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  • Alice in Wonderland, based on the 2010 film of the same name, gives this role to its title character (who is not the Player Character). Alice does virtually nothing useful for a large part of the game, and provides annoying commentary while you're trying to get on with things. Meanwhile, you have to constantly keep an eye on her to make sure the bad guys don't capture her.
  • Any of the "guides" in The Amazon Trail could be considered this. You can easily complete the quest without ever consulting your guide, not that they'll refrain from popping up with Captain Obvious observations. ("Hey! You ran into that sandbar!") They never tell you anything you couldn't have figured out for yourself with your guidebook and map. When the medicine man gives you special herbs, he says your guide will keep them in a "special basket." Thanks, I never would have thought of that. Each of them suggests a different travel package to purchase at the start of the quest, but you learn for yourself that most of the items are only useful in trade. They eat half the rations while you do all the fishing and gathering. If you up the pace to "strenuous" for even a day, they start popping up every ten seconds to complain that they're tired. The best part? When you click on the fishing icon, their various reactions are all basically permission to fish (thanks) and if you get sick and do the only thing possible (rest), they'll thank you for letting them rest and say they feel much better.
    • The best guide (in fact, the only one who seems to have any kind of advantage whatsoever) is Rosa. She's the chick with the harpoon who says that she knows all the best places to go fishing. If you select her as your guide, the Fishing Minigame will feature a lot more big fish. Naturally, she's one of the guides excluded from the two-guide version of the game.
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  • Tiffany from Batman: The Telltale Series manages to be this throughout Season 2 due to her raging ego, lack of respect for privacy and authority, and genuine (if misguided) attempts to help out. Odds are Bruce would have canned her within the day if she wasn't Fox's daughter, as every single time she shows up she either inadvertently, directly, or intentionally makes things difficult for him. It ultimately is revealed she is the one who assassinated The Riddler, an act which irrevocably damaged the investigation, made things harder for Batman, Waller, and Gordon, and was instrumental in driving John Doe to villainy as he's inadvertently blamed for it, though all things considered it's hard to judge her for all of it though, considering what happened to her father and all.
  • Owyn from Betrayal at Krondor starts out as this, as the nineteen-year-old kid who's not quite as experienced in dealing with life-or-death situations as his companions, which include a dark elf, a former-thief-turned-royal-special-agent, and a knight and soldier of the realm. He only joins the party because he's a security risk otherwise, and his limited magic skills don't do much to offset the trouble of needing to protect him from getting killed all the time. As soon as he starts picking up some new spells, however, this changes dramatically, and you'll be glad to have him. The "blind" spell that he knows from the beginning is quite useful, though. By blinding some enemies in an attacking group you can momentarily keep them out of the fight and let your fighter characters deal with the remainders one at a time.
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  • Similarly to Carrie, an unlicensed NES and Sega Genesis game titled Bible Adventures (which was 3 games in 1) had a game called "Baby Moses" in which you played as Jochebed (Moses' mom) and had to carry the baby to the end of each stage. Needless to say, Moses doesn't help Jochebed at all.
  • Snipers dueling each other or sniping enemies strictly to rack up kills is a common problem in a lot of team-based multiplayer games, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, to the point where some players are of the opinion that snipers are completely useless. Of course, there's also a practical point to sniper duels: you have to keep killing the other guy, or at least making yourself a target for him, so that he doesn't start shooting at the rest of your team.
    • However, whatever the game's objective may be, it's difficult for the other team to accomplish it when they're dead.
  • Averted with Elizabeth in Bioshock Infinite. Most of the game looks like it should be a horrible, horrible Escort Mission, but the designers knew of that trap. So instead, Elizabeth is invulnerable (or rather doesn't get attacked) and spends the game throwing you ammo and items, picking locks for you and generally making the game easier. As a result, she is generally beloved by the player community rather than considered The Scrappy.
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  • Child of Light has Aurora, a rare example of this trope combined with The Hero. She has very low HP, mediocre attack stats, average defense, and is nigh-useless against fast enemies. Guess who becomes your hardest-hitting magic/physical-user in the party? She never becomes faster than Rubella or more durable than Oengus, though that doesn't stop her from becoming the party's most essential asset, hands down.
  • Choice of Zombies is a text based choose your own adventure game where you fight to survive in a Zombie Apocalypse. Along the way you can save a kid (Kayden) and a teenager (Jennifer / Justin, no difference besides gender) from being eaten. Kayden is understandably worthless when killing zombies but can be used to climb through tiny spaces no one else can. Justin however is literally useless and spends most of his time whining and bitching. You are even given the option to throw him to an approaching zombie hoard with the text, "Hmm. Maybe Justin isn't so useless after all." His only purpose is to unlock the Golden Ending in which he accidentally discovers a hidden passageway containing research notes to a zombie cure when blundering around in the basement but even then he is unneeded because Kayden is also able to do so.
  • While CIMA: The Enemy is one big Escort Mission, almost every escorted character at least has something they can contribute out on the field, like healing, protecting themselves and other characters, or causing enemies to Fail A Spot Check when it comes to other characters around them. Unfortunately, there are still a few (like Telmia and Phillis) who can't do anything and only exist to be protected, and they tend to have the lowest defense.
  • Yasuhiro Hagakure from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc. Due to his idiocy, he contributes very little to the investigations, is the prime suspect for two class trials in a row, and a good chunk of one of the class trials has to be spent convincing him that a very present and obviously alive classmate is not the murder victim. Even Byakuya comments on what a waste of time the last one was.
  • Stross of Dead Space 2. He starts off fairly coherent and helpful, but as his sanity degrades, so does his usefulness. He spends most of the second act sitting in a corner and whispering to himself, and eventually goes so crazy that he pulls a Face–Heel Turn, pokes out Ellie's eye with a screwdriver, and tries to do the same to Isaac, who offs him by stabbing him with said screwdriver.
  • Cielo in the first Digital Devil Saga, due to his weakness to all Standard Status Effects. He still has that weakness in the second game, but he gets a large boost in his stats to compensate.
  • Discussed in Dragon Age: Origins when the Warden meets Sergeant Kylon in Denerim. Kylon himself is a very competent individual who has great respect for the Warden. However, he's used to dealing with the idiots who get assigned to his patrols, who are often the illegitimate sons of noblemen who barely know which end of a sword to hold. He all but invokes the trope by name when talking about them.
  • In Dragon Nest, if you complete a dungeon without attacking you get the "Carried through a dungeon. Tsk, tsk." achievement and the Pacifist title.
  • In Drakengard, both Verdelet and Seere serve this role in their own way. Verdelet is not only the Non-Action Guy despite being considered a party member, he spends the game raving about the impending doom befalling the world and little else (and when he actually tries something, it only leads to the villain going One-Winged Angel in response). Seere serves mostly as a Damsel Scrappy who gets kidnapped and sidetracks the protagonists.
  • Any thief character in Dungeons & Dragons: Order of the Griffon. There are a few locked doors he can open at the very beginning, but after that, there's no real opportunity to use any of the thief special abilities, and you cannot even backstab in combat. As a result, the thief just becomes a very weak, under-armed and especially under-armored fighter. And since you can only have four characters in your party, you are really much better off taking almost anyone else besides a thief. This is a milder example than some of the others, in that a thief isn't totally useless, he's just not as useful as any other option you could take.
    • Since Order of the Griffon utilizes something very similar to the classic Gold Box engine, this same trope could be said to apply, to a lesser extent, to most if not all the Gold Box games. Depending on the game, there may be the occasional trap to disarm, and locked doors are relatively common. In the latter case, however, you are likely to have at least one character strong enough to force any locked door. Additionally, backstabbing in combat is hard, although not impossible. Also, the fact that you can have six party members as opposed to just four means it's less of a burden to use one slot on a thief. All in all, though, you will frequently be better off with another frontline combatant or spellcaster.
  • Pokey Minch in Earthbound. Before becoming a part of the Big Bad Duumvirate with Giygas, he's a Guest-Star Party Member in the starting section of the game. He's also completely useless.
  • In Fallout 2, an optional sexual encounter with a farmer's daughter or son (either is available regardless of the protagonist's gender) will result in a Shotgun Wedding and a new party member. On the upside, they join even if you've reached the Arbitrary Headcount Limit, so you get another pack mule. On the downside, they have no useful skills, can't fight worth anything, never levels, has low hit points, refuses practically all combat instructions, and acts generally creepy and clingy. Fortunately you can lose them by arranging a divorce (fittingly enough, in New Reno), selling them into slavery, or simply having them killed one way or another. If you have certain mods installed, however, this trope can be averted in regards to the daughter...but not for the son, for whom no such mod exists.
    • A more egregious example from Fallout 2 would be the pariah dog, which forces itself into your party in a random encounter by failing a Luck check. It counts towards your party limit, always runs away from fights, and gives you the Jinxed trait, lowering your Luck stat to 1. The only way to be rid of it is to kill it, but good luck managing that with its whopping 750 hit points and cowardly nature!
    • Fallout: New Vegas has Fantastic, who's working on the HELIOS One solar power plantnote . He's so useless that you can kill him...and nothing happens - no loss in reputation from the NCR, none of the troops turn hostile towards younote , and you don't lose any karma.
  • Fatal Frame
  • Final Fantasy I: Thieves are under powered, can't wear good armor, can't use good weapons, and don't get to hit multiple times until well after the Warrior, Red Mage, and Monk are doing obscene damage to single enemies. The only benefit of a Thief character is that they have high evasion and help when it comes to running away. However, once they get their class change to Ninja, they become engines of destruction that can outperform Knights, along with access to level 4 Black Magic. All that said, however, from the GBA version onward they got a decent stat boost and are able to hit enemies twice right from the start of the game.
  • In Final Fantasy II, it's possible for the fourth party member to become this, dependent on how much the player has raised the other three members and how much effort they put into the temporary members.
    • Gordon is a solid example of this. He starts off with pitiful HP (especially in the earlier versions), minimal MP, and Lv. 2 weapon skills, likely far behind your other members. But he starts with a solid 22 in all stats (most importantly Stamina and Magic, which determine how much HP/MP rises), which lets him catch up quickly. If the player doesn't just leave his corpse on the ground for every battle.
    • In the Soul of Rebirth Bonus Dungeon, Josef becomes this. While he was a solid fighter early in the main game, the weaknesses of unarmed combat become crippling in the Nintendo Hard dungeons. Even with a high Unarmed level, he pales in comparison to what Scott and Ricard are capable of with their Infinity Plus One Swords. And due to being an early party member, his stats are horrible compared to Scott and Ricard, without Minwu's high-level starting magic to make up for his deficiencies.
  • Final Fantasy IV has one in the character of Edward. His only contributions to the party are his country's hovercraft and his right by birth to give the party access to the Antlion's Nest. His weapons aren't even as effective as Rydia's "Item>Use Rod" ability (which is free, has a 100% hit rate, and does about 30 damage per use), and frequently miss altogether, and his special abilities (even in the original Japanese version, where he has one more) are all but pointless.note  Back in the day, Edward was as big a load as anyone could find in a Final Fantasy game.
    • Unusually for the main character, Cecil briefly becomes this on the way up Mt. Ordeals - his Dark Knight swords and abilities heal undead, which account for the majority of the area's enemies including the boss. He often ends up focusing on defense or healing while Palom, Porom, and Tellah use their spells to win fights.
  • While exploring the Shinra Mansion in Final Fantasy VII, you find notes on two lab specimens that broke out of containment and escaped. One of them was a highly trained soldier before the experiments, and was more than able to deal with any pursuit teams, but his friend was in pretty bad shape; suffering from an extreme form of Mako poisoning and barely conscious. The smarter decision would have been go on alone, but the stronger one wasn't about to throw his buddy to the wolves, so he went on the run while dragging his friend's half-dead carcass with him. In spite of the burden, he managed to evade Shinra forces for months, but was eventually cornered outside of Midgar and killed while trying to protect his friend. However, the troops spared the other one since he was barely lucid and deemed no threat. Fans of the series will recognize this as the story of Zack Fair and Cloud Strife, seen in Cloud's real backstory and the events of Crisis Core.
  • In Final Fantasy XV, after the Leviathan battle, you are stuck running a dungeon with a recently blinded Ignis. Naturally, he contributes about as much to the party as a sack of potatoes, although he does finish off a Malboro with a Fire spell in a cutscene and it takes 10 years of Noctis being sealed in a crystal for him to truly get his mojo back. As an added bit of inconvenience, while he's blind, you can only eat canned food or Cup Noodles, since Ignis is the only one who can cook.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In quite a few games, this can happen to the Lord. Due to them being the main characters, they have to be deployed in every map, and are often important to filling a given objective. Unfortunately, a large number of Lords suffer from lackluster base stats, inadequate weapon choices, poor mobility, or being unable to promote and change class until a plot-driven event, which means that they can often feel like more trouble than they're worth. A fairly extreme and even literal case of this is Roy of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade, who's earned the Fan Nickname "Backpack Lord" due to suffering from all of the above and therefore often spending the last chunk of the game until his promotion riding in somebody's saddlebags. This is also known to happen to Eliwood, Lyn, Eirika, Micaiah, and the remake version of Marth. Even comparatively decent Lords like Ike can sometimes end up here if their growth rates fail to average out.
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade forces you to deploy Fae in the final chapter. Fae has a single weapon, her Dragonstone, which only has thirty charges in it—meaning if it's depleted, she's essentially useless. If you've been overusing Fae, this can turn her into a liability for that phase of the game.
    • Path of Radiance:
      • Leanne becomes this in one mission, where Ike is forced to carry her the whole time, resulting in the usual rescue penalties.
      • This trope is discussed with Rhys, the kind cleric of the Greil Mercenaries. In his support conversations with the young Friendly Sniper Rolf, he reveals that he at times feels like the Load to the entire mercenary company, due to his weak constitution and frailty making it so that the mercenaries have to guard him carefully on the battlefield, as well as his inability to fight for himself. He even considers packing his bags and leaving the mercenary company for good, but Rolf assures him that the rest of the company cares deeply for him and don't mind protecting him, and his good friend Titania reassures him that his services as the group's sole healer are invaluable.
    • A straighter example of this occurs in Radiant Dawn near the end of part 1. The main character, Micaiah, becomes this during 1-9 when the bad guys ambush her at night, resulting in Fog of War. The good news is that the Black Knight literally warps in out of nowhere to save your ass, but Micaiah can still be attacked if you're not careful. This is bad considering all of the enemies are fairly powerful physical users, and Micaiah's weak points are speed and defense, as well as a low HP cap. The worst part is that she refuses to be rescued by the Black Knight as a matter of "principle" despite the fact that you'll pretty much be using him for the entire fight anyway, while Micaiah runs and hides, despite the fact that enemies are never blinded by Fog of War. Still, if she could be rescued, the fight would become something else entirely. Fortunately, if you've prepared well enough and play strategically, Micaiah can score a couple of kills, hit level 20 and max out a few of her stats. If Micaiah is too low a level, it's almost impossible for her to not get killed.
    • Fire Emblem Fates: Played for laughs for Hinoka and her two retainers Azama and Setsuna. The former is an unarmed monk with no way of fighting back, and the other is an archer with zero sense of awareness. In Saizo's supports with Setsuna, he's completely flabbergasted at how few of a standard retainer's duties Setsuna performs for Hinoka, but grudgingly accepts that Hinoka's fine with it.
  • Mothra from Godzilla: Monster of Monsters is a complete waste of thought. Her only use is being able to fly above obstacles, but taking a blow hurls you to the ground and you get hit in this game almost constantly. What makes her an outright load, though, is you are forced to either lug her through each world and through the final stage, or spend about 10 minute killing her off at the beginning of every world. Using her also means Godzilla gets less experience and doesn't gain as much power, making higher-level battles like against Gigan much more difficult. Woe be to those too who get Godzilla to the next world, but then die as Mothra and have to restart the entire world.
  • In GoldenEye 64, Natalya could feel this way at times (like refusing to help you if you kill Boris, who is a BAD guy, thereby guaranteeing the enemies win), but she generally had good health, scripted importance and in some levels was even given a magnum and super aiming skills. The scientists you weren't allowed to kill (unless you wanted to fail the mission) were a much more a straight example, however, since many seemed to almost prefer death to life.
  • Grand Theft Auto
    • Any character in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas who is supposed to shoot at the bad guys while you drive. They all have worse aiming than seems humanly possible. To the point where the "let's go do a drive-by" mission is easier (and quicker) if you just run over the targets. At least Woozie is literally blind. What's everyone else's excuse? Not to mention he arguably has the best aim out of everyone else.
    • Roman is a pretty obvious candidate for this in Grand Theft Auto IV, what with being the Plucky Comic Relief and his gambling and bumbling causing a lot of problems that Niko must solve. However, it turns out Niko is just as much of a burden on Roman; his impulsive acts of vengeance inadvertently ruin the life his cousin has built for himself in America. They only survive Niko's initial killing of Vlad because the latter is enough of an ass that even Mikhail Faustin didn't like him.
    • Just count how many times Lamar in Grand Theft Auto V requires Franklin to rescue him, or leads himself and Franklin into an obvious trap or some other harebrained scheme. It's okay, we'll wait.
  • In Hakuouki, teenaged girl Yukimura Chizuru is taken in by The Shinsengumi and spends a good four to five years tagging along with them. She has almost no combat ability herself, and despite her best efforts to make herself useful by acting as a messenger or medic when the need arises, she's well aware that she's a liability to them — especially when they're forced to leave Kyoto and go to war against the Imperial Army.
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life gives us the goat. First obtained in Chapter 2 after your cow had dried up, a goat can be a good source of milk while you get your cow pregnant. However once a year is up, your goat will stop producing milk, it will take up a slot and contribute nothing. Players had resorted to killing of the goat by neglect to open a space in your barn. Fortunately you can sell it in Another Wonderful Life and A Wonderful Life: Special Edition.
  • In ICO there's Yorda. The shadows are constantly after her and you can't let her die because A) You need her to open doors and B) You instantly die if she's captured. It's very intentional, as the game is a close examination of the trope, gently asking the player to start caring about the girl because she's helpless. In the original game concept, she was blind.
  • During most of the time in inFAMOUS, Zeke who borderlines being a Millstone just sleeps at his roof top, spouts non-sense conspiracy theories, uses his friendship with Cole to score dates, and even joined Kesseler during the game's twilight hours. He does come back to your side at the end however. Granted, all he does is offer an ineffectual pistol shot against a guy practically immune to bullets. By the end of inFAMOUS 1, Zeke can be a real load for some players. He gets much better presentation in inFAMOUS 2, especially if you finish that game on the Evil side.
  • King's Quest V gives King Graham a talking owl companion named Cedric to help him in rescuing his kidnapped family. Unfortunately, not only is Cedric completely useless (for the first chunk of the game, he won't even enter any dangerous areas or buildings,) but later on he's constantly getting into trouble and needing to be rescued. The only time he actually does anything useful is when he Takes The Bullet for Graham at the end of the game, and even then he does it unintentionally.
  • When Mulan is disguised as Ping in Kingdom Hearts II, she forces herself into your party, taking a valuable slot. As her Ping identity, she has no unique skills and her attacks are slow, awkward (she trips over herself), and barely do any damage. This is even acknowledged in-universe, with Shang greatly preferring the competence of the main trio and repeatedly telling her to return home. Thankfully, once her secret's out and she returns to being Mulan, she's an extremely strong and agile fighter.
  • The Carrie bonus missions in Kirby's Epic Yarn. She is a useless ball of yarn that you have to carry throughout the level, and as such, you have to drop her every time you need to defeat an enemy or climb a ladder. It isn't helped by the fact that these missions have a time limit, which is the only way to fail in Kirby's Epic Yarn because you can't die.
  • Heavy and Bomb in Knuckles Chaotix, as Joke Characters, are both designed to slow you down. Heavy is incredibly slow and heavy, weighing you down. Bomb explodes if he gets hit, making you lose your rings if you're caught in the blast (and you most likely will).
  • Sam in The Last of Us. His older brother Henry's over protectiveness has left him a regular kid who is unable to fend for himself in a world filled with Crazy Survivalists and zombies. He does nothing useful during his time in the party! tagging along and being protected by everyone else, and his inability to defend himself ends up biting him somewhat literally. Ellie starts as this as well, but unlike Sam, she definitely grows out of it.
  • Left 4 Dead
    • Play the game in versus mode for a while and eventually you'll come across at least one player who is a complete and total Load who doesn't know how to play the game well, doesn't know how to adapt and learn, doesn't understand that he should be constantly running with the rest of the team instead of idling behind, is always needing to be rescued by his teammates, etc. Players like this are rarely tolerated for long and are often booted from the game by their teammates. You won't be playing for long if you remain so unskilled despite hours of gameplay experience that you're always the source of frustration in your team.
    • This also applies to co-op as well. Doing newbie mistakes such as using healing items when your health is already in the green (unless you're using them to take an extra item you found), throwing pipe bombs after someone clearly tossed a bile bomb (both bombs attract zombies to an area), constantly throwing molotovs badly that result in setting everyone else on fire, lagging behind or running too far ahead of the team, or not shooting special infected that has another player pinned down are just some of the many examples that will get people to kick you out of the game for being such a burden. Sadly, these kinds of bad tactics is a major attraction for a Griefer.
    • The bots themselves can be this as well thanks to their Artificial Stupidity. They will keep trying to heal you at the worst time possible (healing you near a Witch, healing you as soon as a Charger is gunning for you, etc.) and you can't move when being healed. Bots will also shove their Pills into your hands in a middle of a heated gunfight which causes you to switch to that item. As for combat, bots have excellent accuracy, but they seem to just freeze up when it comes to certain special infected or forget how to shove zombies away when they get surrounded.
  • In Legend of Mana, Pearl can't fight at all, and in events that require her, she takes up a slot that could be filled with a more useful character, or even a main character from another game file. Not quite an Escort Mission — you can bring her along on random missions, and the game doesn't care if she gets hit with Non-Lethal K.O. if another character remains standing — but she sure does not pull her weight. Lady Blackpearl, on the other hand...
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ruto literally acts as a load, forcing Link to carry her around and getting caught by enemies. And ironically, is only useful by being a load. Specifically, she is an indestructible and portable weight that can be used to keep switches pressed down. As well as all that, she also damages enemies if you happen to chuck her at them, leading to the ridiculous amounts of awesome that is defeating most of the enemies with the "Ruto Cannon".
  • Skye from the first Lost in Blue installment is rendered blind after you accidentally step on her glasses. Now you are tasked with not only escaping from a deserted island, but you must feed and care for two people while doing so. Should you ever have to bring her with you on your journey, be prepared to lose all your stamina hauling her butt up the island. Your best bet is to just leave her in the cave, where she'll prepare meals with the food you bring back.
  • Mass Effect 2: Thane Krios is a very technical example. He's an effective squad mate, especially against the Collectors, but he's also the only member of the team along with Mordin who can't uniquely contribute in any way to everyone's survival of the suicide missionnote , and without Mordin the team wouldn't have survived the seeker swarms on Horizon.
  • Steel Massimo in Mega Man X: Command Mission, oh boy. Weak to all elements (although he comes with a Force Metal to negate one of them), only 2 Force Metal slots, and incredibly slow. His Action Trigger and Hyper Mode are good, but that's about it. Justified (kinda) in that he's not actually the legendary Steel Massimo but rather his disciple.
  • Emma Emmerich in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. She dies at the end of the mission.
    • Chico is also deserving of special mention in Peacewalker and Ground Zeroes. An annoying little kid obsessed with monsters and UFOs in an otherwise fairly-serious game about cold war tensions and coping with identity crises, Chico constantly whines about how he wants to be treated like a man rather than a child while not doing anything to distinguish himself as one. He has to be rescued from enemy soldiers multiple times and contributes absolutely nothing. And the plot decides to focus on him specifically several times, despite how unimportant and unlikable he is. While he does get some sympathy value for the horrific torture he receives in Ground Zeroes, it doesn't make him any less of a burden - literally a burden, as saving him is both mission-critical and requires the player to carry him to the extraction point.
  • Shandra Jerro from Neverwinter Nights 2 is a bit of a load before her levels in fighter show up.
  • Paper Mario:
    • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Flavio follows you around on Keelhaul Key, but rarely does anything helpful and has no useful abilities. The only things he does are sing a song that serves as a hint, and convince Cortez to help him. Before he begins following Mario, the crew are very glad to have gotten rid of him.
    • Paper Mario: The Origami King: Bobby, the Bob-omb partner, has amnessia. This leads to him constantly running into enemies because he thinks they're friends, getting lost or running further ahead, and generally injuring himself. For the Water Vellumental Temple and Ninja Attraction, he stays outside the entire time because he's scared of it. In battle, Bobby can use Bomb Bump, an attack that deals damage to a single enemy—but he's not even good at it, because half the time he flops on his face and does no damage. While Bobby performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Olivia, that's the very last thing he does.
  • In Perfect Dark there's Doctor Carroll who you must escort; he gets stuck on walls and odd places when following you, and can die easily.
  • Various in the Persona series ...
    • Bizarrely, you. This is partly due to Atlus' unbelievably sadistic move of 'If the Protagonist falls, it's game over'. As a result, it becomes an absolute imperative to keep the Protagonist alive, at the expense of all others in the party. This often results in the situation where the boss is about to die, but is doing enough damage that you spend all your effort keeping your hero alive rather than doing damage and getting the fight over with. However, you invariably have the most flexible skillset and access to the best skills in the game, which lightens the burden somewhat. The downside comes when you also have to bear in mind your highly variable weaknesses, too.
    • Naoto Shirogane. Naoto has a brutal movepool of high-power Physical skills, unblockable Almighty magic and instant-kill attacks, making for a perfect Glass Cannon. However, her health isn't great and her defence stat is also very low, so she has a habit of dying a lot. Also, instant-kills don't work on bosses and are luck-based, Almighty spells are very expensive, and her Strength isn't very good so her physical attacks don't actually do too much damage. The Updated Re-release gave her more elemental magic and access to Invigorate for SP regeneration, making her far more balanced.
    • Junpei for much of Persona 3. With pathetic elemental magic and only mediocre Physical skills up until level 55, he is basically useless. However, much later he gets Spring of Life and several multi-target physical moves, becoming the most damaging party-member in the game aside from the main character. Persona 3 FES upped his usefulness by giving him some support skills, and adding unique two-handed swords that synergize well with Junpei's stats.
    • Yosuke becomes this in the fight with Shadow Kanji. Not only does Shadow Kanji resist Wind attacks, but he also frequently uses strong Electricity skills that hit Yosuke's weakness, thus forcing you to guard whenever the boss is about to use them. Worse, still, considering that at that point in the game, you only have a party of four, you can't leave Yosuke out of the fight. It doesn't help that in Golden, his minions have weaknesses added that Chie and Yukiko can exploit. Just about the only thing Yosuke is useful in this fight for is Dekaja.
    • Subverted with Haru in Persona 5. When the group infiltrates Okumura's Palace, Morgana warns the group that since Haru's Persona is "weak"note , she will likely only slow the group down. However, when the group is confronted by the cognitive version of Haru's fiancé, Haru awakens to her Persona and manages to hold her own against him. While Haru may not have Baton Pass or other party member benefits unlocked yet, her Psy and Gun skills are quite useful against many of the enemies.
  • Magikarp itself, from Pokémon. Not only can it not learn a single damaging attack on its own until level 15, where most start at level 5, but it is on the slowest experience track in the entire game, meaning that the player will have to divert a lot of experience points to it in order to trigger its Magikarp Power. A player who obtains a Magikarp early in the game can find their entire party level severely lowered as a result of trying to evolve it.
  • Professor Harold MacDougal from Red Dead Redemption fits this trope to a T. He's not only a whiny, wimpy and drug-addled racist, he also requires constant protection and creates new problems for players, such as provoking a grizzly bear or being held at gunpoint and used as a human shield. He contributes absolutely nothing during missions, and on top of it all, is ridiculously full of himself, making his departure back to Yale a welcome moment in the game. And when you read the last Newspaper, it is revealed he is kicked out of Yale after going on a drug-fueled rampage. And then he returns to Blackwater just in time for Undead Nightmare where he is going down that empty street to get his bag.
  • Ashley Graham, from Resident Evil 4. In the game, you return her safely to the White House, which turns out to be as easy as it sounds, for the chirpy First Daughter's heavily prone to danger. Whether she's cowering in fear in the line of fire, being kidnapped by spinning walls, eating up your health items, or shrieking HAAALP! and LEON! when snatched up, it barely justifies the bonus of her company in what can be a very long game.

    This is pretty much the reason that, in New Game+, you can choose to put her in a suit of armor that both protects her from ANY damage and is too heavy for the mooks to carry her away. Not only is she just some girl that follows you around now, but you can actually use her as bait now. The only drawback it the noise she makes when she walks, but it's a miniscule price to pay for The Load becoming invincible. Fortunately, the game eventually starts giving the player dumpsters that they can make Ashley hide in so she can keep out of the way.
    • Before Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil 2 gave us Sherry Birkin, who had many of the same problems as Ashley, only worse. At least Ashley had the suit of armor and could suplex her pursuers thanks to a Good Bad Bug. Sherry was so much like Ashley, that some fans thought they were the same person until Resident Evil 6 sunk that theory.
  • Rimworld: Colonists are generated randomly with different stats, traits and pre-existing medical conditions. You may end up saddled with colonists who are incompetent at (or even completely incapable of) basic survival skills. You can bet any colonist incapable of dumb labour or combat will be a total dud. Stay away from pyromaniacs, chemical aficionados (who will often go on drug binges) and abrasive colonists.
  • Maria, Eileen, and Elle in Silent Hill 2, 4, and Homecoming respectively. Eileen's, which takes up the entire second half of the game, can be particularly frustrating; on one hand, she herself is invincible (up until the Final Boss, anyway) and is capable of fighting back. On the other, she can't keep up with Henry because of her injuries, which makes running away from dangerous situations that much more difficult, and she likes to attack everything, including the Ghost Victims. It probably doesn't help that all three have a bad case of Artificial Stupidity.
  • Murray is actually like this in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus — he is a clumsy, cowardly goofball absolutely useless for anything not involving driving, to the point that his job description actually includes the phrase "full-time burden." The later games make him into a boisterous big guy.
  • Slippy Toad of Star Fox. He was even nicknamed "Slippy 'The Load' Toad!" It helps that he's pretty popular in Japan. "Slippy just got hit!" Slippy is ALWAYS getting hit. Actually gets lampshaded at the end of the Aquas level in Star Fox 64 where Peppy comments on Slippy's nice work with the Blue Marine (submarine used by Fox in the level) and says "Maybe Slippy's not such a screw up after all!". Naturally this upsets Slippy. Worse, still, if you take too long to defeat the boss in Sector X, Slippy charges in and gets knocked away, forcing you to go to Titania to save him and putting you on the "easy" route to Venom. After the mission's finished, Falco complains that they're always saving Slippy's hide.
  • StreetPass Mii Plaza is a set of games where you can tag other people with a Nintendo 3DS, reading their traits and other stats and applying them to various games. Among the ways such a person can be unhelpful is as follows:
    • Having no puzzle pieces in Puzzle Swap you don't already have, meaning they can't add to your collection.
    • Being at so low a level in Find Mii that they're unable to damage the enemies you're trying to fight and having magic that isn't useful to your current situation.
    • Having such a low plaza population (number of people they have tagged) that they don't contribute meaningfully to your army in Warrior's Way. The extreme case is if they've tagged nobody, in which case they'll contribute only themselves. (The cap is 9,999,999 soldiers, which you WILL reach before finishing the game.)
    • Not having a birthday registered, so they won't be added to your calendar.
    • Having the wrong shirt color, which affects the bait they give you in Ultimate Angler, such that this type of bait is not of any interest to the local fish.
    • Not having a hobby registered, which means their hobby-based weapon in Battleground Z will already be damaged when they give it to you and likely break after one hit.
    • Not having walked much or having no step count data, so they will only contribute the minimum 500 steps in Mii Trek.
  • Sword of the Stars II: Non-combat ships like Repair and Salvage or Supply. In the first game, you could stuff a fleet with as many spacecraft as you wanted and only deploy the combat ones. In this installment, though, changes to the system mean that you can only load a fleet with as many craft as your Arbitrary Headcount Limit allows and can't hold non-combatants in reserve. This means that long-range expeditions that require multiple Supply-types will have much less firepower to call on. Unsurprisingly, this has been bemoaned as a Scrappy Mechanic.
  • Tales of Berseria has Magilou, a so-called "witch" who tags along on Velvet's quest because It Amused Me. For the first part of the story, she contributes absolutely nothing to the party in combat; when she finally gets Bienfu and joins the front line, she is the fifth party member to become playable despite being the first permanent travelling companion to join Velvet in terms of the storyline.
  • Tales of Symphonia played with when it comes to Colette. Though she is useful in battles once she gets her angel powers, much of the game is taken up with either having to cure Colette from various ailments that she doesn't tell the party about or having to save her after she's been kidnapped by the enemy, even though Colette's angel powers give her Super Strength, wings and light-based powers.
  • Team Fortress 2
    • Snipers will often start dueling each other to the exclusion of any other matters, such as taking out strategic targets, or helping their team win.
    • Soldiers have been known to do this on occasion too, though it's far less common.
    • Particularly bad spies as well, while any other class no matter how bad can at least either absorb bullets or aim in the general direction of the enemy and do at least a little damage, bad spies get caught while trying to sneak around and die without accomplishing anything at all.
  • Ben from Telltale Games' take on The Walking Dead seems more like an exposition character when he's first introduced in Episode 2, dropping vital information on the characters and mostly staying off the screen. However, by the end of Episode 4, he's somehow managed to fail to protect Clementine at least once AND be the indirect cause of Katjaa's suicide, Duck's death and - depending on who you saved in Episode one - either Carley or Doug's death. His apparent uselessness gets lampshaded in Episode 4.
    Clementine: You want me to stay with BEN?
    Lee: I'm not leaving you with Ben. I'm leaving Ben with you.
    • However, in a rare instance, Ben also views himself as The Load, since he explicitly states in Ep. 4 that "For once, I want to do something right." Too bad he doesn't live up to that, but at least the sentiment's there.
    • In Season 2, while Sarah is younger than Ben and is slightly more justified in her helplessness, she still proves to be a liability due to her emotional dependence on her father and Clementine. After her father dies in Episode 4, she completely shuts down as the walkers close in, and she can potentially be left to die. Even if you save her then, she dies later on anyway.
  • In Wasteland 2 you have the opportunity to release a monster called the Night Terror, which was a Bonus Boss in the first game. It then joins your party, but unfortunately never contributes in any way. It has 8000 health but never participates in combat aside from occasionally taking bullets by standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. It frequently asks for "candy" (by which it means human body parts), and once you give it 20 "candies" it falls asleep forever. Its only redeeming quality is the fact that once you kill it while it's asleep and weakened it gives the party 3200 XP.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Eventually in the game you will probably end up doing instances or raids. There is a 99% chance that you will eventually be in a group with The Load who will constantly ignore the group's pleas to stop screwing up or grabbing aggro and will often need to be saved. Others will lag well behind the rest of the party in DPS (including the tanks), compromising a raid's ability to win through a more subtle vector, and will not (or, more charitably, cannot) make improvements. Needless to say, they are often kicked.
    • The addition of flexible raids made this even more pronounced. Traditional raids were designed for a certain number of people, so only the most incompetent load could manage to be worse than leaving their slot empty. Flexible raids dispense with the Arbitrary Headcount Limit by scaling the bosses' health and abilities to match the number of players in the raid. If a DPS player is not doing enough damage over the course of the fight to compensate for the health increase then the other players are forced to work harder to make up for their presence. And because there is no Arbitrary Headcount Limit it is harder to argue that that they should be kicked since they are not taking up someone else's slot...
    • Every player who purchases PvP equipment to trick the dungeon finder into believing their item level is high enough for heroic or zandalari random dungeons will inevitably be one of those through inadequate gear. They might also have a lack of skill or bad attitude as bonus. Though this has become averted in Mists of Pandaria thanks to Blizzard finally playing smart with the latest round of PvP gear. Seeing as how actual PvPers didn't want to be completely useless when switching to PvE content when they didn't have any PvE gear (PvP gear in the past replaced a stat with "Reselliance", the reason why PvEers wearing PvP gear was dumb), they instead renamed the PvP stat into "PvP Power" and "PvP Defense" and just had them as additional stats to the two that were already given. This actually proved useful for PvEers that had bad luck in drops to get something to up their item level and to get into LFRs.
  • Every Escort Mission ever.
    • Except Caiden Dunwald from World of Warcraft. He wants you to accompany him through what he knows damn well is a twilight ambush. He is so powerful however that he is escorting you.
    • Harrison Jones from the same game in one quest in Northrend is so badass that even though you start a quest by getting him out of the cage he's locked in, he ends up escorting you out of the dungeon.
    • In a similar vein to Dunwald are the quests in Dungeon Fighter Online where you fight alongside the Slayer trainer, GSD. He's incredibly powerful, able to spam the highest-level Asura techniques with no cooldowns and oneshotting everything in his path. It was actually possible to use him as an effective level grinding tool by letting him destroy everything in sight and quitting before the boss room. Aversion indeed.
    • Cold Fear very nicely averts this with Anna Kamsky thanks to Gameplay and Story Segregation. In story she's wounded and not a good combatant, but during gameplay she can't be killed and has unlimited ammo.
    • Escort missions in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, unfortunately, are a straight example; your escortee is always level 1 (at least in Rescue Team), they will always attack enemy Pokémon (even when said enemy Pokémon has a type advantage or can otherwise one-shot them), you can't edit their moveset or IQ to help them not make stupid decisions that could get them killed, and you can't give/take away/exchange items with them. Your best bet is to bring along lots of Reviver Seeds and pray that nothing too terrible happens. Also, Pokemon that you've just recruited can turn into this if you forget to turn off any unhelpful moves.
    • The escort missions in Morrowind are infamous for this. They're ungodly slow and are easly killed.
    • Actually gets inverted at the conclusion of the Brotherhood of Steel story arc in Fallout 4, when you are given the job of "escorting" Liberty Prime to the Institute. It quickly becomes clear that Liberty Prime is perfectly capable of protecting itself, and you are the Load throughout this mission!
  • Every Joke Character who is a Required Party Member during some parts of their game.
  • In any party-based RPG in which you're playing as a mage, during the early levels you are The Load to your party. They have to act as targets and damage-soakers for your enemies because you go down when the wind blows too hard. They have to bash the baddies' heads in when you run out of the few pathetically low-damaging spells you can cast. They have to carry your stuff because your spine would break under the strain. And all the while, somehow everyone important insist on talking to you. Fortunately if Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards is in effect, you will grow into your Magikarp Power if you can survive this Early Game Hell.
  • In general, playing co-op/multiplayer games with other players who aren't contributing enough if at all, especially when said game requires the effort of every player in order to succeed. It may be excusable if a player is new to the game or the multiplayer portion of it, but some players may actively try to sabotage their teammates. Thankfully most games allow you to kick such players. This is especially so if the number of players in a team are low, but the skill levels of the players affect their roles (or negatives) by a lot. This translates to having a few player bringing important and far-reaching contributions, but there is this one person who might as well not exist (he might not be bad persay, he's just Can't Catch Up to his teammates). MOBA games such as League of Legends and RTS such as Starcraft, even certain breeds of FPS and action games such as Battlefield and Team Fortress tend to become Teeth-Clenched Teamwork because of this trope.
  • Detroit: Become Human has Alice, a young girl that Kara saves from her abusive parent and takes care of during her storyline. Much of the problems they run through are due to Alice being a helpless child. It gets even worse with the reveal that Alice herself is actually an android, meaning that she doesn't suffer the basic needs that humans have as previously thought and was simply acting on her programming.
  • Yakuza 2: Slightly averted with Kaoru Sayama in that she is generally beloved by the fanbase (disqualifying her for being a Damsel Scrappy) and the she does sometimes help out in (optional) fights on the street. Otherwise, she is a forced love-interest for Kiryu (completely throwing out the conventions and precedent set by the previous game, in terms of Kiryu's love life), which in turn causes him to be constantly distracted, not act like himself and have to deal with Kaoru's (at the end) crying and blubbering when he should be focused on the task at hand. Furthermore, her involvement in the plot, when you get down to it, has absolutely no bearing on the plot itself; Yakuza 2 (and Kiwami 2, by the way) would be the exact same game, if Kaoru Sayama didn't exist... but that's not necessary on this page. Oh and Kiryu has to carry her around when she is shot in a chapter, making her a literal load.


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