- Ace Attorney:
- Ace Attorney Investigations has this with the Yatagarasu, two attorneys and a detective who resorted to finding evidence of crime through theft when the law wouldn't reach far enough for them. This becomes a mirrored dilemma for Edgeworth late in the game, when he must decide whether to use Badd's stolen evidence against Alba, since legally it can't be used at all.
- Happens a few times in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies. In The Cosmic Turnabout, in response to the Phantom's bomb threat, and with no other options that wouldn't further endanger his employees, Yuri Cosmos secretly switches the Space Center's launch pads to prevent Clay Terran and Sol Starbuck from boarding the bomb-rigged HAT-2 rocket. In Turnabout Reclaimed, Herman Crab and Jack Shipley do this twice. First, when Azura Summers dies of a heart attack and everyone thinks Ora Shipley the First killed her, they secretly move Ora to the Supermarine Aquarium instead of following the Center for Dangerous Animal Control's order to put her down. Dr. Crab also planned to use sleeping pills to feign Orla's euthanization and release her if she was found guilty of killing Jack. Second, they install the then-illegal TORPEDO system in their own aquarium to allow Dr. Crab to keep a closer eye on the animals' health. It's hard not to feel bad for Dr. Crab in the latter case when one realizes that these actions indirectly led to Sasha Buckler, Phoenix Wright, Athena Cykes, and probably the player thinking he'd been trying to euthanize Orla prematurely — the mere suggestion that he'd try to put any animal down at all makes him kick the witness stand in rage.
- In general, if a prosecutor with morals recognizes that the defense's claims are valid and the person that they're trying to convict is not a murderer, they will do everything in their power to help the defense prove it — much to the chagrin of the lying witness on the stand. Dee Vasquez, Damon Gant, and Alita Tiala all learned this the hard way, among many others.
- Army of Two. Overlaps with Screw The Money, their Mission Control asks them if they want to let the authorities handle it legally, but they decline as they know the Big Bad is currently in the process of killing witnesses and destroying evidence inside the HQ.
- In the final scene of Brave Firefighters, the captain of the two protagonists orders them to evacuate, but said protagonists insist on going back in one last time to rescue the mayor's daughter.
- Dead or Alive: After Raidou attacks the Mugen Tenshin village to steal the secret to their most powerful Ninpo, crippling Hayate and rendering him comatose in the process, Kasumi, rather than take Hayate's place as the clan leader, ditched her position and ran off to kill Raidou and avenge Hayate despite full knowledge that her actions would have her banished from the village and marked as a runaway shinobi.
- In Diablo III, Tyrael refused to go along with his fellow Angels' non-interference policies. When his superior Imperius tried to punish him for it, Tyrael finally had enough and tore off his own wings so he could help Sanctuary as a mortal.Tyrael: "You cannot judge me, I am Justice itself! We were meant for more than this, to protect the innocent! But if our precious laws bind you all to inaction, then I will no longer stand as your brother."
- The backstory of the Doomguy had him attacking his own commanding officer after said officer ordered him to fire on civilians. He got reassigned to Phobos base as punishment, leading to his first encounter with the forces of Hell.
- In DOOM Eternal history repeats itself with the Doom Slayer, who is revealed to be the very same Doomguy when he violates the code of the Night Sentinels by killing the last Hell Priest (who still has Sentinel blood) on the Sentinels' holy ground.
- In Eternal's first DLC, The Ancient Ones, Part 1, Doomguy decides to destroy the Father's Life Sphere, in full defiance of Samur's wishes, after realizing that the latter won't stop in his quest for power and sees the Doomguy as the means to an end. Notably, after awakening the Seraphim with Samuel's consciousness, it's clear that Doomguy doesn't trust a word he says, and can be seen scowling when the latter attempts to browbeat him into using the "gifts" he was given to aid him.
- Later, Doomguy decides to salvage and restore The Dark Lord, whose presence has been specifically noted to have been Sealed Evil in a Can for far longer than the known universe, specifically because Doomguy's hatred for demons is so great that he's willing to reality itself in order to kill said being for good. The act of doing this causes him to permanently burn his bridges with Samur, while ARC itself flees in the presence of the Dark Lord's Life Sphere, save for one intern who understands what Doomguy is trying to do and stays onboard as Mission Control.
- Dragon Age II: Hawke can follow this code, depending on your choices in the game. Have enough influence with your friends, and you can convince them to do the same. A mage-supporting Hawke in particular takes this attitude, especially at the end.
- In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, one of the secret scenarios has Trunks going back to his timeline and saving Future Gohan from the Androids despite this being a massive breach in Time Patroller protocol. The Supreme Kai of Time and the Elder Kai discuss both the potential good and bad of this and consult the Player Character on what they should do. Choosing to let it be, though, has the Supreme Kai of Time accept the answer, but warn that this is ultimately her call, so going in and fixing the timeline so that Gohan dies is not off the table.
- In Fallout, the Brotherhood of Steel are rather strict about who they let join, and who they let keep technology more advanced than a flashlight. However, in Fallout 3, we have Elder Lyons, who, when he and his chapter arrived in the Capitol Wasteland, looked around at how bad things are and basically said "Screw the Codex!" Now the DC Chapter of the Brotherhood goes around as something like a post-apocalyptic Chivalric Knighthood, dedicated to helping the downtrodden of the area, and working with them to make things better.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, Veronica can try something similar where she leaves the Brotherhood to join the Followers of the Apocalypse. This ends poorly, both for the Followers and Veronica.
- Also in New Vegas, one quest has you uncovering an NCR relief operation to quietly feed their citizens in Freeside after the Kings sabotaged the last one. If you talk to the NCR officer in charge and ask her for some food for a friend who didn't come because he's a Freeside local, the officer will concede that, yes, she is under orders to not give food to locals, but he can have a package full of food anyway.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, Veronica can try something similar where she leaves the Brotherhood to join the Followers of the Apocalypse. This ends poorly, both for the Followers and Veronica.
- Final Fantasy X has this when Yuna and company decide to try and defeat Sin without using the Final Aeon.
- This is also how Tidus meets Yuna, and arguably, an Establishing Character Moment; after learning that the apprentice summoner has been inside the Cloister of Trials for over a day, he decides to go in after her, yelling "Like I care!" when he's told it's taboo to do so. (in the HD Remake, you get a trophy named "The Right Thing")
- This comes back later in the game, where Tidus yells "You can stuff your taboos!" Only this time, members of the party join Tidus and help him out, rather than chastising him.
- This is the core of the philosophy of the Dark Knights of Final Fantasy XIV, their origins tracing back to an Ishgardian knight of common birth who slew a corrupt man of the cloth, only to be condemned by the powers that be. The job quests surrounding the Dark Knights revolve around embracing one's inner darkness to serve a greater good, bringing justice to those who would otherwise be above the law, regardless of the cost to oneself.
- Ramza's entire story throughout all of Final Fantasy Tactics.
- Get in the Car, Loser!: The party is at odds with the Divine Order, since the latter doesn't want them to use the Sword of Fate without being chosen. However, the party is more concerned about fighting the immediate threat of the evil machines and cultists than following arbitrary divine decrees. Fortunately, Angela is able to get her fellow angels off their backs by claiming to be holding the rest of the party prisoner, when she's really helping them reach the Machine Devil.
- In Halo 4, the entire crew of the UNSC Infinity does this. Master Chief disobeys Captain Del Rio's orders to hand over Cortana for "decommissioning". Del Rio then orders his bridge crew to arrest John-117 for his disobedience, and nobody steps up to do so. He then orders his XO, Lasky, to prevent the Chief from leaving. Lasky lets the Chief commandeer a Pelican, while the guards on the Hangar Bay salute him as he does it. In a twist, UNSC high command is not exactly happy with Del Rio for abandoning a War Hero that had literally saved the entire galaxy, and he's the only person aboard the ship who gets punished.
- In Might and Magic: Heroes VI, Duke Slava of the Griffin Duchy ends up opposing Emperor Liam; the Emperor has ordered all orcs in the empire be exiled in preparation for a war against the demons, but the orcs in Slava's lands are old war buddies who helped him bring down a demon-worshipping shaman, and he's quite happy for them to stay there. Plus, the duke put in charge of the purge is a Jerkass and one of Slava's enemies.
- Another one of their subversions was in Jade Empire. The Brothers Sun were violating the laws of heaven in their assault on Dirge, committing genocide on the monks, and crossing the Moral Event Horizon in too many ways to count. Still, they thought it was the only way to stop the drought that was killing thousands and left the empire on the verge of collapse.
- And it actually was — the problem was that, by doing so, they royally messed up the overall balance in the world, as the rain they were now getting was being taken from where it was originally meant to go.
- In Killer7, when Garcian Smith asks if he should go after Curtis Blackburn (a man who abducts orphans and harvests their organs), his master Harman dismisses him as "just a punk with a gun" and says it's unnecessary. Garcian, however, is appalled, stating to his informant Mills that "the blood of innocent children is unnecessary", and goes after him anyway.
- The Kingdom Hearts series:
- In Kingdom Hearts:
- Donald and Goofy reluctantly follow Riku when he wrests control of the Keyblade from Sora since they were told to stay with the Keyblade holder. They quickly changed their minds and stood beside Sora when Riku attempted to kill Sora.
- Before they leave Traverse Town, Donald and Goofy inform Sora that in order to preserve the worlds' order, they can't meddle in the affairs of other worlds, but when Sora sees Alice being subjected to a Kangaroo Court, he promptly chooses to ignore that; in any event, the sheer scope of the villains' plans eventually make it impossible for the heroes not to meddle.
- In Kingdom Hearts II, during the siege of Hollow Bastion, King Mickey ordered Sora, Donald, and Goofy to escape so they could find Riku and Kairi. Sora protested, but Donald told him, "You heard what the King said." They then plunged into the thick of the battle, thinning it out considerably. Mickey let it slide.
- In Kingdom Hearts:
- BioWare pulled an arguable double subversion in the backstory of Knights of the Old Republic. The Republic was getting hammered by a Mandalorian invasion and the Jedi were staying out of it because they sensed a threat behind the Mandalorians. While Revan and Malak's intervention likely saved the Republic, it got them Drunk on the Dark Side, caused them to try and destroy the Republic in order to "save" it, and turned the Jedi Order into shreds. The double subversion hits when you realize that the Council was right in detecting a threat behind the Mandalorians, even if their approach probably wouldn't have turned out any better than Revan's. And Revan and Malak didn't turn to the dark side right away after that, they were forced to become Sith when they confronted the Sith Emperor.
- Both Commander Shepard and Garrus in Mass Effect have this as part of their character.
Councilor Gujir: Phillips, I am authorizing you on behalf of this city's Senate to seize any and all eezo stockpiles in our treasury, in order to secure safe passage for our citizens on any available ships.
- In the sequel, Garrus has embraced this; he pisses off every last major mercenary group on the station Omega, which led to his team dying in a trap the mercs set. The people of Omega seem to think he made a difference, however; the Archangel name wasn't his idea. The families of his team also seem to support Garrus's actions; one in particular sends a message to Shepard to tell Garrus not to blame himself for her husband's death because he died doing what was right.
- Whether Shepard's Paragon or Renegade, s/he will steal the Normandy after it's locked down by the Council in order to stop the Reapers.
- In the sequel, s/he's willing-ish to side with Cerberus, a human supremacist organization, because they're the only ones willing to help him/her against the Reapers.
- The Paragon end to Mass Effect 2 is this when you opt to destroy the Collector base, even though it could be beneficial in the future, stating "We'll fight and win without it, I won't let fear compromise who I am."
- It comes up again in Mass Effect 3 with the salarian STG. If Kirrahe is alive, he'll promise the unwavering support of the STG regardless of politics, even if the Dalatrass calls off salarian support for helping cure the genophage. And he delivers.
- Mass Effect 3 actually has a ton of examples if you look closely. On Liara's terminal, for example, you find evidence of a politician who decides to commit political suicide by stealing the private wealth of his government to help evacuate citizens.
Secretary Phillips: These look like private stockpiles. Senate members' stockpiles.
Councilor Gujir: I'm foregoing re-election. Now get us those ships.
Secretary Phillips: Yes, sir!
- In Mass Effect: Andromeda, Ryder and the other Pathfinders (the salarian Pathfinder, and depending on the outcome of side missions the turian and asari Pathfiders as well) defy direct orders from the directorship of the Andromeda Initiative not to seek out the Remnant city of Meridian, lest they provoke the kett to attack the Initiative directly. The Pathfinders reason that a confrontation with the kett is coming regardless and it's better that it come on the Initiative's terms. Director Tann does a rather embarrassing and obviously political about-face on the matter after the mission succeeds.
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance: After Raiden uncovers Desperado and World Marshal's plan to transform kids into cyborg Child Soldiers and war criminals, he promptly resigns from Maverick and goes on a bloody rampage through Denver to save the kids from that fate, determined that no child goes through what he did during the Liberian Civil War. This quote sums it up quite nicely:Raiden: Being legal doesn't make it right!
- In Metroid Fusion Near the end of the game, it turns out the Galactic Federation wants to contain and capture the SA-X parasite-organism to use as research/a biological weapon, despite the fact that the SA-X is nearly invincible and will undoubtedly kill them all, multiply, escape to every corner of the Galaxy, while still multiplying and ending all civilization in the universe. This gives Samus no choice but to self-destruct the Space Station, despite their order for her to stand aside
- As Bright Noa deliberates during Scenario 20 of Shin Super Robot Wars, Bright gets an unexpected transmission from someone he's never met before: Chief Oka of the Federation Far East Base. He asks if Bright is planning to heed the order he just got to return, and Bright says that he doesn't see any alternative. Oka is adamant that Bright does no such thing, saying that as Bright is well aware, Staff HQ is anything but sane these days. There's no call for Bright to be punished for the whims of a few lunatics, especially since he and his men are one of the few glimmers of hope mankind has left. Bright briefly protests that disobeying would get all his men branded as traitors, but Oka firmly points out that fighting the aliens comes first. He tells Bright to leave things to him and his friends at Staff HQ, though The Reinforce Jr. itself will have to be relinquished.
Amuro is impressed with Oka, and after all the transfer is complete your people decide to go to the Moon. This will fulfill the League Militare's needs and let Amuro pick up the Nu Gundam from its commissioned builders at Anaheim Electronics. Usso is a little sad to see Gomez go, but most of the rest of the crew are still with the Londo Bell.
- The entire last half of Modern Warfare 2 has Soap and Price going after Shepherd to kill him in revenge for his betrayal, even if the world paints both of them as international terrorists.
- This isn't uncommon in the story of Overwatch, but the most prominent is the King's Row Uprising seven years prior to the game's present day, where the Omnic extremist group Null Sector attacked King's Row in London. The problem is, due to reputation issues, Overwatch was not allowed to operate in England by order of the Prime Minister. Commander Morrison (presently known as Soldier 76), of course, wasn't the sort to let people just be slaughtered and was stewing over the problem of To Be Lawful or Good until Tracer came into his office and convinced him to side with good, consequences be damned. And his decision paid off, as Overwatch successfully smashed Null Sector's control in King's Row and thwarted the uprising, though the political and diplomatic consequences of the operation have yet to be elaborated on.note
- In the Quest for Glory series, this is what the Paladin is expected to do. It only comes up in the third game, where the laws of Tarna are dooming a thief to death by starvation, and technically, all heroes are supposed to do the same thing, but the general idea of a paladin that is maintained throughout the series are that they are forces of good, not justice.
- Sakura Wars (2019): In Chapter 7, Seijuro Kamiyama ends up shouting down the government's proposal to have Sakura Amamiya create an Imperial Key at the cost of her own life.
- In Shin Megami Tensei IV, Walter chooses to ignore the Archangels' standing orders to invade Tsukiji Hongwangji and kill Lilith, instead choosing to join her, as he has come to the realization the "peace" the Archangels seek to enforce goes beyond Crapsack World, and Lilith, monster though she may be, is still the best bet to change the world in his eyes.
- Earlier on, Jonathan pulls this when a senior Samurai attempts to stop you and your companions from rushing to Kiccigorgi's aid after it is attacked by demons. Subverted when your commander Hope arrives, learns of the situation and allows you to accompany them.
- The Central Theme of Persona 5 is "rebellion." So this comes up a lot.
- In the backstory of the protagonist/Joker, he saved a woman who was being sexually assaulted by a drunk man, even though the world in which he lived told him to mind his own business. However, Joker gets sent to jail when the drunk man turns out to do his own rule-screwing because of his status.
- The Phantom Thieves in general hold this mindset. The targets they go after are too well-connected, too powerful, or screwing the rules already. This, combined with the Apathetic Citizens of Japan, creates a culture in which the powerful can prey on the weak with impunity. The Phantom Thieves decide that, if no one else is going to stop these criminals, then they will, damn the law and damn the consequences.
- One of the defining traits of Sonic the Hedgehog is that he doesn't care about anyone else's rules or morals and always fights for what he believes in. This resulted in him getting labeled as an outlaw in Sonic X when he started destroying the government-backed Mirror Towers upon concluding that they were part of Eggman's latest plot, though he was absolved when he was revealed to be right.
- "If you can't do something smart, do something right." may have been said by Jayne, but Space Quest games tended to base themselves on the idea. Break into a heavily fortified but legally operating sweatshop software company and free some programmers from the Corrupt Corporate Executive? Sure, that was game 3. The Designated Hero of Starcon has ordered that you stick to collecting trash and not look into the suspicious dumping of toxic waste? Screw it, the Eureka is going to look. Ordered in game 6 to ignore the highly suspicious death of a close friend by a prominent admiral's widow who tried to kill you in the process? The quote was "Bite me, Commander."
- In the Star Trek Online mission "Surface Tension", the Romulan flagship R.R.W. Lleiset is called back to New Romulus after briefly aiding the player character, the U.S.S. Voyager, the U.S.S. Enterprise-F and the I.K.S. Bortasqu' in saving Earth Spacedock from the Undine. When those same ships are under attack during the invasion of Qo'nos, the Lleiset warps in with her captain, Tiaru Jarok, declaring "The Romulan Republic has made commitments to its allies. We are here to honor them."
- Star Trek: Elite Force. Munro, ignoring Tuvok's orders to return.
- This is the backstory of the original Streets of Rage: Not only does the police do nothing to stop The Syndicate's criminal activities, it's been corrupted by said syndicate, so three justice-seeking officers — the protagonists of the game — quit the force and take matters into their own hands.
- In Sunrider, Captain Kayto Shields is willing to bend or break the rules when it comes to helping his crew. This is best exemplified during Operation Wedding Crash: when Ava pulls out a rulebook to cite military regulations on why he shouldnt directly participate in the mission to rescue Asaga, Kayto can respond with No or HELL no. Picking the latter will make Kayto yank the rulebook out of her hands and tear it up.
- Tales Series:
- A major theme in Tales of Vesperia. The protagonist, Yuri Lowell, believes that if a law prohibits doing what's right, said law should be ignored. His friend Flynn, however, argues that vigilantism cannot bring peace and that if a law is corrupted, then it needs to be changed. The game is rather good at avoiding taking sides in this, with both characters getting their share of trouble when they take their ideologies to the extreme.
- In the Golden Ending of Tales of Xillia 2, Ludger saves Elle from divergence catalysis by becoming a catalyst himself, despite this meaning he'd become the millionth catalyst and humanity technically failing Origin's Trial. However, Origin is so impressed by his selflessness that he lets it slide and gives humanity his support for the future and Chronos reluctantly joins him.
- Lee in The Walking Dead has this option in Episode 3: Just as he and Kenny are about to enter an abandoned building to scavenge, a woman comes screaming out onto the streets, surrounded by zombies. Kenny tells Lee that they should leave her, as she'll provide a nice distraction and buy them more scavenging time, but Lee can choose to use his sniper rifle to put her out of her misery.
- The Eitrigg incident in World of Warcraft. Tirion Fordring (Knight in Shining Armor) repels his OWN faction to save an enemy because the enemy saved his life previously. This resulted in Tirion being "stripped" of his titles and powers except not really, because his powers came from morality, not from a ceremony and losing his own wife and child.
- This worked out in the end. Tirion eventually became the greatest paladin in the world and the only one the evil Lich King ever feared. So yeah, DO NOT mess with Tirion Fordring and his honor if you value your life.
- This is the reason that Vol'jin is readying a stand against the Horde; Garrosh is getting too bloodthirsty, his Kor'kron are acting as Secret Police, and they've found an artifact that could make the Sha a threat that's not native to Pandaria anymore.
Screw The Rules Im Doing Whats Right / Video Games