality from time-to-time.
    • In the original release resistances and immunities were logical. Realistically, fire did no damage to fire enemies, ice did less damage to water, machines and golems couldn't bleed, ect. ect. Eventually Blizzard changed this to be an Acceptable Break from Reality and made all types of enemies equally vulnerable to all types of damage because some classes and specs revolved entirely around one type of damage and making enemies immune to it would make them a Tier-Induced Scrappy who literally couldn't damage the enemies (especially bad for fire mages and destruction warlocks, both specialized in fire but the entry level raid was all fire enemies immune to their major spells).
    • In Cataclysm, the rogue Forsaken Lord Godfrey shoots Sylvanas in the back of the head with his pistol while she's distracted, killing her instantly (she gets revived shortly after, but it's made explicit she's dead). She may be an (un)living legend who can single-handedly take down armies, but a Boom, Headshot! is still likely to be extremely damaging, especially in an ambush.
    • In the novel Wolfheart, Genn Greymane has a hard time convincing King Varian to accept Gilneas back into the Alliance. While Genn has turned over a new leaf, Varian is loath to forget how he abandoned his allies by withdrawing into isolation during the Third War. He also tells Genn flat out that he'll have any Worgen who goes feral put to death, and refuses to allow any afflicted Gilneans to remain in Stormwind. Even though they have the Worgen curse under control now, up until that point they were feral, maneating, Always Chaotic Evil werewolves and it was still fresh in the mind of Stormwind since the neighboring Duskwood had been victimized by roaming Worgen packs.
    • Gnomish Engineering, fitting in with the Gnome's racial stereotype that they get struck with inspiration, work on a project, but usually get distracted or come up with something else and move on with bare minimum QA testing, thus almost every specialized Gnomish gadget has a chance of backfiring with various humorous, usually harmless effects.
    • In Legion, Azshara and her forces are after the Tidestone of Golganneth, which players manage to steal from them and later used it and the other Pillars of Creation to seal the Tomb of Sargeras. Battle for Azeroth reveals Azshara simply stole the Tidestone from the tomb after the players had defeated the Burning Legion and no longer paying any mind to the previous expansions MacGuffins. Azshara even mocks the Alliance and Horde for leaving such a powerful artifact unguarded.
  • XCOM:
    • UFO Defense has you command a hopelessly underequipped and out gunned force of humans fighting against endless hordes of alien monstrosities. Most of the soldiers die early. The most likely cause of death even for a battle-hardened Colonel is some random mook with a plasma cannon.
      • The backstory for the game demonstrated the follies of the logic behind America Saves the Day, even if it doesn't actually involve America. Japan was the first country to do something about the threat the aliens posed and created their own unit to deal with it on their own, the Kiryu-Kai - a perennially-underfunded unit that ultimately failed to intercept a single UFO in five months before it was shut down, leading the world to realize they all had to pull together to do something meaningful about the aliens and create XCOM.
    • Enemy Unknown, but in the player's favor, mostly by averting With This Herring: the member nations of the XCOM project know it's their last hope, and supply it accordingly. Good-quality Earth-native equipment is free and standard issue. Your soldiers are also properly trained and very competent with said gear, they're the member nation's best of the best; since they're all that good though, they use XCOM's internal rank and specialization hierarchy.
    • XCOM 2 has the aliens win the war in Enemy Unknown. They do this by completely ignoring the Sorting Algorithm of Evil and bringing in late-game enemies (Sectopods are stated to have been seen 20 years ago, despite XCOM falling within months) right away after they see both that humans have what they want and that they're very capable of fighting back. Lacking the more advanced tech the player needs to beat these enemies results in a quick and decisive victory for the aliens once they stop testing humanity. It also strongly implies the first game was just a series of simulations the Ethereals were running to exploit the commander.
      • Which also bites them when they rule the world; since they have to keep up a facade of peace-loving friendly aliens, they can't start out with their big guns when XCOM makes a comeback, or the public will realize the contradiction of pretending to be ethical and rational while using No Kill Like Overkill on terrorists with peashooters. As XCOM gains influence and technology, they can justify the use of unethical tactics as the most efficient method of dealing with grenade-lobbing psychopaths. Unfortunately, this just turns into an escalation war where the aliens conduct mass human sacrifices to create weapons meant for an eldritch threat, while XCOM wastes those sacrifices by stealing or destroying the weapons. By the end, both sides are bitter and eager for genocide.
      • And the Chosen hunters are a black-ops unit meant to hunt down XCOM with excessive force as quickly and silently as possible. Except (A) they were flash-cloned so they have the genes but not the actual experience required, (B) they hate each other's guts and will actively refuse to share intel or team up, and (C) they're all egotistic enough to make a dynamic (and visible) entry every time they 'infiltrate' your operations. End result: you hunt them down one-by-one by allying with their nemeses and forging them into a full-fledged resistance that knows all their individual weaknesses.
    • XCOM: Chimera Squad takes place 5 years after the end of XCOM 2, with the pyschic array destroyed at the end of the last game, all of the various ADVENT forces are free of their brainwashing from the Etherials. What follows is a hard, bloody road to reconciliation and a desperate attempt at coexistence as the end of the ADVENT war had left humanity stirred up into genocidal bloodlust against aliens who, while some did have bad blood of their own will, for the most part were in no control of their actions. City 31 is basically a massive social experiment to see if humans and aliens can coexist peacefully under democratic system, and the titular Chimera Squad is formed of recruits from all sentient aliens that once made up ADVENT as well as humans to put the same initiative into XCOM. Of course, there's still terrorist factions who think XCOM has gone soft and seek nothing more than to see City 31 go up in flames and prove authoritarianism is the only option, human psychics who want to remove all aliens, as well as ADVENT remnants and aliens who turned to crime out of varying circumstances.
      • No Biochemical Barriers is somewhat averted with food, it's mentioned that there's some foods alien can't eat that humans can and vice-versa. In particular it reaches the point of a Running Gag with the in-universe ads that play on the radios between missions, usually mentioning that Sectoids in particular can't eat it and when they advertise a food Sectoids can eat safely it's treated as a huge bombshell. Sectoid Squadmate Verge apparently fantasizes about being able to eat certain foods that would make him sick, and offers to pay half of Cherub's lunch bill for the opportunity to mindlink and taste a Philly Cheesesteak vicariously through him. The only foodstuff advertised as being edible by anyone is NotDog, and that comes with quite a number of disclaimers.
      • It's also pointed out that the transition between the human-made electric infrastructure from before the war to the aliens-designed Elerium electric one and then back to the human one after the Elders were killed has led to a whole host of issues, because the human-made power grid was simply not made to support the insane amount of power generated (and needed) by alien devices. In fact, to alleviate the power grid issue and lower the amount of brown outs (too much power leading to a shorting out of the power grid), an old electrical barrage had to be restarted. It's not more electrical power that they need, it's electrical power able to be used by the infrastructure they have.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • Shulk's ability to see the future allows him in both cutscenes and gameplay to Screw Destiny. However, the mortal body has limits, resulting in several situations where even with the Monado's future sight, You Can't Fight Fate occurs because Shulk or a given party member aren't fast/strong/durable enough, even with its augmentations.
      • Shulk's Character Development with these powers is also realistic. Shulk's visions are only of people being hurt or dying and as a result he starts out the adventure feeling like it's his responsibility and doesn't share any visions he has. This mistake of it only being his burden nearly gets Reyn impaled by the Arachno Queen's claws because he would be Taking the Bullet for Shulk (and only developing Monado Shield averts it) and later Otharon almost suffers an avoidable Heroic Sacrifice to help kill Xord, which is only averted when Reyn, who noticed how sulky Shulk had been when Otharon was brought up, put two and two together, after which Shulk is much more open about his Visions and willing to tell his allies a way to avert it (which unlocks the party warning system).
    • The Mechon are regarded as The Dreaded for their immunity to every known type of weapon except the Monado and extremely heavy artillery unless they get knocked over to expose weak points, as a result the attack on Colony 9 near the start of the game's story is a brutal combat in a civilian zone that results in both soldiers and innocent civilians being killed and eaten by the invading Mechon, they only flee once Shulk awakens to the Monado and Metal Face suffers damage from Fiora blasting him in the face with a tank. Colony 6, which by comparison didn't have the heavy artillery or Monado to repel the Mechon, is destroyed in a Curb-Stomp Battle that only leaves a small refugee camp of scared women (including future party member Sharla), children, elderly and noncombatant men and the rest of the colony razed to piles of rubble.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2:
    • The game world has its landmasses be mobile Titans constantly migrating on a sea covered by clouds. The implications of a world like this are explored in detail:
      • Since the Titans move around each other and turn as they do, magnetic north is useless as a navigation tool. Local directions are given relative to the Titan itself (such as moving towards the head). Compasses have the World Tree - the only terrestrial landmark poking out of the Cloud Sea - at the center and one winds them to see where the major settlements will be on a given date.
      • Some Titans walk on the seabed instead of swim or float. This gives them "tides" as they travel peaks and troughs of the ocean's floor, the Cloud Sea lowering and rising around their biomes.
      • The lack of any permanent borders and even short trips between Titans taking days makes military action a complicated affair. Supply lines are delicate and the only way to hold a territory is to have a permanent occupation force. Mor Ardain's simple ability to do this has the rest of the world on edge.
    • Doughal, governor of the occupied province of Gormott, was a self-important blowhard clearly assigned to the new territory to get him away from the capital. After he's kicked out of office following a ruckus caused by the party, racial tensions with the native Gormotti rapidly get worse, as the occupying Ardanian military isn't being kept on a tight leash anymore - pointless egocentric micromanagement was at least keeping them away from the locals. Lampshaded when the party return later and are genuinely shocked that Doughal's administration might have actually been doing some good.
      • On the same note, the party manages to defeat the fiery Inquisitor Morag during said incident by dropping a water tower on her. Later, they find out that the locals are very much upset with them wrecking the local water supply, and some even attack them over it.
    • Artifical Blades are incredibly complex, the culmination of three generations of engineers' life's work. However, they were trained engineers, meaning every step of the design process was well documented. After the prototype is stolen, the only thing Tora needed to make Poppi was parts and time, and strong-arming a single one of the engineers was enough to establish a full production line. By the same token, the creator of the original Ether Furnace didn't document the design and thus the ability to make a full spec one died with him. Consequently, Poppi outperforms any other Artificial Blade as they're running on inferior power sources.
    • If someone is young, still maturing, and already suffering from emotional trauma, having friends and authority figures trying to beat some sense into them is only going to leave them even more upset and confused. Actual support and encouragement go a lot further. Case in point, Nia and Brighid slapping Rex during his Lowest Point and demanding he fix his problems without help only reinforces his feelings of worthlessness. He responds much better to a heartfelt pep talk from Poppi and being given a clear goal to work toward.
  • Xenonauts:
    • Players who try to reverse-engineer Alien Alloys to replicate their metals will be disappointed to find that they can't craft armour from it because they don't have any tools or machinery made of a material capable of cutting and shaping it. You actually have to research alien weapons to craft armour that is proof against it from Earth-made materials. At the start, your soldiers will be kitted out just in bright blue Highly Conspicuous Uniforms: there's no point in weighing down troops with body armour that may well offer no protection at all, and camouflage is pointless because who knows what kind of visual spectrum the aliens see in.
    • Likewise, while psionics is a powerful game-changer in XCOM, in Xenonauts it's a dead-end tech: humans have no psychic potential.
    • You can pluck plasma weapons out of the cold dead hands of your alien foes right from the start, but troops using them take severe accuracy penalties due to being made of materials too strong to be made ergonomic for human hands and lacking optics.
    • Your troops' stats are improved not by any sort of level-up mechanic, but by performing context-specific actions: lugging around a load of equipment near their limit will increase strength, shooting at targets in the field increases accuracy, etc.

    Y-Z 
  • Yakuza
    • No matter how much of a One-Man Army you are, a trained gunman is still the most dangerous person in the room, able to take large chunks of health off and stagger you with each shot. This extends into the story as well, since even if you're controlling someone who can fight off hordes of Yakuza thugs (who are armed with hand weapons or nothing at all), a man aiming a gun at you will be just as dangerous as in reality. Every time the main characters get surprised by someone with a gun, they either back down until someone can surprise the gunman or they get shot.
    • In Yakuza 0, some random encounters are with individuals who all go by the nickname "Mr. Shakedown". They're all hyper-muscular, seven foot tall abnormalities of human beings. As a result of their mountainous size and spending just as much time as the protagonist smashing faces, they're the beefiest and hardest-hitting enemies in the game. Even being Yakuza scrappers, Kiryu and Majima are normal-size people going against walking brick walls, trying to power through them will result in a hilariously one-sided Curb-Stomp Battle. The best way to take out Mr. Shakedowns are to play it safe using quick attacks and agility, the same way a matchup like that would go in real life.
    • In one scene in Yakuza 4, a panty thief leaps from buildings to get away from his target and slips off the railing, beginning to fall he flings one of the bras he had stolen onto a nearby fire escape like a Grappling-Hook Pistol. It slides around it and stops his fall... for all of half a second since it had nothing to clip onto (and would have just ripped if it did), sending him crashing into the street below.
    • From the same game, the 1985 hit on the Ueon Seiwa clan, where Taiga Saejima executed 18 people, turns out to be orchestrated by Isao Katsuragi, who conspires with Jun Sugiuchi, his blood brother posing as a police detective, to load Saejima's guns with experimental rubber bullets. Katsuragi then executes the clan members himself and tells Sugiuchi to shoot him in the shoulder in order to look like a surviving hero to his boss. Every action taken here gets completely dissected by police chief Munakata when Sugiuchi submits his report. To wit:
      • A shootout in the enclosed space of a tiny noodle shop would be very chaotic, yet somehow Saejima manages to shoot all of his victims with perfectly executed headshots.
      • The autopsies on the bodies revealed bruises consistent from being shot with rubber bullets - that were still in testing in 1985 and thus only the police knew about and would have had access to.
      • Compounding the above, Munakata ponders why Saejima would go to the trouble of knocking everyone out with rubber bullets only to finish them with conventional slugs to the head.
      • And finally there's the issue of Katsuragi, the only survivor other than Ueno himself. Saejima manages to shoot everyone in the head except for Katsuragi, who he shoots in the shoulder. Furthermore, Saejima also fails to kill Ueno, his supposed target.
      • With all that said, the only reason that Saejima goes to prison at all is because Munakata is also corrupt and blackmails Sugiuchi to introduce him to Katsuragi, leaving his report as it is.
    • At the end of Yakuza 5, Haruka reveals to the world that her adopted father is Kiryu, a former yakuza. She did so fully aware that it would spell the end of her music career, but what she wasn't prepared for going into Yakuza 6 was the utter thrashing she would receive in the media and on the internet, to the extent that even her foster siblings would become targets for unscrupulous paparazzi and tabloids.
  • Since Yandere Simulator is meant to be a fairly difficult Stealth-Based Game starring a Villain Protagonist, it's expected that elements of this come into play:
    • Anything to do with the "Reputation" stat. Students will talk if they see you doing something suspicious (such as being covered in blood, laughing, or carrying a weapon). If they see you commit a murder, most of them will not stay silent; even if the cops don't get involved, they will tell as many people as possible, slowly lowering your reputation over time as the dire rumor spreads. The easiest solution is to silence them the second they see you. It's also possible to get a lower reputation other ways, such as spreading rumors (people will see you as a gossip, even if they believe you), Obfuscating Stupidity too often (it'll work too well), or not attending class (you'll be seen as a Delinquent). You can apologize if you're spotted doing something odd, but it only lowers the penalty rather than removing it outright, since you've still been publicly caught doing something weird in the first place.
    • If you steal an item to frame a rival but don't go through all the steps in time, the person stolen from will take extra care not to lose it again, making it impossible to steal it a second time (a teacher will take closer care of her answer sheets, a student will be more careful setting a ring down, etc.)
    • Go on, try to attack a teacher, a martial arts master, or an armed delinquent without raising your "Strength" stat. It won't work out badly for you, an average teenage girl, right? Wrong. And even if you do up your "Strength" stat, it's still possible to be overpowered since you're still a teenage girl and other people can and will be stronger than you, training be damned. Additionally, killing someone with a group of students nearby will result in them actively joining up to bring you down.
    • Using the same tactic to make all the rivals to disappear or withdraw their affections causes Senpai to give up on love entirely, by making Senpai think that they're a specific flavor of The Jinx. If a person's prospective 10 love interests all die, all get love interests of their own, all go mysteriously missing, or all suddenly lose interest in Senpai, with any of these four sequences happening uninterrupted for weeks on end... that's an undeniable pattern, and do you think anyone would really believe that number 11 would work out?
    • Getting Senpai to reject a confession requires the player to have sabotaged all rival events in order to make the prospective girl totally unlovable to Senpai. This is particularly noticeable with Osana Najimi, who has been friends with him since their childhood days. The player can make Osana look like a perv by stealing her phone and taking panty shots with it or have her damage Senpai's book, but those are minor indiscretions, and nothing to end a life-long friendship over. It's not until all of Osana's rival events have been sabotaged that Senpai rejects her confession, thinking that he's suddenly seeing other sides of her that he doesn't particularly like.
    • Genka, the school guidance counselor, is a Reasonable Authority Figure who legitimately wants to help the students of the school. That said, she has a limit to her patience. If you're proven to be a problem student, she'll get increasingly more angry with you following multiple offenses. If you use the same excuse multiple times, she'll call you out on it. If she thinks you aren't taking it seriously, she will get frustrated. Trying to threaten or flirt your way out of trouble is a guarantee that she won't let you off the hook. She can give you a Game Over where she expels or suspends you, and will make it very clear she wants you out of her office immediately.
    • The school rooftop is forbidden from student access but as the anime trope Sitting on the Roof shows, it doesn't stop people from going up there anyway. You can dispose of a victim by throwing them off the roof and making it look like a suicide by leaving their shoes. This results in the rooftop being actively locked, and a chain-link safety fence erected around it just in case.
    • If too many students start turning up dead under mysterious circumstances, or frightening things such as pools of blood, dismembered body parts, and corpses are found, it will have an effect on the student body as a whole as Dynamic Difficulty kicks in. As students become more fearful, they begin to take more notice of unusual situations and behaviors, reacting to unusual things (including the player's own insane behaviors) more quickly. In more extreme cases, the school may even install security cameras and metal detectors.
    • Even though hitting a girl is a severe social taboo, all social niceties will fly out of the window once you attack someone or get into a fight, as some boys and girls will dive straight into the fight to defend themselves or save their classmates. In other cases, students will just take an incriminating photo of you and upload it online, requiring you to hunt them down and destroy the evidence.
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