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Video Game Cruelty Potential / Action-Adventure

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  • Not only can you kill all the main characters in Heavy Rain in a variety of cruel ways, one of Ethan's trials requires him to cut off his finger. You can get him drunk to ease the pain, grab a piece of wood to put between his teeth, and sterilize his finger...or you can skip all of those and grab the saw.
  • In Epic Mickey, you can melt not only bad guys, but friends as well. You can dump Oswald's children into a bunny pool. You can turn blotlings into friends and then knock them into a pool of thinner. The game even has a Karma Meter throughout the entire thing.
    • The clock tower in the small world attraction? You can destroy that too.
    • Petetronic? Turn him into the MCP. Hook? Throw him into an animatronic Tick Tock the crocodile. Mad Doctor? Uh, both ways, you destroy his machine and send him flying. Shadow Blot? Thin him out. The actual Phantom Blot? LAUNCH FIREWORKS AT 'IM!
    • Early in the game, you have to choose between saving a Gremlin or catapulting him away for some E-tickets.
    Gus: Mickey! You chose E-Tickets over the safety of a Gremlin! You launched him to who knows where! You are supposed to be the hero! You are the hero, right... Are you?
    • You get the chance to do it again in the sequel, with a pin for it. We know he's fine this time, though. You can also go around shocking everyone with Oswald's remote or blowing up fireworks next to them.
  • Subverted in The Legend of Zelda series: you can't kill the chickens. In fact, in most cases, they kill you. (No, Hyrule isn't in Soviet Russia, but the chickens are imported from there.)
    • Tip: Link's Awakening chickens are vulnerable to magic powder and fire. Time for revenge! This works on the dogs in that game as well. That's right: you can immolate your neighbors' pet dogs.
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    • In Ocarina of Time, you can ride your horse over the chickens on Lon Lon Ranch. Since you couldn't be damaged while on horseback, a flock of chickens would fly behind you waiting for you to get off.
    • In The Wind Waker, the facial expression of the fairies when bottled is clearly visible, and pitifully sad.
      • Also in Wind Waker, the pigs can kill you. Especially on Windfall Island, where there are so many of them; if you attack one long enough, all of them will turn red, surround you, and literally attack and try to kill you. Later on in the game, there's a giant black pig on Link's home island which can do 3 hearts of damage if you tick it off. That's more than any boss, including the final boss himself.
    • When pillaging the various lookout towers, many times you will knock a Bokoblin off the edge. Sometimes, though, the Bokoblin will catch onto the side to prevent himself from falling. In response to this, you can actually stab his hands to make him fall to his doom. Also, the Fire Arrows will make a Bokoblin run around frantically while burning, obviously in pain. This gets even better when he runs into one or three of his comrades and accidentally sets them alight as well. Who knew you could be such a bastard in a cartoony Zelda game?
      • One particularly horrible/wonderful thing you can do to Bokoblins in Wind Waker occurs in an early lava-themed dungeon, in a room where a thin rope bridge covers a gap over lava. It is possible to use Link's spin attack to sever some but not all of the ropes holding the bridge up, causing the bridge to be weakened; it'll hold his weight, but not the weight of two people. After cutting the ropes, you can bait a Bokoblin onto the bridge. It snaps under the weight. The player can guide Link to safety with quick reflexes, but the Bokoblin is not so lucky, and it falls into the lava.
      • During the final battle with Ganon, it appears that there's no Boss Arena Recovery. Actually, you can...hookshoot your helper Zelda to steal some hearts from her...
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    • Violence against chickens has actually become a staple of any longtime fan's playing experience, mainly because the retribution eventually inflicted upon you has become a Running Gag in the series, one that reached its logical conclusion in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, where if you bothered the chicken enough, a giant chicken twice the size of Link himself would show up to kill him.
      • And then there's in Link's Awakening, where you can eventually get Marin to cheer you on as you slaughter her chickens.
      • In Four Swords Adventures you can actually weaponize the chickens' vengeful fury in the battle mode by attacking a chicken then hiding in a house or cave while the swarm assaults any players unfortunate enough to be stuck outside.
      • In Ocarina of Time, you can throw a chicken into the ravine on the way to the Gerudo fortress. Or for added fun, you can grab it and jump into the ravine, making it flap its wings furiously trying desperately to keep itself aloft with your added weight.
      • After you've emptied the well in Ocarina of Time, throw all seven chickens down there. Then start dropping bombs. Totally worth the inevitable chicken revenge.
    • Kakariko's cursed family in Ocarina of Time, unlike most friendly NPCs, will register sword hits. You can't actually kill them, but you can make them scream in agony repeatedly.
    • In Oracle of Seasons, you can blow up the Great Moblin's house by throwing more bombs, fire seeds, or any flammable material to the pile of bombs he's making. The first two times, you can run away from his house before the explosion and enjoy seeing him crying while the house crumbles down. The third time, he'll catch you before you run away so you can enjoy the fun from the inside.
    • In Oracle of Ages, there is a man in the toilet. Feel free to push the pot into the hole, drop all your seeds (Except Gale and Pegasus seeds), and throw a bomb in there.
    • In Twilight Princess, beating chickens lets you take control of their bodies, and you can make them jump into lakes or off tall structures. If you spot a pair of boar riders aimed at a cliff — and the game helpfully spawns some every time you enter Hyrule Field — shoot the boar. It will scream in pain and sprint cleanly off the cliff, dragging its panicked riders with it.
      • In an uncommon example, consider the Poes, whose souls you rip out from their bodies, and they writhe in agony as they boil away.
    • In Spirit Tracks, you can attack Zelda with items when she's possessing a Phantom. She'll get agitated when you hit her with the boomerang and yelp if you attack her with the Snake Whip.
      • Hit her too many times, though, and she'll crush you.
      • Ironically, you need to attack her a few times; it's the only way to get her to drop an item that she can't set down in a fixed location.
      • What is really fun is standing in the middle of some sand, then attacking her. She runs out onto the sand and then sinks.
      • You can also fire a cannon at birds, cow-spotted pigs, and golden dolphins. Or you can use it to kill adorable flying elephant things that try to charge you that would be scared away just by blowing the whistle.
      • When Ferrus is taking pictures beside the train tracks, you can hit him with a cannonball for a satisfying little yelp.
    • In the Wind Temple of Wind Waker, there is a room with a huge bladed anvil that slides back and forth. Guess what happens when the player decides to force poor little Makar to stand in its way?
    • In Majora's Mask, you can either hit Sakon with your sword, or if you've made it through Woodfall Temple you can shoot him with your bow. Doing the latter will detonate the explosives he's carrying.
      • It's worth noting that doing this will end some sidequests because Sakon won't show up ever again during that 3-day cycle. Yes, you literally killed an NPC in a Zelda game.
      • There's also a man in a tree outside the comet observatory. If you roll into the tree, you can knock him out of it, leaving him to clutch his injured leg while you take the rupees he was stealing from a crow.
      • Speaking of cruel rupee collection, you can also choose to sell Zora eggs to the Curiosity Shop Owner for 20 rupees each. Hope those few extra rupees are worth selling Zora infants into slavery, assuming they survive their containment long enough to hatch.
      • You can cheat a Goron out of his reservation at the Stock Pot Inn just because he happens to have the same name as you. Doing so nets you a cozy room and a free 100 rupees while the poor Goron is forced to sleep outside.
    • Skyward Sword mixes the chicken formula up a bit with Skyloft's Remlit population. The small, kitten-like creatures are completely docile in the daytime, but at night, they become highly aggressive, and the only way to make them stop attacking you is by giving them a few well-placed sword swipes. After you've done that, they'll run off and curl themselves into a whimpering ball, where you can go ahead and continue hacking away at them as they yelp in pain and fear. You can also toss the little creeps off the edge of Skyloft for extra satisfaction, but they'll save themselves by flying back up with their ears.
      • Another point in the game, you have a love letter you could either deliver to a student's crush, or you could give it to a ghostly hand in the toilet. Either way, the girl ends up with another student. Then again, it's Cawlin who wrote the letter.
      • The real cruelty potential comes out if you give the letter to the ghost hand. Visit Cawlin soon after that, and he'll complain of constant nightmares. Visit his room that night, and witness Cawlin whimpering in terror in his sleep while the ghost hand caresses him, having fallen in love with him. That's right, you not only broke his heart, you condemned him to a lifetime of night terrors.
      • On an emotional side, Skyward Sword also includes a sidequest that involves Peatrice, the Item Check girl who basically runs a storage for your items, falling in love with Link. Her sidequest is completed when she asks Link to visit her at night and confesses her feelings to him. The player can either choose to reciprocate her feelings and admit you've fallen in love with her, too or you can smash her feelings into the ground by rejecting her advances. It's really hammered in because Peatrice repeatedly asks you to make sure you do not love her. And if you check in on her at night later, you see she's completely heartbroken and crying.
      • In the Fire Sanctuary, there are two mogmas hanging in the air. While you cannot hit them with an arrow, the slingshot, beetle, and gust bellows all hit them.
      • You can drop hornets' nests on top of Bokoblins, making them run around shrieking in pain and desperately trying to swat the insects away.
    • Think attacking cuccos is not cruel enough? Remember that hole in Kakariko Village in A Link to the Past? In A Link Between Worlds you can throw cuccos into it. There are snakes at the bottom. Any cuccos thrown in will be gone when you enter. This game essentially lets you feed living cuccos to snakes.
    • Due to the open-world gameplay, the new physics engine and the Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay, Breath of the Wild brings in many new ways to make enemies and friendly NPCs suffer.
      • You can force Link to suffer in cold areas by removing his warm clothes, leaving him shivering.
      • Unlike other games in the series, horses can actually die from being hit by attacks. While this mainly means that the monsters you encounter have another target, this doesn't stop you from murdering your own horse if you feel it's outlived its purpose...or if you find a horse with a nicer-looking design or even better stats. And it's ultimately unnecessary, since you can have up to 5 at a time in the stables, and can let go the ones you don't want. If you attempt this and then have the Horse God Fairy Malanya resurrect them later, he will call you out on it and threaten you, before claiming he jests, assumes it was an accident on your part and still offers to revive it, but not without guilt-tripping you over your "loyal, temporarily betrayed friend".
      • While NPCs can't be harmed, you can still swing your weapons at them to make them scared or annoyed (with the exception of Bludo, who will just knock you on your ass). They'll have a different reaction to your bombs, where they'll look at it in terror, track where it goes if you toss it, and then freak out proper when you detonate the bomb. They also have a different reaction to your attempts at setting them on fire with the Fire or Meteor Rod.
      • You can also push NPCs around with Magnesis or by simply shoving them. This leads to 'interesting' situations like throwing donkeys around with Magnesis, or shoving an NPC in Hateno Village into a pond.
      • Fighting monsters has so many ways you can utilize: blowing them up with explosives, shooting elemental arrows at them, setting them on fire with a torch, blowing them off a cliff with a Korok Leaf... the possibilities are endless! But what takes the cake is what you can do to skeletons: You can beat one with its own arm, then steal its skull and run away with it while the rest of the skeleton desperately tries to take it back, and finally kick the skull off a cliff, after which the skeleton throws a fit in frustration before collapsing into a pile of bones.
      • An old lady in Kakariko Village yells at you for stepping in her garden where she's growing her plum trees. She'll also yell at you if you blow up a tree with a bomb. Blow up all the trees and she gets depressed that her trees are all gone.
      • Like most games in the series, attacking Cuccos earns you the wrath of the Cucco Revenge Squad. However, it is possible to kill them without retribution by carrying one all the way up to the hottest parts of the Eldin region and then throwing it into lava.
    • Someone made a Game Mod that lets you go outright Grand Theft Auto on Hyrule's NPCs in Ocarina of Time. As in, go up to absolutely any friendly NPC in the game (human, animal or otherwise) and kill them with any weapons Link has at his disposal. And they don't exactly just disappear when killed either... Here's an article about it.
    • The Kakariko Village stage in Four Swords Adventures has you throw a bunch of thieves into a jail pen. While they're in there, you can swing your sword at them or throw bombs into the pen.
  • The survival adventure game Raw Danger allows you control of several characters, each of whom get multiple opportunities to be a giant prick, from insulting people to out-and-out murder one.
  • In Predator: Concrete Jungle, you can sneak up on mooks and civilians alike and kill them in at least a dozen ways, from crushing their heads to tearing them in half with your bare hands.
  • In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, you end up traveling through several towns and villages, and are free to slice up anybody you see and suck their blood. The game has a day/night cycle, which means you can break into people's beds and kill them in their sleep. And that's not even going into the items you can use, which include shuriken which instantly flay the flesh from enemies' bones, and an orb which forms a mini black hole centralized on your target, crunching them into the size of a marble. Kain himself describes that last item as "the cruelest" of the powers he employs.
    • Not to mention, the game's equivalent of shops are fonts where you sacrifice some of your blood for items. Later in the game, you get the power to mind control other people, and bleeding them to death for items is a highly beneficial activity. "Nobody says it is Kain's blood that has to be sacrificed."
  • Using your vehicle's laser gun, you can shoot at friendly boats and airships in the bay in Beyond Good & Evil. They'll shout funny things at you (one of them is even a friend of your family, who calls you out on being a jerk) until they get really annoyed, at which point they call the cops. The cops will fine you... if you don't evade them and escape first.
    • You can also use your Disc Launcher to kill the green spiders in certain areas, which are otherwise completely and totally harmless. But they spit out money!
  • The video game adaptation of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is MADE of this trope. You're dealing with a man who has indestructible metal claws. People are going to be dismembered. Not to mention quick kills, environmental kills, and the VAST majority of ways you can literally tear people apart. It's a very satisfying game for that reason.
  • Ōkami. You start out being able to tackle people and bite them. By the time you reach the endgame, you can explode, shock, freeze, and burn any NPC in the game, from innocent shopkeepers to kittens.
    • You may also headbutt those kittens off the cat tower to have them plunge to their deaths.
  • Shadow of the Colossus makes it nearly impossible for you to kill your horse, but you can still shoot an exploding arrow at him (the blast will simply cause him to fall over, limp a bit, then right himself up). With excellent timing, (as the exploding arrows take longer to adjust into position and don't launch as quickly as regular arrows), you can shoot one of these suckers into the eye of the tenth colossus.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum lets you have some real fun in the challenge rooms. So there are five guys patrolling with guns, meaning you need to stick to the shadows and use stealth. Excellent! Sneak up on a guy and take him down, leaving his buddies panicking! Blow up a wall, knocking down two guys at once! Grab a guy and leave him hanging from a gargoyle — then, when his buddies come to look him over, use a Batarang to cut the tether and scare the crap out of 'em! You can also spray some of your gel right next to them, then set it off when their friends come to check it out.
    • Batman: Arkham City brings back all of the tricks from the first game and adds a few more. Encase a goon in ice, and then leave an explosive gel trap for the poor fool who tries to free him. Use your remote stun gun to send an armored foe flying into some of his friends. Wait for a foe to set a mine, then activate the mine he just set off. Or just use a gadget to render their guns useless, drop right in front of a foe, then get the double Oh, Crap! reaction of "It's Batman!" and "My gun is jammed!"
    • While explosive gel typically doesn't harm enemies that much, a fun trick to do is upgrade the gel to go off by proximity, leave some at the top of a ladder, and wait for the fun.
    • A pettier example: during the Mr. Freeze boss fight, you can smash the statues Freeze made of his wife.
    • Whilst Harley is tied up, it is possible to repeatedly tear off and replace the duct tape over her mouth. She even calls you out on the cruelty of doing it. (It may or may not be causing her pain; if it is, she does a good job of hiding it. She doesn't even try to hide how much you're pissing her off by continuing to do it.)
    • After defeating the Riddler, he's locked into the same device he used to force his remaining hostages to walk constantly or have bombs strapped to them detonated... without knowing that it's actually been deactivated. If you want to, you can taunt him by getting in his way and making him panic that he'll be blown up if you don't move. And given what he's done up to this point, you almost definitely want to.
    • In Batman: Arkham Origins, there's a puzzle where you need to hit several targets in a correct succession, to release a goon captured in Joker's torture device. Every time you get it wrong, the thug is electrocuted. It's not lethal and you get as many tries as you want. Have fun.
    • Since it's a simulation within a simulation, you can have Batman run a crime scene of a virtual-reality ragdoll getting hit by a surprisingly high-speed old car. Then rewind. Then smash his legs in again. Then rewind. As long as you want. Too bad they didn't think of having Alfred say "Are you trying to release your more violent urges with trigger-buttons or do you just like seeing high-quality slapstick smurfs?".
    • One of the murder cases involves a mobster killing two socialites because they didn't get the girl. And given we're playing as Batman… it's incredibly cathartic to dangle the cretin over the Gotham harbor.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight continues the sadistic fun of Predator sections, bringing back all the above-mentioned ways to screw with enemies and adding a few new ones. Use the Voice Synthesizer to trick an enemy into thinking their boss is ordering them to check out a secluded corner where you can take them down, or to investigate a sabotaged weapons box for a nasty surprise; use the Disruptor on a medic unit's medpacks so that when he tries to revive his fallen buddy, he gets shocked into unconsciousness; hack an enemy attack drone and make it zap its controller and up to two of his friends...
  • Messiah, among other things, lets you possess someone, make them jump off a ledge so that they break their legs, then listen to their distressed screams of pain.
  • Star Control II. Oh, Star Control II, were to begin:
    • You can harvest resources (mineral and/or lifeforms) on planets with high weather and/or tectonics having unupgraded landers by simply dispatching one, and calling it to the ship when there are very few crewmen alive, before it gets destroyed and with it the gathered resources. Nobody on board your vessel will object to that — bonus points if you try this when you've the Shofixti at your side, and RU cost of the crew goes down to 1.
    • Related to the former, another use for the Cast from HP approach of the game: fit your ship with the most crew pods you can and fill them with crew. What you lose in firepower and/or energy regeneration is gained in resiliency. Special bonus when all modules of your ship are crew pods.
      • And at most you'll get at endgame a complaint by Starbase Commander Hayes of those several hundred people who have not returned from your journeys. Even Hayes' mention of 2000 crewmen onboard the Starbase is fake, since in the game's source code there're no limits on the crew onboard it.
    • The best example, however, are the deals you can do with the Druuge:
      • You can sell them the Shofixti Maidens that they'll use to have even cheaper and more expendable labor without consequences. You can even sell them your crew! The first time, nothing will happen but Hayes mentioning some rumors about you selling crew to the Druuge and discrediting them. The second time, he will confront you, explaining the fate that awaits those unfortunate men. The third time, he's not happy at all and threatens you with legal charges (that do not arrive). Even with the Mycon egg-case fragments, it's assumed that they will be used to build highly resistant cages for slaves.
      • Fit your ship with nothing but double-capacity fuel tanks and just enough fuel to go to their homeworldnote . Tell the Druuge you want to have you fuel tanks and full capacity in exchange for the Burvixese caster and watch his reaction.
    • And instead of having to go to all the corners of the map, you can simply sit and wait until the Kohr-Ah's Death March begins and go to the planets devastated by them, collecting the stuff left behind.


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