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Shoot The Dog / Video Games

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  • Practiced very realistically in an audio log of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Following the ork invasion, the human forces of the Forgeworld are drowning in wounded and without enough supplies to treat them all. A veteran doctor who is well-acquainted with battlefield triage begins coldly, bluntly ordering her subordinates not to waste any time or medication on civilians who don't look like they're going to make it, and save all their supplies and attention for healthier patients. While the others are initially horrified, they quickly realize she's right.
  • During the Arrival DLC mission in Mass Effect 2, Shepard learns that the Reaper invasion is imminent, and s/he needs to buy the Alliance and Council time for humanity and its allies to have a hope of surviving. To slow the Reapers, Alliance operatives have rigged an asteroid to ram a Mass Relay, destroying it and forcing the Reapers to travel for months or years to get to the next one. However, the destruction of the Mass Relay will inevitably obliterate the entire system, which contains a Batarian mining colony with a population of about 300,000. In addition, the Alliance is likely to take the heat politically, since the Batarians recently caught Alliance personnel poking around their system. With only hours to spare before the titular arrival and no other options, Shepard presses the button.
    • This also has the potential of occurring in several of the loyalty missions — notably Mordin and Miranda's — however, in those instances, Shepard can persuade them not to do it.
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    • In the Overlord DLC, Paragon Shepard warns Gavin Archer that if the latter comes after his abominably-treated brother, Shepard will shoot on sight.
    • Virmire in the first game—you will have to leave either Kaiden or Ashley behind. One of the endings in the third game can count for this for the Geth and EDI.
  • The "quadruquel" Mass Effect: Andromeda has a few optional moments to gun down canines too. While rescuing the Moshae for the Angaara, you are given the opportunity to destroy a Kett facility with brainwashed Angaara captives still in it; the alternative lets you rescue the captives but leave the facility intact (with very little justification given for why you can't rescue the captives then blow the facility beyond you giving your word to someone you're given the option of shooting in the face seconds later).
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  • Attempted in Devil May Cry 4. Dante's dropping into a meeting of the Order of the Sword and putting a round through the head of their leader Sanctus was meant to prevent the Big Bad from carrying out his nefarious plan. Unfortunately, that wasn't good enough, as Sanctus got better.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion loves this trope. For the Dark Brotherhood, there's the player killing everyone in the Cheydinhal base because a traitor might be there. He isn't. Then in the expansion pack, this is how One of the two dukes (so the player can replace them) and Sheogorath (due to an involuntary Face–Heel Turn) die.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Yuri is defined by this trope as a vigilante, putting him at odds with the more law abiding Flynn. Near the end of the first arc, Yuri murders Ragou in cold blood and tosses his body into a river, because in Yuri's eyes, his target was very close to escaping justice for their horrendous crimes. Later, Yuri repeats this feat with Cumore, who was sending people into the desert to die basically because nobody cared to stop him from doing it by giving his target a choice between drowning in quicksand or being impaled on Yuri's sword.
    • Yuri also shoots a few dogs in the prequel movie, when Repede's father Lambert is possessed by a monster, forcing Yuri to kill him.
  • In Jade Empire, towards the end of the game, you learn the secret of how the Emperor created Death's Hand and that you can use the same technique to bind him to you instead. After learning this, you're lectured on how this is the worse thing you can do to a person. You can still choose to do it and given how powerful a warrior Death's Hand is, it's pretty tempting. It really stops having the "justifiable" credentials when you then have to bind your fellow party members if you want to keep him over their objections. From the character's point of view, it's easy to see how this might look like the only way to win, but really...
  • Halo:
    • In Halo 3, Sgt. Johnson says Miranda Keyes must shoot him and herself to prevent themselves from being used to activate the Halos. However, it turns into a Kick the Dog when Truth intervenes and kills Keyes himself.
    • A more tragic example happened to Miranda's father in the first game. He was turned into a Flood Proto-Gravemind, and the Chief had to kill him to get his neural lace and prevent the Flood from obtaining vital information.
  • Georg Prime in Suikoden V does this to Queen Arshtat and becomes a Hero with Bad Publicity as a result.
  • In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, one of your earlier "karma choices" is to decide whether to shoot the pilot of the helicopter that the terrorist organization hijacked, as an act of loyalty to the terrorists. If Sam decides to instead hesitate and stay loyal to the government, Sam's only friend in the organization does it instead in a last-minute decision to save Sam's face.
    • Said choice is then taken Up to Eleven when Sam is made to choose between killing Lambert or killing Jamie; choosing the former option secures Sam's cover long enough to kill the villain and save the day with ease, whilst choosing the latter serves to risk the entire mission as of then, as well as thousands of lives just to maintain his moral code.
      • The above example is made even worse when Word of God revealed in Conviction that not only Sam killing Lambert is canon, but that Lambert did everything in Double Agent to protect Sam's daughter, thus only adding to the guilt of killing a friend on a whim.
  • In EverQuest II, if the PC wishes to become a citizen of an evil-aligned city called Freeport, they must follow a quest line where they earn the trust and love of a canine companion before being ordered to kill it.
  • In Fallout 3: the player comes across a computer simulation run by one Stanislaus Braun, who has been torturing its inhabitants for the past two hundred years. The action which nets the most karma? Activating a fail-safe which calls in simulated Chinese soldiers who arrive and kill everyone.
    • A literal example involves a glitch involving the follower Dogmeat (a dog) and the perk "Puppies!", which you get from Broken Steel. If you have the perk and Dogmeat dies, a new dog that replaces Dogmeat will show up. If you kill Dogmeat, recruit a follower, recruit the new dog, and then kill the new dog (repeating the process), you can obtain every follower in the game (normally, you are only allowed one follower and Dogmeat). You are shooting the dog for the purpose of gaining a relative army of followers.
    • Killing either the Overseer or Amata and the rebels in Trouble On the Homefront. If you fail the Speech challenges, this is the only option other than just walking away, or forcing an evacuation of the vault.
  • In Starcraft, Tassadar is forced to burn and sterilize the Terran planets that have been infested with Zerg, because it is the most effective way to kill the Zerg. After a while, Tassadar refuses to shoot any more dogs and disobeys his orders. Whether true or not, this is also Arcturus Mengsk's stated reason for everything he does.
  • Emerl. A machine designed to be the most powerful warrior ever created, and yours - indeed, everybody's - closest, most innocent, childlike friend. His warrior side wakes up after he witnesses a Wave Motion Gun attack of incredible power, destroying his original personality and overloading him into a supercharged death machine. There's nothing you can do for him, save defeat him and let him die.
  • Solar Boy Django, the protagonist of Boktai has been forced to kill off, or very nearly do so, a member of his immediate family during each of his series three games after they are enslaved by the forces of darkness. The only thing that makes it slightly easier (or even worse) for him is that they beg him to do so.
  • Zero had to make this decision at the end of Mega Man Zero 4. Confronted with the monster that was Dr. Weil, the latter boasts how a hero like Zero would never bring himself up to kill a human like Weil, or else he would forever be branded a Maverick. Fortunately, Zero does not care. — An unfortunate mistake Weil has made, since Zero was not created according to the Three Laws of Robotics anyway.
  • Throughout Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Samus is forced to fight and kill Rundas, Ghor and Gandrayda in order to save them, in a manner of speaking, from their total Phazon corruption. Possibly doubles into a Kick the Dog moment immediately afterwards, as an incorporeal Dark Samus appears and absorbs their bodies into its own.
  • While you can easily be a Messianic Archetype in most of Dragon Age: Origins, when it comes to the dwarven city of Orzammar, if you attempt to give it at least a somewhat happy ending in the epilogue, you will be forced to Shoot the Dog repeatedly because apparently, in dwarven society, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Examples include: An Andrastian priest with a simple request to build a local Chantry church. Doing so will result in religious unrest in the city, ultimately leading to the priest's murder and the Chantry contemplating a holy war against Orzammar. Then, during the main quest, you'll be forced to work with the Magnificent Bastard Bhelen who killed his eldest brother Trian and let the Dwarf Noble PC take the blame, causing him to become exiled; rather than the Reasonable Authority Figure Lord Harrowmont. Because once made king, Harrowmont will prove to be an utterly ineffective leader and Orzammar will close itself off from the world and fall into political chaos. But if Bhelen becomes king, he becomes a benevolent dictator who abolishes many of the restrictive dwarven policies (like the Caste System) and opens up Orzammar to the world.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Snake's ultimate mission is to eliminate his old mentor, The Boss, in order to avert a nuclear war. At the very end, she lays there dying, and orders him to fire the bullet that will end her life. The game forces you to pull the trigger.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Master Xehanort's plan to restart the Great Keyblade War, which would devastate and reshape the universe at large, hinges around Ven, one of Master Eraqus's students, and Vanitas. When Master Eraqus realises just how close Xehanort is to achieving his goal, he's willing to kill Ventus - except Xehanort sees this coming and arranges for Terra to catch him in the act.
  • In Lusternia, the Vernal Gods use a child marked as food for Muud as bait to capture him, and as a living seal to keep him permanently trapped. To ensure she never commits suicide, thus freeing him, they trap her in a Lotus-Eater Machine.
    "This is a terrible thing we do," whispers Tzaraziko. "It will be forever remembered as our greatest crime."
    "There's no other choice," says Urlach, and none are left to argue.
    Summoning their magics, the shining ones circle around the child and Muud. The child screams as Muud begins sinking into the swamp, pulling the child with him. Steam rises up around them, thick and putrid, billowing in the air like cancerous clouds. Slowly, they sink deeper and deeper into the ground and away from the world above - where it will be forever silent and dark.
  • Poor Devlin McCormack in The Orion Conspiracy. He had to shoot a number of dogs. First he had to destroy a ship with Rowland in it. He had to explain to Meyer that the ship contained cocoons that would have hatched into xenomorphs disguised as humans. He could not afford to let such deadly creatures end up on Earth or spreading anywhere else. Also, he points out that the xenomorphs on the ship would have killed Rowland anyway. Devlin did what he had to do. However, that is nothing compared to what happens later. Ward ends up going berserk, and Devlin finds him in a corridor with Ramen and Brooks. He tried to negotiate with Ward, but Brooks jumps Ward, resulting in the deaths of Ward and Brooks, as well as heavy machinery falling on Ramen, pinning her to the floor. Not only that, but the corridor gets damaged to the point of being in danger of depressurizing shortly. Chandra appears and decides that he loves Ramen enough to stay and die with her. Devlin ends up having to seal off the doors to the corridor on both sides. Yep, four people end up dead...and Devlin feels horrible about it.
  • The SAS and TF 141 spend a lot of time shooting the dogs in Modern Warfare. Especially Captain Price.
  • In Dark Souls, the Chosen Undead will have no choice but to kill Gwyn, who is arguably one of the most noble characters in the game, if there is to be any hope for the future.
    • The player has to shoot several other dogs along the way, including several NPCs who go Hollow and attack you (unless you deliberately miss their event flags). Many of these double as a Player Punch, and a few even count as a Mercy Kill. Conversely, certain actions prompt some otherwise-friendly NPCs to attack you, presumably making you the "dog" in their eyes.
  • In Planescape: Torment, this is the reason for everything the Practical Incarnation has done. He may be arrogant and manipulative, but the thing is, if he hadn't done these things, you would have never been able to regain your memories and find the Transcendent One
  • In the... Unfortunate Soulstorm expansion to Dawn of War the command unit for the Sisters of Battle has the quote "Thou shalt not! I shall!" Stating "I'm about to do some heinous things in the defense of the Imperium." She sounds a little too happy about it, though...
  • Might and Magic VI has the main characters release the Big Bad of Heroes II, leaving him free to restart his scheming to gain the throne of Enroth. There is a very pragmatic and logical reason for that: he's the only one around that knows the Ritual of the Void, and you need to learn said Ritual to keep the world from blowing up in the process of saving it. Compared to The End of the World as We Know It, Archibald Ironfist on the loose is a much better option.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, the hero is forced to kill Antiphuus during the Bloodtusk Ravine saga because Antiphuus was Chaorrupted - hoping that Sokrakiis would understand. Sokrakiis, Krellenos, and Khasaanda realized that Antiphuus' Chaorruption ended up leading to his murder and decided that there would be nothing to redeem Antiphuus' Chaorruptor. Little did the trolls know, was that Krellenos was indeed the one who Chaorrupted Antiphuus and became responsible for his murder.
  • King Loghaire in Arcanum is forced to banish the Black Mountain Clan and allow elves to interfere in the Dwarven justice system, an unforgivable crime against Black Mountain's honor, for the sake of preventing a war between elves and dwarves that could devastate the continent. He deeply regrets it though, and states that if given the choice a second time, he'd happily go to war with all the world for the sake of his kin's honor.
  • Near the end of Borderlands 2, you're required to kill Angel, who is revealed to be a Siren and also Jack's daughter, and she's kept alive by the Eridium injectors that Jack has her hooked up to so she can power the Vault Key.
  • The Walking Dead games has the player make painful choices of choosing to save one character over another or let one character die or not.
    • In 400 days, Vince has the painful choice of shooting a convicted rapists, or a con artist in the leg, to free themselves from their chains.
    • Clementine has a near literal run in with the Trope Name. She has the option to either put a dog out of its misery after it is impaled on a broken pole, or leave it there to bleed out. It did try to kill her, after all.
  • Played straight, averted, subverted, and all-around deconstructed to hell and back in Spec Ops: The Line. All of the many, many, many horrible things that happen throughout the game are done by people who claim to be doing it for the greater good or consider the acts a necessary evil. In almost every case, they're just deluding themselves.
  • In The Adventures Of Star Saver, a common enemy is a dog that only attacks once you pass it. It's invincible when it's idle, like an inanimate object. But once it starts attacking, if you shoot the dog a few times, it's dead, and you get points for it. It's just a dog, but unless you kill it or it gets stuck, it will keep charging at you.
  • In Crusader Kings, even if you're trying not to be a total Villain Protagonist, you will have a short and bloody reign if you don't become very good at this. Assassinating honorable nobles — even children — to prevent civil wars trying to put them on the throne and arranging loveless marriages between one's daughters and brutal sadists to forge vital alliances are only the most ordinary deeds a feudal ruler must do to protect their people.
  • The backstory of the Gears of War series has the Coalition of Ordered Governments launch a simultaneous Kill Sat attack on every city and strategic resource on the planet except for the capital city and everything around it on the granite plateau that they're built on in order to buy time to fight back against the Locust, which they had been fighting a losing battle against for the past year. This ends up killing billions but also stops the Locust offensive cold, as the COG government was given an estimate of six months before the Locust rendered humanity extinct, and fulfills its purpose as the COG, through narrowing the front to a relatively easy-to-defend perimeter instead of a massive, planet-wide government where the Locust could pop up anywhere, and allows humanity to hold out for 13 more years before finally winning.
  • It's not necessary but highly advised you kill your infected friend Bill in Don't Escape 2, or he'll turn into a zombie by nightfall and make your chances of survival a lot tougher. The player character can choose to kill him in a handful of different ways; the most humane is giving him painkillers, then his Last Request of an alcoholic drink, and shooting him in the head whilst he's unconscious, whilst the least is slaughtering him with the axe whilst he's fully conscious, ignoring his pleas for you to stop.
  • Standard procedure in Final Fantasy XIV for anyone tempered by a primal is to put them to death. Even if you could imprison them safely, their newfound devotion is making the primal stronger, and as far as anyone knows there's no way to un-temper someone. Midgarsormr manages to untemper the player from Hydalaeyn's influence, but it's implied that Hydalaeyn was already weakened to the point of removing the PC's tempering automatically anyway. Midgarsormr's and Hydalaeyn's tempering is also quite a bit more benign, as the PC is never brainwashed into servitude.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics deals many a Player Punch throughout the game. One of these is facing Mileuda, the sister of Corpse Brigade leader Wiegraf. By the time you face her in battle, the Brigade has been decimated, you know of their extremely sympathetic cause (they were commoners screwed over of rightful pay in the last war), and you'd much rather hurry to rescue Teta, Delita's kidnapped sister. But there's no way to proceed except to defeat her because neither the plot nor the game engine will allow any other solution.
  • In Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, extralegally ordering the assassination of Huey Long is the only way to avoid the Second American Civil War.


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