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  • Ratchet in the original Ratchet & Clank game. He's meant to be an Anti-Hero at the start, and some of his faults are intended to be part of his character arc. His attitude also becomes somewhat more understandable when you know his retroactive backstorynote . Even so, Ratchet comes off as an outright bully during the second act of the game due to his incredibly selfish and petty revenge-oriented goals, and some of the things he does to Clank, who is the only thing that keeps him from going over the edge into outright villainy, are unreasonably cruel. Yes, he does learn to be a better person, but it's after he fulfills his revenge, not in spite of it. Insomniac Games themselves realized they went too far in making Ratchet a hotheaded punk, and fixed this from the sequel and onward, making sure to tone down Ratchet's worst qualities and make him come off as having matured into a truly good and sympathetic person.
  • World of Warcraft:
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    • The writers of the the Legendary quest line in Mists of Pandaria seem to have intended to depict the Dwarf, High Marshall Twinbraid as a Hero Antagonist to the Horde; having the neutral questgiver Wrathion, describe him in positive terms, giving Twinbraid a monologue about how he lost his home and son to the Horde, ending with a death quote asking “why can’t the Horde live in peace with their neighbors” as an intended Player Punch moment. The writer seems to have forgotten that Twinbraid was introduced as massacring an entire tribe of native tauren including civilians out of Fantastic Racism. His son was a Sociopathic Soldier complicit in his father’s atrocities. Whilst Twinbraid’s “home” was a armed fort filled only with military personnel and built upon land stolen from the aforementioned murdered natives. Ultimately despite the attempt by the quest writers of Mists, Twinbraid comes off as a unrepentant scumbag who chooses to blame his victims rather then take responsibility for the karma wrought on by his crimes.
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    • The Horde was initially (from Warcraft 3 to Wrath of the Lich King) presented as Noble Savage Proud Warrior Race, who weren't evil, merely tricked. But from Cataclysm onward, they have committed worse and worse atrocities, conquering more and more land, going to war against the Alliance for flimsy reasons (especially in Battle For Azeroth), with only one person protesting and deserting in disgust after the Horde commit what is explicitly called a genocide on the Night Elves in Battle For Azeroth, which makes it seems less and less like they're a band of unjustly persecuted races trying to make their place into the world, and more like they're very justifiably distrusted by the Alliance for crimes they keep committing.
  • The Walking Dead
    • Carlos, Sarah's father, falls under this. While he has his daughter's safety in mind, his coddling just makes everything worse. It never occurs to him that she needs training with weapons, cooking skills, and anything else that would help her survive if he were to die. When he does die as the result of a walker horde, Sarah becomes too traumatized to help herself. Even if Clementine elects to try and save Sarah, she still ends up devoured, screaming for her father to save her.
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    • Arvo. Clementine and Jane first meet him when they're looking for a place for Rebecca to give birth to her baby. Here, you have a choice: you either rob him of his bag of medicine or you let him leave with it. If you steal it from him, he, justifiably, gathers his posse to attack you and your group. If you let him leave with it, he gathers his posse to rob you anyway. On the latter side, this makes it hard to sympathize with him as he gets the shit kicked out of him by Kenny.
    • Jane, at least in the final episode. Here, she makes her most bone-headed moves, which is strange for someone who survived this long. While Kenny becomes more dangerous over the course of the Season, Jane crosses the line by a) repeatedly bringing up his dead family during their fight in the truck, b) faking AJ's death to "show Clementine his true nature", and then c) expecting to be saved during her fight with Kenny. On the other hand, one of the endings is for Clementine to save her, realize Jane was antagonizing Kenny intentionally to "prove he was unstable", and abandon her for it, allowing Clementine to Pay Evil unto Evil.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • Mass Effect 3
    • The Catalyst is probably one of the most extreme examples. Both his presentation and creator commentary pretty much indicate that he is intended to come across as some sort of Anti-Villain who had to resort to extreme measures in order to accomplish its task (i.e., he created the Reapers in order to end organic-synthetic conflicts), and that the choices he gives you at the end are meant to be similarly extremely morally ambiguous acts for the greater good. However, to many a fan, his reasoning is extremely nonsensical at best, and at worst exemplifying utter hypocrisy. Furthermore, the choices he gives pretty much throw the whole theme of the franchise down the toilet. The Extended Cut fixes this slightly by allowing you to question the Catalyst's logic (though only in somewhat vague terms), and it becomes clear that it's more a case of A.I. Is a Crapshoot. The Leviathan DLC expounds on this further when you meet the Catalyst's creators and realize it really was just following its protocol; they just forgot to program it to not turn on them, too. It leaves a less sour taste in player's mouths than the original scene, but caused debate as to whether this was intended from the start or if this was a retcon to placate the angry fanbase.
    • Tevos, the asari councilor, becomes another example in the third game. While she's initially presented as the "good" councilor when compared to the Jerkass turian Sparatus and the more neutral salarian Valern, her actions in the third game make her look like a colossal hypocrite. While refusing to send help to Earth to fight the Reapers could be seen as cold pragmatism to defend her own people, the fact that she denied Shepard's warnings about the Reaper threat throughout the two previous games, even after Shepard saved her life from one at the end of the first game, is the reason why all life in the galaxy is unprepared for the current Reaper attack to begin with. And while equal blame could be laid at the feet of all councilors, save Anderson, for refusing to listen to Shepard's warnings, the third game reveals there's another prothean beacon on Thessia with information on the Reapers and that the asari have kept it hidden in order to insure their superiority over other races, in violation of their own laws. The fact that the vast majority of the asari were just as ignorant of this as the rest of the galaxy is the only thing keeping the entire species from falling under this. This means that unlike the other two councilors, Tevos actually had the means to find out about the Reaper invasion and prepare, yet she did nothing. Yet, no matter what, Shepard is forced to feel sorry for her when the Reapers cause the fall of Thessia, even though that, as well as the all the deaths caused by the Reapers in this cycle, was only possible through her inaction. (By way of contrast, while Sparatus was, if anything, even more dismissive of Shepard's claims than Tevos, in 3 he's the first to give Shepard a mea culpa speech.)
    • Quarians manage to score a species-wide example. Even before the third installment, some fans were averse towards them for their role in the Geth-Quarian war and their willingness to spark the conflict again. Mass Effect 3 makes them even less sympathetic, by having them attack the Geth in the middle of the Reaper invasion and portraying their actions in the "Morning War" as even less justifiable. The Quarians were supposed to be sympathetic since they were unaware of the truth, but they continue the attack even after learning this, with only Shala'Raan expressing second thoughts but unwilling to risk doing anything until the last moment. It seems as the designers wanted to make the arc's final choice between saving the Quarians or the Geth as morally ambiguous as possible, but they overestimated players' sympathy for the former and - to the creators' surprise - letting Quarians die out ended up being more popular choice by far.
  • Dragon Age II has the Mage-Templar conflict at the center of its plot. While the narrative tries really hard to portray the two factions as being morally grey, a common criticism of the game is that both sides come off as deaf-to-reason Jerkasses. The one person they both are willing to listen to, Grand Cleric Elthina, gets this too; she's clearly supposed to be a Reasonable Authority Figure desperately trying to keep things together and failing despite valiant efforts, but her refusing to do anything but talk about compromise (while also never providing any picture of what a "compromise" might entail) while both sides (and elements of her own church) pile up the atrocities comes off as Head-in-the-Sand Management bordering on Stupid Neutral.
  • The dwarves in Chrono Cross are supposed to come across as a race who has been victimized by the excesses and the greed of humanity as a whole, and call humans out on not being able to live in harmony with nature. The intent is to make the player feel bad for killing them, but the fact that the dwarves were conducting an operation of ethnic cleansing on the fairies, while at the same time doing the same things they accuse humans of doing prevents them from getting sympathy. The fact that the game itself fails to see the hypocrisy of it all, in favor of putting all the blame on humans, (even the fairies blame the humans, rather than the dwarves who are actively killing them) is a sore spot for many players.
    • There's also the matter of the demihumans. They constantly try to push the Green Aesop the game has going, and often bash humans for not living "in harmony with nature" the way they (the demihumans) want. The aesop falls flat because humanity is kind to nature, having only one city, which is remarkably very clean and produces no visible pollution. But what really makes them this is an alternate ending where they take the now-unoccupied areas humans used to live in and proceed to live there without changing anything, making them just as bad as the humans they hated so much.
  • Delilah Kaldwin the witch from Dishonored 2 is a textbook example. She is the bastard sister of the late empress. When she was only a child, her sister broke an irreplaceable heirloom and pinned the blame on her. As a result, she was whipped and her mother was fired from the palace kitchen. Delilah and her mother ended up in debtor's prison where her mother died of infection after a fat guard broke her jaw. Delilah was thrown out and used the last of her cash to buy a child's coffin to fold her mother in. In response to this, Delilah pays a visit to her innocent niece Emily. She leads a violent attack on the girl's throne, needlessly murdering every maid and bystander in the building, petrifies Emily's father and only family, and leaves the girl homeless, unwittingly doing the exact thing to Emily that she had suffered from as a herself. Despite this, the supporting cast of the game desperately tries to rationalize Delilah's actions. The Outsider even claims that Delilah is the smartest person alive despite her being so bad at her new duties that the empire is thrown into anarchy, the palace becomes flooded, runs out of power, and fills with rat swarms and that she's suffered more than anybody on earth when not only has Emily been through all of the same, but when she was 10, she saw her mother get stabbed right in front of her, was kidnapped, twice, held prisoner in a whorehouse, and her caretaker was executed by firing squad. Anton Sokolov even claims that Delilah doesn't deserve to die for what she has done, and that she simply has a talent for "imagining the world as a better place".
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: The way that Vamp's death scene is set up, with Naomi cradling him in tears as he slowly passes away from his various wounds after having his immortality-inducing nanomachines suppressed, is clearly meant to make the players feel sympathetic for him and his tortured existence. The problem is that Vamp is never depicted as anything but a complete bloodthirsty monster; murdering dozens of innocent people and inflicting immeasurable suffering to the main cast (including murdering Otacon's sister purely out of spite), and is completely unrepentant for his crimes - his sudden Death Seeker status is solely because he can't die rather than out of any sort of repentance. Vamp had a horrible past, and the nanomachines arguably made it even worse, but he's still such an awful human being that it's nearly impossible to actually feel sympathetic towards him (his Draco in Leather Pants-ing fangirls notwithstanding).
    • Solid Snake even offers a counterpoint to the idea that a tragic past makes you sympathetic (in the same game, no less). When talking about the B&B Corps, Drebin retells the horrible lives of each of the members, but Snake shoots it all down by saying that, at some point, a terrible life stops being an excuse for your actions. Yet, MGS4 expects that same line of logic to work on a character with more reason for the player to hate.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona:
    • Ken in Persona 3. Granted, he did lose his mother, but his planning to kill Shinjiro and then himself isn't something that anyone, except maybe Takaya, wants. While Shinjiro is guilty of manslaughter, his popularity and the fact that he's willing to accept being killed for what he's done, save for the fact that Ken will then have to live with the guilt Shinjiro bore for years (a lesson Ken ignores) makes him somewhat more sympathetic by comparison. The official English localization doesn't help, as it's implied that rather than feel guilty over Shinjiro's death, Ken's angry that he didn't get to kill Shinjiro himself.
    • Persona 4:
      • Ryotaro Dojima comes off as this. Throughout the game, he often suspected the Protagonist of getting involved with the murder mystery. Okay, a bit understandable since the murders started around the same time he came to town, and it's his job as a detective to find the pieces. During his Social Link, he and the Protagonist start to bond, but all of his Character Development immediately gets derailed when the killer sends a threatening letter to the Dojima residence. Dojima's first instinct is to completely distrust the Protagonist, regardless of whether you completed his Social Link or not. Then, in the biggest What an Idiot! moment in the game, he takes the Protagonist to the police station to interrogate him, and leaves Nanako, his seven-year-old daughter with no self-defense experience, home alone. This leads to Nanako getting kidnapped and put into a life-threatening coma, and not once is he ever called out on his negligence. He was originally going to have been the killer, and with how he was written, it makes you wonder just how late in game's development the change was made.
      • Chie often acts like an unrepentant Jerkass to Yosuke (and on some occasions, the Protagonist) regardless of whether he deserves it or not, but the game always seems to want you to side with her. She assaults Yosuke for minor infractions (like for breaking her DVD that he promised he'd pay her back for beforehand). She often extorts him as a way to pay her off for her DVD, even though what she gets off of him paid her back many times over. She even uses Yosuke's money without permission to buy Teddie an expensive outfit and got defensive when Yosuke rightfully called her out on it. Despite her behavior, she always gets away with it.
    • Persona 4: Arena Ultimax:
      • Sho Minazuki, the main antagonist. It has been displayed that he has had a horrid upbringing, which was actually similar to the upbringing of the orphans who would become Strega in Persona 3, and it's mentioned that his adoptive father, Shuji Ikutusuki, tried to kill him at one point. He's reprimanded through and through as he deserves, and is ultimately left to his own devices in the end. Seems all well and good, except for the fact that Yu and Labrys, more or less the protagonists of their respective routes, continually forgive him and insist that because of his upbringing, and because Sho feels he cannot form bonds without fighting, Sho cannot be held at fault. Sure, he's under the thumb of the Malevolent Entity the entire time, but Sho's been shown to be psychotic, unforgiving, gleeful in harming others, and extremely immature. It gets worse when you find out that Igor is even trying to give him the power of the Wild Card, despite Sho being the last person one would expect to be able to use it, what with his entire motivation for all the harm he causes boiling down to "friendship is stupid and I'll prove it".
      • Akihiko, at the end of Arena, seems to find value in protecting others and chooses to live out that desire by becoming a police officer. In Ultimax's ending, he plans to establish some connections with Officer Kurosawa for his job with the Shadow Operatives, despite the fact that he wants to leave that group someday. He regularly slacks off of college, desires to aimlessly train like he did at the start of Arena (which he dropped out of college to do), and is extremely rude towards Aigis, who's more or less been forced to babysit him for the classes that Mitsuru is paying for. Even with his connections, chances are high that he'd need said college education to become an officer (most police-related occupations in Japan do). If Mitsuru didn't value him so much, Akihiko would basically be an incredibly ungrateful moocher with no life goals.
    • Persona 5:
      • Corrupt Corporate Executive Kunikazu Okumura, the fifth Arc Villain. The only major targets who are portrayed more sympathetically than him are Futaba and Sae Niijima. He is shown in a more flattering light than the previous targets on the notion that the Phantom Thieves are only targeting him because he's ranked first on their fan site. This in turn, is played as a sign that they're becoming drunk with their newfound fame and have become corrupted by the whims of their increasingly bloodthirsty fanbase, despite the painfully obvious hesitation that the thieves show in going after him. Indeed, it's soon revealed that Shido's Conspiracy hacked the website to ensure his name would be at the top of the polls in order to have him murdered and frame the Thieves for his death. All of this gets undermined by the fact that he's legitimately evil. He's a horrendously Corrupt Corporate Executive who works his employees until they drop, it's implied via some files from Sae that he's involved with having several competitors assassinated (Which is outright confirmed when you tackle the seventh Palace - he's another member of Shido's Conspiracy who regularly requests mental shutdowns), and he sees his daughter as little more than a bargaining chip and intends to marry her off to the Spoiled Brat son of a prominent politician in order to become a politician himself - an occupation he has absolutely no business partaking in, and is also Not So Different from what the Big Bad was planning. The son in question is all but expressly stated to be chomping at the bit to exercise the Marital Rape License, and Okumura's cognition of him shows that he's well aware of this, but doesn't care. It's witnessing Haru suffering under him firsthand that actually convinces the thieves to change Okumura's heart. He's no different from any of the other Hate Sinks in Tokyo whose hearts you change, except that he happens to be related to a main character.
      • Morgana comes across this way when he abandons the party in September. After Futaba joins, he starts to feel useless since she's taken over the role of Mission Control, and the breaking point that causes him to leave the group is Ryuji making fun of him. What makes Morgana a case of this is that he is always mocking Ryuji, calling him names like ape and moron, and looks like a Hypocrite who can't take what he dishes out. While Ryuji is portrayed in the wrong for mocking Morgana, Morgana never gets called out for constantly berating Ryuji, and continues to mock him after he rejoins the team.
      • The traitor Goro Akechi has gotten this treatment from a lot of fans, who believe their Alas, Poor Villain moment after their reveal was heavy-handed and poorly executed, as the Phantom Thieves asked them to rejoin even after multiple people died from their own selfish whims, including Futaba's mother, Haru's father, and Joker in the bad endings, in addition to causing mental shutdowns that ruined a lot of Tokyo and hurt a lot of innocent people undermines how the Phantom Thieves treated most of their targets, where they force the targets into a life of atonement, while making it clear that no matter how much they atone, they can never be forgiven for their crimes.
      • Eiko from Makoto's Confidant events gets this, too, despite being a minor character. She's dating a host called Tsukasa, who is an obvious slimebag that uses his looks and smooth-talking to date multiple girls, calling them 'Princess' to avoid having to keep track of names, with his final goal being to get them to prostitute themselves to pay off non-existent debts of his. The player is supposed to want to get Eiko away from this guy, but she does nothing to really make one sympathetic towards her. She asks Makoto for money, and ignores all obvious flaws or red flags that involve her dear Tsukasa. Even when Makoto admits that Tsukasa has been messaging her a lot, Eiko immediately thinks Makoto's trying to steal Tsukasa away from her, despite already dating the protagonist. The game tries to give her a sympathetic background by having Makoto reveal that Eiko is ignored at home because of her younger, multi-talented brother, and Tsukasa must be the first person to have ever treated Eiko as special. Unfortunately, this doesn't help, and even the protagonist gets the option to say she deserves what she gets from dating Tsukasa. The player is supposed to be happy when Tsukasa's true character gets revealed to her and Eiko is finally free of him, but many players were glad to just be rid of her because she took up way too large of a role for Makoto's entire Confidant route.
  • Helena Harper from Resident Evil 6. She's been blackmailed by villains who kidnapped her sister and turned her into a monster while they were at it. Unfortunately, her actions trying to save her sister led to an entire college campus turning into zombies. Even if you do feel bad for her at first, watching Liz die from the infection and her lovable father fall apart into heart-breakingly narmy tears will make quick work of that pity. It also doesn't help that she whines about her sister for the entire game.
  • Eveline from Resident Evil 7: biohazard was engineered to be a Walking Wasteland bioweapon and programmed to desire a family as a means of spreading her infection. Pretty sad setup, but when a character is lashing out at injustice and wants to keep the audience on their side, it's really important to set the amount of sadistic cruelty, arrogant taunting, and evil laughter they display as close to zero as possible. Eveline uses all three of those things to an excess, making it clear that she's well aware of the pain and suffering she causes, and that she enjoys it. When Eveline whiningly asks why everyone hates her near the end, many players had no trouble giving an answer.
  • Within the Neptunia series, the games generally did a good job portraying the heroes as heroes and the villains as villains. The third game, Victory, had a lot of problems with this matter; the writers seemed to have declined to write actual personalities for the characters in favor of just writing one joke for them and then basing their contribution to every scene they're in around that single joke, which had dire consequences.
    • The eponymous main character Neptune has become even lazier than she was in Mk2, spending years without doing anything (so much so that she actually lost all her levels from the end of the last game) and being an ass to anyone who calls her out on her laziness. Even worse, she treats her beloved sister very badly, especially in what's supposed to be the Good Ending.
    • We have Plutia, with one side of the fandom loving her endearing laziness and her HDD mode as sadistic Iris Heart, and the other side thinking that her normal form is a lazy idiot and her HDD form an overpowered and bitchy jackass whose only reason for existing is to rape everybody.
    • This has the side effect of making the villains Unintentionally Sympathetic, as not only are they the ones going up against insurmountable odds (seven random people who aren't the most united working together against Physical Gods), their motivations of overthrowing the CPUs (who can be lazy, arrogant, sore losers and pretty illogical) can be pretty sound.
    • However, one villain has this problem. Rei, normally, is sympathetic. However, like Iris Heart, her HDD mode kills her character, making her an intolerable hypocrite unwilling to acknowledge her mistakes and actually deserving her ten thousand years of loneliness.
    • The remake, Hyperdimension Neptunia RE;Birth 3, is a big Author's Saving Throw that addressed many of these concerns. Neptune is much more eager to get things done, implies she's been on off-screen adventures during the timeskips, and has a much better relationship with her sister. Plutia was made less of a toxic influence, Iris' sadism was made much less sexual, and both forms are more emotionally intelligent than she's letting on. The villains make more satisfying antagonists by sheer dint of the heroes being more heroic. And where plot points demand the party do jerkass things, the characters themselves heavily imply they know it's a recycled script and transparently try to get the scenes over with painlessly. For the most part, it seems to have worked.
  • Metroid: Other M:
    • Adam Malkovich is supposed to be a stern but fair leader who genuinely cares about the protagonist Samus Aran and a competent commander. However, his actions on screen show him treating Samus with a mixture of condescending rudeness and cold indifference. Despite the fact that at this point she has a successful career as a bounty hunter and as a mercenary for the Federation who destroyed the entire base of the pirates, he still doesn't consider her as his equal and allows her to join his crew on the Bottle Ship only if she strictly follows his orders. Which leads to the infamous Authorization System. Samus cannot use any of her equipment, even her defensive gear, until Adam says she can. At one point of the game, Adam asks you to go to a lava-filled area, and waits until you've been slowly cooking yourself through the area for something like fifteen minutes before realizing he should probably authorize use of the Varia Suit (a suit that protects you from deadly heat and convection, which no other game in the series has ever required you to traverse a superheated area until you've acquired it). Eventually Adam does something heroic when he saves Samus from a Metroid... by shooting her in the back while it's threatening her! For those reasons, many players were apathetic during his death scene and horrified by the implications of him coming back as a computer in Metroid Fusion.

      Something repeated about Adam, over and over, is that he's willing to sacrifice things that he cares about for the greater good. The game certainly shows a lot of him sacrificing things... not so much on the "cares about" front. There is never a point in the game where Adam exhibits any affection or care for those around him or under him (including his own family), nor is there a point where he grapples with the difficulty of sacrificing something important to him (even a flashback to when his brother died showed him not even batting an eye as he ignored Samus' pleading to let her go save him and ordered a part of the ship jettisoned). Even in his "Heroic Sacrifice," he states that the only reason he is sacrificing himself and not Samus is that Samus is more able to finish the mission. Because of this, Adam comes off less like a man willing to make hard decisions and more like a sociopath who views everything and everyone as nothing more than disposable assets.
    • Melissa Bergman/MB is regarded by Samus as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, who was unfairly used by the Galactic Federation as a means for a telepathic army. While there's some truth to this, the story treats her as though all her megalomania came from their treatment from her, and not from being a clone of Mother Brain, the archetypal power-hungry AI of the Metroid series. Samus then claims MB killing all the staff aboard the Bottle Ship as her vengeance, wanting to merely "punish the foolish and conceited", but that's an overly excusing reading of a someone who murdered hundreds for the actions of a few and then planned galactic genocide.
  • Tales of the Abyss:
    • Arietta. Despite being one of the villains, she's portrayed as a poor girl who lost her parents in the events of Hod years prior to the story, was raised by ligers and can talk to them, before being intergrated into human society. She's supposed to be seen as pitiful, because she used to be a Fon Master Guardian, but was removed from that position two years ago, making her feel thrown away from Ion, whom she loved. The reason she was removed was because Ion died and was replaced with a replica, who had no memories, so it would have been easily discovered, had the new Ion not remembered the years he had spent with Arietta. Even the heroes feel sorry for Arietta. But she spends the game whining about how she lost her position, whining at Ion when she sees him and getting into petty fights with Anise, all while blaming Luke, Tear and Jade for having killed her adoptive liger mother and refusing to listen to any explanations. Arietta even killed people and paid a major part in the overtaking of the Tartarus, early in the game, so she's got blood on her hands. It's very difficult to like her even when she dies later on.
    • A big reason for the Broken Base surrounding Anise herself can be attributed to this trope as well. She was blackmailed by Mohs to spy on the player's party with her gullible parents held hostage. This act of spying would eventually lead into Ion's death. Anise felt absolutely guilty over this, and rightfully so. However, her way to deal with Arietta was to spare her from the Awful Truth about Ion, which Anise says would devastate Arietta's mind. The fans still hated Anise for this, and the hatred wasn't quite unfounded. After witnessing her party members growing so strong, she should have confessed to them without harming anyone. On top of that, Anise was on board in blaming Luke and giving snarky death suggestions on him after Akzeriuth, which was believed to be not quite Luke's fault (He pulled the trigger, but it was due to Vaan's manipulations), thus she's pegged as Easily Forgiven for causing Ion to die.
    • Many players felt like the party members blaming Luke is hypocritical as the major reason that Luke ended up trusting Vaan was because, despite showing he's extremely sheltered and has no idea how the world works (including having to be taught the concept of bartering), they regularly ignored him and tell him to shut up and refused to explain why he shouldn't do the thing that lead to Akzeriuth or not trust Vaan.
  • In Tales of Symphonia we have Chocolat, a woman the party encounters in Palmacosta. We first see her refusing to sell cheap Gels to some Desians and they threaten her, only for her to scoff at them and say Governer General-Dorr will protect the citizens of Palmacosta. Later on, the party returns to the city to find the leader of the Palmacosta Human Ranch, Magnius, is in the plaza and about to hang Chocolat's mother. Even though Chocolat is horrified, she still mouths off at Magnius and insists that Dorr won't let them get away with it. When Lloyd's group manage to save Cacao and drive Magnius away, Cacao thanks them but Chocolat tells them she doesn't believe in Martel, which is bordering on blasphemy given that Colette is the Chosen of Mana. Later on, Chocolat is kidnapped by Magnius to lure Colette to the Human Ranch. When they show up and attempt to save Chocolat, Magnius taunts Lloyd over his failure to save anyone from the Iselia Human Ranch and causing Marble's death. Chocolat freaks out because it turns out Marble was her grandmother and she refuses to listen to Lloyd and Genis when the latter tries to explain they tried to save Marble but had to Mercy Kill her and allows Magnius' henchmen to take her away to another location. It's obviously supposed to come off like a tragic failure for Lloyd, but it's easy to dismiss Chocolat as being a stubborn idiot who refused to listen to the party and believed Magnius over them, and antagonised the Desians needlessly in the first place because she thought Dorr would keep them safe when it turned out Dorr was actually under the thumb of the Desians all along. Later the group encounter Chocolat again at the Iselia Human Ranch and she's still incredibly sullen and ungrateful towards Lloyd, even though other prisoners in the Ranch told her that Lloyd and Genis were kind to Marble and Forcystus turned her into a monster.
    • Colette herself can fall into this category despite being a main character. She was selectively bred to be a vessel for Martel and a lot of terrible things happen to her over the course of the game. The problem is, so much of the game is dedicated to rescuing Colette or saving her, and many of her problems could have been solved way earlier if she's just told someone. In the first instance, it's justified, as she allows herself to lose her humanity as an Angel because she believes it's necessary to save the world and her destiny to do so. But the longer the game goes on, the more frustrating it is that there's yet another problem Colette refused to tell the group about with the justification that "they'd only worry." For instance, it turns out Colette's Cruxis crystal is slowly making her sick, a disease that will eventually crystallise her entire body at its final stage, but Colette constantly lies and tells everyone she's fine. The party only find out about this accidentally and by this point she's already covered in scales, meaning the party are forced to race against the clock to save her and gather the ingredients to cure her, including the enemy base itself. Then there's her dependency on Lloyd and how often Colette is kidnapped and needs rescuing, despite the fact that when she begins the process to turn into an Angel, she's given Super Senses, incredible strength and wings (which she gets to keep even when her humanity is restored). Yet what does she do when she's kidnapped at the Tower of Salvation and the party are surrounded by enemies? Scream for Lloyd to save her instead of trying to do anything to get out of the situation herself. Yet Lloyd gets called out for not being able to protect her and the party keep reminding Lloyd that he needs to rescue her, even though the entire world will be destabilised if Martel is successfully resurrected and the group only scold Colette about never speaking up near the end of the game, and only very mildly at that.
  • The Big Bad of Tales of Vesperia is supposed to be a Fallen Hero / Well-Intentioned Extremist wanting to create a utopia at any cost. In theory, it's a great idea that fits in with the game's overall Order Versus Chaos theme. The problem? He claims to be behind everything that we see in the story. This not only doesn't make much sense (considering that so many of the villains seem to be working against one another) but it also means that he is directly responsible for all of the corruption that he claims he is trying to stop. The fact that the full extent of his plan is not explained in the main story (instead being relegated to many sidequests with obnoxious requirements) and the fact that his English voice, of all people, is D.C. Douglas - a man who excels at playing Obviously Evil Large Hams, and who plays Alexei's Laughing Mad Despair Event Horizon moment as a straight-up Evil Laugh - means that he comes across more as a cheesetastic over-the-top pantomime villain when he should be a tragic Anti-Villain. While this is not necessarily bad per se, since Alexei's Laughably Evil antics have become rather memetic within the series' fandom, it's clear that the character really didn't come across as the writers intended him to.
    • Flynn wants to try Cumore and Ragou for their crimes and bring them to justice within the laws of the system, something Yuri was cool with. However, due to their connections as Alexei's workhorses, they were free to manipulate and abuse the system to their own ends, including getting released for their crimes with no punishment. Ragou and Cumore were completely unrepentant to their crimes, including Ragou feeding his townspeople to monsters for kicks if they couldn't keep up with his exorbitantly high taxes. Many players don't find themselves hating Flynn personally (in fact, many see a man wanting to do the right thing being bound and screwed over by legal red tape), but ended up sympathizing with Yuri far more than intended because if Yuri hadn't taken to vigilantism, more people were going to die by their actions there and then.
  • Tales of Graces
    • Lambda is supposed to be seen as sympathetic to the player, but the attempts to make Lambda come across as sympathetic are shallow. Lambda is an entity that had no purpose in life other than to destroy things. In the final dungeon, the player is subjected to seeing flashbacks to Lambda's past, where he was eventually given a body to inhabit and was then constantly being experimented on and tortured. The player is supposed to feel bad for Lambda because he had to endure such horrible things and left him with no purpose other than to destroy things... which doesn't work because Lambda's entire purpose was to destroy things to begin with. Just before the final boss fight, Lambda is throwing a Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum, Asbel manages to shut him up by simply asking "And then what?" Lambda's Stunned Silence is proof that he didn't really have any plan beyond that, which further drove away sympathy for him.
    • Asbel can come across this way to some players. He's a hot-headed, somewhat gullible hero and refuses to think that Richard actually needs to be fought, citing that The Power of Friendship will be enough to get him to see sense. Asbel comes across as condecendingly compassionate to his brother, who was sold to a different family by their father in an attempt to avoid an inheritance feud, and thinks all of his relationships can be picked up as they were 7 years ago, despite Asbel having basically cut off all contact to his family and friends. There's also the fact that Asbel considers his own life to have been horrible, even putting it on-par with Lambda's continuous torture, despite Asbel having told off his strict father at the age of 10, ran away from home to join the Knight Academy, and managed to fulfill his dream of becoming a knight within a few years.
  • Tales of Xillia 2:
    • Strangely enough, Alt!Milla is considered this In-Universe. She comes from an alternate dimension, where she managed to get rid of Exodus at a young age and, hence, did not need to be the Lord of the Spirits any longer and is living a rather human life with her sister Muzét. Said sister has been blinded by an attack while protecting Milla and denied re-entry to the Spirit Realm, which has resulted in her abusing Milla for the past fourteen years. When Alt!Milla gets accidentally transported into the prime dimension, she needs to deal with the reality that her world was not real, is now destroyed and that her appearance has caused Prime!Milla to disappear into the abyss between dimensions, as well as that she actually has no real place in the prime dimension. Unfortunately, Alt!Milla decides to be repeatedly abrasive with others, whines about how her world is destroyed and in general does nothing but wallow in her misery. It gets to the point that Gaius calls her out on her behavior.
    • Elle. She's a young girl, separated from her father and on a journey to the Land of Canaan. She's taken under Ludger's wing and tries to act adult, but is still a child in a situation that she isn't ready for and understandably lashes out, as a kid is wont to do. She's also revealed to be part of a fractured dimension, meaning that she'll disappear if they wish for all fractured dimensions to disappear, leaving her to consider herself a fake, similar to Alt!Milla above. Exactly how sympathetic she is to people can vary, though some of her lashings out leave her looking beyond selfish for a child's standards.
  • League of Legends: The developers have stated that all of the factions are mostly neutral, including Demacia and Noxus. However, with how Noxus is portrayed as being filled with various Social Darwinists and sadists who are very brutal and sinister in doing their jobs, not to mention often taking the 'bad guy' role during cinematics... Well, we have a reason Noxus is often considered the Always Chaotic Evil faction.
  • There is a version of this trope that led to a bit of a Broken Base in BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma. Litchi Faye-Ling has taken swing into Anti-Villain against her will and her arcade shows that she has a big remorse in fighting her friends and is not pleased with her superiors. All in all, it led to her being 'sympathetic'. However, in story mode, after having her attempts to be 'good' again was undone via time reset, she's later shown to still continue aiding Relius to 'recreate the world' under the goal of 'creating a world where Lotte Carmine exists', to dissuade her grief of losing him now that he couldn't be saved. At that point, the base broke: some still considers her sympathetic and tragic like what was intended in the Arcade Mode because among other things, she's pushed beyond her limits and sees no other 'option' to save Lotte, and she still shows dislike and remorse to what she must do, proven with how she tried to stop Carl from joining her, others follow this trope and lost any sympathy for her, thought she crossed the Moral Event Horizon because... is saving one person and alleviating your own grief and guilt when no one else could worth aiding an equivalent to a genocide that involves herself and other characters that cared about her?
  • Fire Emblem has a notoriously spotty track record when dealing with intended-to-be-sympathetic villains:
    • Michalis of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is supposed to be a Tragic Villain, with the wise sage Gotoh expressing pity for the burden that his crimes have put on his soul. Trouble is, those crimes are killing his father so that he can seize the throne and ally Macedon with the Big Bad after too long chatting with Gharnef. Then he dupes his little sister Maria and makes her a hostage in Dolhr, with orders that she be killed if his other sister Minerva tries to pull a Heel–Face Turn. While it's understandable that Maria (who's a healer) would save her brother, it's hard for players to find his story all that sympathetic or his redemption arc in Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem very satisfying. And to make matters worse, in the remake, once he's miraculously brought Back from the Dead, rather than having an epiphany (which could have made his redemption having a meaning), he instead reverts to his tyrannical personality like nothing happened in the course of both games and got a happy end on top of it. Anyone wonders why they usually opt to leave him dead afterwards?
    • Travant from Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War is in a similar boat. He's intended to be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, a good man at heart who's driven to extreme actions for the good of his country, which is suffering from extreme poverty. Unfortunately, we're introduced to him by seeing him ambush Quan and Ethlyn, massacring their armies, murdering Ethlyn in cold blood and talking their newborn child hostage to force Quan to disarm himself just so he can kill him more easily, and taking the baby to raise as his own afterwards. And when we meet him in the second generation, he doesn't seem to show any hint of remorse for what he did. Most players cheer at having Quan's son Leif cut him down, rather than feel bad for him. The midquel Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 seems to have realised this and tried to correct it. Unfortunately, the only way for them to do so was to reveal, out of nowhere, that Eviler Than Thou villains manipulated him into killing Quan and Ethlyn.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has Carlyle. The head of the Jehannan military, he nursed a Bodyguard Crush on his country's beautiful Queen Ismaire, but eventually sells his country out to the Grado Empire when it becomes apparent she'll never reciprocate. He seems to be intended as a Tragic Villain driven to evil by unrequited love, but in practice comes off more as an Entitled Bastard who uses I'm a Man; I Can't Help It as a justification for treason.
    • To a lesser extent, there's Dragon King Dheginsea in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. To avoid a prophecy that states The End of the World as We Know It would come if all of Tellius went to war, he ordered his nation of Goldoa into a state of total isolationism, with Goldoans being forbidden from providing military aid to, conducting diplomacy with, or even trading with any other country, just so, in the event of a war, there would be one country that technically isn't involved. He does turn out to be sort of right, but he could've been less of an ass about it. What really seals this though is that when the prophecy comes true and Ashera reawakens to destroy the world, he decides to side with her, despite having absolutely nothing to gain from this and contradicting his entire motivation before; the only justification he gives is essentially "We had our chance and blew it, now we have to give up." It almost feels as if this was only done to give the player a dramatic boss fight. That last part is lampshaded and discussed: the other Laguz rulers are outraged when he explains himself, and will call him on his BS if they come to blows. After the fight they all agree he got exactly what he deserved and only barely stop short of Speak Ill of the Dead, and only because the much more sympathetic dragon Prince is standing right there.
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening we have Panne, who is similar to Lethe from the Tellius games, a member of an animal-like race (Laguz for Lethe, Taguel for Panne) who are discriminated against by humans. Unfortunately, we only know this when reading Panne's supports and she's such a relentless asshole to everyone, including people who are supposed to be her allies and are simply trying to get to know her better, that she becomes a very unlikeable character, though she does soften up towards people later on. Unlike with Lethe, we are never shown any characters discriminating against Panne for being a Taguel, so her constantly antagonistic behaviour towards everyone (including calling humans "man-spawn") makes her look bad when she's supposed to have a perfectly legitimate Freudian Excuse from being one of the few Taguel still alive in Ylisse. The fact her son, Yarne, gets on fine with humans despite being a bit cowardly, doesn't do anything to net Panne any points either.
    • Fire Emblem Warriors has Rowan, one of the Original Generation main Lords of the game and the younger sibling in his family. He and his older sister constantly bicker about who doesn't get to inherit the throne of their homeland, Aytolis; Rowan wants to be a knight and wander the land freely (a la Ephraim), while Lianna finds herself too weak and unsure of herself to rule. Support conversations reveal that despite Lianna being the older sibling and being widely supported by the people, male heirs can be preferred, making it as likely for Rowan to rule. Rowan reveals to Xander that he doesn't want to be king because his and Lianna's father was an ill man who wound up dying rather young, and Rowan believes that becoming a king weakens a warrior and leaves them unable to protect those they love. Rowan is divisive enough, but this blatant disrespect towards the hardships that royalty goes through in ruling a kingdom won him over with absolutely no one.
      • Adding to that is the twins' mother, Queen Yelena, the epitome of a Neutral Female who pretty much hangs her head in resignation towards her children's squabbles and doesn't even bother trying to end them until after she's rescued from near-death at the hands of Velezark and King Oskar. Her solution? Make both siblings regents of the kingdom. Seems nice in concept, but heaven knows what kind of conflict that Aytolis would end up in because of that choice.
    • The Camus archetype as a whole is fairly notorious for this—for the unaware, "an Anti-Villain, traditionally a spear-user, who is established to be a decent person and seems like they'd be recruitable, but refuses to switch sides and must be killed." The intended audience response is a Player Punch that you had to kill a good person and a lesson about how even good people can sometimes get wrapped up in bad causes... but oftentimes, the main villain the Camus works for is so Obviously Evil that it stretches credibility, and their rebuttals to the very good arguments made by other characters that they should switch sides amount to "nuh-uh, I don't want to", making them come off as less tragic and more Too Dumb to Live. (Though, oddly enough, the original Camus does not qualify for this, as he had the spark of brainpower needed to switch sides). Xander in Fire Emblem Fates is particularly notorious for this in the Birthright storyline (and to a lesser extent in Revelation), claiming that his Obviously Evil father is not Obviously Evil, even though he saw him do bad things, such as encouraging the Avatar to execute defenseless defeated prisoners and threatening to execute them when they hesitate. As revealed in Conquest, he's supposedly aware that his father is not exactly a good person, as he and his other siblings have learned to find ways to get around Garon's most cruel orders without earning his anger.
    • In Fire Emblem Echoes Shadowsof Valentia, Celica at the end of Act 2 comes across as this. During her conversation with Alm, she criticizes him for going to war with Rigel, and after she leaves, the game seems to suggest Celica's in the right and that Alm should apologize... key words being 'seems to'. Specifically, Tobin says Alm should apologize because he thinks it would help, simply not wanting to see them at odds. However, Gray tells Tobin that apologizing just for the sake of doing so could also be wrong, as not all arguments are purely right-vs-wrong. Meanwhile, Alm himself, while feeling down about the things Celica said, sticks to his beliefs because he thinks it's the right thing to do - even when he does apologize to Celica later, it's an on-the-spot reaction to realizing he was Innocently Insensitive to Celica's princess status (even though he couldn't have known this at the time), rather than her automatically having been right. In addition, the audience knows that Alm isn't going to war on a random whim, as he explicitly makes it clear he has no desire for power like she seems to think/fear, and is trying to protect Zofia (which he also attempts to explain to Celica). Furthermore, Rigel is the aggressor in most categories, such as deliberately violating the peace treaty and sealing away Mila. Celica refuses to listen to Alm when he tries to get this across to her and storms out, making her look more like a spoiled brat having a tantrum because Alm isn't doing what she wants than anything else, especially since Celica knows Alm is unaware she's the true heir to Zofia and she's banking on Mila's help to solve all their problems rather than taking a proactive approach herself, making her pleas for peace seem wishy-washy and hypocritical, to boot, since she only fights when she feels she has to.
    • We're supposed to feel sorry for Rinea because she's a shy, gentle woman who is turned into a Witch after Berkut sacrifices her, but the problem is, Rinea is such a Flat Character that it becomes difficult to care about someone who has so little personality or impact. She has absolutely no influence on the story at all, she exists to signify Berkut's morality. She has pretty much no dialogue with any other character, she has no ambitions of her own - when Berkut is having a Villainous Breakdown, Rinea tells Berkut that she never wanted to be Empress in the first place, leading you to wonder exactly why she chose to get engaged to the heir to the Rigelian throne if she doesn't even care about ruling and her first appearance has her whining about how terrible war is while Berkut is a Proud Warrior Race Guy and Frontline General. There are plenty of characters in this game who don't like violence and fighting, like Tatiana, Silque and Genny, but they still contribute in an effort to help by healing their allies, but Rinea never contributes anything in the story and seems content to just sit in the background and wring her hands while Berkut sinks further into instability. Celica herself wants nothing more than the war to end, but knows she has to fight to make that a possibility despite the personal sacrifices she has to make. Arguably, becoming a Witch is the only time Rinea does anything important and it wasn't even her choice to do so. You could completely remove her from the story and nothing would change.
  • Valkyria Chronicles players sometimes end up taking a dim view of Alicia because of her melodramatic whining about her superpowers. Her life doesn't change at all after she becomes a Valkyria, the only difference is that she has the option of killing enemy soldiers with a lance instead of a rifle (and she's deadlier with the rifle), and that since she's an orphan, she now has some idea of who her birth mother must have been. She ignores all of this and instead goes on to have a screaming temper-tantrum that very nearly burns her entire squad alive because she just wants to be normal... even though her powers are completely under her control and she can use them, or not use them, at her discretion, and she doesn't realize it until her boyfriend tells her it's all gonna be okay. Which is exactly what she does, she just never uses her powers again.
  • Mr. Sohta from the horror RPG, Misao. In the end, the game tries really hard to make you feel sorry for, or at least forgive him due to his backstory, but by that point he has killed at least two girls and committed various other awful acts and it's generally considered too late. During his playthrough of the game, Markiplier puts it best:
    Markplier: (reading game text) "You're really a nice person Mr. Sohta... just a little awkward sometimes. And I like you for who you are." Even though you're a murdering psychopath!
  • Mermaid Swamp gives us the old man. He reveals that he felt sorry for the 'mermaids' his family had kept for years and wanted to return them, but due to the strange fascination that they have on the men of the Tsuchida family, he was incapable of actually doing anything to them, so he used the protagonist and her friends to do it for him. While this could make the guy very sympathetic to some players, the fact that it's only revealed in the Golden Ending makes it difficult to actually feel it, because one is more likely to get any of the other endings, which are all bad, first. And the fact that said old man is anything but helpful in those endings makes him less sympathetic. In the other endings, he's more inclined to abuse Rin's insane state than actually help her and kills some of the characters.
  • Star Trek Online:
    • The Kobali are put under the light in Delta Rising. They weren't particularly liked for their Grave Robber ways when they showed up in Star Trek: Voyager, but the Kobali Battlezone missions as well as "Dust to Dust" make them even more unlikable as we come to find out that they've been resurrecting dead Vaadwaur and the Vaadwaur want them back. It gets worse when it is revealed that they have the body of the original Harry Kim. So much so that Harry Kim takes the Kobali to task for their actions, despite the fact that it goes against the Prime Directive and that they're supposed to be our allies.
    • The Past Iconians in "Midnight", the same individuals who are waging genocidal war against The Alliance in the game's present, but met 200,000 years in the past, are presented as a Higher-Tech Species that was unfairly attacked and bombed into the Stone Age by a coalition of other species whom they had refused to give their technology to under an Alien Non-Interference Clause. Some players considered this inadequate reason for later atrocities like causing the Hobus Supernova in an attempt to exterminate the entire Romulan species.
    • The Time Police in the Temporal Cold War arc, for picking and choosing which time travel is "good", e.g. Kirk kidnapping humpback whales from the 1980s, and "bad", e.g. reverting a genocidal Time Travel attack on the Na'Kuhl homeworld, which they oppose for little more reason than that it's (ostensibly) one of the events leading to the creation of the Temporal Accords in the first place.
      mithrosnomore: This means that they (Walker and co.) are fine with changing the timeline so long as it works to their favor. It doesn't make the TLF any better, but it does make Walker and co. a bunch of self-serving hypocrites that are fine with changes that benefit them but not those that change the fate of others.
  • Sonic Lost World: So a major conflict in the game is how Tails starts feeling like Sonic is beginning to lose faith in him in favor of Eggman, and just wants to be of use to his hero. However, this ignores the fact that 1) Eggman is the only one capable of disabling the machine since he was the one who made it. and 2) Tails makes no objections to even allowing him to help in the first place. In fact, this has the side effect of making Sonic Unintentionally Sympathetic, as he's treated negatively for his earlier actions that kicked off the plot despite his genuine remorse and trying to make amends. The plot is firmly on Tails` side of the conflict and in the end, Sonic apologizes for "not trusting him enough". And the whole conflict ends up being moot anyway when Tails just randomly disables Eggman's machine to begin with.
  • Nilin of Remember Me traces everything back to her mother losing her leg in a car accident when she was a kid. The story definitely portrays Nilin as being an undeserving victim, but her character development over the rest of the game tends to undermine it. Her self-centered behavior in the game implies that her behavior as a child, and her willingness to use her remix ability to just make Scylla out to be a bad driver and herself a perfect angel and dodge all the hard work and consequences, are not simple childishness or immaturity as much as they are inherent character flaws.
    • Nilin's mother is, interestingly, also this. She's unable to let go of the fact that Nilin's misbehaving in what led up of the car accident isn't what directly caused it. By the time the accident happened, Nilin was behaving properly for a short amount of time...yet Scylla takes her eyes off the road to lecture her when she sees a red light at an intersection, which caused the accident. Quite possibly the entire story could've been much different if she didn't take that very moment to throw common sense out the window and decide to take it out on her daughter.
  • While Undertale tries to make you feel sorry for Dr. Alphys, she came across more as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing to a few fans. Not only does she run a Monster Protection Racket with Mettaton so she can insert herself into the player's adventure as a hero, but her experiments with determination and monster souls lead to the creation of both the Amalgamates and Flowey. And while none of that was on purpose, the fact she didn't tell anyone about what happened actively made things much worse. Those still leave a bitter taste in a few fans' mouths, especially since she never apologizes or even confesses to the former, despite it being entirely her fault. It's hard to blame her entirely for the latter, since it was an experiment ordered by King Asgore that had Gone Horribly Wrong, and she had no idea what would happen. Either way, she suffers no consequences for either of these behaviors in the game's Golden Ending, while one of the more sympathetic characters ends up suffering a terrible fate, making a Bittersweet Ending.
    • To some extent, Undyne and the monsters who try to kill you, assuming you're not doing a Genocide or a very violent Neutral run. The story treats any killing of a monster as something horrible... But plenty of these monsters are also actively trying to kill you. While the You Bastard! comments are accurate when it comes to the player, and while the extent to which the lack of sympathy those monsters might elicit is unintentional at least partly depends on the player (there are comments in a Pacifist run that compliment the player for their willingness to Turn the Other Cheek), In-Universe those monsters don't know that the player exists and don't know that you can reset (except Flowey and Sans). Therefore, and even if Blue and Orange Morality is often at play, most of the monsters seem surprisingly okay when they have to murder a child. Also, Undyne's words about how you're an "evil" force standing in the way of everyone's "hopes and dreams" lose a lot of their impact, especially in a Pacifist run, when you remember that she's saying it to a child. (And contrary to other monsters, she has seen Human History / Anime, so she probably knows the difference between an adult human and a child.) For an anime fan, she doesn't seem to realize that hurting children is almost always a trait displayed by the villains. The fact that she remains hostile even after you spare her and even if you continue a Pacifist run (until you befriend her of course) may also make Undyne lose some sympathy.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The Final Fantasy VII prequel Crisis Core wants you to feel sorry for Genesis, who is suffering a genetically degrading disease and is so desperate for a cure he's allowing Hollander and Lazard to use him. Except he's an arrogant, long-winded jerk, the injury that triggered the disease is his own fault for showing off, and you could make a strong case that if he hadn't started his rebellion against Shinra, the events that set Sephiroth's Start of Darkness in motion might not have happened. Hell, Genesis seems to be amused when he reveals Sephiroth's origins to him and watches him begin to fall apart for it, yet we're supposed to feel sorry for him.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance: Marche, the main character, is supposed to be in the right in destroying the parallel universe Lotus-Eater Machine of Ivalice and returning to the real world he and his friends came from. However, Marche often comes across as cruel to his friends, who all have better lives in Ivalice than the real world. Specifically, his disabled brother Doned can walk in this world, while his friend Mewt's mother is alive in Ivalice and his alcoholic father Cid is healthy as a result. To make matters worse, there are people in Ivalice that do not seem to correspond to real people, suggesting the possibility of a Dream Apocalypse should Ivalice cease to exist. Marche does little to address his friends' issues besides telling them that escapism isn't healthy, causing him to come off as selfish in destroying an arguably better world simply because he wants to go back, everyone else be damned. There are many fans who believe him to be a Villain Protagonist as a result.
      • One reason that the whole game was criticised back in 2003 was that viewers thought none of the protagonists were very sympathetic. Issues with Marche aside, Mewt came off as a spoilt crybaby making laws stronger just because. Ritz was seen as flat out petty because all she wanted was to have naturally red hair. Doned the Ill Boy was the only one who was seen as sympathetic due to his wish being to walk and run like a normal kid... Yet at the same time, he proceeds to throw his own brother under the bus and hires multiple thugs in an attempt to rough him up. On top of that, the kids basically wish for their classmates to freeze to death in the snow, and beat their corpses up for the hell of it.
  • This trope is the reason why Nix from Infamous 2 is so disliked among the fandom. She's meant to be portrayed as a Jerkass Woobie with a tragic past involving the deaths of her parents at the hands of Bertrand, but this Freudian Excuse is flimsy at best and does little to justify her violent streak. The Evil choices she advocates for Cole are outlandishly, stupidly evil, and make her come off as a borderline sociopath. This is especially in contrast with Kuo and Zeke, who are far more sympathetic and have more character depth in general. note 
  • Luka in The Wonderful 101. His mom died and he blames the superhero team the game is named after for not being able to save her. That part's fine and sympathetic. What isn't is how he genuinely wants to ally with the GEATHJERK forces, who are trying to destroy Earth, and even aid them by leaking inside technology and weak points in the planet's defenses. Making matters worse is the timing of his Heel-Face Turn, which is after he finds out that his mom is technically alive through the defense robot Platinum Robo. Still wanting to side with GEATHJERK even after their Dragon reduced Blossom City to a pile of ruins floating in the sky speaks a lot about him. In spite of all of this, Wonder-Red and Wonder-Pink both bend over backwards to downplay his behavior and at worst he's supposed to be seen as misguided and driven too far with revenge (one of the game's main themes). He does make a full Heel–Face Turn and even joins the team as Wonder-Goggles, but it's hard to feel sorry for the kid who was absolutely willing to destroy his entire planet all because he thought his mom died, and only went back to the heroes after finding out she isn't dead.
  • Patroklos in Soulcalibur V is shown to be a self-righteous, sociopathic racist who remorselessly murders an innocent man in the opening cutscene of the game. He's also supposed to be the protagonist. You're supposed to feel sorry for him because his mother is dead (implicitly causing his father to later die of a broken heart) and his sister was abducted when they were children. His relationship with Pyrrha (said sister) is supposed to be his redeemable trait, but that even gets thrown out the window when he finds out she's Malfested—one of the very creatures he's spent most of his life hating and the targets of the Witch Hunts throughout SCVand the intended bearer of Soul Edge. He runs away from their battle and vows to kill her if he ever see her again, which he temporarily does due to being easily controlled by the will of Soul Calibur, who is a major Knight Templar where Soul Edge is concerned. The only reason Pyrrha survives is because Edge Master sends Patroklos back in time after he manages to break free of Elysium's control. Supplemental materials would focus on Patroklos' time spent in Istanbul with his teacher-slash-presumed Parental Substitute Setsuka and indicate that Pat knows he's unworthy of following Sophitia's legacy as a "holy warrior" yet can't bring himself to openly admit it, presumably in an attempt to make him less unlikable, but the damage was already done, leading to Patroklos quickly becoming one of the most hated characters in the entire Soul series. Sure enough, Soulcalibur VI would be a Continuity Reboot that wipes the slate clean, effectively erasing Patroklos altogether to the relief of everyone.
  • Nina Williams of the Tekken franchise is always, always, always presented as a super-cool badass who we're supposed to root for in her rivalry against her twin sister Anna; the two animated films based on the series and the spin-off game Death by Degrees all depict Nina as the hero and Anna as a craven, pathetic villain. The main series, though, has shown Nina be extremely vicious, cruel and abusive towards her sister, even on occasions where Anna has sincerely tried in good faith to bury the hatchet between them, and has gone so far as to outright murder Anna —along with numerous other innocent people— in at least one [non-canon] ending. If Nina's Character Shilling weren't so obvious, it'd be easy to assume that we were meant to sympathize with Anna instead (who's no saint herself, but comes off as amoral at worst instead of, y'know, evil).
  • Jake Conway in Ride to Hell: Retribution. We are supposed to sympathize and root for him because his brother has just been murdered by the Devil's Hand and he decides to go against them as revenge for his brother's death. But the lengths he is willing to go and the sheer amount of innocent people he murders to accomplish this makes him as bad, if not worse than the very bikers that he hates. Case in point, when he encounters an electric fence his solution to the problem is to kill a bunch of innocent truckers, steal their fuel truck, then drive it to the power plant, killing any police that tries to get in his way, and when he enters the plant, he kills all the workers trying to defend the dam, then shoots the fuel tank in order to blow up the power plant just to shut down the electric fence. Disregarding how much potential damage it could do by shutting down the power source for at least four states, this plan is needlessly elaborate and cruel considering that he could have just found a tree to jump over the fence or even used the truck to knock it down with minimal innocent casualties.
  • The Legend of Dragoon has a few examples:
    • Miranda, the First Sacred Sister and final party member. Her backstory would normally garner a lot of sympathy: She was unwanted (and beaten) by her mother. Her father was a lush who also beat her. She would run away and spend all of her time wandering a glacier until she was adopted by Queen Theresa. During the story, Rose is also a unwarranted bitch to Miranda, telling her Miranda isn't as capable with the White Silver Dragoon Spirit that rejected Shana in favor of Miranda when Miranda is just as capable in the actual game. However, before we reach that part, we meet Miranda for a bit. She's shown to be hot-tempered, immature, and a poor leader - and prone to punching guards who displease her.
    • Miranda's mother was supposedly trapped in a loveless marriage to a drunk. That's pretty sympathetic. However, she also beat her own child (who was an infant, no less) in order to deal with her pain. That's not sympathetic. Then, she ran away with another man to escape the loveless marriage. That's sympathetic. But when Miranda saw this, she reveals she never bothered to mention that she had a daughter, and abandoned her. That's FAR from sympathetic. During the final dungeon, Miranda fights a manifestation of her mother, who comes off as apologetic, and reveals that she had actually had remorse for leaving Miranda and tried to come back for her. Yet every time, Miranda's father chased her away (rightfully so) and when he died, Miranda had been taken in by Queen Theresa. You have to forgive her to continue - many players disagree with this and feel Miranda's mother got what she deserved.
    • Rose can fall under this as well. She's cold, aloof, standoffish, and antisocial at the best of times - not to mention directly and openly antagonistic towards Miranda. Some players found her backstory not enough to justify her behavior, and were grateful when Miranda slapped her in Disc 4.
  • Life Is Strange.
    • Chloe Price, to a faction of the notoriously Broken Base. The entire game revolves around Max's reconnection with her, in the form of Chloe dying and Max using her rewind powers to save her life. While she is supposed to be seen as flawed, her tragic backstory and Broken Bird tendencies aren't necessarily enough to redeem her selfish, arrogant attitude, or her tendency to do stupid things that get her killed. One infamous example was when David caught her with her weed, and if Max didn't hide, she'd immediately throw Max under the bus, but if the player denied it, the game will basically guilt trip you for letting Chloe get in trouble. Another moment was when she asked Max if she could steal money from the Principal's office purportedly to be used for a fundraiser to help disabled students (though there's also a rather strong undercurrent that it was actually a bribe to cover up the misbehavior of the son of the richest man in town) so she could pay off her debts that she got herself into. This also contributes to the player base reactions to the endings, since how much the player cares about Chloe, and Max's relationship with her, factors heavily in both of them.
    • Among fans who do sympathize with Chloe, conversely, her mother Joyce is commonly seen as this. Her reaction to the death of her beloved husband was to hook up with an obviously unstable man who is about as much the opposite of her late husband as humanly possible, before her daughter was even done grieving, and take his side against Chloe's in virtually every issue unless Max reveals he's been spying on her without permission. It's often pointed out that Chloe's misbehavior would likely not have occurred at all had her mother been more supportive to her following her father's death.
    • Blackwell Academy's Principal Wells is supposed to be a good person held back by his out of control students and the town's corruption, but to most fans he comes across as a blathering incompetent. As touched on above, it's also heavily implied at one point that he accepts kickbacks from Greater-Scope Villain Sean Prescott, meaning he's feeding said corruption himself.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has an example where sympathy is properly placed right up until going a step too far: Lao. Initially he's an implied Death Seeker because his wife and child were screwed out of their positions on the evacuation ship by rich and influential people who "bought" their way on board. This much is fine, as the characters are tactful and Lao doesn't Wangst in front of the player at all. No, his choice of action is to sell out humanity to a race openly bent on genocide. When this is revealed, Lin and the Player Character will automatically stand in front of Lao to stop Elma shooting him - despite the fact that Elma would be completely justified in a field execution, and this act of mercy directly enables the destruction of humanity's best hope for the future - an outcome that could have been easily predicted. Needless to say, many players consider the traitor's ultimate fate to be a total slap on the wrist.
  • Lusamine, the Big Bad of Pokémon Sun and Moon is supposed to garner sympathy from the player due to once being a loving woman and caring mother who went down a dark path due to grief over losing her husband and being exposed to a potent mind-altering toxin from an Ultra Beast, and is given the possiblity of redemption down the line. However, more than a few players found this unwarranted as said toxin it less of a mind-control drug and more of something that strengthens her worst traits and their sympathetic traits are regulated to post-game backstory and hearsay while any seemingly good traits shown in-game are a lie. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon changes Lusamine to be more sympathetic. In these two games, due to there being no toxins to worry about, the character is instead trying to save the region from being endangered by Necrozma. That said, it's awfully hard to find out where the truth lies in the whole emotional and verbal abuse of her children - or to even find a justification for the foundation's experiments.
  • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, it can become rather difficult to actually sympathize with Clive when you go back and watch the cutscenes where his giant mecha death machine rises above ground and begins attacking London. It'd take an extreme case of conveniently empty buildings to claim that no innocent people were killed, especially given that a lot of the buildings that are crushed are actually shown with lit up windows, as if to indicate directly that, yes, a ton of completely innocent people are in those building, and are now dead thanks to Clive's deranged revenge scheme.
  • Stardew Valley:
    • Pierre is the representation of the "Mom and Pop" business, in contrast to the Predatory Business that is JojaMart. Obviously, the player is suggested to sympathise with him, but he shows himself to be somewhat of a business-minded individual concerned mostly about profit, just like Joja Corp is. He mentions that holidays are good for business and that he should think up more to drum up business, is considering making his store a chain, and wanting to kiss-up to the governor in hopes of getting a tax break. What's more, if you sell your crops to him, it's implied he sells them for a markup and claims he grew them himself. While JojaCorp is seen as the bad guy in the overall "story" of Stardew Valley and Pelican Town, it's hard to see Pierre as a "good guy" and more a lesser of two evils. Especially since he might become your father-in-law if the player decides to marry Abigail.
    • Demetrius is a scientist with a daughter Maru, who is following in his footsteps. Maru's two-heart event has him immediately saying that he doesn't want anything to perhaps change her future, implying he's not very fond of you getting close to his daughter. While this may be somewhat reasonable, he does come off as quite possessive and maybe even inconsiderate of what his own daughter desires. On top of that, there's the way he treats his step-son Sebastian; i.e. that he basically ignores his entire existence, and doesn't really try to hide the fact that Sebastian is The Un-Favourite.
  • Connor's "The Eden Club" mission of Detroit: Become Human ends with the choice between killing the rogue Sex Bot or sparing her. While the latter is presented as the more moral choice, since that Traci fell in love with an android, was afraid her customer would hurt her, and just want to live free with her love, the facts are that: 1)The human she murdered didn't actually hurt her, she just thought he was going too, 2)she and her partner just fought and tried to kill Connor and Hank, and 3)the choice has to be made while she's charging Connor. While wanting to live free and to love are noble ideals, it doesn't outweight attempted murder plus murder for flimsy reasons.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel:
    • Crow Armbrust gets this due to his desire for revenge against Chancellor Osborne, and the fact that he's the leader of a terrorist group called the Imperial Liberation Front. The story tries to make him sympathetic because he wants to avenge his dead grandfather, who protested Osborne's attempt to annex Jurai into the Erebonian empire but was outvoted by the rest of Jurai's politicians. However, Crow's grandfather died of natural causes, not because of anything Osborne did. Also, the actions of the Imperial Liberation Front have caused a lot of destruction in the group's desire for revenge that would've been worse had Class VII not intervened. For instance, the False Flag Operation the group tries in Chapter 3 of the first game almost started a war between Erebonia and Calvard, the two biggest nations on the continent. They also planned to launch a Weapon of Mass Destruction at the city of Crossbell, just because Osborne was attending a trade conference in the city at the time. There was also the fact that the group was responsible for starting the civil war that makes up the focus of the second game when Crow sniped Chancellor Osborne in broad daylight. Yet despite these actions, Rean and the rest of Class VII don't care and just want Crow to come back to Thors and live out the rest of his school life before graduating.
    • Rean and the rest of Class VII get this from the fanbase due to their desire to bring Crow back to Class VII, while barely bringing up the fact that, as mentioned above, he's the leader of the terrorist group that started a civil war. Some fans think the group is selfish and has Skewed Priorities for caring more about the well-being of one person than the damage said person caused and see the whole scenario as Protagonist-Centered Morality.
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