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Trauma Conga Line / Video Games

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  • You can't help but feel bad for GLaDOS at the end of Portal 2. In the first game, Chell kills her by ripping pieces off her and incinerating them. At the start of the sequel, she reveals that she has a black-box save feature, which essentially forced her to relive her death, over and over, for hundreds, possibly even thousands of years. Then, after switching her out with Wheatley (which, by the way, was extremely painful for both of them), she's stuffed in a potato, thrown down a pit with her worst enemy, and gets partially eaten by a bird. And that is before discovering that she used to be a human woman named Caroline, who was forced into GLaDOS against her will. Not only that, the Personality Cores you have to destroy in the first game were attached to her with the express purpose of babbling in her head so she'd be too distracted to kill anyone. Which, in laymans terms, means they gave her an artifical case of schizophrenia, which she actually loses while in the potato.
    GLaDOS: The scientists were always hanging cores on me to regulate my behavior. I've heard voices all my life. But now, I hear the voice of a conscience. And it's terrifying, because for the first time... It's MY voice! (Beat) I'm being serious! I think there's something really wrong with me!
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  • Setsuko Ohara of Super Robot Wars Z is constantly subjected to this. Among the things that befell on her includes: Seeing her chief get killed, separated with her only teammate, only for him to come back and shortly after get killed, and then shortly after she herself gets physically and psychologically abused while screaming for help and nobody could save her (implied to be raped), then she sees someone impersonating her dead friend just to spite on her, then the Alternate Universe version of her dead friend and chief were manipulated that she was behind all the mess she and the world having...All done by a single person called Asakim Dowen. Depending on the player's choice, she may raise into the type A, or dwindle into type C where she ends up losing her sense of taste and slowly dying.
  • Solid Snake of the Metal Gear series. Ohhh god. A few of the more memorable events that happen to him—getting PTSD from the get-go; having to bloodily murder his best friend, twice; having to murder Big Boss, his father figure and commanding officer, twice; finding out that Big Boss was his father; having the worst family in the history of ever; and then the ever-increasing spiral of horrible that starts with him suddenly being a sickly old man and gets progressively worse. And that's skimping out all the layers of detail which really add color to the events of his life. It's dreadful enough that he goes through Type A, Type B, Type C and Type D, depending on how optimistic Kojima was feeling about life at the time (First C, then B, then A, then an attempted D, and then, finally, A again).
    • And Big Boss before him. Betrayed by his mentor; captured and loses an eye during a torture session; forced to kill his not-really-rogue mentor for political reasons; betrayed by his lover EVA; betrayed by the CIA. Forms a powerful conspiracy with his best friend to ensure this will never happen again, but its members play god and clone him to make disposable idols for people to worship. Leaves the conspiracy in disgust, fully commits to option B and takes up arms against the United States and its true masters: the Patriots that he helped found.
      • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain continues it by seeing all of the men and women he trained to fight in his army slaughtered by XOF and Cipher, aka the Patriots, watching a little girl literally explode and spending nine years in a coma. By this point, he finally snaps and begins plans to build an international anti-UN, building tyke-bombs from torturing child-soldiers and stockpiling an unregulated nuclear arsenal, all in a final desperate attempt to prevent The Conspiracy from taking over the world.
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    • Don't forget Raiden, previously the laughing stock of the series. Man, his life sucks. He was raised by the man who killed his parents; was a child soldier in a civil war; found out he was manipulated to go on a mission that was just a giant experiment; his girlfriend was to spy on him but then fell in love with him, she then became his fiance, before leaving him for another man; believed his child was miscarried, only to find out it was a cover up. Then he becomes a cyborg against his own, twice. Save for the upper part of his face and spine, his entire body is mechanical.
    • There's Otacon as well. His mother wanted him to become the next Boss, his father used him as a test-pilot for a Metal Gear. Aside from unwittingly designing a nuclear weapon, he ended being seduced by his stepmother and when his father found out, he committed suicide by drowning - nearly taking his step-sister as well. That resulted in a falling out between the two, and when he meets her again, she's dying from blood loss. Aside from that, the only person he really trusts, Solid Snake, is aging rapidly and doesn't much time with him. Not to mention that almost everyone Otacon loves ends up dying in front of him. Sniper wolf gets shot dead by Snake, Emma bleeds to death in his arms, Naomi commits suicide, and by the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, Snake only has a few months left to live. It's a miracle Sunny survived.
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  • In Final Fantasy IV: Cecil has a crisis of conscience after being ordered to commit an immoral act for the King of Baron. Then he gets demoted for questioning the king and manipulated into carrying out another immoral act, which results in the destruction of an innocent village and the apparent death of his best friend Kain.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Before the game even starts, Cloud Strife has already: (1) endured a lonely, alienated childhood; (2) been wrongfully held responsible for putting his childhood crush, the mayor's daughter, in a coma by the mayor and everyone in the town (3) been told he's not good enough to become a SOLDIER and gets stuck as a humble grunt trooper; (4) watched his hero Sephiroth destroy his hometown, kill his mother and nearly murder both his childhood crush Tifa and his good friend Zack; (5) suffered over four years of sadistic experimentation by a Mad Scientist which reduces him to a catatonic vegetable; and finally (6) helplessly watched Zack die in a gut-wrenching heroic last stand to protect him. All this results in Cloud suffering his first Heroic BSoD, a very understandable case of Trauma-Induced Amnesia, and identity confusion.
    • THEN, during the game itself, Cloud ends up being mind raped by the Big Bad Sephiroth into: (1) nearly killing his teammate Aerith not just once, but twice; (2) handing over the Artifact of Doom to Sephiroth (again, twice); and (3) questioning not only his memories but his very identity as a real person. He's also forced to stand by and watch Sephiroth murder Aerith while being unable to do anything about it. Cue a second massive Heroic BSoD that requires a Journey to the Center of the Mind to fix.
    • Advent Children throws him back into massive depression and despair by making him and the orphan he's adopted suffer the painful and deadly disease Geostigma. The disease also allows Sephiroth to constantly Troll Cloud's subconscious, thereby making Cloud obsess about the promises he'd failed to keep and the lives he failed to save.
    • Fortunately, Cloud manages to avoid further major physical or emotional trauma in the sequel Dirge of Cerberus. Vincent, however, is not so lucky.
    • All that said, Sephiroth himself suffers from this. At the start of Crisis Core, one of his best friends, Genesis, deserts Shinra. After failing to bring him back, Sephiroth's other best friend, Angeal, also deserts. He is tasked by Shinra to hunt them down and kill them, if necessary. During this, Genesis keeps trolling Sephiroth. Eventually, he learns that he is the result of a science experiment. Afterwards, he plans to leave Shinra because,'s Shinra, but before he can, on his last mission, he finds out that he is part Ancient. The Ancients died in a catastrophic event while the humans survived by hiding. And so begins his life of evil...hard to blame him, really.
    • Aerith also endures a lot of horrible things in her life, though she handles them much better. Her father was murdered when she was just a baby, then she and her mother were taken hostage so that Hojo could experiment on them. Her mother dies, and she spends the majority of her youth fleeing from the Turks. Then she is captured again, where the resident Mad Scientist tries to mate her with Red XIII. Shortly after this, she discovers she's the last remaining Cetra, and then Sephiroth kills her. Despite this, she remains an eternally hopeful Iron Woobie.
  • Final Fantasy XIII pretty much puts each of its protagonists through one. But the prize goes to Hope Estheim. He was merely on vacation in Bodhum when the active Fal'Cie was discovered and everyone was sent to be purged. Before knowing that it meant killing them, it was thought that this meant sending them to Pulse, which people in Cocoon had been told was practically hell. After the train he's on is derailed, the civilians are riled up by Snow's group to fight back and Hope is left alone by his mother, who leaves to fight and protect him. Hope watches in horror as his mother falls to her death and he begins to blame Snow, whom he follows into the Vestige with Vanille. In the Vestige, Hope has to fight his way through, only to be branded a Pulse l'Cie. Now, he is the enemy of the entire planet and will be killed on sight, if the government gets their hands on him. And, unless he fulfills his Focus and turns into a crystal statue, he'll turn into an abomination. No wonder the kid's big scene included a Freak Out!!
  • The tie-in-comic Back Story of Darion Mograine, from World of Warcraft. His brother murders his father, his father gets converted into a Death Knight, Darion tries to save him without knowing what's happened and is too locked up in horror and disbelief to fight effectively while everyone that came with him is killed by the Four Horsemen. After a moment of Type C, the spirit of his father guides him out of the other son, for revenge, but not before the brother tries to beat Darion to death. Eventually, Darion manages to do A, B, and D all at the same time. Those who paid attention to his dialogue in the Death Knight starting chain know what I mean...
    • Darion starts out in life with a mini-trauma conga line as well: he appeared stillborn, but was revived by his father, only to have his mother die from complications during the birth, quickly turning the joy his father felt into grief...
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Xion in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. It turns out Xion is an artificial clone of Sora made to eventually kill Roxas and absorb his power, and if she's not up to the task then the Organization plans for Roxas to kill and absorb her instead. Furthermore, because she's a clone constructed out of stray fragments of Sora's memory, her existence is even more tenuous than that of a normal Nobody. As a result, when she dies everyone she ever knew forgets she ever existed. There's also the problem you go into the game knowing she's Doomed by Canon. Certainly the pinnacle of this comes at the end of the game where she battles Roxas, the guy she's heavily implied to be in love with by this point, and dies in his arms while he's struggling to remember her name, his memories of her fading already.
    • Roxas too, for a lot of the same reasons as above actually, and more. The poor guy has no memories, all he knows is that he can use a Keyblade and it's important he kill Heartless. When he asks questions of his allies to try and figure out the things he ought to know but doesn't, they treat him like an idiot for that reason. At least Xion eventually figured out that the Organization was using both of them, Roxas doesn't clue in until practically the end of the game and thus spends most of his single year of life working for people who exploit his abilities and plan to kill him once they're done with him. The only really happy time in his life is the last week, when he's implanted with fake memories and is imprisoned in a virtual reality simulation - and once that week is up, he merges back with Sora.
      • But first the poor kid had to find out it was all a big lie in the worst way possible. I say again, poor kid.
      • In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Sora meets with Roxas in a dream and Roxas transfers his memories into him, meaning Sora experiences the entire Trauma Conga Line at once.
    • The protagonists of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep don't fare much better. Special mention goes to Terra, who is tricked by villains (going so far as being possessed and stealing somebody's heart in his very first world) and the game's big bad at every turn, manipulated into believing his friends have left him, manipulated into letting the darkness in, tricked by the villains some more, has a nice brief stop-off at Destiny Islands with a nice little Heartwarming Moment, then inadvertently causes the death of someone he loves, is smacked around a lot in the first part of the final battle and finally has his body stolen by the big bad at the end of the game, with it being implied he's been fighting for control since the end of Birth by Sleep. Ventus doesn't fare much better, having his Heart ripped in two to create Vanitas before the game even begins and ends the game with his heart being separated from his body after a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy the in-story Infinity +1 Sword, and would have died if not for Sora's intervention, his body little more than an empty shell. Aqua fares a bit better than the other two, but is still forced to fight both of her friends when they're possessed by the game's two villains and eventually falls into the Realm of Darkness after sacrificing herself to save Terra. One thing is certain about Kingdom Hearts 3: Sora has a lot of work to do.
    • Add to the two above that Roxas is pretty heavily implied by Word of God to be kind of an incarnation of Ventus and you get the most screwed up existence in the history of existences. Jesus, Nomura, give the poor kid a break!
    • Repliku's entire life is one. He's a clone of Riku, who is used as the Organization's tool and lives only about two or three days. In those few days, he is defeated in every single fight he gets into, has his memories erased and rewritten against his will (Larxene beats him up and knocks him out when he tries to resist, taunting him the entire time) so he believes he is the real Riku, has his heart shattered by Namine to stop him from killing Sora, then finds out he is a clone and everything he believed was a lie. He does not take it well, and spends what is left of his life trying to find something that makes him not just a copy of Riku, and is manipulated by Axel into killing Zexion to do so. In the end, he confronts Riku and tries to kill him ("As long as you're around...I'll never be anything more than a shadow!"), and ends up killed himself, in his last moments fearing what will happen when he - a fake - dies.
  • Aribeth gets this thrown at her in Neverwinter Nights and the expansions, leading to a Heel–Face Revolving Door and at various points reactions according to Types A, B, and D.
  • The whole game can be considered this to Edea Lee in Bravely Default. The Duchy of Eternia was a doctrine she was benevolent towards to, until she stepped out of her home at the beginning of the game and sees how demented his superiors are to the rest of the world: they kill without remorse (even to their own soldiers), they scam people from their money, they make false accusations towards the vestal, and they all are general douchebags.
  • A small part of the plot of Xenogears goes something like this: Several hundred years ago a very honorable man is scarred by tragedy and becomes result (B). Another man scarred by the same event becomes result (D). In the present tense the protagonist is secretly some sort of Jungian catatonic ball with two personalities, one of whom tries to live out his life in peace (C) and the other who decides to wreak havoc (D again). However, the protagonist eventually overcomes his split personalities, becoming result (A). Pretty much every hero or villain in this game is a crowning example of this trope.
    • Special mention to Billy Lee Black who, in addition to his already tragic backstory, goes through an unbelievable amount of crap in less than 24 in-game hours as summarized here.
  • Rondo of Swords has a type E in one of the playthroughs. After all Serdic goes through he finally breaks after a Friend Or Idol decision that ends up in favor of the idol. Now while Serdic does lose a lot of his of warmth and idealism, his ethics and morals don't really change. At the end of the game he does rediscover love again and has a peaceful, prosperous reign as king.
  • After half a game of staying cheerful and upbeat desipte the numerous atrocities he witnesses, main character Jude of Wild Arms 4 gets hit with this HARD. First, a traveller he made friends with turns out to be the strongest member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad. Then, almost immediatly after finally finding his captured mother, she dies a horrible death right in front of him. Then Kresnik, a reformed member of the quirky member squad, falls to his death (or does he?). And THEN, he's forced to kill his long lost father after he snaps and becomes an Omnicidal Maniac. Whew...
    • Hell, him becoming a forest ranger in the Epilogue was probably his way of getting away from it all.
  • In Silent Hill, the Trauma Train has pulled out of the station well before any of the player characters got there, so when it steamrolls through everybody it touches (including the bad guys!) gets affected to varying degrees, and how well the protagonists fare from the Conga Line depends on which of the Multiple Endings you get. (Here's a hint: save from the wacky, out of left field joke endings, the best Silent Hill has to offer are Bittersweet Endings.)
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Estelle during Part Two. She finds out, the hard way, that her healing artes causes Entelexia to go insane, then later learns that using her powers could to destroy the world. Then she gets kidnapped by Schwann/Raven and tortured into doing the bidding of Alexei, and sent over the edge by his hand that she begs Yuri to kill her. (Fortunately, he hauls her back). And after all that, She somehow manages to come out Result A! That girl deserves to be a saint!
    • Also Leon Magnus from Tales of Destiny (the remake at least). After a healthy dose of Character Development in part 1, Leon is finally happy and respected... then Part 2 starts and his mother-figure is kidnapped forcing him to destroy his career, help the Big Bad with his plot by the stealing the Eye of Atamoni, and his previous character development is more or less rejected as he reverts back to his childish Ineffectual Loner state and rejects The Power of Friendship to save her alone. Then she attempts suicide hoping to save him, and he loses his will to live until he is told that she is alive (He's not allowed to see her though). But he is still effectively a pawn and now has to fight his friends. The result of all of this is either A or C (or a mix of both) depending on how one views his Heroic Sacrifice.
      • The sequel suggests a Result A, but that may be a bit iffy since it is based on the original PS1 game where Leon was a legit Jerkass in a sad situation rather than a Jerkass Woobie whose thoughts and status as The Chew Toy are revealed over the course of the game.
    • Asbel Lhant from Tales of Graces. Begins as a spoiled and reckless child, loses his brother, his friends, grows up as a depressed and burdened young adult and is later expelled from his hometown by his own brother. He's a Type A as he takes those lessons, figures out new ones, and ultimately perseveres.
    • Tales of the Abyss is basically just this to Luke fon Fabre. He hates killing, but has to kill people. Due to being sheltered and having amnesia he has no clue how to handle the outside world. And then his Parental Substitute turns out to be the Big Bad and makes him blow up an entire town which he's promptly handed the whole blame for by the rest of the partynote  who soon after abandon him for another character; who's the real Luke as Luke is actually a replica of the original. This puts him as seven years old and he soon develops a massive Guilt Complex as The Atoner. He's a weird mix of a Type C/Type G and a Type A. He spends some time post Wham Episode catatonic (Type C) before playing the part of Type A. But underneath his facade, he's a Type G who just manages to truly become a Type A by the end and promptly dies. Maybe.
  • Fou-lu in Breath of Fire IV is marched down a Type B/Type D Trauma Conga Line by the very empire he was the King in the Mountain for; the increasingly extreme efforts The Empire takes in killing what is their literal founding God-Emperor eventually go to the point of the use of a Fantastic Nuke powered by Fou-lu's GIRLFRIEND (said Fantastic Nuke explicitly works on the principle of Love Hurts, the closer the bond, the higher the mega-tonnage), and — when THAT didn't work — having The Emperor run Fou-lu through with a soul-eating sword made from the botched summon of another god (which only resulted in Emperor Soniel literally losing his head). This Trauma Conga Line eventually results in Fou-lu deciding that Humans Are Bastards and the use of Mami as a tactical thermonuclear Country Mouse is arguably the event (in the MIDDLE of the Trauma Conga Line, no less!) that causes him to become a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
    • Oh, and the Vestigial Empire that summoned Fou-lu in the first place buggered up the summoning, resulting in the god being split in twain and each half of the Literal Split Personality ending up on opposite sides of the world and temporally displaced 600 years. It's also outright stated that the Fou Empire and its Vestigial Empire predecessor the Muuru Empire still have not managed how to learn to summon a god in one piece and are involuntarily yanking the entities the world knows as "gods" from their own lives. (Yes, Fou-lu's Trauma Conga Line veritably began from the moment of his existence on that world.)
    • Even though Fou-lu definitely had it worst, most of the other gods introduced probably had similar experiences, seeing that most of them turned into dragons that often attack whatever they see, despite being friendly in general, going so far as apologizing for it. Also Deis counts, seeing that she was so unlucky to have her summoning botchered so much that she ended up without a body, forcing her to possess a armor which was driving her nuts. Being a god in this game just makes you an instant-Woobie, with the only exception being Ryu. And he only made it through ok because he was found and befriended by friendly people, though it is possible in the game to break him when Fou-lu gives him a Break Them by Talking speech that Ryu can agree on or not.
  • In Mass Effect, depending on how s/he's played Shepard will have gone through this starting years before the games even take place, and that's only the backstory. In-game s/he suffers a continuous Conga Line from all sides, and it's particularly amazing that Shepard getting killed in the second game is not his/her lowest point. Then Mass Effect 3 puts Shepard through the wringer, forced to flee Earth as it gets annihilated by the Reapers, suffers from extreme Survivor Guilt for those who have died in the series thus far aided by nightmares of a little boy s/he failed to save on Earth, and that's the most positive point in the game for him/her.
    • Tali has this happen in full force during her loyalty mission in Mass Effect 2. After all that happens, it's a wonder that Tali is even still functioning, much less sane.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords BEGINS with the protagonist, the Exile, finally starting to uncurl from their previous position as the figurative curled-up ball mentioned in Type C. After a decade or so. The game proper consists of several factions being out for the Exile's blood, some other factions trying to exploit the Exile for their own convenience and other assorted, otherwise mostly unrelated misfortunes. All of this comes up to a head with a Tomato in the Mirror revelation of potentially universe ending implications. The alignment system really is all about the player choosing which fabulous new effect all of this will have on the Exile: Light Side would be either A or E, Dark Side would be B or D.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has several classes that this can happen to, depending on choices the player makes. Perhaps most notable is the Imperial Agent. Throughout the game, they can be forced to press the button that kills over ten thousand people and have to listen to their dying screams in order to capture a dangerous Sith, subsequently learn that their reward for doing is is the Dark Council ordering them brainwashed, leading to a Republic SIS group learning the codes for said brainwashing and controlling their actions throughout Act II, and then have a galaxy-wide Ancient Conspiracy dissolve Imperial Intelligence, robbing the Agent of everything they had. They are constantly used and abused by everyone from the Republic to their own Empire to forces beyond their comprehension throughout the storyline. The result depends on the player's dialogue choices, with Result E being common (and usually leading to the player choosing to erase any evidence of their own existence and strike out on their own).
  • Faize Sheifa Beleth from Star Ocean: The Last Hope ends up a Type B after the ruthless destruction of his planet and the annihilation of his people (the latter which happens right in front of his eyes) cause him to snap and attempt to destroy the universe so that no one has to feel pain any longer. In his defense, he was being controlled at least somewhat by the Grigori. Though, it's never revealed just how much his actions then stem from it, and he showed plenty of signs of instability beforehand...
  • In Assassin's Creed I, everything that happens to Subject Sixteen/Clay Kaczmarek is part of a Trauma Conga Line. Everything. Emotionally abusive father, neglectful mother, captured by an evil corporation, betrayed by his only ally, abandoned by the Assassins, tortured and driven insane, committed suicide, uploaded his brain to help his successor, trapped in the program, mind deleted after performing a Heroic Sacrifice...the poor guy can't catch a break.
    • The "Kenway Family Saga" is essentially one continuous Trauma Conga Line for three consecutive generations of the Kenway patrilineal line, and the Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag novelization extends this even further back to the prior generation too!
  • The entirety of Spec Ops: The Line is a trauma conga line on the protagonist, Captain Martin Walker, as he's subject to atrocity after atrocity committed by the 33rd while committing a few of his own. By the end of the game, he is a horrifyingly broken man in body and spirit. The rest of his squad doesn't fare so well either. Throughout the game, Sergeant Lugo and Lieutenant Adams descend into becoming jaded and brutally cynical men from the horrors they took part in or saw. This was made worse with The Reveal that they were struggling and failing to keep Walker's hero complex and insanity from going out of control.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Dunmer (Dark Elf) people have been put through a nasty series of traumas starting with the end of Morrowind. Due in no small part due to the actions of the Nerevarine, the Dunmer lose their protective trio of Physical Gods, the Tribunal. (By the end of the Tribunal expansion, two are dead and the third disappears a few years later.) As mentioned in Oblivion, even the Nerevarine disappears, rumored to be on a trip to Akavir. Morrowind itself is extremely hard hit during the Oblivion Crisis, with Mehrunes Dagon's Legions of Hell completely destroying the city of Ald-Ruhn, the capital of Great House Redoran. A few years later, in what is know as the "Red Year", after stop-gap measures fail, the Ministry of Truth (a moonlet hurled at Vivec City in the past by Sheogorath that was stopped in place by the Tribunal deity Vivec) resumes its descent with its original momentum. The resulting impact causes Red Mountain to erupt, destroying most of Vvardenfell island and rendering large portions of mainland Morrowind uninhabitable due to choking ash. After that, the Argonians, in revenge for centuries of being a Slave Race to the Dunmer, invade and easily conquer what is left of habitable southern Morrowind, along with its rich Ebony deposits. Most of the Dunmer population has been forced to flee north to the island of Solstheim, a barren and frozen over rock, or into Skyrim, where they are treated as second class citizens (at best) by the local Nords, ancient enemies of the Dunmer. Several Dunmer characters spoken to in Skyrim and its Dragonborn DLC indicate that the Dunmer people have at least seemed to learn a little humility from the experience.
    • In Skyrim's backstory, Ulfric Stormcloak — Rebel Leader and Big Bad/Big Good of the Civil War questline (depending on which side you join) — endures a pretty vicious conga line. Trained by the Greybeards, he gave up their pacifist philosophy to join the Imperial army when his conscience refused to let him sit out the Great War with the Thalmor-led Aldmeri Dominion. He was subsequently traumatized by the deaths of untold numbers of friends and countrymen, captured by the enemy, tortured until he broke, manipulated into believing that the information he divulged was directly responsible for the fall of the Imperial City (it wasn't), and then sent home believing that all of it was for nothing after the Empire signed a treaty that capitulated to the Dominion's demands (which included banning the worship of his people’s most revered god, Talos). A spectacularly ill-thought-out attempt to regain freedom of worship then landed him in prison, and while he was still locked up his father died and he was forced to deliver the eulogy via a letter smuggled out of jail. All of this seems to have happened by the time he was roughly 25. It's no wonder the man is kind of bitter.
  • Pretty much everything that happens to the Princess—the protagonist of the Neverwinter Nights fanmade module A Dance with Rogues. Even the very beginning of the game has her whole family and everyone she's ever known killed by an invading army, her rescuer rapes her and leaves her no choice but to hide with a criminal guild. Then the criminal guild teaches her how to be a rogue, but will force her out of her hometown if she doesn't want to join them, or kill her if she betrays them. Then there's all the other things that regularly happen throughout the whole game—just when the Princess thinks she's found a new home with the Family criminal guild, most of them are killed or taken away; she's regularly lusted after by men and some even try to molest or outright rape her; some of her companions may turn on her or get killed; she's made a slave and has to escape, and so on, and so forth. Really, pretty much the entire game cements her as a Woobie due to all the trauma and humiliation she lives through and has to struggle with to repair her broken life. Fortunately, at least some of the endings make things work out for her...but it requires some hard work and good decision making.
  • Dragon Quest V has an extreme Result A case of a protagonist with a very tragic life who restlessly pushes on until he finally earns his happy ending. When he was a child, he witnesses his father's death by the bad guys and is made a slave for many years. After being freed, he Walk the Earth with a sole purpose in life: to find his long lost mother. Soon he gets married to a beautiful woman, but then his wife gets kidnapped. The bad guys petrify both him and his woman into statues, which then are sold and separated in an auction. The Hero is stuck as a statue for years until his children free him. After rescuing his wife and continue travelling, he finally reunions with his mother he has been looking for his whole life, but then the mother is killed off right in front of him. Despite everything, the angst is kept at an absolute minimum. It helps that The Hero is a Heroic Mime who won't complain with anything that happens and his comrades won't say anything either if they aren't asked.
  • Live A Live has this happen to Oersted, a Knight in Shining Armor who is sent out to Save the Princess with his intrepid party. First one of his teammates gets killed by a monster, then his best friend gets flattened by falling rocks, then when he comes home (without the princess), a vision tricks him into committing regicide and gets him labeled the Demon King and thrown into a dungeon, then his last friend sacrifices himself so he can escape, then he drags himself back to the mountain in a last-ditch effort to save the princess (and himself), then he finds out his best friend faked his own death and set the whole thing up to ruin his life because of jealousy, then when he kills him, the princess shows up, declares her love for the best friend who just betrayed him, and promptly commits suicide. Oersted reacts in the same way any normal guy who just lost everything from sheer human cruelty would - he goes completely batshit crazy, proclaims himself to be the next Demon King, and declares war on all of humanity.
  • Max from Life Is Strange goes through one in the span of five days. She watches Nathan kill her childhood friend, possibly sees her other best friend commit suicide. Later, she sees an alternate reality where Chloe's dad is alive...but Chloe herself was paralyzed in an accident, and is very sickly. In that reality, she is faced with the decision of putting Alt!Chloe out of her misery, or watching her spend the rest of her days in pain and stressing out her family. She sees Chloe shot to death by Mr. Jefferson, and is kidnapped, drugged, tied up, and nearly killed by him. She possibly comes across multiple dead bodies and dying people when driving through a storm-ravaged Arcadia Bay. When she finally gets to Chloe, she passes out and has nightmares that all the people she is or was close to hate her, everybody assumes that she'll kill them, and her own alternate self tells her she'd done nothing good for those around her. At the finale, she either has to go back in time and let Chloe die to save Arcadia bay, or allow the oncoming storm to destroy Arcadia Bay and everyone she knew and loved to spare Chloe's life.
  • Kokona Haruka from Yandere Simulator has a dead mother, an alcoholic father in severe debt to a loan shark, has been roped into Compensated Dating more than once to pay off said debt, and has Yandere-Chan coming after her simply because of her crush on Senpai. Depending on the player's actions, she can be stabbed, pushed off the roof and made to look like a suicide, splashed with water and electrocuted, splashed with someone else's blood, drowned in a toilet or fountain, bullied to the point of hanging herself, killed by the mentally-shattered shell of her best friend, or framed for a crime she didn't commit.
  • The Sole Survivor of Fallout 4 gets a front-row seat to the nuclear holocaust that destroys the United States, then they get cryogenically frozen in a Vault and also get to watch as their spouse is murdered and their infant son is kidnapped by a strange man. They emerge two centuries later to find their home lies in ruins, everyone except the family's quirky robot butler Codsworth is gone, and the surrounding area is a wild post-apocalyptic wasteland straight out of a nightmare. They set out into the wasteland to find their son, and eventually find out that their son is a sixty-year old man who is slowly dying of cancer, coldly refers to his parent's murder as "collateral damage", and runs a shady organisation which terrorises the people above ground. The Sole Survivor is left with the choice of either helping his son take over the wasteland and placing the people above in very questionable hands, or opposing his son, blowing the Institute to hell and destroying his life's work.
    • The Minutemen go through this before the events of the game. First their headquarters at the Castle gets wiped out by a Mirelurk Queen, their general is killed, a power struggle broke out between the survivors, most of them fled to be Raiders and Gunners, and the few remaining Minutemen were slaughtered by ghouls and almost finished off by a Raider gang were it not for the Sole Survivor's intervention. It really has been a rough couple of years for them. If the Sole Survivor helps them retake the Castle, recruit more settlements and people to the Minutemen's cause, gain access to artillery, and eventually leads them to fight the Institute; the Minutemen become the dominant power in the Commonwealth region, making it an example of Earn Your Happy Ending.
  • Many characters of Fatal Frame III: The Tormented suffer from this, being the Sole Survivor of whatever traumatic event(s) that killed their loved ones and left them with Survivor Guilt — a central building block of the game — which makes them vulnerable to the Tattooed Curse, resulting in them wandering into a snowy manor in their nightmares, following the specters of their deceased loved ones as they walk deeper and deeper into said manor, while the cursed tattoos spread through their bodies. Some die from this curse.
  • Persona 3:
    • Think of Shinjiro, about what happened to him. He accidentally killed Ken's mom, wants to atone for it by dying, and it caused him to leave S.E.E.S. before the start of the game. His Persona, Castor goes Berserk and he has to take pills to suppress his power. Said pills deteriorate his body to the point that it can no longer regulate his temperature. And every single thing that he's gone through is actually very serious and manages to totally avoid going overboard, which is what makes it so incredibly awful.
    • SEES in general gets hit with this very hard. Especially later in the game, starting in October and ending in the Answer. Their mission to destroy all 12 Shadows brought about the Fall, in other words - they unknowingly brought upon The End of the World as We Know It. The protagonist has been harboring Death inside him for a long time, they have to decide whether or not to kill a friend of theirs. Then the protagonist finds a way to solve the problem, and prevent the Fall from coming - that is to cast the Great Seal sacrificing his life in the process. He dies at Graduation Day and the rest of the team fights whether to travel back in time to see him again or keep history as it is.
  • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth has Hikari, whom at the start of the game you can literally see something is wrong with her, much unlike Rei from the previous Q. In fact, things actually don't go well with her; She was being scapegoated by her primary school teacher for poisoning a class rabbit that she didn't care for in the first place, lynched by her secondary school friends simply because she was being bullied for befriending another bullied girl (Who also jumped ship), then having her film production interrputed by relatives that detested her wish of becoming a film director and only wanted her to get good grades. While she was already being driven into becoming a borderline suicidal, self-hating shut-in, the only person that she could trust, her father made things worse by asking her "Why do you have to like that?." Even though that was just an attempt to make her break out from her shell, since every one of the people who humiliated and rejected her asked her that question, it triggered a series of flashbacks that outright destroyed her and made her believe that her life isn't worthy of living anymore. Finally, she ended up in one of Nagi/Enlil's Lotus-Eater Machine Cinemas and was forced to watch documentaries of people suffering, which obviously turns her into the Nervous Wreck we saw at the start of the game.
  • Rean Schwarzer gets so many traumas by the final chapters of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III. In short order, he finds out that his student Ash shoots the emperor, who was willing to get shot in order to cure Ash's curse (though Rean didn't know that), the Evil Chancellor who turned out to be his father declares war to go against an enemy nation because the gun that was used to shoot the emperor was made in that country, the capital is suddenly overrun by monsters, some of his former friends end up becoming enemies, he sees the state-of-the-art ship belonging to the royal family blown up in the skies possibly killing the best swordsman in the country, the bastard prince, and one of the top bracers of the continent in the most anti-climactic fashion, his sword which is made by the most powerful metal in the continent destroyed easily by a corrupted being who is tasked to guard one of the goddess' most powerful treasures, he nearly sees his other student Altina die, and he sees his other friend Millium who is only a fifteen year old girl die to protect him from a fatal blow. He ends up losing it and using Millium's body in order to create the Sword of Plot Advancement, he gives in to his Superpowered Evil Side and demolishes the beast. Said demolishing ends up dooming all of Erebonia into darkness which was the plan of his father and Rean ends up getting a Neck Lift from his father who tells Rean that it is time to engulf the world in despair. And this is on top of the other traumas he already got in the first two games. And as revealed by the teaser image of Cold Steel IV, it's gonna get much worse for Rean.
  • Goro Majima's side of the story in Yakuza 0 is a long, long list of tragic events. Before the game's even started, Majima is the victim of a power play within the Tojo Clan that ends with his sworn brother Saejima going to prison and Majima himself getting an eye cut out and spending a year chained up in an underground cell, and is then made to earn his way back into the Tojo Clan by running a caberet club in Sotenbori (a job he absolutely hates,) while being constantly monitored to prevent him from leaving the city. From there he gets roped into killing someone who turns out to be a blind girl named Makoto, which he can't bring himself to do, instead protecting her and eventually falling in love with her. Cue many of Majima's allies getting killed, finding out that his former boss knew he wouldn't be able to go through with the hit, and that Majima was once again being used and manipulated all along, and Makoto nearly getting killed by the Dojima Family under his protection. By the end of the game, his Ax-Crazy Mad Dog of Shimano persona starts to leak through as he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Dojima Family, and then he finally decides to abandon Makoto once somebody else is able to protect her so that she can live a better life.


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