Alice: Madness Returns: when Alice was 8 years old, her house was burnt down, killing her entire family,after witnessing her older sister being raped. She then spent a decade nearly comatose in an insane asylum undergoing 'treatments' that would be considered both illegal and inhumane by today's standards. By the time the game starts she has been out of the asylum for a year and seems to have a pretty decent life, although she is still haunted by flashbacks and hallucinations, but then her quest for the truth reveals that her 'therapist' was the one responsible for the fire (and everything else that happened that night), and that he's been trying to erase her memories so she can't call the cops on his ass, and then sell her as a prostitute, as does with his other 'patients'. And that's not even going into what happens to her in Wonderland... And in the end, she just goes fully insane and can no longer tell reality from her delusions, in what is the biggest Bittersweet Ending of forever.
Daniel from Amnesia: The Dark Descent. Even in a survival horror video game can find a Woobie as protagonist, not only because the poor young man was bullied physically for a school bully and for his own father as a child, it also has a number of physical and psychological damage suffered while trying to find Alexander in a castle filled with monstrous creatures. Even, he immediately realizes what a monster he is and it tears him up inside.
Arc Rise Fantasia gives us the final boss of the game, the Designated Villain, Eesa. Unfortunately for the heroes, they either have a choice of letting most of mankind die off, or kill Eesa, who is only in the situation she is in because mankind wanted her to become God in the first place. The reason she even ended up as an antagonist is because the same humans who made her into a God later decided they no longer needed her and decided to kill her. While she survived their attempts to kill her, the aftermath is the world covered in hozone, and the only way Eesa can save mankind while keeping herself alive is to either reset the world(killing everything), or wipe out 90% of humans stuck on the ground. The party's solution in order to save humanity? Kill the God they created who is only doing everything in her power to save humanity while desperately trying to preserve her own life at the same time. The cutscene after beating her only hammered down the fact that she never wanted to be like this in the first place and that she wanted to live.
To a lesser, yet still significant extent, there's also Dynos. The Un-Favourite in his family, his father woke him up instead of Cecille so he could take him to kill the Olquinian Diva. Being an extreme pacifist who couldn't even hurt a bug, he refused, so his father tries to kill him by taking away his Dragon Gem which the Divine Race needs to survive. When he couldn't take it from Dynos, he destroyed his own gem to transform into a dragon to kill Dynos who would have been killed by his own father was it no for Ms. Rafil the Diva who saved him. This experience left him especially bitter towards life and devoted himself to protecting the Olquinian Diva, who was soon assassinated. After that happens, Dynos became a Death Seeker trying to destroy all life in the world or die trying. Especially tragic once you remember Cecille describing Dynos as someone who couldn't even harm an insect when he was young.
Mir from Ar tonelico: Melody of Elemia. She was kept in solitary, stripped of her emotions, and forced to create Song Magic for use in battle— and when she created a song that was just to express her love of and hope for humans, since the synapses that they stripped to make her emotionless grew back, the song was trashed and she was discarded as a failed project.
Altaïr and his closest friend and Assassin brother Malik. Altaïr's life is a series of tragic events, starting with his fathers execution which he had to witness, the hatred his adopted brother Abbas had for him because he spoke the truth, Adha's death and a series of betrayals which cost him his son, wife and best friend. And that is only to name a few. He's had it very bad and because birds of a feather flock together so did Malik, though to a lesser extend. He had to witness his brother look up to someone he hated, lost said brother and arm because of Altaïr's arrogance, got accused of killing his best friends son, got imprisoned and, after clearing things up with Altaïr, beheaded by Abbas. Altaïr is, probably, an Iron Woobie while one can't be sure about Malik. Then again, the same goes for Altaïr.
Assassin's Creed II has an interesting antagonist example in Dante Moro. The loyal bodyguard of Silvio Barbarigo, who one day decided that he wanted Dante's wife for his own. Barbarigo's goons attacked him, stabbing him three times in the chest and once in the head, but Dante survived. Unfortunately, he suffered brain damage, allowing Barbarigo to convince him to sign divorce papers and continue to use the poor guy as Dumb Muscle. Making it even more tragic, there's a letter from his wife in which she says that she still loves him and hopes that one day he'll recover enough for them to be together again — which you find on Dante's body after you've killed him.
On the subject of Assassin's Creed, there's also Desmond, the main protagonist of the series. Abusive Parents, kidnapped, and animus-induced Sanity Slippage means you've got to feel at least a little sorry for the guy.
As well as Connor from the third game. He goes through so many Break the Cutie moments (including watching his mother burn to death when he was only 'five) anyway, but the real reason it's so effective is that in spite of his terrible life, he's one of the most genuinley nice (and Adorkable) characters in this series.
The Girl of Asura's Wrath fits this trope to a T. Upon first meeting her all she is trying to do is protect the small infant, who may or may not be a relation. She is forced to watch helplessly as Asura defends her from Gohma and the armies of the gods. When he loses his arms in the fight against Augus she desperately tries to stop Asura from continuing fighting, only for the player to be forced to perform a quicktime event to shove her away and run off to battle. She tries to follow but is unable to keep up. Later, she re encounters Asura and attempts to help him again but ultimately dies when her village is assaulted by Olga's forces in order to "purify" them, culminating in an orbital bombardment aimed to destroy Asura and everyone with him. Asura, upon recovering, sees her corpse and flies into such a rage that his roar of fury destroys ships in orbit!!!The player is then treated to a wonderful sequence offuckmurderingevery last sorry bastard responsible for the bombing.
Asura himself is one of these. Underneath all of that rage is an unbearable pain that the world around him just won't let cease. What happens in Episode 12 is the greatest example: it was not only rage that drove Asura into his Berserker form, but absolute despair, to the extent that rage was all he had left. You can hear it in his screams of anguish. It really motivates the player to stop Asura's pain as soon as possible by completing the game...only to find that not even God himself will let Asura's pain end...
In Baten Kaitos, it's only the power of love that stops Kalas from becoming a Woobie Destroyerof Worlds. Murdered little brother and grandfather. Also Lyude, especially at the Phantom Goldoba, where all his past insecurities come back to break him down HARD. And then, to an extent, there's Xelha. She carries the ocean inside her, so when the group finally saves the world, she has to release that ocean back into the world. As in, she must sacrifice herself. She gets better, but still...that must be a huge burden for a 17-year-old young woman.
Pretty much everyone throughout all three BioShock games can have at least a slither of sympathy or justification but special mention goes to:
Most of the splicers from BioShock, particularly Rosebud, whose daughter was taken away to become a Little Sister; Pigskin, who is deathly afraid of what will happen to him if Mr. Ryan isn't pleased; and Toasty, who is loved by no one.
Eleanor Lamb from BioShock 2. An innocent girl raised to become the socialist Messiah by her mother Sofia Lamb, the first cutscene witnesses her seeing mummy forcing Delta, her Big Daddy to shoot himself at around the age of eight. Subject to multiple Plasmid experiments since she's immune to the side-effects of splicing. To say Sofia cares little about her as a person is something of an understatement as she's later smothered in order to mess with Delta.
From Borderlands 2, there's Angel. Her mother either died or vanished when she was very young (and it's hinted that it may be her fault), was forced to be a living computer at around the same age, her father pumped her full of a substance that made her abilities become extremely powerful at the cost of true physical dependence, and forced her to betray the few people she could even consider friends. When you reach her in the last third of the second game, she is actively begging you to kill her, if only to release her from the nightmare she's lived through since childhood.
Claptrap comes off as a bit of a condescending Jerkass, but one can't help but feel sorry for him in one of his sidequests where he invites you and other residents of Sanctuary to his birthday party. Of everyone he invites, only you (and your party members, if you have any) attend. The poor guy was looking forward to a big birthday bash, and in the end, you stay just so he won't be so lonely. He's also the last Claptrap left alive, and before he found you he lived in a snow-home filled with dead Claptraps.
The Caligula Effect: Thorn, leader of the Ostinato Musicians plan on destroying all of humanity as revenge for the suicide of Ichika Saotome. Traumatized for the experience and knowing that Ichika preferred their friend Shogo Sake, Thorn tries to ensure a happy life for the inhabitants of Mobius, wanting them to die living their ideal life. Unable to left the past, Thorn kills herself after being defeated. A person able to empathize with the misfortune of her fellow Musicians, Thorn was consumed for grief that lead to her death.
Cave Story: When the game starts, Toroko's being aggressively harassed by the leader of the village for not turning over her only friend to basically be sacrificed, and Sue really seems to only be interested in just getting off the island anyway, and it only gets worse from there.
Sophie is a Chew Toy, literally (for Tao, the family dog) and figuratively, whose subplot revolves around her obsession with Drake Redcrest. Long story short, it never goes anywhere beyond her passing out apparently dead from sheer joy at simply (and accidentally) giving him one of the love letters she writes.
Mort might be the biggest Woobie of the game. He's a perpetually melancholy mummy action figure who is in love with a princess doll. The object of his affections, sadly, scares easily, and so he's afraid of introducing himself to her on account of his grotesque appearance, and the flowers he picks to anonymously offer her wilt as soon as he touches them. Seeing him watching Drake appearing out of nowhere to try to woo her at sudden moments is enough to make the player wish for a Paragon interrupt - though there's a delightfully happy ending for him once his subplot is followed through on.
Chrono Trigger: Lucca seems to be intended as the Unlucky Childhood Friend to Crono (and various snippets of dialogue through the game hint that she really does have feelings for him), she is clearly more comfortable around technology than people, her mother lost the use of her legs in a horrific accident while a young Lucca watched, powerless to intervene because of her (then) hatred of technology (and, if you screw up as a player, present-day-Lucca gets to relive the whole experience while being unable to save her a second time) and she watches the two party members she cares most about (Robo and Crono) beaten up or worse... on a fairly regular basis. Oh yes, and while most of the other characters get a happy farewell in the canonical ending, Lucca spends it reduced to tears when she has to watch her fellow Woobie and partymate Robo walk through the Gate, quite possibly to his death. Oh yeah, and in the sequel she gets killed by Lynx and the orphanage she started is burned to the ground.
Chrono Cross: Kid,an orphan found and raised by Lucca, has to watch as Lynx and Harle murder her adoptive mother and set fire to her orphanage. She's rescued by a time-travelling Serge in the nick of time, and he has to half-drag her out of the burning orphanage by the hand. The two of them get to stare at the devastation for a few moments, with Kid (who is dressed in pajamas and probably isn't more than five years old, by the look of her) crying over the loss of Lucca. She then turns to Serge and asks if he's going to leave her too. You can answer either way, but regardless, Serge kneels down to hug her, only to disappear seconds later, leaving Kid confused, scared, and alone on the hilltop.
Weepy the Onion, the second of the Root Pack, who upon arrival seemingly looks for the recently defeated Moe Tato and whose power happens to be Ocular Gushers. He's probably the only boss of the game who doesn't outright mock you when you lose to him.
Grim Matchstick's game over quotes also seem to be more good-natured than those of the other bosses. Some of the faces and movements he makes look kind of goofy, theatrical, and even Adorkable, making it seem like he bears no real ill will towards Cuphead and Mugman. His stutter may also make him more sympathetic. There are also theories that he made his deal with the Devil because he was lonely, which would certainly land him in this category.
Cytus II: PAFF (real name Aroma White) is a Shrinking Violet with a traumatic past. On the day she was to make her debut as an Idol Singer, a car crash left her comatose for months and missing most of her memories after waking up. Although she went on to have a massively successful idol career after her awakening, the amnesia haunted her, to the point where she had an existential crisis: what if she wasn't the person she thought she was? The possibilities haunted her to the point where she ran away from home, leaving behind her life of fame and luxury out of fear that it wasn't hers. And then there are the implications that her fears may be founded and that she may be another person brainwashed into taking Aroma's place, or that she was sexually assaulted or even raped by Noah, who she saw as a parental figure. It's hard to not feel sympathy for PAFF's plight given all she had to go through.
Deadly Premonition has its share of pitiable characters, but the biggest is probably its very own Walking Spoiler, Zach Morgan. In addition to being forced to watch his parents die as a child by life-sucking via parasitic tree and gunshot suicide, he then gets attacked himself by the force which killed his parents, which badly damages his left eye and leaves him stranded in a horrifying red limbo between two worlds. For the next several years, his aloof and emotionally distant split personality lives his life for him, while the two of them slowly forget which of them was the real one to begin with. Oh, and because of all this, he becomes afraid to become close to anyone else in case he happens to lose them again. He falls in love with Emily, but she's in love with his split personality.Then she's attacked the same way as his mother, and he is forced to attempt a Mercy Kill on her. After her death, Zach's alter-ego and Only Friend, York, leaves to be with Emily in a higher plane, leaving him all alone in the real world. Good grief. Even his character design implies woobieness: His lack of suit jacket makes him look small and scrawny, he has dark circles under his eyes, and for much of his screen time, he's covered in bandages.
Shin Kuroi from Morenatsu secretly loves the main character but hid these feelings and hides his true emotion with a mask of coldness, if you try to romance him then he'll try to shove you away due to abandonment issues and to top it all off his route isn't even canon. He needs a hug and someone to tell him it's all right. And DON'T bring up his bad ending.
Ted Smith from Dead Rising 2. He's an overweight animal trainer with an obvious mental disability, who has been mocked by people so often that he now considers his only friend to be a Bengal tiger named Snowflake. And you're forced to hug him with a pair of Knife Gloves, because he intends to feed you to Snowflake as "fresh meat". And to top it off, his death scene is a real Tear Jerker.
Corvo Attano, the protagonist of Dishonored, fails to prevent the Empress he was sworn to protect (who was also his lover and the mother of his child) from being murdered. He is then framed for her murder and spends the next six months in prison awaiting execution, all the while being periodically tortured by the men really responsible for her murder in an attempt to extract a false confession. And then just when he's been broken out of prison and is working toward restoring the rightful heir to the throne, his supposed allies betray and try to kill him. He's left for dead in an open sewer, and then picked up and imprisoned by the gang of assassins who killed the Empress. Just to top it off, as the outcome depends on gameplay, it's also possible for the final mission to feature him receiving an absolutely brutal What the Hell, Hero? from the only one of his former allies who truly had his back, who basically calls him a monster, and then end the whole thing by seeing the rightful heir to the throne (who, lest we forget, is also his daughter) fall to her death.
Elk from R1 games. His only friend, Mia, turns out to be one of the Eight Phases of Morganna, forcing him to fight against her. You can bring her back to the game in the Bonus Dungeon, but she gets destroyed anyway along with the rest of The World during the disaster before R2. When Elk, now known as Endrance, thinks he is finally reunited with her in form of a cat, said cat turns out to be AIDA, and he has to watch her disintegrates as you defeat him. Ouch.
Atoli from R2, whose entire life has her gets kicked by (almost) everyone, including her own parents. And then Volume 2 happens...
Bo, also from R2. Being an Ill Boy in real life, it frustrates his parents to the point his mother wished that his stillborn twin sister Sakura was the one who lived instead. This leads him to create alternate personality based on his sister, Saku. The kid has his life rough.
Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins. Especially if you're a female PC and is in a relationship with Alistair, and you choose to not take up Morrigan's offer and sacrifice yourself. That eulogy is just.... "You will be missed. More than I can possibly say."
Zevran has grown up in a whorehouse after her mother died to birth him, which he still blames himself for. He was then recruited into the Crows very young, and has been an assassin ever since. During his last mission for the Crows before he was hired to assassinate the Warden saw him falling in love with a fellow assassin, and then killing her under the false belief that she had betrayed the Crows. This has turned him into a Death Seeker, which is the reason why he was the only one to want to try and kill the Warden.
Leliana, as indicated in the Leliana's Song DLC. A professional spy and sometime-assassin, she was framed by her superior/lover Marjolaine as a traitor to Orlais when she discovered documents proving that Marjolaine was a traitor. Captured by guards, she was tortured and possibly raped, but managed to escape to Ferelden, where she became a lay sister out of desperation and fright. It turns out that the paranoid Marjolaine had her watched after that, convinced that Leliana intended to take her revenge with a plot spanning years.
How about Cullen? When the Demons invaded the Circle Tower, he was captured and horrifically tortured to the point that when you find him, he's become half mad and extremely paranoid of Mages, believing that all of them, not just Apostates, are responsible for the world's troubles. As if that weren't enough, the epilogue reveals that he eventually becomes a deranged serial killer. Ouch. The entire sequence is made worse if you happen to be playing a female mage, as he will admit to having had a crush on you, but assume you are just a hallucination created by a demon to torment him.
A Human Noble's entire family except their brother (but including their nephew, who was only a child, and sister-in-law) is betrayed and slaughtered by a corrupt noble who had previously been a close ally and a friend to his/her father who fought alongside him in the previous war.
If you decided to sleep with either a human male or a female elf, they will die before your eyes in the raid. The female elf has a daughter waiting for her in the alienage. She's a standard NPC who will comment that she is waiting for mother and how her mother promised she would bring back a present from Highever. Not being able to properly talk to her can be hearbreaking. Who knows how long she waited there?
A City Elf is living in a downtrodden ghetto when they or their bride is kidnapped for a Bann's rape party on their wedding day and in fighting to save themself/the bride have spurred the nobles to order a "purge" on their neighborhood,
The Dalish Elf loses their best friend while exploring and aren't allowed to look for him, being told it's hopeless as they were found horribly sick, and are drafted into the Wardens whether they like it or not to cure them. They do find that friend eventually: he's a darkspawn who gives the Warden either a heartstring-tugging apology for the way things turned out or an Anguished Declaration of Love if they are female and took certain dialogue options before s/he has to kill him. Furthermore, they are an orphan whose father was murdered by a group of humans and city elves and whose mother gave him/her up to Ashalle before leaving the clan in grief over her husband's death.
The Casteless Dwarf's family is so low in the social heirarchy they're below the ladder with their sister forced to be essentially a prostitute and themself a Punch-Clock Villain for a mob boss to support themselves. As added suck, his/her parents consist of a Disappeared Dad and an alcoholic mother who constantly berates them and only cares about where her next drink is coming from.
A Dwarf Noble ends up with nothing after they are either manipulated into or framed for murdering their older brother by their younger brother, and are left to die in the Deep Roads as punishment. When they return home, it's only to discover that their father has died while they were away from the grief of sending them to die.
The Mage has it the easiest, and their life story is no walk in the park: he or she was taken away from his/her family as a kid (never to see them again), upon graduating from apprenticehood is lied to and betrayed by his/her best friend and left behind to certain death or Tranquility by said friend after everything falls apart. Once they leave, their home is destroyed and almost everyone they know killed or turned into an abomination.
Someone posted a comment on the character sheet page that summed it up:
There is a minor character Ruck that you encounter in the Deep Roads who was forced to eat darkspawn to survive, and thus has been driven insane by the taint. However, he retains enough sense of self to know he's crazy, and to know his mother would be horrified if she knew what became of him. He will desperately beg you not to tell her.
Definitely Fenris from Dragon Age II. Though technically most of the terrible things which happen to him (such as being branded with lyrium tattoos and losing all his childhood memories) are restricted to his past and he does have a really shitty attitude at the best of times, you really have to feel sorry for him. But things get nasty when you find out that he has a sister- a mage- who's trying to get apprenticed to Fenris's former master, and who sells out Fenris to said former master. And just to make things worse apparently Fenris volunteered for the branding to free his mother and sister from slavery... and the reason why his sister is trying to become an apprentice magister is because the freedom they got was just as bad as the slavery. Talk about serious family issues.
There's the main character, Hawke, who is forced to flee his home to one of the most despicable cities in the world and loses almost his entire family over the course of the storyline; Merrill, the adorable, scatterbrained Elvish blood-mage who is demonized by her own clan for her experiments and bullied viciously by Fenris and Anders; Aveline, the hard-as-nails guardswoman who's forced to perform a mercy-kill on her own husband; Anders, the renegade mage who's driven mad by the corrupted spirit possessing him... in fact, the only people who manage to keep relatively light-hearted are Varric and Isabella, and they spend most of the game playing Team Dad and Cool Big Sis to the others.
When Hawke returns after being on the run for four years, it's clear that all of his/her failures during II have clearly taken an irreparable toll on his/her self-esteem. Even Snarky!Hawke is considerably more serious and bitter. If s/he had a love interest in II, they are either already dead by his/her own hands, or s/he broke it off or sent them away in order to protect them, leaving him/her even more alone than s/he already was near the end of II, with only Varric keeping in constant contact. On top of all of this, s/he feels personally responsible for the entire mess now occurring, having been unable to stop the Mage/Templar War from beginning and having unknowingly failed to kill Corypheus after awakening him.
Varric feels guilty for pulling Hawke into the situations that caused said mess and constantly put his dear friend in danger. His status goes up even further if Hawke sacrifices his/her life to save the Inquisitor and a Grey Warden ally. Finding out what happened sends him into a Heroic BSoD, and even gives the players the option to hug him when it looks like he's about to start crying. To make matters worse, Varric is the one who has to tell Hawke's love interest that s/he died. Factor in that his older brother Bartrand is either dead or insane from red lyrium exposure and the woman he loves is married to someone else and indirectly responsible for the spread of red lyrium on the surface, and it's almost baffling how he's able to remain so cheerful.
Despite what he is, Giygas as shown in EarthBound Beginnings had to fight Ninten, who in different circumstances, he would probably consider a son. He was raised by two abducted humans, George and Maria, who are also Ninten's great grandparents. George stole information about his species' PSI powers and escaped back to Earth without Maria. Giygas was tasked with stopping PSI powers spreading on Earth as they could be used against his people. He is forced to betray the people who raised him, and at the end of the game offers Ninten the chance to come back with him, but of course Ninten refuses and so Giygas is forced to attack him. How do you defeat him? By playing the lullaby Maria, who he was very close to, used to sing to him, driving him insane with guilt and loss for Maria. Ultimately, he went insane from thinking about the family he used to have and the desire to get his revenge on Earth, coupled with his massive power and became the Giygas we know from EarthBound.
Lucas is the closest thing the game has to the main hero. At first, Lucas lives a happy life with his family, but all that changes when one of the previously friendly Dragos, controlled by Pokey Minch's army, murders his mother, Hinawa. Then after the news is broken to his doting father, Flint, he breaks down in grief-filled rage and nearly strikes his own sons with a stick. With both his mother and father out of commission or left the village of Tazmily, his brother, Claus, goes to investigate but is kidnapped and brainwashed by the Pigmasks. He goes on a seemingly hopeless journey to reunite with his brother and father. Through this, he experiences many deaths by the Pigmasks including by the end having to kill his own brother, who was the Masked Man, but he couldn't bring himself to do it, and so Claus ended his own life to spare him when Pokey's control proved too much to handle. Throughout the journey, he constantly breaks down in tears and just wants his family back as he is an emotionally crippled pre-teen.
Alex Roivas from Eternal Darkness. She spends the entire game thrown into a battle she never expected and reliving the nightmarish horrors of her ancestors, up to and including her grandfather's brutal murder. And this was after losing her parents in a car accident, a fact Pious uses against her during select bouts of insanity.
Polka from Eternal Sonata. Because of the myth that her fatal illness is contagious, most members of society treat her like a leper. People don't even bother to thank her when she uses her magic to heal injured people because being able to use magic is possible only if you're going to die soon. In spite of it all, Polka is still a good person who wants, more than anything else in the world, to simply help everyone she can while she still has the time.
Menos in Evoland 2. First he is enslaved by the humans and forced to fight in an arena to the death, then his people are massacred, then he gets sent into the future and is unable to return home, then his son is revealed to be one of the main villains of the game, then he tries but fails to stop his people from being massacred in the past, and to top it all off, he finds out that his people, the Demons, were actually just manufactured by humans. As if all this wasn't bad enough, the ending also reveals that he fathers Ceres, the main antagonist in the game and that he will be killed while Ceres is still a child. It would be hard to make Menos' life suck more than it already does.
Linear Cannon from Evolution Worlds. She stares out as just a very timid Cute Mute with healing powers who has to deal with the unwanted advances of PrinceEugene, but then Eugene realizes that she is the key to finding the legendary cyframe Evolutia, which his country wants in order to take over the world, and kidnaps her. He then finds out that SHE is Evolutia, refuses to let her go and intends to use her as a weapon of war. Bear in mind that Linear is implied to be so empathetic that she can actually FEEL the pain or distress of any nearby living thing, including PLANTS (and the desire to help said living thing is implied to be the origin of her healing powers). Eugene then almost kills Mag Launcher, who along with Battle ButlerGre Nade is basically the only family she has, right in front of her. This is only compounded by the way she cringes in fear whenever an enemy in the game attacks her. She also seems to have a depressing back story, having appeared in the Launcher's doorway in the heavy snow three years before the start of the game, and for a while spent most of her time terrified until Mag taught her to play the ocarina.
Chitose Tachibana from Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly. After one of her brothers is killed as a sacrifice, she watches the remaining brother fall into depression. Then the Darkness comes, and she's alone, terrified, and screaming for her brothers to help her. She spends most of the game running away from you and hiding in closets and the like, and when you finally catch up to her, she whimpers and sobs in terror throughout the ensuing fight. Poor girl.
Fancy Pants Man from Fancy Pants Adventures. The poor boy dies multiple times and continuously tries to rescue his sister from being kidnapped by pirates, even after she sends rude notes to him and throws him in the Princess Pirate Ship dungeon.
F.E.A.R.'sMan Behind the Man (well, 'Girl'' Behind The Man in this case) is Alma, who spends most of her time making your comrades' flesh boil off or sending flaming killer ghosts after you in your dream sequences, so sympathy for her might not seem all that forthcoming...until you learn just what Armacham Technology Corporation did to her.
She started off broken, born a powerful telepath who was sensitive to the negative emotions of people, which ended up with her constantly suffering from hallucinations and nightmares. Then, she was brought into an Armacham program to create psychic super soldiers. After spending years locked inside a tiny cell and studied by ATC, she was put into a coma and artificially impregnated with children based on her own DNA. When they reached maturity, labor was induced, and the children were forcibly taken away from Alma while she was still screaming for them. Eventually, after the project went south, the plug was pulled on Alma's life support, and she was locked up underground and left to die. The best part about all of this? The project lead who masterminded it all was her own father.
The Woobification hits truly epic levels with the final hallucination, where intermixed with pained sobbing and images of brutal, explosive, and bloody violence, Alma is trying to hug the Point Man, her only surviving son... and the Point Man is forced to shoot her repeatedly or die. Damn, man. Just... damn.
Project Origin manages to take an already powerful Woobie and cranks the woobification past eleven. At one point, there's a hallucination showing Harlan Wade ordering a pair of massive, fully-armored ATC soldiers to haul her to the Vault, and she's shown being violently dragged away, sobbing and clutching a teddy bear.
And that place where they were dragging her away from? Her Happy Place, which so happens to be a withered old tree and swing set that's sandwiched in the corner of a muddy concrete ditch that seems to be part of the facility's sewage system.
There's also a scene in Wade Elementary right after the blood-soaked locker hallway with the ghosts where Alma attacks Beckett, and he fights her off. Immediately afterward, Alma is standing in front of him, and staring at him with this horrible mixture of sadness and fear. She starts curling up into a ball on the floor, and whispers "You don't want me?" in this pained and saddened whisper that just breaks the heart to hear.
The second game is testament to her status as the woobie because she is still considered one even after she rapes Beckett, which would normally be considered a Moral Event Horizon. This is because all the trauma she's gone through has left her so utterly broken that she is incapable of normal behavior. She doesn't understand why Beckett is rejecting her when it's her actions that cause him to see her as a threat.
F.3.A.R shows Beckett as being quite insane. As in, "DON'T TOUCH HER! I'LL RIP OUT YOUR GUTS AND WEAR THEM AS A HAIR-NET IF YOU DO!" insane. Poor guy. Then it gets amplified even further when the Point Man and Fettel reach him, as Fettel takes control of Beckett to rip his memories out of his body, a process which causes Beckett immense physical agony and eventually causes his whole body to explode. Fettel's commentary while this is happening doesn't help, as he notes that "This man is an empty shell" and "All he wants is to forget."
Fear Effect. Rain is very much this. Why? Her father is the first emperor of China, made immortal and forever rooted to one spot like a statue. Her mother is a scientist who engaged in experiments that transformed her into a monster and eventually an Eldritch Abomination. Her twin sister Mist is trying to help her father get out of his statue pose. Unfortunately, Mist's method of achieving this involves merging herself and Rain to their mother, and pretty much destroy the entire world. Rain ran away from this, and ended up with amnesia, as well as memories, dreams and nightmares that made no sense to her. Rain ends up having to kill off both her mother and twin sister.
It is not fun being a night-shift security guard at Freddy's.
The player character, Mike Schmidt. He has to go through a week of 4 killer robots trying to inflict a Cruel and Unusual Death upon him and is growing more insane every passing night for a $4 an hour paycheck. The fact that he can't just quit after the first night implies that he might be in some kind of desperate situation or that he's willing to risk his life so nobody else would have to go through the same terror he does. There's also the fact he'll likely have to live being the only one knowing Phone Guy's fate and when he finally gets the chance to reprogram the animatronics to be less homocidal, he gets fired for his efforts.
Phone Guy himself also counts for the same reasons as the player character does, and unlike the former, he most likely didn't have anyone to help him out with the animatronics, meaning that he found this out entirely on his own. And unlike Mike, he doesn't survive his final night and is instead murdered by the animatronics.
From the sequel, there's also Mangle aka: 'New/Toy' Foxy. Sure, it's trying to kill you, like all the other animatronics, but it's hard not to feel bad for it. It was supposed to be a Friend to All Children, but for some reason, the kids did not like it very much, probably because it replaced the well-loved Foxy, and thought that completely disfiguring it would be more fun, instead. And then at the end of the sequel, it's revealed it and all the other 'new' animatronics were scrapped. Poor Mangle
Kamila, from Ghost Trick. On her mother's birthday, she decides to surprise her by making an elaborate Rube Goldberg contraption that would end up popping partypoppers. But it is instead rigged by a ghost wanting revenge on her father so that it would instead pull the trigger of a decorative gun, killing her mother. On her own birthday. As if the irony wasn't enough, her father decides to take the blame and is sentenced to death. So now she carries the guilt of being responsible for not only for her mother's death, but also her father's. Bad enough? It gets worse. She's also kidnapped as a bargaining chip to assure that her dad is executed. When her father comes to rescue her, the same ghost who killed her mother decides to possess her and have the girl shoot her own dad. Luckily that doesn't happen... because her dad was already killed elsewhere. Instead, she gets to see the woman who's been raising her as an adoptive little sister die hit by falling ruble and float face down. Oh, and she also witnesses her little dog being shot dead. Ouch. Thankfully, everything gets reverted in the end.
Hephaestus in God of War III. Created Pandora, an Artificial Human, to serve as the key to opening Pandora's Box, and get roundly mocked by his fellow gods when he comes to love her as a father would love his daughter. When Kratos opens the box for the first time, Zeus punishes Hephaestus by cursing him with an ugly form, and sealing him away in a tiny cave in the underworld. The cave includes a portal so that his wife, Aphrodite, can visit him at any time, but she prefers cheating on him and 'entertaining' herself with slave girls to his company. When he learns that Kratos intends to sacrifice Pandora so that the box can be opened a second time, he tries to use a Uriah Gambit to save his daughter's life, which backfires horribly when Kratos kills him by impaling him on his own anvil. His final words are a desperate, sorrowful plea for Kratos to spare the life of his daughter.
You know Grave is gonna have it hard when he's the lead character...and he's also "dead". He's lost pretty much everyone he ever knew and loved, as well as almost all of his emotions and memories, and was forced to kill the man who was once his closest friend. The one bright spot left in his "life" is Mika, the daughter of the woman Grave (when he was Brandon) loved but could never be with, and said daughter risks her own health and uses her own blood in Grave's necessary transfusions to avoid degeneration of his body. And the time he spends with Mika is always short—since he's already dead there's next to no chance of him "living" a normal life with her. Sure he's known as "The Killer Without A Soul"... The anime series really makes you just feel sorry for the dual-wielding zombie killing machine.
While Granblue Fantasy has many potential examples, one of the earlier and more prominent ones has to be Ferry, who was "blessed" with immortality. Only that she never wanted this. This shy and withdrawn girl wanted nothing more than to spend her life with her parents and her younger sister on the misty little island that was her home. But fate was not kind to this young Erune girl. Ferry lost her parents to an epidemic and died soon afterwards, only to become an immortal spirit. She then spent the next +100 years lonely in her family's mansion (as she blamed herself for having inadvertently summoned the being that "stole away" death from all living things on the island, shrouded it in mist and kept its inhabitants from ever leaving), even forgetting her own name and eventually giving up all hope that things would ever change for the better. Even when the heroes defeat the being that stole death, Ferry is the ONLY inhabitant of the island who remains, everyone else crumbling to dust. Ferry then makes it her mission to find her precious younger sister who had left the island more than a century ago. Hoping for a "miraculous reunion", she sets out on an adventure with the party. As could be reasonably expected, she eventually learns of her sister's death. In her fate episodes and many lines of dialogue, she often brings up the topic of her dead parents and missing her sister, as well as her memories of celebrating birthdays or Christmas with them, showing that despite the very long time that has passed, she never truly gets over them. And let's not forget how her younger sister must have felt either, who was probably around 11 to 12 years old when she left the island. Imagine being far away from home, where all your friends and family live - and then hearing that you'll never see them again, because your home just vanished.
Alyx Vance of Half-Life 2 has had it rough. When she was about three, aliens invaded Earth and killed her mother. She's spent all her life in the Resistance, fighting an Orwellian regime. In Half-Life 2, she has had her father captured, almost freed him only for a traitor to grab him, then get captured again when she tries to free him again. She is forced to reenter the Citadel to delay its impending explosion, had a train derail on her and dump her into a zombie-infested underground complex, then had to fight through a war-torn city to reach a train station. Then she is mortally wounded, revived and used to deliver a cryptic message to her father, then forced to watch him die horribly. Depending on events in Episode Three, that last one might have been a case of Break the Cutie. And of course, she is clearly smitten with Gordon Freeman, who won't talk to her. Not that it's his fault, though. The fact that she can still function after all this is a wonder.
Gordon. He's just going to work like any other theoretical physicist when his entire workplace explodes, all of his coworkers die, and he's forced to battle his way up to the surface, where he has to face down trained soldiers, finally teleporting to another world so he can kill more stuff. And at the end of the day, does this hardworking scientist get a break? Nooo, he gets put into stasis for, like, twenty years, and then rewoken purely to defeat a new regime. He meets a girl that he falls in love with and can't even tell her, has to fight for a resistance that he was never part of and has no reason to actually help, and basically finds out in the end he was just being manipulated by a mysterious entity that won't even reveal what on earth is going on. Oh, and after he escapes the mysterious entity's control, he still isn't his own man, because now the Vortigaunts control him. For someone with the last name "free man", he spends most of it under someone else's control. The poor guy's life completely sucks.
Most characters in the Harvest Moon series are too happy (or at least content) to qualify as Woobies. The exceptions include:
Flora/Carter (DS/Cute:) While they're two different characters, they go hand in hand because they're a rival couple. Lots of guys were excited that Flora was finally marriageable in DS, and so pursued her. What's so bad about that? What becomes of Carter, that's so bad about that. Not only is he obviously heartbroken when you and Flora break the happy news to him, but now he's all alone up there in that drafty old tent in the mountains with naught but some old statues for company. Doing the reverse in the Cute version is just as bad. Now Flora's heartbroken and alone, and even has a brief panic about losing her job. She gets to keep it, but one gets the impression she's not enjoying it as much now that the Professor is off-limits.
Celia (A Wonderful Life/Special Edition): She's usually a Pollyanna, but she's engaged to someone she doesn't know, and she is in love with you from the moment she meets you. Try getting her last heart event, where she confesses to you, and say no. Or cheat on her, and not marry her.
Lumina (AWL/SE): A stressed, Lonely Rich Kid who doesn't want to disappoint her grandmother. She meets you, and eventually thinks of you as her big brother. She falls in love with you, but you could not marry her until Special Edition. Just try and watch her cry, and run away, when you become married, without feeling horrible.
Nami (AWL/SE): At first she's just a distant character who's Walking the Earth. Then as you become closer to her, you learn that her father is a jobless alcoholic who leeched off of her income whenever she had a job, and she's traveling the world in a desperate attempt to avoid going back to that, even while running out of money. At one point, her cold shell cracks and you actually see her cry.
The two girls that you didn't marry in AWL both get the woobiness cranked up even further. Celia gets forced into an Arranged Marriage she didn't want and becomes a bitter man-hater, trying desperately to smile and failing. Muffy spends the rest of her life as a single waitress, and you can find her crying on the beach at night over losing her chance at having a family, the one thing she wanted most in life. Nami runs out of money and has to go back to live with her parents, and when she comes back later she spends all her time Drowning Her Sorrows at the bar. AWL is, without a doubt, the darkestHarvest Moon game to date.
The main character's sister, Theresa, from Fable. Over the course of her life, she gets horrible prophetic nightmares, is tortured and has her eyes cut out around age 8, is abused by the bandits who rescue her while being used for her foretellings, and is pursed, captured, and almost killed by the antagonist. On top of all that, evil characters can choose to kill her in cold blood while she stands there telling you that it is your choice whether or not to do so. Ouch.
The second game gives us Sparrow, a Broken Bird who begins as a young orphan living on the streets with his sister Rose. After making a wish they are taken to Lucian's castle, where he kills Rose and tries to kill Sparrow, who is saved by a gypsy who had set up Rose's death in order to give Sparrow a need for revenge. Later, Sparrow is forced to work in Lucian's Spire for over ten years as the people there try to Break the Cutie. A banshee might torture Sparrow over Rose's death, then near the end after Lucian kill's Sparrow's dog and tries once again to kill Sparrow, ends up a kid again in paradise with Rose, who finally was able to provide the perfect life for her sibling. In order to defeat Lucian Sparrow must abandon this life, and a traumatic Rose. God. Damn. Someone give the kid a hug.
While one would not think him so, Ben Finn from the third game definitely gets a Woobie-esque moment where you all just want to give him a big hug. This moment? After you're done with the masqerade party, you have to go meet Ben at the castle, because your brother has an announcement/demonstration (which in Fable III, is short for "Public execution, come and watch. we've got popcorn!" Once you meet up with him, you find that the person being executed is none other than Major Swift, Ben's friend, mentor, and the man who probably saved him from a life of crime. Just before Major Swift is shot, it cuts away to Ben, who's expression as the gun is fired is absolutely heart-shattering. If you did not want to give him the worlds biggest hug, you are NOT. HUMAN.
Fiona Belli from Haunting Ground. Not only did one of the stalkers kill her parents, but he kidnapped her as well, and is trying to impregnate her in order to be reborn with her Azoth. She is also pursued by a hulking man with the mind of a child who thinks she is a doll and just wants to play with her, a homunculus maid who wants to cut her Azoth out of her in order to become "complete", and an old man who helps her at first, but then turns out to be the Big Bad, and is also trying to take her Azoth. The only companion she has is a white German Shepherd that is also a Woobie itself due to the excessive amounts of literal Kick the Dog moments.
Heavy Rain. Oh man, where do you start? Half the cast deserves to get a hug after the crap they put up with in this game:
Ethan Mars. Goddamn, this game puts the poor guy through the wringer. The idyllic life portrayed in the prologue is shattered when his son, Jason, is hit by a car. Then, depending on the decisions you make, Ethan can either be run over by a truck, caught by the police (during which he has to escape), get into a car accident, break two ribs and have his ex-wife accuse him of being the Origami Killer. This is aside from all the character's mandatory plot missions, which include crawling through glass, jumping through electrical transformers, running from the law and cutting off his own finger. Is it any wonder that the ultra-happy endings for his character involve him reunited with his family (and, if you save Madison, a better wife)?
Madison Paige. It really says something about a character when her first scene (albeit a dream sequence) has her getting attacked and murdered by four knife-wielding assailants...and it only goes downhill from there, as (depending on the choices you make) you'll become a part of a fugitive's escape plan, get caught by a doctor who plans on using you for practice surgery, and are forced to strip at gunpoint in order to beat up a pimp. If you (and not Ethan) survive, you'll find out that Madison's delusions have gotten worse, and it's only a matter of time before she goes insane...
Lauren, the mother who decides to help PI Shelby. If she doesn't die after being knocked unconscious and thrown into the lake with Shelby in a sinking car, she'll eventually learn that Shelby was the Origami Killer, and either spits on his grave or shoots him dead in the street after he thinks he's gotten away scot-free.
Norman Jayden may have it easy compared to Ethan, but still, he's the cast Chew Toy - he's a stessed-out profiler stuck working to get to the bottom of a case in time to save a kid's life on a force that doesn't respect him and has him partnered with LieutenantCarter Blake under mutual hatred, and very regularly ends up getting the crap beaten out of him or put in life-threatening situations by the leads he finds to he point that he lampshades it at Blue Lagoon if you stop to read his thoughts. If Ethan gets arrested, Norman can take a chance to give Blake what he's been begging for, which is responded to with Blake holding him at gunpoint. On top of all of that, all the while he's developing an addiction to the ARI glasses he uses almost every chapter though they're also slowly killing him, and uses triptocaine, potentially not much better, to relieve their side effects. It'd be nice to say his life could be made any easier, but he doesn't have a single happy ending.
Ellen was a promising young engineer, who suffered a miscarriage, and the depression destroyed her marriage. She later recovered and started a new career, only to be brutally raped by a psychopath in a yellow suit. AM forced her to relive this experience. It's satisfying to see her overcome this fear.
Gorrister was a truck driver whose wife went insane after an argument that resulted in him hitting her. Then it turned out this insanity was largely caused by his shrewish mother in law and that he blamed himself for nothing. His attempts at suicide have been stopped by AM, who kept him alive out of a sadistic pleasure of his anguish. Any attempts at suicide in the game will immediately be stopped by AM, but you can prove him wrong.
Ted Huxley is The Unfavorite to his wealthy father, and the favorite in the equation, his twin brother Felix, constantly belittles him and bosses him around, which has taken its toll on Ted's self esteem. Felix is also planning to have Ted murdered via live burial (and covered in spiders first for no apparent reason other than to make the whole thing more traumatic) because he feels he's too naive to be trusted with the family company. If the player chooses to help Felix, the plan goes off without a hitch and the last time we see Ted, he's begging Felix to stop. If the player lets him know about the spoilered information, Ted's first reaction is tearful disbelief and we find out that despite the constant bullying, he still honestly believes (or rather, believed) his brother loves him and "just has a weird way of showing it".
Penny initially seems like just The Stool Pigeon, but is eventually revealed to be this. She was once mauled by one of her mother the principal's mutant monsters, which led to her mother having her rebuilt as a Cyborg and using her as a pawn against the other students by controlling her via remote control. Penny has no idea about any of this, just knowing that she gets "blackouts" sometimes. In the mission Creature Feature, the stress caused by the player repeatedly using the remote on her drives her to an emotional breakdown. Later in the mission, her mother kills her the moment she realises that Penny is no longer useful to her, and considering her mother's later demise, she will probably stay dead unless someone else has her fixed again. To top it all off, it isn't a quick and painless death either; she's still conscious enough to talk to the player afterwards.
Naminé in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. She lived the first part of her life entirely alone in Castle Oblivion, spent the rest under the Organization's emotionally abusive thumb, is forced to do their bidding to assist in breaking Sora, and is perfectly aware of her status as a Nobody.
Kairi is first separated from the people she cares for most and eventually kidnapped, then she learns that her closest friend sacrificed his heart to save her, then she is separated from her friends further, and later when she finally receives a Keyblade, she is still cut off from Sora and Riku by Xemnas.
Xion in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. She is at risk of elimination from the Organization if she fails to do her job, endures frequent personal insults from Saïx and is called a sham by Riku. To top it all off, she eventually learns she must disappear from existence to revive Sora. When she does eventually disappear, everyone loses their memories of her.
Roxas in both 358/2 Days and Kingdom Hearts II. Much like Xion, he has no choice but to sacrifice himself to rejoin Sora. In 358/2 Days, he is forced to kill one of his best friends and abandon the other. In Kingdom Hearts II, he lives in a simulated Twilight Town with false memories and friends who are actually just images made of data. Immediately after learning the truth, he is forced to give himself up to Sora.
Let it be said that Terra is probably the only reason Xemnas comes across as even the slightest bit sympathetic. When your nigh-inconsequential influence on one of Xehanort's incarnations is enough to give him traces of Tragic Villainy, you know your lot in life is truly terrible.
Klonoa: The title character is a sweet, innocent young boy who gets dragged into a desperate struggle to save the world through no fault of his own, and is hunted relentlessly by the villains. watches his grandfather die in his arms after having his house blown up by The Dragon (the original "Phantomile" voice acting makes Klonoa sound really traumatized), discoversthat he is a "dream traveler" destined to drift from world to world, being forced to save them from evil and losing any friends or other loved ones he encounters every single time. It isn't even so much the game itself so much as the extremely depressingFridge Logic when you realize that he is doomed to a life of eternal suffering and loneliness, and is powerless to do anything about it.
Knights of the Old Republic has Carth Onasi, who watched his wife and son die in an orbital bombardment ordered by a man who he had once counted a friend, and who he could have stopped earlier if he had believed that his old commander would actually turn traitor. Actually, Carth's son Dustil is alive, but it gets worse because Dustil not only hates Carth and blames him for his mother's death, but he has joined the freaking Sith (you know, the people who actually killed his mother) and blindly defends them! You can help Carth and Dustil reconcile, but still...
Although it's not obvious at first, Ethan, the quiet, axe-wieldingamnesiac from Last Scenario, is badly in need of a hug. When he first joins the party, he says he doesn't remember much beyond the fact that he used to work for the Rosehart Kingdom, but was betrayed and imprisoned. This means many of the people he's fighting used to be his friends, but it's a bit worse than that. He used to be the head of a prestigious special-ops group, but he started to suspect that his superior, Castor, was hiding important information from them, and began to investigate on his own. An ambitious internal affairs officer, Helio, found out, and reported Ethan- as punishment, he was locked up as a test subject in Helio's laboratory and spent the next three years buried alive and semiconscious in a magical substance called biorite, which was responsible for his memory loss. Even early on, he worries that maybe since the things he remembers most clearly are the ones he wanted to remember, the ones he forgot were things he wanted to forget; when a few things start coming back to him, you find out he was right. Fourteen years ago, his entire hometown was razed by the Imperial army, leaving him and his older brother as the only survivors. He wound up killing a soldier in a panic to protect his brother, and only avoided being killed himself by the timely intervention of Zawu. His older brother? Castor, the guy who had him sealed in a pile of rocks for three years, and the Big Bad of the game. Naturally, he remembers this just as Castor has started going into a full-scale mental and emotional breakdown which he was indirectly complicit in. And the man he killed when he was fourteen? His name was Wolfram, and his father and best friend are in the party. Ethan's guilt-stricken and awkward attempts to tell Randolph are simultaneously heartbreaking and adorable. All in all, his life kind of sucks. A lot.
Left 4 Dead: The Witch just wants a hug... or she's just a wangsty psychopath who tears peoples' faces off.
More than likely it's both. The green flu has a strange effect on some people mutating them in a manner that reflects their physical and psychological maladies.
Saria from Ocarina of Time tends to get the woobie treatment quite handily from the fandom, what with being an Unlucky Childhood Friend who "really liked" Link but couldn't grow up along with him due to being a Kokiri, as well as having to spend the seven years that Link spent in the Sacred Realm having to deal with a Jerkass who hated his guts and blamed him for what happened to the Great Deku Tree.
It's possible the sheer popularity and fangirl following that Byrne gets in Spirit Tracks is down to this trope - he's easily the game's resident badass, but after getting betrayed by Malladus and Cole, his subsequent HeelFace Turn, spending the rest of the game injured, and his eventual sacrificeto save Zelda, he's well on the way to being considered an all-out woobie.
Twilight Princess: Midna. She's gets turned into an imp, thrown from her rightful place as ruler by a crazed ex-servant, nearly killed by said ex-servant early in the game, feels personally responsible for much of what happened to Hyrule, then gets transformed into a rather nasty-looking critter by the Fused Shadows multiple times (something that looked remarkably unpleasant, what with getting tossed into walls and whatnot when she puts them on) suffers a Disney Death near the endgame AND tearfully departs from the realm of light forever, breaking the Mirror of Twilight behind her while clearly still being rather attached to Link, so that Hyrule will never suffer for any potential wrongdoing her people may commit again.
Heck even Link can qualify at times. OoT/MM most definitely. To wit, as a kid he witnessed his mentor figure die and sets off on adventure to save Hyrule all by himself (and a fairy) at the age of nine, away from the home he has known all his life after finding out he never really belonged with who he thought to be his own people. He travels Hyrule, fighting monsters, clearing dungeons and collecting stones from sages of different regions. After finally reaching the Temple of Time he goes into a Time Skip by remaining in stasis for seven years, and finds that Hyrule has turned into a Crapsack World under control of Ganon while he was gone. During this time, the aforementioned Saria is implied to have died, no one in his village remembers him, and he must save the world from the king of evil in the body of a 16-year old while presumably, mentally still nine years old. Saves the day but thanks to Zelda, gets sent back in time to live as a kid again but thanks to what he's seen, how could he? Majora's Mask sends him through a mental torture session all for trying to find a friend he lost. And if he IS the Hero's Spirit in Twilight Princess...
Wind Waker. Link is about twelve. The game starts with his little sister getting kidnapped and just gets worse from there. And at the end, he doesn't even get to stay with the sister he worked so hard to rescue! He leaves to find a new land.
A Link to the Past can also make you feel sorry for him at the beginning (he sees his uncle dying and presumably bleeding on the floor), and in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess he witnesses his village's children kidnapped, knows well that the monsters he is killing used to be human, and sees horrors rivaling that his ancestor experienced in Majora's Mask. Any Link can have his moments if you think about it.
And also when you think about what he's actually doing. Most of the time, he's got the burden of saving the whole world by himself; usually after being yanked out of whatever peaceful life he was living. While he does often have a companion, it is he who can truly get things done. Once you start to think about that... it's a lonely job! You have to feel sorry for him!
A Link to the Past: Prior to the story, the Triforce beckoned for people across the land to find it and harness its power. The young man known only as the Flute Boy was one of the people who set off, but he and his companion bird went missing in Death Mountain. Link finds him later in the Dark World, a twisted version of the regular Light World, where he's been transformed into a tapir and unable to leave. Saddened by his inability to return home, Flute Boy asks Link to find his flute for him. When he does, Flute Boy thanks him, but mourns that the Dark World's influence prevents him from playing anymore. Link instead plays for him one last time, and as the music sounds out across the forest, the boy is slowly petrified into a tree. Afterward, Link uses the flute to free Flute Boy's companion bird from the weather vane it was trapped in and informs the boy's worried father that his son has passed away. Fortunately, he receives a happy ending, as Link defeats Ganon and restores the land back to before Flute Boy went missing.
Oersted from Live A Live. Over the course of their chapter, in no particular order, he gets the princess, loses the princess (kidnapped), forms a Four Man Band, loses said Four Man Band (One dies, another fakes his death, and the last one is tortured to death), fights a demon, beats the demon, is called a demon because he was tricked into regicide, then learns that his best friend has actually betrayed him, which leads to the princess committing suicide because she thinks that only he bothered to come to the demon's lair to save her, not you! They are just the kind of person that you wish all of their troubles would go away, because they really did nothing to deserve any of them. Then they decide, rather understandably, that Humans Are the Real Monsters. Less understandably, he slaughters the entire kingdom, possibly more people than that, with the intention of destroying time and space. He sort of loses most, but not all, sympathy at that point.
April Ryan from The Longest Journey. She grew up in a broken home, ran away as soon as she legally could, and is accepted to a prestigious art school... only to find out that she's one of a select few people who can open gates between the two worlds, and must now save the world. By becoming the Guardian of the Balance for a thousand years or so. The quest takes her across both worlds, where she accidentally sinks a ship, traps an evil alchemist in a calculator, loses both of her mentors, watches her best friend get shot, is betrayed several times, and generally moves Heaven and Earth (both of them) to make things right... Only to then find out that she's not really the Guardian after all, and basically went through all that for someone else. It's no wonder she's so messed up in the sequel.
You've gotta feel sorry for Mega Man X. Not only is he the progenitor of all Reploids (and therefore Mavericks), he's also the one best equipped to hunt them down and kill them, and thus feels duty-bound to do so even though he hates violence. Fate hasn't been kind to Zero either, but he's a Jerkass, so it's not so bad.
Zero is a jerk because of the things that made him a Woobie in the first place. Come on, having your love interest fight you out of revenge (and having to kill her in the end), and fighting in over 200 years for a peaceful world (arguably longer than X, though he spent half that in stasis), and when that peace actually comes, Zero couldn't even see it, seeing as he's dead...
Zero is the originator of the maverick virus. The existence of X and Zero allowed the continuation of Wily and Light's feud for centuries. If they'd never have existed, Wily's evil would have died with him. Light, Wily, X and Zero are the four most important individuals in the world, and all but Wily feel responsible.
And as it's been mentioned X feels duty-bound to do what he's doing. Until he used his body to reinforce the Dark Elf seal and Copy X was made, Neo-Arcadia was a place of Peace for Reploids and Humans to live together, and he ruled it. For all those years he was able to stop forcing himself to be a Technical Pacifist and ruled as a peaceful leader. People complain that he was Emo in Mega Man X7, but that is the end result of an Actual Pacifist forcing themselves to be a Technical Pacifist.
And when Zero sealed himself it's implied that he did not let himself have a break, that he would not let himself retired like he did in X7, and it hit him hard, to the point he started to adopt part of Zero's own jerkass front and Blood Knight tendency, no longer caring about the enemies he fought. To see X, the one of two Mega Man that had a mental Age high enough to understand what peace truly was and what was needed to achieve it, go so against his belief is just...lip quivering inducing.
Although she wasn't hit as harder as X or Zero above, Ciel would also qualify. In two separate occasions, she thought that she was doing the right thing, but it only ended up giving rise to worse problems. The first one would be for creating Copy-X, and we all know how that turned out. The second time was successfully researching an energy source that she believes would put an end to the war, only for it to be a catalyst to a new conflict. Mind you, this is a person who longs for peace as much as X, and she is very young at the series' start, and also human. And, then there's the fact that, at series' end, she is waiting faithfully for Zero to come back, when it was completely impossible.
And then there's Elpizo. Lets see, sentenced to assassination for accidentally stumbling on some secret files? Check. forced to flee for his life from the city he grew up in? Check. Being appointed leader of the Resistance, but lacking the willpower and patience needed to effectively run it? Check. Getting more then half the Resistance slaughtered in a disastrous attack on the local fascist government and being wracked with guilt over the debacle? Oh god, double check. Is it any wonder he snapped?
The one who probably gets it the worst is clearly Otacon, one of the few characters who isn't even a soldier. His father killed himself because Otacon was seduced by his stepmother. (That's statutory rape, boys and girls!) His dearly loved stepsister almost dies as well because of this, and he doesn't see her again for more than 10 years. When he finally finds two friends in Sniper Wolf and Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid, Snake fatally kills Wolf in battle and can only stand by and watch as she bleeds to death. In Metal Gear Solid 2, he finally meets his stepsister again, but she gets fatally stabbed just meters she before gets to him, and again dies slowly in his arms. In Metal Gear Solid 4, he again falls in love with a woman, but Naomi turns out to be terminally ill and kept alive only by the technology they try to destroy. To make things easier for everyone else later, she injects herself with a drug that will shut down the nanomachines in her body while talking to Otacon over video phone, and again slowly dies while he can only watch. Those are three of the four most saddest moments in the entire series, and the saddest moments of each game he appears in. And in the end, his very close best friend Snake has only a few more months to live before he dies from unstoppable rapid aging. And he really doesn't take it well every time. Phantom Pain actually ups his Woobie qualities retroactively when it turned out that his father wasn't at all sympathetic, nearly using him when he's 2 years old for a machine Powered by a Forsaken Child, in which his mother opposed and was killed with Cruel and Unusual Death. Sure, Otacon probably wouldn't realize what's happening at that point, but not only it explains why he's estranged with his father, but it just makes him a lot more pitiful...
Wolf herself is also somewhat of a Woobie - she even confesses just before her senseless death that she's essentially spent her entire life waiting for someone to come and kill her.
Not to mention Raiden in the fourth game, who not only suffered head breaking unreasonable torment before the game even begins, but ends up suffering and bleeding in every single appearance he makes. Heck even in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty we learned that his girlfriend was an agent and his entire life has been controlled.
And then there's The Boss, Big Boss' mentor. She is arguably the biggest badass of the series but the lengths she goes through to protect the country that she loves is what makes her such a tragic figure. While it at first appears that she betrayed the United States, she was actually set up by her superiors to take the fall for Volgin's actions, going down in American history as the greatest traitor since Benedict Arnold and one of the worst war criminals in Russian history. She knows all of this, and yet goes along with it willingly, effectively committing suicide by combat at her beloved protege's hands.
Misao: Misao was a Nice Girl bullied by her classmates and abandoned by her best friend. She was mocked by everyone, including her crush who dated her as a cruel joke while his girlfriend published her Love Letters, then beaten and humiliated by The Bully Yoshiko in a bathroom who also paid someone to rape her. Found by the seemingly kind teacher Sohta, he killed her to keep her hands. Enraged at her life, her spirit cursed the school and trapped her bullies and his murderer alongside the player character. Killing most of them directly or indirectly, Misao's soul is finally put to rest by the player character. When he/she discovers that Misao is torturing the souls of her victims, he/she goes to save them and put her to rest permanently. A kind girl whose life was ruined, Misao is an angry ghost that ultimately just wanted to be loved.
Sophia Robelingue, the gentle and sweet heroine of Mitsumete Knight. Her father, a former Holy Knight, got kicked out of the army after a failed battle, in which he also became handicapped on a leg, and because of this fell into alcoholism (and since she loves her father very much, she's terribly saddened by his decheance). Because of this and also because Sophia's mother and brother are Ill Persons, the family is very poor and only holds on because Sophia works on a lot of hard-labour part-time jobs; she's estranged with her mother because her mother only thinks about her son's well being, she's forcefully financed to an obnoxiousnoble she's not in love with in the slightest, the local punks seem to love picking on her, Near the end of her storyline, by being at the wrong place at the wrong time, she becomes a Cute Mute;and if you manage to get her Happy Ending, she'll still have to leave behind her family (which is still screwed up, so her leaving them will make things even worse for them) to follow the Asian, even lampshading herself that she'll be seen as an egoist who may go to Hell for her sin.
Metroid: Samus Aran is a 6'3" (in armor) trigger happy bounty hunter who defines badass. Why might she be on the list? Her parents were killed when she was 3, with her dad dying in a Heroic Sacrifice and her mom being eaten by Ridley, and was adopted by the bird-like Chozo only for them to be possibly wiped out. To make matters worse, the guy who killed her mother, Ridley, just won't die, and attacks another colony she is on, forcing her to relive the murder of her mother. When she mentally and emotionally shuts down and begs for death, you want to hug her. More than normal, that is. In Metroid Prime 3, Samus quickly strikes up a kinship with three fellow bounty hunters only for them to go missing by the time she's out in the field, having been overloaded with Phazon and controlled by Dark Samus, forcing Samus to Mercy Killall three of them as Dark Samus escapes (all the while mocking Sammy's pain with an Evil Laugh). Or the baby Metroid that formed a bond with Samus in Super, designating Samus as its mother and then sacrificing itself to save Samus at the climax of the game, inducing a Mama BearTranquil Furyasskicking of Mother Brain from Samus. Or, her losing both Malkovich brothers by the time Other M comes to a close, her only keepsake of Adam being his helmet (which Samus thrusts herself headfirst into danger to recover and clings to desperately) and a CPU copy of his brainwaves. In fact, if you do some analysis on the events of Super, Other M (regardless ofyour feelingson the matter), and Fusion, it's not hard to view Samus as a Knight in Sour Armor afflicted with PTSD who is trying to recover from a string of Heroic BSODs and is this close to becoming a Death Seeker.
Wally, the little ginger pirate wannabe from the Monkey Island series. He actually had a scene in The Curse of Monkey Island where he is stranded on a raft and his monocle falls in the water, he then falls in trying to retrieve it; this was taken out because the developers felt so sorry for him.
Saavedro. Seriously - two evil guys who are your friend's sons nearly destroy your home world and you follow them only to get knocked out, tied up, and tortured by said evil sons and stranded on a world you know nothing about for twenty years while thinking your family - no, your entire world - is dead? Serious Woobie fuel.
Atrus has had to trap his father and his sons, has been partly (and inadvertently) responsible for the deaths of billions of people (admittedly an evil world, but the slaves died in droves too), has outlived the sons, and (due to the MayflyDecember Romance) has outlived his wife. He has abandoned at least one home because of the bad memories.
Namco High: Meowkie. Her parents are former Mooks who wanted to give her a better life, so they moved to Namco Land and enrolled her in the eponymous school. However, because her parents are former Mooks, most of the other students - even ones who are usually nice - treat her like crap, frame her for their misdeeds, and refuse to associate with her. She also thinks that the anger she feels when this happens is evil and tries her very best to repress it, leaving her as an Extreme DoormatStepford Smiler. It's not uncommon, during Meowkie's route, for players to have to remind themselves that the school is fictional and cannot be burned down.
Aribeth de Tylmarande in Neverwinter Nights after the end of the first chapter, as her faith in her ideals and her trust in almost everyone is shaken or destroyed by Fenthick's execution. Possibly even more so in Hordes of the Underdark, after being executed for trying to pursue justice, and then being imprisoned as an icicle after attempting to lead a revolt against the archdevil in charge of the level of hell she was trapped in.
Persey's owner prior to that was even worse, an archmage who fell madly in "love" with her at first sight. He would alternate between madly worshipping her as the most precious thing in the world, and beating her severely for making him feel that way. The best thing he ever did to her was selling her to the aforementioned brothel owner, so she could get away from him finally.
Robin in Sanctum of the Archmage is something of an Iron Woobie, who has had to watch his/her entire family destroyed and his/her country taken over and oppressed, and who states more than once that if he/she lets go of his/her anger he/she won't have the strength to carry on. Also the player character, whose entire town was destroyed by demons in the prologue and whose surrogate father figure was killed by demons at the start of the opening chapter.
NieR: Emil. His entire life is nothing but a long string of horrible events, but he still tries to remain cheerfully and innocently optimistic through the entire thing. You want nothing more than to just reach through the TV screen and give the poor kid a hug.
Abe from Oddworld: Abe's Oddyssey. Completely defenceless, luckless little guy. Munch from the following game too, though not so much Stranger. It helps that Oddworld Inhabitants are a big fan of Ugly Cute.
Stranger's had it pretty bad himself. A Proud Warrior Race Guy whose species is being hunted to extinction who requires a surgery performed by a Vykker, the series' resident Mad Doctor, to turn him into a true bipedal animal just to survive amongst society. Upon his reveal he is hunted down by the Clakkerz who formerly paid him to save them from criminals.
Odin Sphere: Gwendolyn fights battle after dangerous battle just to win the affection of her father is one thing, but then having that same dad marry you off to a sworn and hated enemy and brainwash you into loving him is just unfair. To say nothing that she watches her sister die right at the start of the game.
Parasite Eve: Eve. Created as a clone of Aya and kept in a facility at a very young age to control mitochondria creatures against her will. Check. And in The 3rd Birthday, poor Eve witnessed Aya got killed in the middle of her supposedly happy wedding, wished only to save her, but instead put her soul into Aya's body and resulting the birth of two kinds of Eldritch Abomination. Check. Lost her memories because of the incident and manipulated by the Big Bad with it. Check. People who help her during the game had to die because one of the Abominations habituating in their bodies. Check. Finally by help with Time Travel she is forced to kill Aya to prevent all the incident from happening. And most of the gameplay you are forced to hear her wail or cry, or seeing her looking confused and lonely. Girl needs a terrible big hug.
Penumbra: Red was trapped in the abandoned mine at the young age of 14, completely alone. Although he had a stash of books to temporarily keep his mind occupied, he inevitably fell to insanity, and became afflicted by the Tuurngait Virus, which prevented him from committing suicide and merely prolonged his miserable existence. Still, he manages to (barely) stay sane enough to guide Philip through the mine in a bid to finally kill him. Red spends the last moments of his life screaming in pain as he burns to death in the incinerator.
Carona, an Alternate Universe version of Marona has it even worse. While Marona at least has Ash to protect her from the worst of it and give her a shoulder to cry on Carona never had that. She is utterly alone, forced to become an Oxide just to survive and forced to become a slave to a genocidal arms dealer to stop him from destroying her world.
Ill Girl Castille's family have spent thier entire life savings on her expensive treatments. Now both her parents and brother are forced to spend the entire day working to make ends meet. Because of this she is forced to spend her entire time stuck in an empty house with hardly any kind of contact with the outside world.
The Paranoid Incarnation is an excellent example. Throughout the greater part of the game he appears as nothing more than a suspicious, raving and hostile individual who automatically reacts with murderous force to most situations, and sets traps for your character in response to you "stealing" his existence. It is only in the final portion of the game that you discover this persona is in fact a defense mechanism created when the Paranoid Incarnation, remembering nothing, is set upon by others seeking vengeance for the crimes of his "past self". Underneath he is in fact surprisingly sane, rational, scared, and has known nothing but fear and anguish.
Of all characters, Morte, the wise-cracking, insult-slinging talking skull. Spending God knows how along as part of the Pillar of Skulls as a result of tricking the Nameless One into losing his mortality, he's then found and taken out him. And not just him; the Practical Incarnation, the biggest monster of all of the Nameless One's incarnations. After that, he's bound by guilt to follow him through all his incarnations, good or evil, sane or insane. One flashback shows how bad it can get when Morte is nearly smashed to pieces by the Nameless One himself in a fit of anger, in very noticeable pain.
The Companion Cube from Portal. Poor little cube, it was more than happy to help you and be an unquestioning friend through good and bad. It saved your life, had little hearts and was then forced into an incinerator. /tears
It is revealed in Portal 2 that the Companion Cube survived the incineration and is given back to Chell after GLaDOS lets her go.
Wheatley. In the post-credits scene he apologizes for the things he's done, in abject remorse and depression, and it's blatantly evident that he's really sorry and truly feels remorse. The worst part? He will likely never get to properly apologize to Chell, because he's in SPACE. Valve cruelly makes this scene the default menu background. When next you start the game, all you see is Wheatley aimlessly floating along, dejectedly flitting his photoreceptor around. D'aww, Wheatley, you need a hug? C'mere...
Doug Rattmann. The man has dealt with being trapped in the facility, constantly evading the watchful eye of GLaDOS, and yet, the whole time, he manages to leave behind hints for Chell. He may have sacrificed his life for Chell, being shot by a sentry turret in the Lab Rat comic. But according to the drawings on the walls in Portal 2, he may still be alive. The only friend he has is the Weighted Companion Cube. He is alone.
The blue and light pink squares in the Pretentious Game series. The blue square spends the first game in love with the bright pink square, but she doesn't return his feelings. In the second game, he moves on and falls in love with the light pink square, but then he dies when a drunk driver runs him over. The third game reveals that the light pink square was married to the gray square, only for him to cheat on her with the bright pink square. The light pink square divorces her husband and finds happiness with the blue square, but it all comes to a (quite literally) screeching halt when the gray square drunkenly kills the blue square.
If Flora from Professor Layton and the Curious Village doesn't count, she should. Both her parents died when she was young, and she was raised by an ill-tempered robotic duplicate of her late mother, which disturbed her for obvious reasons. Her father died soon afterwards, and she lived alone in a tower for years as part of her dad's ridiculously elaborate plot to find a good man to adopt her when he passed. All her friends were robots, and she knew it. Whether they have actual feelings is debatable. In the end, despite growing up a rich girl and thus being accustomed to it, she had to refuse her darn huge inheritance because if she were to lay a hand on it, the robots and the entire city would shut down. Her Happily Ever After was choosing to go off to live with the title character. The day she met him. Less serious, though, is that the writers were apparently aware that her disguise (a shawl and glasses) was obvious, and her profile states that she thinks she's incognito, but all the villagers recognize her at a glance. That detail makes her more hilariously and adorably pitiful instead.
Unfortunately, she becomes a Creator's Pet in the sequels, undergoing no character development besides actually solving a few puzzles. Flora only gets to take a grand total of one plot-important puzzle, she gets kidnapped and left behind in a barn for most of the game in The Diabolical Box, Layton actively tries to leave her behind in her first appearance in Unwound Future, and it's implied that she's got major issues with being left alone. She does act like a "stereotypical girl" sometimes, but she's still fairly easy to feel sorry for.
Anton from the sequel, Professor Layton And The Diabolical Box, is played more straight. As we find out, he gets hit with the emotionally devastating equivalent of Only the Author Can Save Them Now. His brother leaves, meaning that he has no choice but to stay in his town to become Duke, even if he doesn't want to. He falls in love with a member of a rival family, causing his father to go cold toward him. His father's mining causes the town to be saturated with hallucination gas. His lover flees the town, to keep their unborn child safe; the child he doesn't even know exists, making him think she has betrayed him. He constructs an elaborate device and sends it out into the world in an attempt to communicate with his lover; he thinks that she chooses not to respond, although after fifty years she does from her deathbed, but the response doesn't reach him until the events of the endgame when she has already passed on. The device, the titular Diabolical Box, also ends up causing the deaths of a number of innocent people. The hallucination gas makes him think he is cursed to be eternally young. Thankfully, he gets a Happily Ever After as he meets the granddaughter he didn't know he had and becomes a loving granddad, sees the hallucination gas finally stopped, and is reunited and reconciles with his estranged brother. It's almost impossible to play through the last act without without at least misting up.
Arianna from Last Specter. Let's see... her parents are dead, everyone hates her family, she's dying, everyone thinks she's a witch because of her brother's attempts to protect her, and she doesn't even get her inheritance because Jakes changed her father's will. It gets better over the course of the game, but she still has to deal with Loosha's death and Luke, her only real friend, leaving town forever.
Dana Mercer from [PROTOTYPE]. She is the only major character who is not evil or twisted (Ragland might count too). In her first scene, some Blackwatch asshole is about to blow her brains out. Alex saves her by punching through the guy's head right next to her. Things don't get any better for her. She finds out her brother has become a viral monster, she later finds out he eats people, and then she gets kidnapped by a Leader Hunter and taken to Elizabeth Greene, who does God knows what to her that renders her comatose (possibly Infected?). It gets even worse after The Reveal that the real Alex Mercer is dead and that he was the one who unleashed the Blacklight Virus in the first place. Not only is her brother actually dead, but the fact that he released the Virus knowing his sister was still in the city means that he didn't really care about her. At least the Blacklight Virus itself cares a great deal about her.
Sasha Nein from Psychonauts is a popular target of Woobification among fangirls, primarily due to the fact that he lost his mother when he was a baby, and his only exposure to her, via reading his father's memories, was rather... squicky. He's also not very emotional. He clearly has affection for Milla, a borderline hatred for tackiness, and is obviously angry as hell when he encounters the Big Bad near the end of the game. Which may only enhance his appeal to fangirls...
How could you put Sasha without also mentioning Milla? The entire family of orphans she took care of died in a fire. By listening to her nightmares, you can tell she blames herself for not being there to save them.
The asylum inmates - the three whose headspaces you enter after getting inside the main asylum, anyway.
Fred used to be an orderly who tried to cheer up a withdrawn patient by challenging him to his favorite board game... and, much to his frustration, lost repeatedly. Which was upsetting, yeah, but nothing serious. Until he was suddenly "possessed" by his ancestor, Napoleon Bonaparte, trying to whip him into shape for being a loser, knowing perfectly well that he'd developed a Split Personality and was at war with himself but unable to do anything about it. And when Dr. Loboto "takes over" the asylum, he gets the inmate who'd beat him at his own game mocking him from a distance, watching him argue with himself.
Gloria was the daughter of an actress trying to groom her little girl into a star, sending her away to a brutally strict and abusive boarding school thanks to her bastard of a boyfriend. Said bastard of a boyfriend also deliberately prevented the many letters she wrote to her daughter from reaching her, way to give Gloria intense feelings of abandonment. When she grew up, Gloria did become a famous actress, outshining her mother, and had a happy, thriving career up until learning that her mother committed suicide and going schizophrenic.
Edgar was a nice and respected guy in high school and star of the wrestling team with a wonderful girlfriend with whom he was madly in love. When she dumped him for a male cheerleader, he completely lost his focus and screwed up in the middle of an important match and lost his team the state semifinals, causing all his former friends to turn on him, the reason he turned into more of an obvious Sensitive Guy, avoiding everyone and taking up painting but finding himself unable to do anything but obsessive-compulsively paint bullfights, thanks to a metaphor for his own life coming from his nickname on the team being the Bull. Evidently he also developed mood control issues, that or he already had them.
In the Quest for Glory series of games, there's Julanar in the second game, a woman who, because she wanted to be a healer, a profession forbidden to women, was exploited and captured and abused by brigands, who she escaped from by running through the desert and pleading to a djinn for help, who did so by turning her into a tree. The hero can help her remember her humanity, but it is said that she will not be able to turn back into a human until someone comes along who can love her enough, and that someone is not you. Although later in the series this subplot becomes a Heartwarming Moment, as after telling someone about her in the third game, you later meet him again in the fifth game, alongside the restored Julanar, who is now his wife.
And in the fourth game you learn what happened to Erana, the powerful mage and Friend to All Living Things whose work you have seen throughout the series. She ended up attempting to seal an Eldritch Abomination by trapping herself with it, damning herself to eternal suffering. The hero dreams about her pain if he rests near her staff in the town or in her garden at night. In the fifth game, you can choose to bring her back from the land of the dead.
Also in the fourth game is Tanya, a little vampire girl who just misses her parents and doesn't seem to realize why she can't come back to them as "they would be afraid of her now."
Sherry Birkin: Caught in the crossfire in Raccoon City, with zombies galore, and is being chased by her insane parents, moreso her father - he implants an embryo within her that will turn her into a monster.. This all happens when she's twelve, then she gets taken by the U.S government due to hosting a mutated/vaccinated G-Virus within her that gives her a Healing Factor. It's good to see that she grew into a capable agent in Resident Evil 6, but still.
Chris Redfield: Seemingly stoic and capable of getting the job done. It's how he gets his paycheck. Too bad that he loses a lot of important people to him: he nearly loses Jill, who sacrificed herself for him, and she winds up Brainwashed and Crazy.. Then come Resident Evil 6, and he loses a whole platoon commanded by him courtesy of Carla Radames, and later on, he loses his partner, Piers, to the C-Virus. He spends most of the game begging to be hugged.
Jill as well, who sees her entire hometown nuked to stop the Raccoon City incident and three years before and during Resident Evil 5she is in an And I Must Scream state, being forced through mind control to work for Wesker and fight Chris and being fully aware the entire time she was doing these horrible actions, unable to stop herself.
Schiele from Romancing SaGa Living among humans for centuries and witnessing their deaths, also having to hear her accounts of the ignorance of said humans; also being the bearer of one Cosmic Keystone makes her Blessed with Suck since the Big Bad wants it. Said Cosmic Keystone is also a Restraining Bolt to keep her dark magic sealed away, also after she loses that Restraining Bolt she asks you to kill her to prevent her powers from running amok and sending Mardias into a state of darkness. If that does not qualify as Woobie-class material than what does?
Also in the story A Bard's Tale in the Ultimania, it even says she hesitated because she thought that she would cease to exist if she removed the Diamond of Light from her finger.
Spiritia Rosenberg, The Heroine of the first game, is going around beating up her friends asking them to cease their part in RKS's rebellion and listen to her, and they usually don't listen until she defeats them (although some of them still refuse to listen to reason, even after their defeat, until a certain cute blond-haired girl in pink-and-white elegant clothing shows her true colors, of course). How do you feel for her that she ends up having to fight those she respects, including the now-undead Sir Raimund Seyfarth, and eventually learns that Iris was USING EVERYBODY for her own amusement? And then we have the part where Iris herself reveals that Tia's the other reincarnation of Rosenkreuz, the "Blade of Rosenkreuz", born with his ability to tap into the strength of others'. Tomato in the Mirror much? In Freudenstachel, she gets kidnapped and taken away by the Schwarzkreuz. Turns out this was all part of Iris' plan to have Tia all Brainwashed and Crazy and force her to fight against her own best friend Freu. Wow... just, Wow.
The resident Butt-Monkey (until she Took a Level in Badass in Freudenstachel, of course), Zorne Zeppelin, is a moody young girl with a short temper who will not put up with anybody who messes with "Father". She has quite a tough life, seeing how she ended up in a situation that Graf Sepperin saved her from, and she has trouble understanding the meaning of restraint and ends up getting humiliated both physically and emotionally a lot. And what's more, she refuses to get along with Iris, who later makes her suffer by killing her adoptive father whom she yearns for to someday accept her as his real daughter. And in Tearis, she refuses to forgive her for killing him and vows to eliminate her.
In Freudenstachel, it's revealed that Zorne had been a walking puppet ever since her father's death. She had been suicidal for a while, and tried to get herself Driven to Suicide several times, and probably would've succeeded in doing so herself if it weren't for Trau stopping her every time. It took her newfound anger towards the army of the church to boot her back up from her Heroic BSoD.
Grolla Seyfarth becomes this in her own Darker and Edgier side-game, Grollschwert. When Iris humiliates her and makes her look like a traitor to all of RKS, Grolla has to put up with beating up her colleagues just to get them out of her way. Then she fights her undead grandfather in order to master Grollschwert, and after that, she, both infuriated and deeply hurt, declares that she will make Graf Sepperin pay for disrupting his peaceful slumber with his life.
According to her profile, Sichte Meister often frets about her troubled childhood that she had in the past, which leads to having trouble having faith in those older than her. Also, she becomes worried about Grolla when she leaves upon her telling her to lower her guard when she demands answers from Iris. The reason Grolla left was out of knowledge that if she lowered her weapon, she would breathe no more.
Liebea Palesch. Oh, poor Liebea. Her brother Karl was imprisoned by Iris because He Knows Too Much, and worse yet, Graf Sepperin told her that the Empire had taken him captive and that there was no hope to pray for his safe return. Liebea refused to take part in his rebellion because she was against it, but the Count managed to avoid her becoming an obstacle by imprisoning her at the top of the research tower, where it is said that she breaks down and starts crying like mad when people ask her what happened and ask her about Karl, and say things to make her get upset.
As for Schwer-Muta Casasola Merkle: Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds much? Before being placed in RKS's care, she ACTUALLY had to put up with subsiding in a barren, bestial environment, a trauma of her upbringing that burdens her to today, making her suspicious of everyone that she meets. She feels that her only friend is her pet squid Zeppy. When confronted, Schwer will declare either that the bonds that tie people together are nothing but an illusion or that everyone should just fall apart before fighting to kill whoever breaks their word.
Jennifer from Rule of Rose fully earns the title of "poor, unlucky girl" that the narration pushes on her. By the time the game begins, she has survived everybody she knows twice over! And she's not even out of her teens yet. Many other cast members also apply, most notably Clara, but the Aristocrats all probably fit in the category of Jerkass Woobie in one way or another, as well.
If you look at the quantrilogy of games in the Saints Row series Shaundi turns out to be this. Her story is that she had a bad spring break where it's implied she was made a ho for a pimp, who later turns up. She got into drugs with someone she met in college who later kidnaps and tries to kill her, which she has nightmares about. She's too stoned and shagged out to take in much, and when she gets her act together because of Boss' protectiveness and looking up to Gat he seemingly dies, making her so angry at herself for he and Boss feeling they needed to protect her when she should have been there for him and self loathing at her old self because she was weak from the sex and drugs.
Angela of Altena from Trials of Mana. Yeah she acts like a brat but you also realize that she was neglected by her mother for years and most of those were because the Crimson Wizard was controlling her mother Valda. Plus the beginning of the game Her own mother tries to kill her in order to obtain more power, though that was also because the Crimson Wizard was controlling her. Plus right after that she wakes up in a house and almost cries when she sees a loving mother with her daughter. Someone give this woman a hug!
Oichi in her Sengoku Basara incarnation is the personification of Woobiedom. She is the little sister of Oda Nobunaga, here being a completely demonic Evil Overlord who cares nothing about her and whenever possible, uses her to his own advantage. Marrying justice lovingAzai Nagamasa doesn't get her condition better (unless it's his story you're playing) as in her story, he covers her from a shot from Nobunaga, killing him, all in front of her, then Nobunaga forces her to fight his battles, killing his enemies and not even listening to her begging to stop, eventually resulting her falling to her dark powers and enters a murderous rampage on Nobunaga and his allies, and when that's over, she regained her sanity a few moments before the burning temple where she's at fell on and killed her. And in the anime? It's just 5 episodes, and then she gets to see Nagamasa getting riddled on bullets to death thanks to a plot by Mitsuhideright in front of her eyes. Ouch, ouch, and ouch. It's not exactly better for her in the third game, where she's a Humanoid Abomination that's barely aware of her surroundings and is treated with fear and contempt by almost every other character save for a few. While she does get a Throw the Dog a Bone moment if she ends up following Ieyasu (who decides to be her caretaker), the storyline where she ends up becoming Yoshitsugu's attack dog is not all that different from the above. The path where she defeats her brother and drags him to hell could be seen as better in that it's the ending where they both find some sort of peace.
Shin Megami Tensei I has your protagonist, who has his mom eaten, his friends (depending on route) die off or backstab him, the world ends despite his best efforts, and regardless of ending, the only compensation he really gets is walking off into the sunset with the heroine, which doesn't negate all the crap he went through. It gets worse in the Neutral path. Both of his alignment friends end up hating his guts and resorting to trying to kill him (resulting in him having to kill him), both factions turn against him for daring to believe in balance, and by the end of the game he has exactly two active allies left: the heroine and an old man.
Shin Megami Tensei II's protagonist isn't much better off, as he discovers his whole life was a lie, his friends (at least some of them) will betray him or do a Heroic Sacrifice for him, and this is a game where YHVH himself hates your protagonist, and its implied that one day, he's going to screw you over royally for killing him. This is eventually confirmed in Nocturne - your Hero is now in a multiversal tour, watching the entirety of the war between Order Versus Chaos without ever having the possibility of influencing it. Again, walking off into the sunset with the Heroine doesn't make up for a lot of this, especially in the Neutral ending. Also, speaking of the Heroine, even walking off with her is creepy given she's your love interest, and in a Mind Screw way, your mother.
Astaroth from both games is also a woobie. YHVH himself turned him from Ishtar (a beautiful woman) into Astaroth (a fugly guy), and even though Astaroth winds up working for Lucifer (who is actually not nearly as much of an asshole as YHVH), he's still depressed, as all he wants is to be his original self again. Thankfully, the protagonist can finally give this poor bastard a break in the second game.
Homecoming: Let's elaborate on Alex: emotionally neglected by both his parents growing up, because they'd chosen him for a required ritual sacrifice. Enlisted to make something of himself, promptly wounded in battle and totally alone in the VA hospital. Comes home to find his brother missing, monsters overrunning his hometown on account of how his parents didn't sacrifice him for the ritual, and has to watch both his parents brutally killed, even asked by his mother to just shoot her and spare her the death trap. Oh, and not only did he actually accidentally kill his brother years ago, but the guilt made him snap and he's spent the intervening time in an asylum, not the military. Maybe.
Harry from the first Silent Hill. Was happily married to a wonderful wife, but said wife becomes terminally ill. They didn't have children of their own, but find an abandoned infant girl on a trip and raise her as their own, naming her "Cheryl". Harry's wife eventually dies, leaving Cheryl as the one good thing left in his life. And then Cheryl goes missing during their trip to Silent Hill, Harry goes to hell and back (literally) desperately searching for her. He runs into the crazy antique dealer Dahlia who's really just using him to reunite both halves of her "daughter", Alessa (Cheryl is half of Alessa that escaped when Alessa was burned), and Cybil the police officer, who's actually a decent person, but gets possessed by a demon and you either kill her or save her, though the ending where only Harry escapes alive seems to be the canon ending. And Lisa....just...Lisa. Lisa always provides helpful info on where Harry should go, but no matter what you do she cannot be saved. She is already dead and she is the same as the demon nurses you've been fighting. And even if you get the "Good" ending, it's a bittersweet one, as Harry realizes that the girl he's fought like hell to save is gone, as she is returned to Alessa and they become whole, their existence only serving to birth a destructive dark god, which Harry defeats. A dying Alessa points him the way out and leaves behind a gift of thanks—her reincarnation in the form of a baby (who will become Heather in the third game) but still has the god sealed within her). To hammer the point home, Harry, after so many years, is murdered in the third game.Damn.
Same for Walter from Silent Hill 4. He's much further into the second part of the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds title than Alessa, but still... Long story short, his parents ditched him in their apartment room almost as soon as he was born, he was taken in by the Order and placed in their Orphanage of Fear, where he regularly suffered heavy psychological trauma, convinced that his parents' apartment room was his real mother, tried constantly to get in to see "her" but couldn't as "she" had a new tenant, was told by Dahlia of a ritual that would "awaken" her that would laterturn out to be for summoning a demon, and spends years on a killing spree to carry it out until he learns the hard way at the end of Silent Hill 4. Completing the final boss fight comes across as a relief, and if you really feel for him while you're playing even though he's been spending the entire second half hunting you, you might even crack a sad little smile in light of the story that Henry finds not long before. If you remember it at the time, it suggests he dies happy.
Cheryl in Shattered Memories. Has to experience her parents' divorce at the age of 7, her father dies shortly after in a car accident. Spends the next eighteen years in denial and hating her mother for it. Becomes a psychiatric case and creates a delusional reality of her father as a heroic figure coming to save her from all her pain.
Travis from Origins. During his early childhood, his mother, Helen tried to kill both him and herself because she had mental delusions and claimed that beings from a mirror world told her that her son was a devil. She got committed to Cedar Grove Sanitarium after this. Travis, who missed his mother went to the Sanitarium to visit her, but his father, Richard took him home. Both Richard and a doctor agreed that it would be best to tell Travis she was dead. The two moved to Riverside Motel after this. Richard, who was in a state of depression, continued to send letters to his wife. Eventually he hanged himself in room 500 while Travis was playing at an arcade. When Travis found his father's corpse, he stood there talking to it until they were found by the cleaners the next morning. He was haunted by nightmares of his past at the time of the game.
Tails usually qualifies in most continuities. He's always depicted as cheerful, but not without implications that he's so cheerful because of how much better his life is. In general, Tails is both an orphan and was bullied. To what extent depends on the continuity, but his rarely-mentioned backstory in the games takes the cake.
Silver from Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). He grew up in a Bad Future that was devastated by the monster Iblis which Silver repeatedly tried and failed to defeat. Desperate to stop the monster once and for all, Silver turns to Mephilles the Dark who tricks him into believing that Sonic was the source of Iblis's existence. After discovering Mephilles's deception, Silver can only stand by helplessly as his only friend Blaze sacrifices herself to seal away Iblis.
Both Squid Sisters in Splatoon 2. According to the Squid Sisters Stories, the results of the Callie vs. Marie Splatfest on the game created a rift in their formerly inseparable relationship, making them drift further and further apart during the two-year Time Skip between games. Just when it looks like they'll finally have a chance to patch things up, Callie mysterious vanishes. Filled with worry, Marie searches across all of Octo Canyon for her missing cousin only to discover she has been brainwashed by DJ Octavio, with seemingly no memories of having ever been a hero. She doesn't take it well—during the ensuing "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight when she sings to Callie, it's obvious she's having a hard time keeping herself from breaking into tears. Things work out for the best in the end, but it's hard to deny that these squid kids really deserve a hug after everything they've been through.
The Overmind from StarCrafthas a single, overriding purpose: To assimilate the Protoss. However, it knew that once this happened, he and all of his Zerg, his children, would be destroyed by the Xel'Naga. Further, he is also aware that this was in fact, not his original purpose, rather, he was altered to assimilate the Protoss by the fallen god Amon. He wants to resist this fate, but cannot, because he was literally programmed not to. Therefore, he did the next best thing: Creating and infesting Kerrigan, who as a Terran, is capable of leading the Swarm and resisting Amon's control. Unfortunately, he was never able to implant this into Kerrigan so now SHE wants to kill everything as well. Mental slavery followed by dying believing your one chance at redemption had failed? Thats just not fair.
Kerrigan herself qualifies as well. She's basically been treated as a tool to be used and discarded by almost everyone. She was used as a tool by the Confederates first, then Mengsk, and then by the Zerg. She spent her childhood growing up in the Ghost Academy, which is a pretty horrible childhood. The only person in the world who ever cared about her as a person is Jim Raynor, who she has been forcibly separated from due to various events.
Penny is a shy and modest little cutie who lives with her mother, Pam, in a rather squalid trailer down by the river. Pam is a negligent and aggressive alcoholic, and so Penny has few grand ambitions with her life beyond quietly tending to the chores in her dim home while also being something of an unofficial teacher to the two children in the tiny rural community. Penny is very popular with players as a romance option simply because marrying her results in her coming to live on the player's prospering and idyllic farm.
Shane is a poor fellow who works in a Soul-Sucking Retail Job, he's clearly depressed and feeling hopeless with his lot in life, he self-medicates with alcohol, and he's cold and standoffish to you at first... and once you do get closer to him, he instead shifts to being miserable and borderline suicidal. You may also find out that he's raising Jas because her parents - close friends of his - were killed in a tragic accident. If you complete the Community Center and get Jojamart shut down, he loses his job, which makes him even more miserable. Shane was originally not a romance option, but a later update added him due to the sheer overwhelming fandom demand for the chance to save him and take him home. That said, marrying him does not magically make his problems go away. But he does get a bit happier.
Alex's childhood cements him as this. Between his mother passing away at a young age, and his father being an abusive asshole who eventually walked out on him, and his self-esteem issues about his intelligence, Alex (in his own words) feels that he's worthless.
Sebastian lives in a house with a neglectful step-father who makes it very clear that he's The Un-Favourite, he thinks that his sister Maru hates him (she actually wants a closer connection with him but it's implied the step-father interferes), and his mother is loving but oblivious to these issues. Seb has few ambitions in life beyond playing video games and smoking pot in his room. Like Penny, he's a favourite marriage candidate for the sheer Rescue Romance vibes that are involved - if married, he'll drop the depressive Emo Teen aspects of his personality and become more cheerful, highlighting the negative impact of his home life.
Kent, Sam's dad, returns at the start of the second year... suffering from massive PTSD from being a prisoner of war. He's severely broken and spends most of his time moping around town, feeling as though he doesn't fit in anymore and being uncertain of his purpose. His absence also had a negative impact on his wife and son, both of whom had to take care of their home on their own, and especially the latter had to grow up early despite being a teenager.
Butters' woobieness is actually used as a game mechanic in South Park: The Stick of Truth as enemies are far more likely to target him than your player character: his innate ability is known as "born victim" and describes him as "so innocent he naturally makes people want to punch him. Enemies are twice as likely to attack him in combat" (complete with a picture of his head with a bulls-eye on it for an icon). As this was meant to be the trade-off for his otherwise above-average abilities but is actually unintentionally useful, it ironically makes Butters an absolute Disk One Nuke bordering on Game-Breaker.
Thomas from Suikoden III, especially in the Manga Adaptation. He goes to his father after his mother died at the hands of bandits, only to be outright ejected and shuttled off to a rundown castle so no one 'important' knows that he exists. And when he starts to turn the Castle into something profitable, his father and the councilmen decided that he's more trouble then he's worth - first being disowned, and then threatened with removal from his post and arrested. All because he's trying to be the nice guy.
Chris Lightfellow could also count, what with the beloved dead parents, and the fact that she's trying to be even a fraction as great of member of the military as her father was at the beginning while suddenly shouldering the leadership due to the recent deaths of the previous Generals. Then there's the whole "set up to be a sacrifice to fuel the war" part which leads to her killing The Scrappy. All around just a poor, pitiable soul who overcomes whatever is thrown at her.
Hugo. What looks like a simple errand for The Chief's Son, delivering a message to the Zexen capital about the cease-fire agreement, goes astray when the Council decides to treat him like crap just because they can, delaying him for several days before having a go-between just take the letter, denying him even an audience with them. Then they decide "Hey, the Chief's kid could make a good bargaining chip!" and try to kidnap him from the inn, setting off a Stern Chase. And when he finally makes it back home, it's to find Karaya in flames. His best friend goes into an Unstoppable Rage, charges one of the soldiers, and is promptly cut down right in front of him. And that's all just in his first chapter!
Suikoden IV: Snowe Vingerhut. An Upper-Class Twit who actually wants to contribute to society, but isn't the natural-born leader his manipulative father leads him to believe. Thanks to said father Blackmailing the Commander of the Knights of Gaien, Snowe gets passed through the Academy without actually earning it, something he's completely oblivious to. Stuck in a position of command he isn't qualified for, he cracks under the pressure of his first real crisis and is neverallowed to forget it. Instead, he struggles on desperately trying to prove he's capable of leading, compounding previous mistakes and unable to understand why he keeps getting blamed for everything. His development arc actually mirrors The Hero's, but while Lazlo is surrounded by loyal, supportive friends and allies, Snowe labors under his worsening reputation, with every move he makes just making things worse.
Latooni was turned into a expert pilot by way of intense training that killed most of the participants including the rest of Latooni's entire group. She ends up finding three of her remaining school-mates, only to find they're on the other side of the war. She ends up nearly killing one, the other two were brainwashed to kill her, and one of them died in a Heroic Sacrifice. Her best friend was kidnapped, and also brainwashed into killing her. Even worse she's stuck in a love triangle with Ryusei Date, and Mai Kobayashi, and she's at a disadvantage because Mai has a Combination Attack, in a series where love interests always have a combination attack.
From what it looks like, the female protagonist of Super Robot Wars Z, Setsuko Ohara, is going on this direction. On the course of a single game, she gets... to see her chief and friend killed in front of her eyes and gets herself constantly tortured mentally and causes dimensional jumps here and there... which suggests that she may have not been born normally. What kind of tortures that she endured? Well there's being beaten up to the point that it's implied that she's been raped, see her friend come Back from the Dead, only for him to shoot her from the back and reveals himself to be her usual torturer, then there's also the said torturer going to the Alternate Universe and convince the AU version of her friend and chief to believe that she is evil.... To make matters worse, attempting to take revenge on Asakim by killing him would actually be treated into letting him win, because he is a Death Seeker and giving him death would be exactly submitting to defeat. Poor, poor Sexsuko...
They're all preceded by Tytti Noorbuck, actually. So when we first hear about her past, it's about Her parents being killed brutally in front of her, by Lubikka Hakinnen, followed with him gloating that he would take extra delights on seeing her shiver in fear and terror. Later on, Lubikka reappears and brainwashed her into attacking her lover Ricardo Silvera, which he managed to pull her out of the brainwashing stance... only for Lubikka to shoot him dead in front of her AGAIN, then Ricardo died just after Tytti officially returned his love, and from thereafter, she became fearful of striking a relationship with another man. And this is just the earlier version, let's see if OG (if she ever appears there) will crank this up to an eleven. Thankfully, in 2nd Original Generations, all that came off was a small bout of angst after seeing the Shutedonians use Zamzeed on a geas (though they recovered it), which was thankfully away after a bit of honest consulting with Irm.
Cliana Rimskaya from Super Robot Wars Destiny: Her parents are dead and her adoptive father experimented on her, which causes her to have a Split Personality. 2nd Original Generation removes this part with her adoptive father being more generous and not amoral, but instead made things WORSE for her. In both versions, she has accepted that her other personality, referred as 'Liana', while her default sweet self is 'Chris', was like another family member. In Destiny, they both got to live throughout the game. In OG? in process of 'recruiting' Glacies and Ventus, Chris suddenly vanished/died, leaving Liana heartbroken as in losing a family member. Then during the confrontation with Perfectio, Liana learns that she is an incomplete Melior Esse, and somehow it was her fault that Chris died. When Perfectio is beaten, then Ventus sacrifices himself to seal Perfectio, much to Liana's shock because she's closer to Ventus. Hammering things home? Chris' spirit appears for the last time and bid them farewell, while every of Liana's begging that she, being the 'fake' Cliana Rimskaya, should be the one doing the sacrifice, was shot down and encouraged to live on as the sole Cliana, even if Liana was completely in tears about the loss of Chris. Yeah, it's that bad for her.
Pilika, from Suikoden II, is just a cute 5 year old child, but has her parents killed by Luca Blight, is almost killed by him (which turns her into a Cute Mute for a while), is separated from her caretaker and dear friend, Jowy for an extended period of time, and in the end after being reunited with Jowy, Jowy tells her "goodbye forever" as Highland falls and sends her to be cared for by Jillia.
Super Smash Bros. Brawl: In the story mode, The Ancient Minister, AKA R.O.B., is the ruler of an ancient island populated by R.O.B.s that was taken over by the Subspace Army and turned into a bomb-making facility. The bombs require two R.O.B.s to be attached to them in order to detonate them, and the Ancient Minister has to be the one to deploy it, meaning that not only does he have to send his people to their deaths in order to please his captors, he has to watch it happen every time. In fact, after deploying a bomb near Bowser's castle, he turns around and sees a R.O.B. waving goodbye to him, and if that's not enough, once the heroes infiltrate the bomb factory, Ganondorf takes control of all of the R.O.B.s and forces them to activate every bomb in the facility. The Ancient Minister, having finally had enough, attempts to stop the R.O.B.s, only for Ganondorf to have them turn and open fire on him. Eventually he reveals himself to be a R.O.B. as well, and joins the heroes' side. And even after that, it's implied he would have rather died with the rest of them.
Trauma Center is essentially a medical drama, so characters of this type are to be expected to an extent, but Emilio Juarez is the biggest Woobie of them all - he was orphaned as a child, then kidnapped and used as a lab rat by a bio-terrorist organization developing Body Horrors until Derek came to said organization's base and surgically wiping out the ones that he was basically being used as a living habitat for when he was fourteen. Three years later, probably in a delicate physical state after all that to begin with, he gets sick from the aftermath of his Body Horror infection and needs two more surgeries, one of which is an organ transplant. And, wouldn't you know it, while he's convalescing in the hospital for what looks like finally the last time, cue another mass outbreak of parasites in which he, of course, gets infected, and dies - because he insisted that Derek operate on his nurse before him. Oh, and he's really rather adorable, in a waif-y sort of way.
The biggest, though, is someone who survives the game. Celia is the last survivor of a mercenary group that was like a family to each other, and most of whom end up as your Einherjar. Her biggest scene is when she goes to confront the one other survivor, who she believes killed his lover. The whole scene is set up as if it's her recruitment scene, only for you to get that other survivor instead, and the last you see of poor Celia is her just utterly breaking down in despair as the very last connection to her happier times is taken away from her.
Yumei was considered one of the bigger Tear Jerker moments. She was half mermaid, despised by her mother's people and was all alone after her mother died. So she decided to look for her father. Along the way she falls in love with a boy naemd Fuyuki, and they exchange a talk about what they'd wish about if they found the Lapis Lazuli, a gem that grants wishes. When they reach land. Yumei finds out that not only is her father dead but he's had many other families. This is her Despair Event Horizon, and she finally runs away to commit suicide, but Fuyuki sees her mermaid form before she leaves and says goodbye to him, her tear forming a Lapis Lazuli. Fuyuki picks it up and says, "I wish that Yumei could be with her parents!" This unfortunately has the result of killing her.
Second Game: The Einherjar again, though that's mainly in their character bios. More obvious is Alicia, a princess that was disowned for something that was not her fault and later had to watch her father being executed. Minutes later, her kingdom is destroyed, and she learns her mother committed suicide.
Valkyrie Profile Covenantofthe Plume: Aside from the main character (who lost his father and his sister, while his mother went insane. Later he kills his best friend by accident), there are some, but probably the woobiest is Darius: Given up for adoption, came back to his 'real' family and was not accepted, and later either kills himself and/or his only best friend.
Rosea and Lieselotte. Initially students of the palace Archmage with promising futures, they were both banished when the Archmage was mysteriously murdered one night (with evidence that cast suspicion on the both of them) and left to wonder the land. It was the third student of the Archmage who had killed him and framed the others. Since both girls only know that she herself is innocent, they believed the other responsible and too much of a coward to own up to it, thus driving the former friends to hate each other. No matter which of the three paths you take, at least one of the girls will die, and by the hand of the other one. And if you take the "A" path, they kill each other.
Liesel, however, is far less sympathetic than Rosea and is really more of a Jerkass Woobie. she does reform in the "B" path.
Rosea perhaps ends out the worst - in Path C, she murders Lieselotte out of anger, but then proceeds to have a My God, What Have I Done?. Depending on who you recruited and if they're alive (Darius or Earnest and Natalia) she is surrounded by the most broken and least sympathetic characters of the game (Especially if you recruited the Bloody Twins) with the exception of Duwain. She is then forced to fight Lenneth Valkyrie and then is forced into a brutal war, wandering from town to town in a demon-infested world where Anyone Can Die. The player can do even worse things to her, such as Pluming Duwain right in front of her and then forcing her to fight him in the final boss. If she's not sent to Nifelheim in aiding in attacking Lenneth, then perhaps the best thing you can do to her is plume her, so that she can live on as an Einherjar. And she's one of the nicest characters in the game, beware the nice one aside.
In the bonus comics for Wadanohara based on the Normal Ending 1, Samekichi, the beloved Jerk with a Heart of Gold, has been captured and kept as the 'community punching bag'. He is forever tied up and covered with cuts and bruises inflicted by Sal and Wadanohara, after Wadanohara was dubbed the queen of the Red Sea. Samekichi is left emotionless and hopeless. Wadanohara has a glimpse of pity for him, which is quickly snubbed out by Sal.
Clementine from the The Walking Dead is the very definition of this trope. In just five episodes she finds out her parents are walkers, all of her friends get killed, she gets kidnapped, and top of that smeared with zombie guts.
Kenny. The universe seems to love to give this guy a Hope Spot just to make the preceding boot to the balls that much more painful. His wife kills herself so she doesn't have to face their child turning, his new girlfriend Sarita is bitten forcing him to either watch Clementine kill her, or kill her himself, and he's ultimately either killed by Clementine, the one person he has always been able to count on, or crippled in a car crash and acts as a distraction so she can escape. Numerous optional dialogues also make it clear he's a mentally brokenDeath Seeker who's forced to keep going because there's always something, Duck and Katjaa, Sarita, Clem, and A.J., that he feels he needs to protect.
Arvo finds himself robbed by Jane and Clementine, he and his group shows up looking for revenge (which Arvo never even wanted to do) who are all killed, including his sister, except for he who's captured by the protagonists. He then spends the rest of his time on-screen tied up like a hostage, being left out in the cold, and being constantly abused and savagely beaten by the enraged Kenny until he is ultimately freed by Mike and vanishes while Clementine is unconscious, leaving his fate unknown. All this happens to a young kid no older than 20 who was just scared and trying to stay alive, and is clearly a good person at heart if his interactions with his sister and Mike are an indication.
The Witch's House: Viola is the innocent daughter of the huntsman who happens to befriend a witch in the woods named Ellen. When the latter tricked Viola by switching body for one day, it was revealed that Ellen mutilates her arm and leg and gouging out her eyes which causes Viola having an extreme physical pain. Annoyed at the screams that Viola produced, Ellen then gave her a throat burning medicine which rendered Viola mute and helpless. When Viola tries to gain her body back from Ellen, the latter then manipulates her father to shoot Viola under the pretense that Viola was a monster chasing her and laughing at her suffering as she taunts Viola that she will take anything that Viola loves.
Warcraft's Jaina Proudmoore deserves a mention here. From her first appearance in Warcraft III her life has been a litany of tragic events, starting with the corruption of her former lover Arthas into evil, then the destruction of her home, and then finally, after learning that the Horde had reformed from its former monstrous incarnation, being forced to fight against her own warmongering father to preserve peace. And her other old friend, Prince Kael'thas, then turns up as leader of the Blood Elves. Despite her heroism at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, helping to save the world, the Alliance continues to treat her as a junior partner and increasingly ignores her pleas for peace and diplomacy with the Horde. As a result, the detente she had fought for is in shambles, and she can only watch as hotheads on both sides reignite a pointless, genocidal war.
Another female Woobie is Sylvanas Windrunner, the Banshee Queen. A heroic High Elven general, she led the futile defense of the elven kingdom of Quel'thalas. Despite great skill and heroism her forces were overwhelmed by the undead, and Sylvanas herself was tortured, defiled, and raised as a banshee, forced to massacre her own countrymen and innocent people. Despite having later won freedom for herself and a small remnant of undead rebels, she remains, at heart, deeply unhappy, loathing the monster she has become.
Illidan also deserves a mention here. Essentially, his entire story derives from being unable to shake off the magic addiction of his people, which has driven him to betray his people multiple times, get imprisoned for ten thousand years, blind himself, consume an evil artifact, strike a bargain with a demon, flee from his home into the blasted world of Outland to escape from the consequences of that bargain, and, most importantly, lose the love of his life forever. You, as the player, hunt him down in the very last place he's managed to make his own and corner him long enough for the person who's hunted him all these millennia to find and kill him. Canonically, he's insane and totally beyond redemption, but is it any wonder he's one of the most Woobified characters in the entire series?
Several quests in the game involve other Woobie characters. The tortoise Tooga, in the Tanaris desert, is one example. Sent out by his wife Torta to get dinner, he gets lost, and needs you to lead him home, while he says pathetic things like "I'm thirsty" and "Torta must be so worried!" When you do get him back to his wife, she simply scolds him for being late and sends him to catch dinner again.
Garona Halforcen's whole life just plain sucks. She was born as an experiment by the orc leader Gul'dan to cross an orc with a draenei, implying her draenei mother was raped, and as a half-blood, was always an outcast in orc society. Gul'dan then magically aged and brainwashed her, telling her that she was half-human, and using her as a spy against the humans. Amongst the humans, she found a trusted confidant and lover with Medivh, only to be crushed when it turned out he was demonically possessed by Sargeras, and brought the orcs to Azeroth. She was manipulated by the Shadow Council to kill King Llane Wrynn, tortured by Ogrim Doomhammer to get the location of the Shadow Council, all the while pregnant to a son with Medivh, Med'an. Meanwhile, an ogre mage, Cho'gall figured out Gul'dan's brainwashing, and used it to take control of Garona, and tried to asassinate King Varian Wrynn, Prince Anduin Wrynn, and Warchief Thrall. Leaving Med'an with her draenei uncle, she is currently in hiding, waiting for a chance to kill Cho'gall.
Chen Stormstout has this in Mists of Pandaria. He and his niece Li Li are originally just travelling Pandaria when they find out they have family on the continent (Chen and Li Li were born and raised on the Wandering Isle). Chen is overjoyed to hear he has family. Unfortunately, almost every member of his family he meets is dead, insane, or both. And the man keeps soldiering on trying to find family to connect with.
Lei Shi from Terrace of Endless Spring. Besides being an Apologetic Attacker, her entire motivation is that she's flat-out terrified. One of her fight mechanics has her hiding from the raid "until they go away" (really until you hit her with enough Ao Es).
Xenosaga: MOMO started out being kidnapped in the first game and had to be rescued. The desire for her rescue only came from the fact that she was a Robot Girl with valuable data. Later on in the game, she is kidnapped by the insane Albedo and mind raped in about 1000 different ways. In the second game, it is revealed that MOMO was originally built simply as a replacement for a mad scientist's daughter. Meanwhile, people throughout the games have been calling her creator, whom she refers to as "Daddy", insane and responsible for unleashing the cosmic horror. The wife of said mad scientist only looks at MOMO as a painful reminder that her daughter is dead. Early on, she is hacked by her mind rapist for her valuable data. Things don't end well there. She's finally cut a little slack at the end when her "mommy" decides to start viewing MOMO as her own person and not as a replacement. She even lets MOMO move in with her. And in the third game, an encounter with her father in a rather heartwarming scene reveals that he was never the lunatic that people made him out to be.
Shion Uzuki, from Episode 3, was basically the trigger of the apocalypse, watched both of her parent be brutally murdered by monsters, and watched the prototype KOS-MOS go berserk and kill her boyfriend. This is just the flashbacks for BEFORE THE CANONICAL START OF THE SERIES. It gets worse in the actual plot of Episode 3, where its revealed she's slowly dying,her dead boyfriend manipulates her, and in the end she loses KOS-MOS and her brother, Jin after BEATING the final boss. At least MOMO gets a somewhat happy ending. There's also an official flash series that seems to have her lose someone again. At least Allen loves her...
Melia in Xenoblade Chronicles. Four of her trusted friends die trying to protect her, she becomes the target of an assassination plot made by her stepmother, her father is killed, and to top that all off, the majority of her people end up being transformed into mindless Telethia by the Big Bad, including her half brother, who she is then forced to fight against.She takes all of it surprisingly well, though.
For a genocidal maniac former Big Bad Egil manages to elicit quite a lot of sympathy. Most of his race were wiped out by the real Big Bad who was possessing his best friend at the time. Could possibly be hyperbole but he says he can still hear the screams of his fallen brethren, a the very least, thousands of years later. Then the remaining members of his race have a philosophical of vengeance leading him to be an outcast. His pain is most clearly shown when he discovers his own god, Lady Mayneth disagrees with him to. The guy is close to tears as he disowns her. Later after he's proven right about how dangerous, and a colossal dick, the Big Bad is, Lady Mayneth echoes his words saying the world has no need for gods, right as she is killed. The expression on his face says it all. The protagonists have a lot of reason to hate his guts, and to an extent they still do, but even they have to admit he deserves their sympathy, if not their forgiveness.
In Yandere Simulator the Hero of Another Story or Villain of Another Story from the protagonist's view Journalist from the tapes. He tried to do the right thing back in 1989 by telling the police about a yandere high school girl, and she was able to convince the entire country of her innocence. He became a national disgrace as "a lecherous journalist who stalked schoolgirls and tried to throw a girl in prison to boost his own career." He then became The Alcoholic, and his wife (who was ironically a bit of a yandere herself) died giving birth to their only child, and his now-teenage daughter comes home with blood on her clothes. He was later forced into exile after attempting (and failing) to rectify his mistake. And the last we hear, said yandere was following him...
Ayano Aishi's father, as seen in the Basement Tapes. He was kidnapped by Ryoba some time after her acquittal, and was told that she killed the girl for him. In the present day, he's still horrified of his wife, but is unable to stand up for himself against her. He's also (understandably, given the nature of the Aishi family) worried about his daughter and what she's capable of. However, he still cares about her. Word of God says that Yandere-ism has run in the Aishi family for many generations, so countless other men have been in his position. It will also likely be the fate of poor Senpai if Ayano succeeds, especially if she doesn't go the pacifist route.
Yume Nikki: Within the dreams, there's Masada, who plays the piano on a spaceship, and generally seems to be very lonely in space, and is completely harmless to the player, and is easily one of the least threatening looking characters in the game. He will also run from you if you equip the knife. Whilst many characters do run from you if you equip the knife, Masada is easily the most obvious in this behavior, and looks terrified when doing so, thus often being assumed to be the only one who does so.