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Video Game Cruelty Potential / Turn-Based Strategy

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  • Advance Wars. Remember that using damaged units as bait or as human shields is a valid strategy.
  • In La Pucelle, you are encouraged to take the monsters that you purified, put into your party, and loved and nurtured to trust you... and sell them into eternal slavery to the Dark World. You are encouraged to do this, as the Dark World will send you gifts for any accomplishments that monster does, such as working through the ranks to Demon Lord or Overlord. In addition, the process fuses any items they had together. Maybe there's a reason Prier is a Demon Overlord in the Disgaea games...
    • Granted, that "loving and nurturing" you did involved stuff ranging from making them break blocks and do push-ups to turning them into cyborgs and even shooting them (granted, you have to build up their trust a number of times before they wouldn't quit over that last one).
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance can be like this if you leave a character KO'd in a Jagd, where they will die afterward. People who aim to have the best optimized team will quickly kill off Montblanc as soon as they enter their first Jagd battle, since he can't be booted from the clan and most "pro" players hate him for having poor magic stats compared to others.
    • If Montblanc is killed mid-game, his storyline scenes are replaced with the arguably much more interesting character Ezel Berbier. Some players actually kill Montblanc just to replace the annoying storyline companion with the more interesting one.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, pretty much from the very beginning, you can pass over Mandalia Plains repeatedly until you get a random encounter. The enemies' party will invariably have a yellow chocobo in it and you can kill off everyone else in its party, then surround it and attack it virtually endlessly as its only healing action, Choco Cure, also heals characters on all four sides, thus giving you a way to level up and get a hell of a lot of jp to boot, and joy of all joys, all you have to do is torture a sad-faced chocobo forever.
    • It doesn't stop there. You can attack your fellow party members for experience and/or job points, invite people into your party just to take their gear and kick them out, or murder your own teammates, wait for their Final Death, and eat their soul absorb their crystal to instantly learn the skills they did. You can also raise monsters only to kill them permanently for their "skins" (which can then be traded for rare items in certain shops).
    • Slightly less cruel is the ability to Level Grind yourself retarded so that every story battle is a demonstration of No Kill Like Overkill, or going for a Total Party Kill in the "Kill X" scenarios. The downside to this is that random encounters scale with Ramza's level, making certain areas Beef Gates.
  • Jagged Alliance 2 has mustard gas. It is entirely possible with a mixture of launchers, mortars, and hand-thrown canisters to flood an area with sickly yellow clouds, and then serenely walk with your own (gas-masked) mercs wielding knives and punching weapons.
    • Tear gas and stun grenades let you do the same thing. You can also, in the 1.13 mod, throw molotov cocktails onto unconscious/stunned enemies.
  • It is a common occurrence in Fire Emblem games for there to be a non-recruitable friend/mentor figure/family member/lover/etc. of one of the player's characters on the enemy side. If one so chooses, he can make them the one to do their loved ones in. Usually, they get a special battle conversation for that.
    • And then there's the common occurrence of having said friend/mentor figure/family member/lover/etc. being on the same team as said player's characters. With the game's concept of Final Death and even having a few plotline deaths, you can pretty much ruin someone's day by killing off their partner.
    • You can also have characters you don't like killed this way, unless they're a protagonist. This means, of course, that the player can invoke Die for Our Ship in-game.
    • Since Fire Emblem Fates is about a protagonist who must decide between their adoptive and birth familiesnote , the game naturally lends itself to this. In Chapter 6 of the Conquest route, in which the protagonist sides with Nohr, it's possible to have the protagonist fight against his younger sister Sakura, a White Mage who can't fight back, and who has some heartwrenching lines to say to them when combat is initiated. The same thing happens in Chapter 22 of Conquest (and it's also possible for Sakura to fight Azura, whom she views as an older sister figure), although this time, Sakura can actually fight back, even though it's entirely possible to avoid Sakura, defeat Yukimura and seize the objective. Similarly, it's also possible to fight and defeat Elise, Sakura's counterpart in Nohr, in Birthright's Chapter 6.
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  • Star Trek: Birth of the Federation can implement this trope. Though you're usually given a diplomatic option (an option you're encouraged to use if you play as the Federation), you can simply choose to subjugate or destroy other races. In fact, your people will actually be happier with you for choosing these options if you're playing as the Cardassians (in the case of the former) or the Klingons (in the case of the latter).
  • In the otherwise excellent old game No Greater Glory, a simulation of the US Civil War, your score if you won depended on how well you had brought your country through the war, and evaluated you on the basis of four criteria: popular support, finance, diplomacy, and peace terms. You will note what is missing from that list: casualties. The number of men you had killed on either side over the course of the war has no effect on your final score, so if sacrificing more of your own men would improve your performance in one of the four categories, the game would register that as a better and higher-scoring performance. What that often meant in practice was that if you knew you were about to win, you could juice your score by grabbing areas that you didn't need to win, even if that meant both inflicting and taking unnecessary casualties.
  • A favorite late-game battlescape tactic in XCOM 1 and 2 is to mind-control the first enemy you see and use him as a very expendable scout to locate his nearest friends. Mind control them as well and repeat until the entire alien force is under your control. Then herd them all into a nice big group, and force them to drop a couple HE or stun grenades at their own feet. Sometimes it's so effective you can wrap up a ground assault or terror mission on one turn without any of your own troops so much as leaving the ship. And even if a few baddies escaped your notice, they're likely to be so terrified and demoralized that they'll throw down their weapons and run about aimlessly.
  • The reboot offers its own method, overlapping with Combat Pragmatist. There's a room ahead, and you can't see what's in it, but there doesn't seem to be much cover. Eh, send the New Meat in to Leeroy Jenkins his way in and get a line of sight into the room, with one of your precious high-leveled Heavy troopers near the door to lob a rocket in if there's a group of aliens clustered together.
    • Mutons, with their low Will, make for very expedient suicide bombers. Just mind-control one and have him charge into a room with enemies, get next to the enemy you most want dead, and have him chuck a grenade at his feet.
  • Some enemies from the Piratez mod for Openxcom may qualify, like the Dark One axemen, but it's mostly the pirates themselves.
  • Super Robot Wars UX: In the chapter where Jin deploys with his first ever squad he leads. When you shoot them down, he casts Spirit Commands in anger and sorrow; Spirit, Strike, and Valor. When the last subordinate is shot down, a sad music begins to play. You can leave them alone so this doesn't happen, but they die anyways when the Island detonates with the Fenrir.
  • Some of the most interesting dialogue in Pokémon Conquest is the character's response to being teamkilled.
  • Eador has random events with moral choices, so if traders are looking to buy some virgins, the player can refuse, accept, or have the traders killed and take their gold. Among the more creative options, the player can have shipwreck survivors killed and loot their wreck, force subjects to farm poisonous spiders and sell the silk, hire adventurers to clear out a dungeon and have them killed for the loot, kill babies, eat a mermaid, or eat a unicorn and have the chef executed when it tastes disgusting. The ever-popular favorite: a band of hunters can bring in captive evil sorcerers. The player can have the hunters flogged to get an item from the sorcerers, then have the sorcerers tortured to make them spill their magic. The good and neutral choices are not deranged, and it's a bit weird how good-aligned players can go along holding festivals and rewarding adventurers like normal people, while evil-aligned ones descend into madness.
  • The game Stalin's Dilemma, by Edward Bever, as you might guess from the title, abounds in this. The question is not whether you will kill millions of people, but how many millions. If you keep the death toll below ten million while improving your industrial output and military capabilities to the point where you can win World War II, while simultaneously maintaining political stability, you are rated as a hero of the human race. If you want, though, you can go full Stalin and just see how many millions of people you can kill.
  • In Disgaea, you can pass bills in the Dark Assembly to improve at-base quality-of-life, recruit advanced-proficiency units, gain in-battle perks like boosted EXP, and so on. If a bill fails, you can force it to pass by killing the Senators who voted Nay. Orrrrr, noting that many bills are cheap and repeatable, most notably "I Need War Funds!", you can use the Dark Assembly as an excuse to beat up Senators over and over. Granted, this will make them like you less and more likely to vote Nay on future bills, but hey, all the more excuse to keep kicking their asses!
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden offers Achievements for the following deeds:
    • Taunt a mind-controlled team mate.
    • Kill a team mate.
    • Eat a dead team mate.


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