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You Have Outlived Your Usefulness / Video Games

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People who the villains don't need anymore in video games.

  • In any game where you can kill allies and receive any upgrades they might have, the potential often prompts many players to use this trope themselves. Take, for example, the original Half-Life. Guards can help you out by being a second gun and shooting enemies… but once you come to an inevitable airduct where they can't follow, well… it's a shame to just leave that ammo behind…

  • Ace Combat:
    • In the Omega Ending for the Japanese version of Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere, Simon Orestes Cohen reveals that the whole game was a simulation, and that the Player Character, Nemo, is an Artificial Intelligence that he created to kill Abyssal Dision. And since the simulation showed that no matter what happens, Nemo will kill Dision, Simon decides to purge the Nemo in the simulation, since the program had served its purpose and thus he no longer needed it, and creates a fresh copy of the AI, that he intends to unleash upon the world to eliminate Dision. However, his intent to purge the Simulation Nemo wasn't so much cruelty as it was simple practicality; in order for Simon's plan to work, Nemo would have to reach the final confrontation with Dision on its own without prior knowledge of the war, so that the events would play out as the simulations predicted.
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    • In Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, Rosa Cossette D’Elise, the princess of Erusea, had been manipulated by young Erusean officers called the Radicals to declare war on Osea under the belief that she was protecting her country from what she perceived as Osean Imperialism. During the war, the Radicals used her as a propaganda girl to bolster troop moral, and rally support for Erusea against Osea. However, when Farbanti had fallen under Osea control, and Rosa fled in her personal plane, the Radicals had tried to kill her by shooting down her personal aircraft, as she was no longer of any use to them, and because their drone army was nearing completion. After she barely survived, Rosa was taken in by the Oseans to help bring about the end of the war.
  • In AdventureQuest Worlds, Zahart has his Djinn Tibicenas do away with one of his servants because they are no longer useful in his plans anymore after they have uncovered a red diamond that is actually the heart of their Chaos Beast, the Chaos Sphinx.
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  • Alpha Protocol. The main character is recruited by Alpha Protocol and sent to Saudi Arabia to recover missiles stolen from Halbech by a terrorist leader, and kill said terrorist leader. It turns out that Halbech really sold those missiles to the terrorist, and have sent you in to kill him since he's outlived his usefulness… And once you've done so, they try to do the same to you, since you've outlived your usefulness and you know too much.
  • Flavor text in Armello suggests that the Rot will consider the King to be this if he is killed by somebody even more corrupted than him.
  • In Armored Core Last Raven, Jack-O have absolutely no qualms about killing other Ravens off using third degree executions (Claiming that a Raven "Betrayed" Vertex for example.) to accomplish his goal of destroying the Pulverizers.
  • In Assassin's Creed III, Haytham Kenway has a tendency to execute those he interrogates after he's done with them, regardless of whether or not he gained any useful information off of them. This is mostly because he's not willing to expend the effort and resources to take them prisoner.
  • Bartholomew Roberts in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is portayed as a big believer in this trope; he kills the Portuguese captain who helped him set up a False Flag Operation (quoting the trope name to Edward when the latter asks why the captain isn't on the ship anymore), guns down members of his own crew to prevent them being driven insane by the technology contained in the Observatory, and 'rewards' Edward for helping him find the Observatory by handing him to the British Navy in exchange for a bounty and leaving him to rot in a Jamaican jail cell.
  • There is a double case in Baldur's Gate II. When the characters enter the drow city, they see a drow male killing a slave (while actually saying the trope name). A moment later, his mommy shows up and kills him, saying he is much more expendable than that slave.
  • In Baten Kaitos, Kalas says to the Guardian Spirit (the player) "I don't need you any more!" and forcefully ejects the player out of the game, leaving the screen to fade to black.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, the Joker kills Frank Boles after helping him escape from Intensive Treatment.
  • From Bayonetta: Father Balder had already previously decided that his brainwashed Dragon, Jeanne, was supposed to die in order to help Bayonetta regain her lost memories. However, Jeanne shakes the brainwashing at the last moment and escapes, coming back later to save Bayonetta from Balder.
  • It's implied that Bendy and the Ink Machine's Joey Drew hired Bertrum Piedmont to build a Bendy-themed amusement park then threw him away once the plans failed and Bertrum had the audacity to call him out on his mistakes. The result was Bertrum fusing with one of the failed theme park's rides, lying in wait for Joey, and attacking Henry instead.
  • Stated almost word-for-word by The Leader to Killt in Bionic Commando and its Updated Re-release.
  • In Bomberman 64, after you beat Altair with 100 gold cards, Sirius does this to you, taking up the role of True Final Boss (but only after you've bomb-jumped your way through the Nintendo Hard Rainbow Palace).
  • This trope is half of the reason why Dr. Neurosis wants Lance dead in Brain Dead 13, the other half being that Lance had called him an "average mad scientist".
  • In Call of Duty: Black Ops, after Reznov and Dimitri have captured Steiner and secured Nova 6, Dragovich uses Dimitri as a guinea pig to test Nova 6. Reznov manages to escape, but ends up in Vorkuta prison.
    • Also, one of the missions has Hudson and Weaver going to secure a scientist, Clarke, because Dragovich is cutting loose ends and they want to get to him before Dragovich does. They do get to him first, but unfortunately, Clarke is killed during the escape.
  • Clive Barker's Undying: Jeremiah planned to sacrifice Patrick to awaken the Undying King now that he had unknowingly done all his dirty work.
  • Said word-for-word in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, by Soviet Premier Cherdenko. Unfortunately for him your colleagues side with you, and you proceed to annihilate the guy after already kicking the backside of two other significant threats.
    • This is foreshadowed after killing General Krukov, who was Cherdenko's superior in the previous timeline. Krukov's Final Speech hints that Cherdenko set him up as the traitor.
  • In The Conduit, Mr. Ford is betrayed by Mr. Adams, who leaves Mr. Ford to be killed by invading Drudge after gathering information from Prometheus's base.
  • Darkest Dungeon: Your Ancestor had this tendency. When the young lady he had been courting got a little too close to his dark works, he turned her over to the Fishmen so they'd use her as their queen, when his favorite smugglers asked for one pay rise too many he drowned them with their own anchor, and once he had learned everything his necromancer friends could teach him he slit all their throats in their sleep. Naturally, you have to deal with the aftermath.
  • In Dark Souls Lautrec does this to Anastacia of Astora, the Firelink Shrine Firekeeper, killing her and stealing her soul. She hasn't outlived her usefulness to you when he does this. Kingseeker Frampt says this of the remaining Lord Soul owners. You can also do this to almost every friendly NPC you meet.
  • The Delete Button in Dawn of War would instantly kill whatever unit you have selected. The only time this could ever be useful is if you built to your population cap but have not yet built one of your late game units (which are restricted in number) or if you want to change your army composition. Of course, you are completely free to do this for laughs.
    • In-game, Sindri does this to Lord Bale once he gets his hands on the Maledictum.
    • Eliphas does this to Araghast in Chaos Rising, letting the Blood Ravens kill him as Eliphas nears his goal of releasing Ulkair.
  • At the end of Descent II, Dravis attempts to dispose of the Material Defender by redirecting his warp core to drop him into the Sun.
  • In Deus Ex: Invisible War, you have the choice of siding with the Templars and retarding nanoaugmentation and possibly technological progress. In their ending, your player character gets lynched. Due to script limitations and laziness in rendering the cutscenes, this only happens to male characters.
  • Devil May Cry 3; Vergil stabs Arkham through the midsection after it became apparent that he was useless to him. Arkham may have brought this on purpose, in order to later convince Lady to hunt Vergil and complete his plan for world domination. Dialogue and Alternate Character Interpretation suggests it's also quite possible that Vergil attempted to kill Arkham out of disgust; Arkham is an active worshiper of Evil and murdered his own wife, while Vergil is simply power-hungry and seeks to regain what he sees as his own heritage. In any case, Vergil's attempted slaying of Arkham doesn't take, and it's actually Lady who finishes him off, with a bullet to the head in revenge for killing her mother, just before Dante and Vergil's final battle.
  • In chapter 5 of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Maderas does this to Etna after he forced her to betray Laharl. Fortunately, she foresaw this and her counter-plan was set into motion.
  • After getting revenge against the Lord Regent in Dishonored, the leaders of the Loyalist group (that Corvo joined to help him take said revenge) poison his drink. They do this for three reasons: 1. To completely cover their actions of plotting against the Lord Regent. 2. To leave Corvo behind to take the blame, along with others who had no idea. 3. To eliminate any possible influence Corvo would have over future Empress Emily, allowing the conspirators to use her as a puppet. Of course, Corvo soon recovers, and the attempt on his life ends up backfiring spectacularly.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin II, when you finally find him, Sebille's master, The Shadow Prince, admits that this was his plan for her when she had killed everyone he needed her to, specifically by using his mind-control song to make her commit suicide. The only problem is that she escaped first, and now wants him dead.
  • If you unlock the second loop of DoDonPachi, your commander reveals that the "Mechanized Aliens" that he briefed you on and tasked you with killing were actually your own allies, which he had planned from the start. And now that you've done the job he's asked you to, he declares that he's going to kill you with his special forces.
    You were killing our guys without knowing it! But I planned that all along! And your death... would be a nice finishing touch to my whole scheme. My special forces are the best of the best and they will be welcoming you with fierce fier [sic] power. See You in Hell!
  • Double Switch: Early on, Eddie needs your help to escape the basement he's trapped in. After you free him, he goes on a rampage, and when he realizes that you are thwarting him, he will try to cut off your connection to the security system, and you will have to stop him from doing so.
  • Dragon Quest V:
    • As if to hammer the point home that the Order of Zugzwang are evil bastards, they intend to murder all of their slaves once their citadel is completed in order to cover their tracks.
    • Also, after Chancellor Jeeves hands over your wife to Kon's goons, they promptly murder him.
    • This even happens to the head of the Order himself. After he is defeated, King Korol uses his last strength to call upon Grandmaster Nimzo to send the party to the underworld, but Nimzo ignores him and Korol dies. The remakes rub salt into the wound by not only having Nimzo ignore him, but also by having Ladja appear and tell Korol that he no longer serves any purpose before incinerating him with a fireball.
  • Retrieving the Firestaff in Dungeon Master and returning to Lord Order will have him state that it was too bad that the party didn't discover the true secret of the staff. Now that he has it, he has no further need of the party, and blasts them with fireballs.
  • In Einhänder, this is done to you after stage 6, when you find out that Selene wasn't La Résistance, but The Empire. But it might have been a bad idea to try something like that on a One-Man Army.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • Morrowind:
      • The Fighters Guild questline ends with this if one goes for the "evil" path of working with the corrupt Master — you kill the Thieves' Guild leaders for him to get in good with the Camonna Tong crime-syndicate, and then when you talk with him to get your payment, he declares you're a potential threat to him and that he's going to kill you instead of paying you, now that you've done your part.
      • The Tribunal expansion ends like this, with Almalexia attempting to kill you after you've completed her quests. The reasons are a bit vague, on account of her madness, but it seems to be a combination of this and thinking that you would be useful as a dead martyr (the intent is to frame someone else, possibly the Empire, for killing you).
      • The Werewolf path in the Bloodmoon expansion ends precisely the same as the other path: you facing off against an avatar of Hircine in battle, regardless of your previous service to the Daedra. Bloodmoon also features the corrupt path in the East Empire Company questline, where it comes up twice — first with you being the chosen means for killing the person who has outlived his usefulness, and then with you being the target (unfortunately for Carnius Magius, you turn out to be tougher than his band of hired killers, and his last-ditch effort to kill you personally when you show up to confront him is not much more dangerous).
    • Skyrim:
      • In the Dawnguard expansion, Vyrthur tells the player that since they brought Serana to him, they've outlived their usefulness, and he tries to kill them.
      • This rule is also pretty much standard procedure for Daedric Princes. Several of their quests require you to kill some formerly favored servant of theirs, often so you can take over the job: Boethiah's champion proved to be unworthy, Peryite's followers stopped following orders, and in the case of Mehrunes Dagon's quest, he wants you to get rid of the guy who got you started on the job, just because. (Dagon then sends grunts to kill you, again just because. It happens a lot with the Daedric Prince of Destruction…)
      • Hermaeus Mora, Daedric Prince of Knowledge, pulls this off twice in Skyrim and the Dragonborn DLC. Mora made it rather quick and painless for Septimus, who mostly appeared to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. However, for Miraak, who also betrayed Mora, it comes in the form of a gruesome Impaled with Extreme Prejudice kill.
  • Evil Genius: You can kill minions to boost the stat regeneration of everyone who sees you doing so. This is done as a Dog-Kicking Establishing Character Moment by the Evil Genius at the end of the tutorial mission to the lady who has been directing the mission, once she says she has committed all her other lessons to video tapes. (Her desperate pleas that she can still be useful only elect an Evil Laugh from the Genius before a henchman executes her.)
  • In Fable, Maze is defeated, but Jack of Blades says that he had outlived his usefulness anyway.
    • A particularly callous take in Fable II: The Hero is ordered to kill a fellow guard who has broken down.
      Commandant: Those who will not obey can be made to. Those who cannot obey are useless.
  • In Fallen London, when the Bazaar decides that one of its cities has stopped being useful, it melts the citizens into Lacre and literally drops the next city on top of the old one, squashing it flat.
  • Happens a few times in Fallout: New Vegas, such as with Barton Thorn (who asks you to clear some Gecko off a ridge to save his girlfriend, when in reality he just wants a haul of treasure) and Logan (who recruits you into his band of mercenaries in order to loot a town after it becomes irradiated); in these two cases, it is an egregious display of Darwinitis on their part. The player can also pull this in certain quests, such as snitching the Powder Gangers to the NCR after helping the former massacre Goodsprings.
    • Elijah in the Dead Money tells you that he doesn't care what happens to your comrades once they get inside the casino, and while it's up to you whether they live or die, if it was up to him, they'd all be dead. Once you've broken into the vault, he will attempt to kill you as well.
    • Caesar is a variation; tribes that ally with him tend to wind up assimilated into the legion, with the worthy men press-ganged into the military and the women used as slave labor.
    • If you sell Arcade into slavery as Caesar's doctor, then kill Caesar anyway without the Legion becoming hostile, Lanius will get sick of having Arcade around and have him crucified in the game's ending.
    • Fallout 3: If you tell Autumn the purifier code, he shoots you on the spot. In Point Lookout, if you side with Calvert in the final main quest, he says something to this effect and activates a squad of Protectrons to kill you.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics revealed that Delita does this throughout the game, and this was the way he rose in power and became King, after he fooled the world into believing he ended the Lion War. He even does this to his best friend Ramza, sending him and his party into a death trap. However, Ovelia, who has seen his devious actions over the years, fears that Delita might do the same to her — knowing that he used her to become King. On her birthday, she strikes first and stabs Delita. She was right, as Delita was planning to and does kill her, while it's unknown whether the wound that he received from Ovelia was fatal or not.
  • Sephiroth of Final Fantasy VII has this policy towards the various tatooed men that you encounter (ie. victims of Hojo's Mako experiment), ruthlessly slaughtering them, among many others, after they are manipulated to joining the "reunion" in the Northern Crater. Strangely enough, this also includes the main character.
    • In the game's spinoff, Dirge of Cerberus, after retrieving information for the Tsviets, Azul informs Shelke that she is "no longer required" and that "Weiss has ordered (her) termination."
  • General Leo and Emperor Gestahl are offed by Kefka on two separate occasions in Final Fantasy VI. Shadow almost gets this treatment as well, but he survives and is discovered by the party when they arrive at the Floating Continent, earning them a powerful ally.
  • The Big Bad reveals himself and does this to Jihl in Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War has this in its Wham Episode. Specifically, your entire party outlives their usefulness to Arvis which results in him giving you a Total Party Kill as he personally executes Sigurd with Valflame. What was your army useful for? Well, conquering half of the known world and disposing of Reptor and Langbalt who in turn have ceased being useful to Arvis.
  • This happens four times in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, and two of these murders are carried by the same person. First, Ephidel stabs Lord Helman to death when he questions his plan to kill Eliwood. Second, Emotionless Girl Limstella kills one of the Reed brothers (it can be either the Swordmaster Linus or the Hero Lloyd, depending on which one you fought against first) and Sonia's right hand, the Valkyrie Ursula (assuming she survives the player's army), after their defeats. And ultimately, after being defeated at the Water Temple, Sonia is either killed by Nergal or left to die by Limstella, depending on whether or not you took a sidequest and fought her personally.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Edelgard, aka the Flame Emperor, despises "those who slither in the dark" despite being allied with them, viewing their cooperation as a necessary evil to succeed in her campaign against the Church of Seiros. She fully intends to turn on them once she's achieved that goal, and in her route's ending, she does just that, ultimately wiping them out entirely. Even on Verdant Wind and Silver Snow, where you kill Edelgard and Hubert as bosses, Hubert still leaves behind a letter telling you to kill off Those Who Slither in the Dark complete with their location. As the group in question are utterly despicable Hate Sinks to a man in contrast to the Well-Intentioned Extremist Edelgard, this is a rare heroic — or at the very least antiheroic — example.
  • Commander Sith does this to Yomiel towards the end of Ghost Trick. He didn't want Yomiel's services, just the Temsik Meteorite that gave him the ghost trick powers. Since he couldn't kill someone who was already dead, he simply removed the meteorite fragment from Yomiel's body and sunk the submarine, leaving Yomiel trapped at the bottom of the ocean with no way to escape by possessing another body or using the phone lines.
  • In The Godfather 2, there are only so many slots on your Badass Crew. Want to recruit someone better? You can mark an existing member for death, allowing you to dispose of him.
  • This happens to the trio that took Gene's arm in God Hand. After beating them a second time, a later cutscene in the stage has them running to another area, still upset, only for them to encounter Azel, who dashes past them and turns them into dust for being worthless.
  • Dimitri Rascalov attempts this several times in Grand Theft Auto IV. After Niko offs his Ax-Crazy business partner on Dimtri's orders, Dimitri tries to sell Niko out to Bulgarin, a crime boss with a grudge against Niko, which results in a shootout in a warehouse. If Niko later agrees to assist Dimitri in a drug deal, Dimitri sends a hitman to Roman's cousin's wedding, who tries to shoot Niko, but ends up killing Roman instead.
  • Steve Heines invokes the trope to the letter in Grand Theft Auto V, but Trevor (in a rare moment of compassion), after an extensive session of torture, lets the poor soul go away.
  • The Snatcher of A Hat in Time employs this method with unwilling contractors that finish his dirty work. When he's first encountered, he explains how his last contractor got himself killed (his head popped off), but later reveals that the contractor's head "popped off the moment he stopped being useful to [the Snatcher]". He tries the same thing to Hat Kid when she finishes all of his contracts.
  • The people behind the phone calls in Hotline Miami employ this frequently. In an early level, Jacket (the first player character) ends up blowing up another animal mask killer who was captured and interrogated by the Mob. Later in the game, the forces behind the animal mask killers send someone to Jacket's apartment to kill him and his girlfriend... not for anything that he did, but simply because they no longer need him. While it's not shown until later, it turns out you were sent to Phonehom to kill the Biker, who had decided to find out who was behind the conspiracy.
  • Jade Empire: Master Li kills the Spirit Monk once they've slain the Emperor. However, they get better and possibly take revenge.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, after Medusa saves Pit from Hades' One-Hit Kill attack and Hades states that he will revive her as many times as he desires, he tells her "But you've worn out your usefulness!" before permanently destroying her.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Following Sora's Heroic Sacrifice, the game's Big Bad, Ansem, appears out of nowhere and is about to pull this one on Kairi, but Riku holds him back long enough to let her escape with the others.
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, after Naminé finishes restoring Sora's memories at the end of the prologue, DiZ orders Riku to destroy her, at least partially because of his prejudice against Nobodies; Riku, however, has no intention of doing so, both because of Naminé helping him and Sora during the events of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and because he's not happy to discover that DiZ only helped restore Sora for the sake of petty revenge against Organization XIII, and instead lets her go. During the game's final act, Organization XIII also declares that, with their Kingdom Hearts completed, they have no further need for Sora, and try to dispose of him.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Aqua is in the same boat. Her role in Xehanort's plan is to just succeed at the Master exam while Terra doesn't to make him feel inferior and rush off half-cocked. This happens in the first 10 minutes of the plot and the rest of her story arc is the Big Bad sending her into danger and later sending his Dragon to personally finish her off. But she's made Master rank for a reason and refuses to die. Eventually, she winds up screwing up the whole Evil Plan just by being an extra person who wasn't expected to be around for the final stages.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, Xemnas tried to confront Roxas and Xion by casting an illusion where both of them thought they were facing a Heartless with the expectation that one would kill the other. All this because he wanted a full-powered Sora clone rather than two half-powered ones.
    • In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Riku finds himself in the exact same position of Xehanort's plans as Aqua was well over a decade ago, given that he's now immune to Xehanort's attempts to corrupt him with darkness. And, just like Aqua, he ends up giving Xehanort a much-deserved ass-kicking in the climax.
    • And in the manga adaptation for Kingdom Hearts II, Shan-Yu's failure to conquer China and kill its Emperor results in Xigbar shooting him in the head.
  • Attempted by the Big Bad in The Legend of Dragoon, once Lloyd had handed over the Moon Objects. It doesn't work.
  • In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Malefor does this to the apes by giving them a Fate Worse than Death as a reward for freeing him from his prison, and also because they only helped him in the first place because he was giving them power.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • At the end of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the eponymous mask does this to the Skull Kid, whom it had been using as a host for most of the game. But he gets better at the end.
    • The manual of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past states that Ganondorf killed his followers when they reached the Triforce so he could claim its power for himself alone.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sees the Yiga Clan attempt this on Dorian, a former Yiga whose wife they killed for his defection and daughters they threatened to make him spy on Kakariko Village for them, after a shrine orb that was an heirloom for Impa's family is stolen. Thankfully, Link thwarts the assassination, which allows this person to finally live a life free of the Yiga Clan.
  • Subverted at the beginning of Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven when Tommy is caught up in a gang war between the Salieri and Morello gangs and press-ganged into becoming a getaway driver for the Salieri crew. After escaping, one of the Salieri boys puts his hand into his coat pocket and Tommy has a visible Oh, Crap! reaction, clearly expecting to be silenced. Fortunately, he's actually being compensated for his time and damages to his car.
  • At the end of Mafia III, after taking over the city, you have the option of killing all of your surviving lieutenants in order to clean up loose ends at the urging of your CIA contact. Doing this results in Lincoln getting blown up with a car bomb the next time he enters a car, planted by his former mentor Father James, who now sees him as beyond redemption.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, Princess Shroob (the younger one) declares that Peach is useless after the brothers break her out of her force field and tries to finish her off, but the brothers fight and defeat her.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Reapers kill their indoctrinated slaves once they are finished with them, since their ultimate goal is wiping out all advanced species.
    • At the end of Mass Effect 2, Harbinger delivers this line to the Collector General, for the crime of letting Shepard blow up the Collector Base and Reaper prototype.
    • In Mass Effect 3, the Illusive Man's new antagonism towards Shepard is apparently a case of this, though in fact it's because he's indoctrinated. Later on during the game, during the attempted siege on the Citadel, Cerberus has a mole inside C-Sec, who is killed shortly before Shepard gets there for this reason. Another mission reveals the Illusive Man has started doing this en masse to his scientists. The minute any of them finish a research project, they're 'disappeared'. Eventually, some of them got wise, grabbed what they could and ran for it.
  • At the start of Mercenaries 2: World In Flames, the player is working for Ramon Solano, a Corrupt Corporate Executive whose friend, a Venezuelan General, is being held for treason. After breaking out the General, Solano decides to kill you before he starts his coup. After many explosions, Oil Rig explosions, castle explosions, and a war between the US and China (with explosions), and two nuclear explosions, the Merc finally catches up to Solano. Memo to all would-be dictators; don't piss off a Sociopathic Norwegian, Scary Black Man, or High Class British Military Contractor.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Liquid Snake says this to Solid Snake word for word when Snake finally (unknowingly) activates Metal Gear Rex. Then he tries to gas him.
    • The Patriots do this in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty with every single character, such as deactivating Richard Ames' pacemaker nanomachines for him to act out FOXDIE (although the fact that his actions mentioned in "In the Darkness of Shadow Moses: The Unofficial Truth" were mentioned, and resulted in the incident being exposed among others, may also qualify as a very subtle version of You Have Failed Me), they engineered President Johnson's betrayal and later capture by Solidus for the S3 plan, and then had Ocelot execute him, and then had Ocelot attempt to execute Solidus, Fortune, Snake, and Raiden aboard Arsenal Gear with RAY.
    • Effectively the case with Snake as well in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Snake has, at best, one year left to live and looks like a man in his eighties when he is only 42. It turns out that this Clone Degeneration is a form of planned obsolescence which is designed to kick in at 40 years old because by that point, his physical condition would begin to decline, and so he would have by and large outlived his purpose.
    • In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Coldman was implied to have intended to kill off the Peace Sentinels with the Peace Walker project's completion, especially if it succeeded, as soon as it was done. Zadornov himself nearly did this onto Big Boss, and in fact, had the MSF and FSLN not stormed the room and captured Zadornov, he would have done this.
  • In Modern Warfare 2, General Shepherd shoots his subordinates, Roach and Ghost, after they retrieve intel on Makarov, then has his Shadow Company goons douse the bodies in kerosene, which he personally ignites. Oh, and you see all of this through Roach's eyes. A rare case of this being done to Unwitting Pawns, not Mooks.
    • Shepherd doesn't care much for Shadow Company, either — after Soap and Price breach SC's command base, Shepherd sets the place to self-destruct to cover his own escape, telling those still inside that their "sacrifice will be honored".
    • Makarov does this to PFC Allen at the end of "No Russian".
  • Nintendo Wars: Advance Wars: Days of Ruin: After the barbarian known as The Beast is defeated in Mission 10, the game's Big Bad leaves him to die as the experimental drugs he was injected with ravage his psyche.
  • After the Shadow Queen possesses Peach in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Grodus attempts to order her around — not exactly the smartest move, considering her nature. She proceeds to blast him with lightning. He got (somewhat) better.
  • In Perfect Dark, after the first backup plan, which attempted to take advantage of Trent Easton's political connections and later make a clone of the US president, fail, Mr. Blonde reveals his alien nature and dispatches Easton in a combination of You Have Failed Me and this trope. When the grand plan of the Skedar is ultimately thwarted as well, the Skedar imprison their other ally, Cassandra DeVries, for the same reasons.
  • In Perfect Dark Zero, after Chandra brings the Graal to Zhang Li, he kills her for her life force.
  • The Reveal of Persona 3 involves Ikutsuki doing this to the party, though the death part, at least, had a purpose: He was going to use his tools as human sacrifices to accelerate his plan. Because apparently he can't wait three lousy months (though the party would have known too much anyway). Still fails, though.
  • In Persona 4: Golden, this is Marie's potential fate in the route to the True Ending. With the two other Pieces of God defeated, her remaining purpose is to get rid of all traces of Izanami's Assimilation Plot, herself included, so that said goddess can try it again at a later date. Saving her is actually optional, though Izanami doesn't actually care if you do.
  • Persona 5 has this happen fairly often.
    • The second target, Madarame, is an artist who steals the work of his pupils and passes it off as his own, cutting them loose once they're no longer useful and using his connections to destroy their reputations if they complain. Perhaps worst of all, he let Yusuke's mother die so that he could steal her masterpiece and take her son in, thereby exploiting Yusuke's talent.
    • In Ryuji's confidant, you find that Yamauchi, the replacement coach for the track team, is almost as bad as Kamoshida. While eavesdropping on a conversation between him and a drinking buddy, you learn that Yamauchi's planning on making Takeishi captain in order to gain the favor of his wealthy parents, but since Takeishi isn't any good at track, Yamauchi hopes he'll suffer an "accident" and lose his spot on the team.
    • Masayoshi Shido, the main antagonist and head of The Conspiracy, has a tendency to dispose of his fellow conspirators when they're more useful to him dead than alive. He has Principal Kobayakawa and Kunikazu Okumura killed to frame the protagonists for their deaths, kills the SIU director after the protagonist's apparent death because he's a direct link between the Phantom Thieves case and The Conspiracy, and even says that he'd dispose of his son, Goro Akechi after becoming Prime Minister, because Akechi, as his illegitimate child and personal assassin, would be nothing more than a potential liability. That last one also turns out to be a case of Shido being Properly Paranoid, since Akechi hates Shido for abandoning his mother and is only helping Shido get to the top so that he can have the pleasure of exposing his crimes and taking everything away from him immediately afterwards.
  • In Planescape: Torment, The Practical Incarnation inverted this trope by manipulating someone into falling in love with and dying for him. The Power of Love kept her bound to him even after death and her ghost remained an integral part of his plan: She did not 'outlive her usefulness' so much as 'even in death, she still serves'. While The Practical Incarnation is long gone, Deionarra keeps haunting and attempting to guide the incarnations of The Nameless One, unable to leave him even if he no longer remembers her.
  • In Portal, GlaDOS decides to kill Chell after she has all the testing data she needs. In a massive oven, no less.
    • In Portal 2, Wheatley also tries this as soon as he can replace Chell with robotic test subjects.
  • Subverted in Psycho Waluigi. After Waluigi frees Psycho Iris, the latter says he is about to do this, but then he follows it up by saying, "...JUST KIDDING! I only said that 'cause you were expecting me to, and I didn't want to disappoint." Psycho Iris only plays it straight a bit later because Waluigi was going to turn on him; Psycho Iris would have otherwise been happy to support Waluigi indefinitely.
  • In the Total Conversion Malice for Quake I, this happens to the protagonist mid-plot. The Big Bad ambushes him just when he tries to figure out why he still hasn't been paid for his job.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando: After Ratchet and Clank retrieve the experiment, Qwark disguised as Fizzwidget no longer needs them and tries to get rid of them, leaving them stranded on a desert planet and later sending them to the Deep Space Disposal Facility to be killed.
  • In Resident Evil 5, Albert Wesker does this to Excella near the end of the game. During the final confrontation, Chris mocks Wesker's tendency to do this to his allies by noting that Wesker is all alone with his back to a wall.
  • In RosenkreuzStilette, Iris destroys her own father with a Blitzstrahl attack from behind him after he is defeated by the player's character (Spiritia or Grolla, to be precise) because he wasn't useful in her plans anymore.
    Graf Sepperin: (As he gets struck from behind by Iris' Blitzstrahl attack) GAAAAAAAAAHHH!!! (he burns away)
    Iris: What a useless old man.
    • She would've done the same to Tia if not for her friend Freu interfering with a massive ice attack that freezes her one last attack with it.
      Iris: I really must thank you for being such quality entertainment. Unfortunately, I have no further use for you, so... Please die.
  • In Sakura Wars (2019), Yasha seriously wounds Anastasia Palma once the latter gives her the Amamiya Kunisada so that President G/Genan Sotetsu can further his plans at the end of chapter 6.
  • In Section 8: Prejudice, Salvador disposes of Thorne when the latter is cornered by 1st Recon.
  • In Shadow Hearts, Kato's commanding officer and love interest is gunned down by Japanese soldiers when she ceases to be any use to the army high command… as Kato helplessly watches. This starts the chain of events that turns him into the final Big Bad of Covenant.
  • In Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, if Sanjuro agrees to help Ryo in exchange for his support in saving Kura, after completing the task, Ryo says "Thanks for the assistance, Commander. You're no longer useful to me. Sorry to leave you hanging," then deactivates the energy bridge leading to the area the Sanjuro is in, forcing him to get back to the main part of the building via an air intake chute.
  • These exact words are said by Clod/Armageddon as part of his Pre Ass Kicking One Liner in Silhouette Mirage. "You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, Messenger."
  • Alfonso from Skies of Arcadia punts his vice-captain off of his own airship and sends him plummeting to his death when Vyse and Aika invade at the start of the game. He planned to use the vice-captain as a scapegoat for allowing the Blue Rogues to board the ship (and get himself a cushy promotion for "outing the traitor"), but his boss, Galcian, sees through it and punishes him instead.
    • Galcian pulls this himself much later in the game on Belleza, although in a very indirect manner, as he simply unleashes the continent-destroying superweapon on the continent he sent her to. This proves to be a fatal error on Galcian's part, as Belleza is late to arrive and thus escapes the blast. She proceeds to aid the heroes in planning their assault on Galcian's fortress, then personally rams her ship into his escape pod when he flees.
    • Finally, Mendoza, the prior Grand Admiral (whom Galcian replaced) tried this on Ramirez in the latter's backstory. Ramirez is a Tyke-Bomb created for assassination and has a blade that can slice photons in half, and is, not to mention, still alive when the game comes around: You work out how well that one went. It goes without saying that Galcian is not big on trying to repeat that whopper…
      • Not to mention, Galcian saw Ramirez as being like a son, decidedly not just a tool to be disposed of once he's served his purpose. Ramirez returns the sentiment and does not take it well when Galcian bites the dust via the aforementioned escape-pod-ramming, and proceeds to go on a rampage.
  • Imperator Ix, during the events of Sonic Chronicles, promptly blows Shade off Angel Island for questioning his motives after Sonic and his team rough him up. After he jacks the Master Emerald and sends Angel Island plummeting into Metropolis, Shade allies with Sonic and company to abort his scheme.
  • In StarCraft, Arcturus Mengsk abandons his top lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan to die at the fangs of the ravenous Zerg Swarm as soon as she ensures his ultimate victory. While Mengsk is undeniably a Magnificent Bastard, this turns out to be his single greatest mistake, and it comes back to bite him in the ass in a major way.
    • Sarah herself gives this treatment to two entire armies in Starcraft: Brood War, including, ironically, Mengsk himself. Mengsk, Raynor, and Fenix are all smart enough to suspect this, but underestimate how quickly she does it.
    • In Starcraft II Wings Of Liberty, a peek into a possible Bad Future shows the Dark Voice and his Hybrids pulling this on the Zerg, exterminating them as soon as he was done using them to annihilate the Terrans and Protoss.
    • Like most of the horrible things she did in Brood War, this is invoked and defied by Sarah Kerrigan in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, which focuses on her redemption. After their Enemy Mine in the Skygear missions, Stukov expects her to pull out this on him, only for Kerrigan to not only spare him, but offer him a place in the Swarm since he has nowhere to go. In the Hyperion mission, Zerg ask Kerrigan if they can devour the Raiders now that they have done what they could to help, only for her to angrily forbid any attempt on their life. The trope is still played straight when Kerrigan abandons her own creation Niadra once she is done eliminating the Protoss on the ship she was sent to, but considering she had been used to Shoot the Dog, it is sort of understandable that Kerrigan didn't want to keep her.
  • Star Wars Legends: In The Force Unleashed 2, Vader decides that he has no further use for Starkiller 2.0. Watch the cinematic trailer in all its glory. This betrayal is also a case of Bond Villain Stupidity.
  • M.Bison on Street Fighter Alpha 3 does this to the Dolls Juni and Juli at their endings. It almost succeeds.
  • This, crossed with You Have Failed Me, starts the plot of the NES Strider game — Strider Hiryu is informed that Strider Kain was captured by the enemy. Just when you think you're being sent to rescue him… "As his identity is now known, rescue is not an option. Kill him! That is all." Needless to say, Hiryu's not about to kill a comrade on some computer screen's say-so, and heads out to find more information…
  • Super Paper Mario:
    • Dimentio ends Mr. L's game after he loses to the heroes the second time. This serves the secondary purpose of allowing Luigi to join the heroes.
    • Dimentio does it again in the final chapter. After Count Bleck's defeat, he shows his true colors by attempting to assassinate him. Once he steals the Chaos Heart from his former boss, he sends him to Dimension D and declares that he will kill him later. In the Japanese version, he actually says this line to a T.
      Dimentio: Count Bleck! You look so tattered and pathetic, I nearly forgot about you. I'll squeeze the life out of you later. Just wait over in that dimension, OK? Great.
  • Happens in Super Robot Wars Original Generation Gaiden, worded just this way by Duminuss. And when you beat her, the real Big Bad, Dark Brain, comes out, says the same thing, and offs her.
  • While he's not killed, Bowser gets this from Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The two of them are going to report to Master Hand when Ganondorf decides to turn Bowser into a trophy in preparation to usurp the Master Hand. (Later, when Bowser is restored and Ganondorf is a trophy, Bowser takes his sweet revenge... or tries to, anyway.)
    • But it's all good, because then Tabuu gives the boot to Ganondorf so that he can join the heroes in time for the final battle.
  • In System Shock 2 SHODAN tells you this after you kill The Many. Big surprise there. She'd originally hoped to have you serve as her "avatar", but her plan will destroy everything upon the Von Braun and Rickenbacker, and the escape pods have already been taken.
  • Tales Series:
    • In Tales of Phantasia, Dhaos callously eviscerates Mars and his henchmen after brainwashing them to free him from prison, even having the gall to tell them that they have outlived their usefulness.
    • In Tales of Symphonia, Remiel says almost these exact words to the party at the end of the Journey of Regeneration when he attacks you. He fails.
    • In Tales of the Abyss, Van uses these words when the villain leaves Ion and the party behind to die once Luke has doomed Akzeriuth to sink into the core under his direction. In a subversion, the appearance of the villain's sister in the party suddenly adds a person the villain doesn't want to die into the mix — but since she can save herself (with the minor prize that she'll save the party alongside herself) and the villain knows this, it doesn't change matters.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • In the 2013 Halloween event, once the mercenaries take the corpse of Redmond/Blutarch to hell, the remainder will send everyone to hell so he doesn't have to pay them.
    • The comics also show the Administrator plans to have Miss Pauling murder the director of the "Meet the teams" videos once he's done interviewing the mercs... and given he's an insufferable Prima Donna Director, she's unlikely to balk at the deed.
  • Thief: The Dark Project: Garrett almost falls victim to this after delivering the Eye to Constantine, who puts out one of his eyes and leaves him for dead, trapped in a thicket of flesh-eating plants. Garrett is rescued by the Keepers.
  • The fate of the Adviser in Total War: Warhammer; midway through the Warriors of Chaos Campaign, he arrives and gives you a mocking speech about how you have little power against the Gods. Mockery turns to terror when his albino raven familiar is consumed by light, and he pleads for his life before the bird pecks out his eyes and reveals itself to be Sathorael the Ever-Watching, a Lord of Change that has been manipulating all of the factions in order to usher in the End Times.
  • In Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, you are given the option of sacrificing your characters in exchange for a rather large power boost, both in the form of dramatically boosting the doomed character's stats for the duration of the chapter (they die after the battle is done) and permanently granting the main character access to their skills after the fact. However, doing this at all locks you out of the Golden Ending, and if you do it too much, you'll receive the worst ending.
  • In Wing Commander II's second Special Operations pack's ending, it is revealed that the Mandarins, humans who cooperated with the Kilrathi in order to become part of the Kilrathi government and change Kilrathi society from within, were about to outlive their usefulness before Blair destroyed their Ayers Rock base.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order: After the end of World War II in 1949, the Nazis turned on its former allies, Italy and Japan. Italy was invaded and stood no chance against the technologically advanced, eventually being carved up and assimilated into their territory. Japan, meanwhile, was forced to relinquish all of its conquered lands to German control and was reduced to a client state on the home islands.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • In the Arcatraz dungeon, Warden Mellichar, under the influence of mind-control, releases Harbinger Skyriss, who promptly kills Mellichar.
    • The Old Gods do this to Deathwing in the alternate future where they win; for them to break free, all of the Dragon Aspects have to die. So he's impaled on top of the Wyrmrest Temple.
    • In Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal's Orc ending, Ner'Zhul and the player go through a portal and leave the rest of the Horde on Draenor, which is about to be destroyed.
    • In Warcraft III, once Archimonde is summoned, control over the Scourge is handed over to Tichondrius, leaving Arthas, Kel'thuzad, and Ner'zhul as nothing.
    • Before that, once Mal'Ganis finished bringing Arthas to The Dark Side, he is killed by Arthas and the Burning Legion doesn't interfere.
    • Subverted with Arygos in the Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects novel. Kirygosa suspects he was subject to this, but the Twilight Father clarifies that his failure to become the Aspect of Magic instead of Kalecgos was what got him killed.
  • In the non-canon Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys, Gruda mortally stabs Eldeel after the latter raises the Ancient City from the ground, stating that the real reason he worked for him is to revive Arem, the true leader to the Clan of Darkness.


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