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Note: As a Death Trope, all spoilers on this page are unmarked.


  • Given the amount of interaction with NPCs in Bethesda games, it is possible in uncountable instances to get on someone's wrong side, and pestering them until they simply get rid of you.
  • In Geneforge 3 it is not a good idea to visit a faction you've been working against, but a moment that takes the cake is a dialog option where after stealing a can of Phlebotinum from a Shaper's warehouse and handing it over to La Résistance, you go back to one of the Shaper's high chiefs and confess your crime. Note: The Shaper we're talking about is not only unbeatable for the level you're supposed to be by then, but is also commanding a squad of the toughest creatures in the game. Press X to Die indeed.
  • Just about every protagonist in any adventure game ever created can be ordered to do some pretty stupid things. Look at many "Ways to die" videos on YouTube to see some characters doing some... really really dumb stuff. (Like drinking a pot full of salt water in the desert, saying "Hello" to a sleeping bandit, stuffing a lockpick up your nose, microwaving radioactive pool water...)
  • Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, great lawyer that he is, suffers from this on occasion in service to the plot; his own intuition has to be shunted aside for the player to have an active role. Sometimes, however, this justification fails. Take the third case of the first game, where he blithely confronts a blackmailer on her actions, knowing full well she has ties to the Yakuza. Only a Big Damn Heroes moment from Gumshoe keeps him from getting rubbed out. Actually, Wright does this in almost every single case in the first game, and always seems to do so in secluded places with no witnesses where his suspected murderer holds all the cards.
      • In the Ace Attorney world, no one holds a candle to Larry Butz. Just by entering a room, he complicates every situation. He can't go ten minutes without falling for someone, which never works out, he can't hold a job, and he's pigheaded and belligerent. We're talking about a man here who in Ace Attorney: Investigations, refused to cooperate with Edgeworth, who was in the middle of trying to prove him innocent of murder. He also agreed with everything said by the man who was trying to prove him guilty. It's a miracle the man survived long enough to be this much trouble.
    • Yes, Kay, it's a wonderful idea to let everyone in a five block radius know that you're the Great Thief Yatagarasu. Including Interpol agents. When you're standing over a corpse in a burned-out room and the Yatagarasu is wanted for theft, murder, and arson. Certainly this will not hurt your defense at all. One wonders how she plans on not getting caught, or if she even thought that far.
  • In Supreme Commander, an ally of your character touches an ancient alien device that is emitting a strange energy signature, in violation of a direct order from the commander in chief of the entire cybran nation. He survives, but you have to kill him and his robotic battle suit after the artifact takes over. You know it's a bad sign when the other AI characters start yelling at him, but the funny energy signature mentioned should have given it away.
  • In Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs campaign Sheriff Billy Holme, cornered by his ex partner Chayton (Holme had a Face Heel Turn) chooses to back into a cliff face surrounded by TNT. After talking for a bit, Holme attempts a Quick Draw shot on Chayton, forgetting that A) his gun was at his back while Chayton had his at his side and B) Native Tribes have a quick reaction time and Chayton was half Sioux. You can guess how it ends.
  • In 7 Days a Skeptic, something has been killing off the members of a starship. The three surviving crew members have just been attacked by the revived corpse of the captain, the first to die. They defeated it, but they're not sure whatever animated it is really dead. Then they realize they can flee the ship on the escape pods... after a good nights rest. In separate rooms. (Not to mention the fact that the escape pods are restricted access!)
    • The whole ship was built with massive and illogical design flaws, explicitly with the assumption that nothing would go wrong. (Any engineer in any field can attest how stupid that is.) In addition, the crew are either incompetent or unwilling to do their job - the engineer routinely send the counselor to fix things while he hides in the mess hall. Yahzee has admitted that many things were left this way because the plot wouldn't work otherwise.
    • If you think that's bad, they didn't choose to have a good night's rest before they used the escape pods. That's how long it took the automated systems to prepare the pods to be used. Either the people who designed the ship were really confident that nothing would go wrong, or they expected the escape pods to be used more like Save Scumming than actual emergency measures.
  • Bioshock: Dr Suchong, who created the Big Daddies, was having trouble imprinting the Big Daddies on the little sisters. In a audio diary it is shown that he got angry and slapped a little sister. You find his body drilled to his worktable.
    • Or splicers in general. Let's see, one type of Big Daddy has a massive drill that can bore through one's stomach and the other has a rivet gun and proximity mines. A wrench will definitely work.
      • In the splicer's defense they have been driven so insane by the side effects of Adam that they shouldn't be expected to act rationally
      • With the right augmentations and fighting style a wrench can be pretty effective means of taking down a Big Daddy actually.
      • The first time you're shown a Big Daddy in action is a good demonstration of this. A Leadhead Splicer (who at least has a revolver) spots a Little Sister. Believing, despite what past experience has to have shown him, that she is alone, he attacks. You see this on the other side of a reinforced plate glass window; five seconds later, you can loot the splicer's corpse after he's thrown through said window.
  • Pretty much every target of an Escort Mission ever. Taking the longer but safer route? Nah, lets take the way through the heavily populated monster village!
    • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War has an inversion: There is a time limit on how long you have for your convoy to reach the target area, it's the player's choice at each crossroad whether to take the short path or the long path, and the shorter paths have more enemies.
    • Another variation is if the escortee is combat-capable but lacks target prioritization: see Oda Nobunaga in Samurai Warriors (Battle of Honnouji, Oda side while not playing as him), or Gilthares Fairbough in World of Warcraft (in the Horde-exclusive "Free from the Hold" quest) for their tendency to fight whoever they come across, no matter how inconsequential the enemy or how far it would diverge them from their path.
    • Inverted in Dynasty Warriors 6 (Play Station 2 version) if you're playing the Battle of Chang Ban as Wei... part of the Fake Difficulty comes from the fact that Liu Bei does prioritize fleeing due to his many civilian followers; that's the whole point of the mission for both sides.
  • God of War 2: Our "hero" is a jaded, brutal, paranoid man-god who's storming through the city of Rhodes in an effort to destroy it in the name of Sparta. This is an extraordinarily capable man. So what does he do when Zeus sends down a heavenly sword, demands our guy drain his godly power into the blade and answers the man's suspicious question with a vaguely ominous response? Three guesses.
    • And he does this after an epic quest to kill Ares, because he was personally attacking Athens and destroying cities of other gods.
  • Most of the Mooks in one of the levels of The Getaway. Instead of trying to escape a ship that has a bomb on it, a major gunfight ensues and they start killing each other.

 Frank Carter: "Half the waterfront's about to go up and you're STILL arguing!"

  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, Rapha (or Rafa in the original translation) becomes Too Dumb To Live in the Riovanes Castle Roof battle of Chapter 3, where Rapha charges blindly into Elmdore and his Assassins, even though she barely has any HP to withstand more than two hits and the Assassins can kill instantly. Considering the battle is lost if Rapha dies, and she starts out closer to the enemy than Ramza's party does, keeping her alive proves extremely frustrating for all but the fastest-moving parties. Her steadfast determination to get herself killed eventually prompted the "Rafa Syndrome" description for AI-controlled characters.
    • It should be noted that this is actually a Justified Trope, as Rapha has recently become suicidally depressed.
    • The Assassins themselves are actually Too Dumb to Live. The easiest way to beat the Riovanes Roof battle is to unequip one of your characters, lowering their HP. Rather than go for the instant win in Rafa, they will try to kill your naked character, leaving you ample time to win the battle.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 has this with several missions that are an Escort Mission. Some of the units you have to protect are usually several levels lower than the enemy party, yet they will gleefully run up and try to attack them when their damage is equivalent to poking someone with a stick. And yes, doing this will invariably activate the enemy's counter attack skill, which is likely to kill them in one hit. So be sure to have your Paladins covering them at all time, kay?
  • In Final Fantasy VIII, we have Laguna Loire. He can be dead serious one moment, and then be a complete moron the next. Some of his most hilarious moments are during the second Laguna-Sequence, when they run around in the Centra Excavation Site.

 Kiros: Laguna... Are you sure this is the right way?

Laguna: Of course. Just give me a moment and I'll check the map... Oh!

Kiros: What's wrong?

Laguna: I brought the wrong map.

    • Another situation, when they leave Centra.

 Laguna: Look, guys! It's a ship! We're gonna take it and get out of here!

Ward: La... guna... Ki... ros... It's... been fun... guys...

Laguna: What? You say something?

Ward: It... was fun... Laguna... Kiros...

Laguna: Ward, that's really way uncool to say something like that! *helps Ward up, helps him to the edge of the cliff, throws him* *Repeats with Kiros*

Laguna: You guys... sure have guts. Do you know how high it is down there?

      • That's right. He actually didn't realize that he pushed them both off the cliff. He also has a tendency of forgetting maps or bringing the wrong ones. In other words, Laguna Loire is pretty much this trope incarnate.
      • And this is the man they make the president of Esthar.
  • Civilians in every Arcade Shooter ever. Here's a tip, people: If you're a hostage or otherwise in a building full of nasty evil things and the heroes come to rescue you, get down on the floor in full view of the rescuers and don't get up until they tell you it's all clear. Do NOT jump out from behind crates and surprise them!
  • Lindsay in Dead Rising. Could have avoided the plot if she hadn't opened the mall's front door, which a horde of zombies is clawing at right now, in order to let her precious little poochy in. The dog is clearly also a zombie. (The glowing red eyes are a dead giveaway.) The devteam clearly knew what people would think of her, though, and in the bonus Infinity Mode, where food-hoarding survivors are trying to kill you just as hard as the zombies, she dies as soon as you see her.
  • Many of the survivors in Dead Rising 2 qualify as well. Sure there's a zombie plague, they are alone and helpless, but that doesn't mean they will go along with someone offering to rescue them, no sir. In some of the most ridiculously contrived situations ever, some will need to be carried for no justifiable reason, others will refuse to come unless you beg and plead with them, one wants you to strip to your underwear, and others will simply demand you give them money first before they accept to be rescued. Oh, how I dearly wish there was a "suit yourself, stay here and die then" response. Also a bag of popcorn I could munch on while watching the zombies tear said survivor to ribbons.
    • A nameless mercenary mook on a motorbike sees Chuck Greene pick up a long, thin metal bar and crouch around the side of a stack of shelves. Instead of driving into sight of Chuck from a safe distance, he guns his bike right alongside the shelves, and is promptly speared.
  • Numerous Pokémon have some Too Dumb to Live behaviors. Regarding how one would expect the computer to know to pick the smartest move available when they KNOW your types, and how they always send a mon with a move effective against you... they still do some pretty stupid things. These include:
    • Pokémon using Dig, hoping you're too stupid to pick Earthquake or Magnitude.
    • Pokémon using Fly or Bounce, hoping you're too stupid to pick Stone Edge or Rock Slide and hoping Thunder misses.
    • Using Sunny Day so they can use Solarbeam, even if you have it on the currently selected Pokémon. (Does not count if it's Groudon or Kyogre, as their abilities trigger the same effects as Sunny Day and Rain Dance, respectively.)
      • Using Sunny Day when your current Pokémon can use even a single, weak Fire-type attack. That's just screaming "You deserve the beating I'm about to hand you... *FLAME!*"
    • Using Rain Dance so they can spam Thunder, even if your currently selected Pokémon can use Thunder (or any Water-type move, for that matter).
      • Or when you're using a Water/Ground type (giving you the double advantage of getting an attack bonus from Rain Dance and being immune to Electric attacks).
    • Using Selfdestruct or Explosion when the Pokémon out currently is a Ghost-type.
      • They also do it on Steel-types, but they might actually inflict some damage.
      • Also, using Selfdestruct or Explosion when the Pokémon ordered to do so is the trainer's last one and their opponent still has multiple 'mons left.
    • Using Perish Song as their last Pokémon when you still have at least one other Mon conscious in your team.
    • In the Battle Tower's Multi-Battle mode, this trope occurs when your computer partner uses Earthquake and the only Pokémon affected on the field is the player's, while both of the opponents are immune to the Ground-type, whether through being Flying-type or via the ability Levitate.
    • Attacking with a barrage of Swallow, Spit Up and Fling, despite not once using Stockpile or holding an item.
    • The move Curse does something different when a Ghost-type uses it. It deals 50% maximum HP damage to the user and lays a curse (like a poison damage-over-time effect) on the opponent. Not only will Phoebe's Pokémon in Generation III and Karen's Spiritomb in Generation IV do this when they're below 50% HP (thus making the Pokémon faint), it may at least be seen as a Xanatos Gambit to screw the player. That doesn't, however, excuse wild Haunter who use it... it can sometimes make catching them a bit needlessly frustrating.
      • Furthermore, in Pokémon Emerald Version, Phoebe's first Dusclops will constantly spam the move Protect until it fails, leaving the player to freely use items and non-damage-dealing (Status) moves.
    • Graveler seems to have specifically evolved against the will of natural selection and appears biologically programmed to explode at the sight of other Pokémon.
      • The same may also be said of Electrode, though it will at least put out a contractually obligated Thundershock or Tackle before choosing "death before dishonor."
  • The Sims and Sims 2 are notorious for its less-than-intelligent behavior. The best known example is an accidental kitchen fire. Rather then flee the house, the Sims will scream and yell around the fire, occasionally then burning themselves to death. Another example is pathfinding. Rather than taking the shortest route through a house, a sim may decide to take a longer path, sometimes even leaving the house and re-entering it.
    • In the original game you can avoid the fire problem by telling the sim to stop flailing at the fire and go do something safer until the fireman arrives. In The Sims 2, however, the sims often ignore your commands and go right back to flailing.
    • Pathfinding way is simple. Sims are too lazy to open doors still they are not lazy to walk. So they may walk more 10 miles just to open one door less than walking 0.0005 miles
    • The player-controlled Sims typically won't mess with it unless directed to do so, but guests tend to find the Sim-eating Cow Plant and its cake-shaped growth in the middle of its enormous tooth-filled mouth to be way more enticing than they should. Suffice to say: The Cake Is a Lie.
  • Truly, many AI characters are Too Dumb to Live in ways the programmers probably didn't intend. One example in Deus Ex: Miguel, the NSF member whom you may invite with you on your escape from the Majestic 12 prison. He doesn't believe in stealth and is liable to charge as soon as he sees an enemy, wielding only a combat knife. Has anyone ever managed to keep him alive all the way to the exit?
    • In fact, it's quite easy to keep Miguel alive; leave him in his cell until you've killed all the enemy soldiers, then ask him to follow you out.
  • Astrid in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance when you first meet her. Despite being an archer and having barely any Speed, Defense or HP, she rushes straight towards the enemy and will usually be killed on the first turn if Ike doesn't get to her, which requires a great deal of shoving form the other party members.
  • Some of the above examples are about characters taking on enemies far out of their league, but that's nothing compared to killing yourself directly. In Final Fantasy VI, check before sending Sabin, Gau, or Strago into a Collosseum fight. Each one may have learned a skill designed to hurt or heal others at the expense of his own life. No longer under control of the player, they may fail to realize that these moves make sense only in team battles, if ever. When fighting alone, it's instant defeat.
  • Dwarf Fortress: "Being on fire sure makes you thirsty! I feel like a good beer."
    • The Dwarves will also drop everything to collect the fallen items of the dead, even if it's next to an Elephant or on fire, or a Flaming Elephant, that's on Fire.
    • Sometimes a mason will build a wall from the wrong direction, leaving him trapped. If the player doesn't notice in time, said mason dies of dehydration or starvation.
    • Military dwarves will not run away from a monster they're chasing if restationed somewhere else or told to kill something else. In the case of titans or megabeasts, this results in Fun.
    • Dear Urist McMiner, do not sleep in the aquifer. Sincerely, Save Scumming.
    • Some dwarven soldiers seem to think that a goblin siege is the best time to go on break. Or get drunk.
  • Any incompetent player (or even your friends) in Left 4 Dead. Since the game is all about team work, anyone who keeps making dumb decisions (wasting items, rushing ahead of the team to go solo, etc.) will have the trope name shouted by the other players.
    • The special infected AI are not always bright, but in Left 4 Dead 2, a Hunter and Jockey will be too happy to try to pounce you, despite the fact that you are reving a chainsaw aimed at their undersides!
  • The early villain Judge Ghis from Final Fantasy XII. Upon receiving a very important and very powerful piece of rock, one that he knows kingdoms were conquered and vast resources spent to acquire, he decides to find out what it does. By hooking it up to his giant airship's power supply. You can probably guess what happens next. Derp derp, Judge Ghis, derp derp.
    • Let's elaborate for those who aren't in the know; the said MacGuffin is a magic-absorbing stone. A magic-absorbing stone being inserted into the power supply of an airship powered by magic stones. This is only minutes after Larsa's weaker, but still magic-absorbing stone eats a magic attack intended to kill the entire party, right in front of Ghis. Guy deserved it for being that dumb.
    • Incidentally, Larsa pretty soundly averts this very trope. Though it could probably be chalked up to hopeful youth or brotherly love, Larsa seems the only person in the entire plot that doesn't seem to catch on that his elder brother Vayne is a half a peg down from a puppy raping sociopath. Averted, because even not only does Larsa survive, but he winds up being the games only truly purely good person in the story.
  • The pack beasts from Dungeon Siege tend to fall victim to this trope - you have to protect them very carefully, or they have a tendency to wander into the line of fire. It gets worse in the expansion, Legends of Arranna, when you get pack beasts which have attacks - they continue to target and attack enemies even when they're hopelessly outclassed. You waste more resurrection spells on the pack beasts than anyone else...
  • The Meat Sims in Perfect Dark have horrible aim, run past you, and will stand still in order to make it easier for you to kill them. Playing against them in the Combat Simulator is like squeezing a stress ball.
  • The Lemmings will merrily march into Bottomless Pits or Booby Traps if nothing stands in between.
  • They're technically not alive, but Champions of Norrath has a level where you must escort souls to freedom. They don't bother to stay behind you, they run into lava, and when they're attacked they just stop and kneel, letting the enemies beat on them! What's worse, if all of them are killed you have to restart the level. And there are several of these escort levels.
  • Nearly every single character in every Silent Hill game, player characters, villains, minor characters, and even characters who don't appear. Usually justified by them being a) trapped against their will, b) searching for someone important to them, c) completely batshit insane, or d) all of the above, and sometimes... it isn't.
  • Lampshaded in Star Trek: Borg; an early puzzle requires the player to make repairs to a console. One of the wrong choices in the situation results in the player getting a lethal electric shock, after which Q (who is masquerading as the ship's doctor) scans the player's body and apologetically tells his shipmates that the player was "just too stupid to live."
  • In The Godfather: The Game, you will encounter citizens who run in the same direction as your car and throw themselves in its path. Almost all of the shopkeepers and racket bosses may qualify -- if you push them too far, they will fight back, despite your proving to them that you won't flinch from beating the crap out of them or shooting them or others. It's almost as if they know they're indispensable and that you'll be worse off for killing them.
    • According to the aforementioned citizens, the best solutions for when two gangsters are having a shootout are to a) run right between the gangsters, b) simply keep walking between the gangsters; maybe they'll mi--BANG, or c) if they're already in the middle, just stand with their arms up and go "AAAAHHH!" That'll get them to stop shooting!
  • Vice-Admiral Arthur Norbank in Nexus the Jupiter Incident is a subversion of the trope. While his arrogance and boasting are reminiscent of Dubya, his almost complete ineptitude in all things military regularly results in huge casualties and embarrassing defeats (sometimes at the hands of an inferior force). Unfortunately, despite many players wishing it was so, he can never seem to die. There is a mission where the player has the option to rescue the thought-to-be-dead vice-admiral. Fortunately, the player can choose not to save him without any consequences. The real problem is how the Nova Command even let this guy command his own shuttle, much less entire fleets, as his only real military victory owed much to the element of surprise (the enemy were prepared to fight Technical Pacifists and never before encountered Humans Are Warriors).
  • Imagine for a moment that you are an officer of an Evil Empire's army, and you are in the process of invading enemy woodland territory with the intent to conquer the country. While looking for one of your wounded soldiers who has gotten separated from your group, you find that he has died of his wounds -- in the company of that plucky young maverick lieutenant from the enemy side who is the only reason you haven't been sent home to your family yet, with no back-up beyond his equally plucky pigtailed girlfriend/sergeant, who currently has a busted ankle. You have your entire unit with you, ready to gun them down at any moment, and could rid yourself of the only serious obstacles in the way of your success in one fell stroke. Now imagine that you're a moron because the game has An Aesop to preach, and you let them go because now is not the designated killing time and they're obviously no threat to you at the moment.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto series:
    • Civilians.

 A car is driving close to the sidewalk at high speeds; do you:

A. Run or dive in the opposite direction of the car. "I'm not going to risk it!"

B. Not do anything. "It doesn't look like the car is going to come close enough to hit me."

C. Strategically dive into its path, making sure your head lines up perfectly with the front tire. "Ha! This close call should teach you a lesson about driving reckle--"

If you answered C, congratulations! You are qualified to be a civilian in the GTA universe.

  • It's no surprise that the very similar game True Crime: New York City has civilians doing the exact same thing as above! This is the reason why it's literally impossible to do a purely good cop run without getting a single bad cop point.
  • Dragon Age: Awakening: Bann Esmerelle and the other nobles conspiring to get rid of the Warden Commander if the Warden Commander is the Fereldan Grey Warden imported from Origins. They do this knowing fully that the Warden has both faced and claimed victory over including but not limited to: several dragons, an Archdemon, the Witch of the Wilds, a Pride Demon, a broodmother, and Tevinter slavers led by a powerful Magister. Not to mention he/she (with hardly any effort) dispatches bandit gangs on a regular basis, defeated a Fereldan war hero in one on one combat, stormed an Arl's estate and either killed several of the previously mentioned war hero's top knights, or escaped from the largest Fereldan prison while leaving dozens of corpses in his/her wake, and plows through countless numbers of Darkspawn while coming out with hardly a scratch.
    • For that matter, any enemy of a Fereldan Warden Commander in Awakening.
    • In Origins, Arl Howe thinks it's a wonderful idea to taunt the Human Noble Warden about how he butchered your family.
    • Lampshaded by a character in Origins: "And people actually voluntarily attack you? Are they stupid?
  • In Mass Effect and its sequel, you're given the option to pursue several romances with your squadmates. In the second, you can replace Samara with her daughter Morinth, who has a rare condition that causes her to kill anyone she mates with. You can proceed to sleep with her, instantly killing the player.
    • Lampshaded in the first game, where Wrex uses this as justification for fighting Krogan on Saren's side.

 "Anyone who faces us is either stupid, or on Saren's payroll. Killing the latter is business. Killing the former is a favor to the galaxy."

    • In Mass Effect 2 there's Warden Kuril, who was supposed to give Shepard a prisoner he was holding, but instead decides to capture Shepard and hold him/her for ransom or sell him/her on the black market as a slave. Yes, he tries to take the galaxy's biggest Badass prisoner. Needless to say, it does not end well for him. And Shepard still gets the prisoner s/he wants.
      • The icing on the cake is Kuril boasting that the facility can easily handle three armed guests... he was wrong, of course, and It Got Worse when Shepard let Jack out. The only time he isn't Too Dumb to Live is when you see the precautions for keeping Jack imprisoned; she's shackled in cold storage and guarded by a trio of powerful Mecha-Mooks. But that still wasn't enough!
    • The situation with Morinth is even worse because Shepard does ask about this right before deciding to sleep with her. It turns out that a serial killer that makes heavy use of deception as part of her MO is willing to lie.
    • On Feros in the first game, the Corrupt Corporate Executive in charge of the colony fed colonists to a mind-controlling Starfish Alien as a science experiment. When you go to bring him in, assuming you can't talk him down, he pulls a gun on you. Being Alliance military and a Spectre, you're a much faster draw.
  • Bowser in the Mario series qualifies. Numerous times, his defeats are literally due to his own stupidity. As a character he displays even more idiocy, once setting a bomb on fire that was a few feet away from him to show how to set it off in Paper Mario 2, and not realizing that he couldn't take over the world if the world was destroyed in Super Paper Mario.
    • Granted, he had no clue about Bleck's intention of summoning the Chaos Heart to delete all dimensions.And his initial refusal to join Mario is understandable, since he had just lost most of his army, and was in the middle of rebuilding a fortress when Mario promptly bombed it to the ground.
  • Pretty much everyone in Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 and 3 falls under this. In Red Alert 2, the Soviets decide to give the character Yuri mind control powers, and then not do anything to keep him from running amok with them, which he does. Using his powers, he gains a private army, and creates some mind control machines that he plans to use to mind control the whole planet, and nobody pays any attention to them. Later, he radios the allied intelligence lieutenant and mind controls her, but doesn't use any secure or scrambled lines, leading to his call being traced back to his main base. In Red Alert 3, the Soviets go back in time to kill Einstein to keep him from developing the technology that allowed the Allies to beat them (again). That works, but in the new time-line, Japan is turned into a global superpower called the Empire of the Rising Sun, which the Soviets pay no attention while they are trying to invade Europe, which causes them to get invaded. The Allies display similar incompetence when it turns out that there was a city destroying laser weapon that could hit targets across the globe in Mt. Rushmore, which they could have used to easily defeat the Soviets, but the American President only decides to use it on the Soviets when they and the Allies have to team-up against the Empire. Granted, there is some speculation that the president was really a robot set-up by the Empire (he turns out to be in the Empire campaign, but there are not hints in the others). The Allies later fail to pick up that the Soviets turned on them until a Soviet scientist defects to them. They apparently didn't learn their lesson in the expansion, because in the Allied they decide to trust the Empire's crown prince Tatsu to help them deal with some insurgents, and then not anticipate him turning on them. At the end of the Soviet campaign, the Soviets note that Allies are starting to make the mistake of trusting them again after the Soviets defeat an evil-megacorporation.
    • No hints? Every time Ackerman stepped in, it was to keep the Allies and Soviets fighting, which would have made them easier targets for the Empire. Gotta read between the lines.
  • LeChuck from the Monkey Island series. Too many incidents to list. Same could apply to everyone else in the series except Elain.
    • Isn't LeChuck dead to begin with ? I'm not sure he qualifies.
      • That just makes him Too Dumb To Unlive.
  • Scarface the World Is Yours averts this sometimes. The last two guys in a gang of fifty will wise up and run away... or sometimes come back. Yes, Tony Montana just shot dozens of your friends dead. You, with your pistol, will succeed.
  • Not an intentional example, but in Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, there are portions of the game where you are with a platoon of NPCs. If a grenade is thrown within radius of your team (regardless of whether the grenade came from the enemy or from you), the team member that spots it will run to the grenade and attempt to kick it away from the area. Ideally, this can potentially save lives if they spot a grenade you didn't see and kick it before all of you become a bigger bloody firework than The Kid, but then the usefulness also depends on how far the grenade is from the would-be-hero. If the grenade is far enough from the NPC, that NPC who sees it will run toward the grenade (sometimes even involving more than one NPC in the area seeing it and dashing toward it) and attempt to kick it, but arrive just in time for all of them to explode on impact. It will never occur to them just how much time it'll take to get to the grenade to be worth risking their ass to save the platoon, it will also never occur to them if said grenade was in a distance that (as close as it was) is still avoidable by the rest of the platoon who are smart enough not to run to their death, and there are quite a bit of lols to be had when you're doing a casual play on one of the earlier levels where the stage is practically set up for making the friendly-mooks run to their deaths.
  • Played for Laughs in God Hand. In one cutscene, Gene punches two Mooks through a window into becoming A Twinkle in the Sky. When a third is about to attack, Gene gestures to him to stand in front of the same window. Guess what...
  • In Heavy Rain, despite repeated admonitions from his father to "stay here", Jason wanders off in the middle of a crowded shopping center, gets outside, and somehow crosses the street. When his father gets outside, Jason darts into traffic and gets hit by a car two steps off the curb...despite not being struck by the car.
  • Star Wars Battlefront: occasionally you'll get an AI ally who has himself as both Nemesis and Bait. Meaning not only has he managed to grenade himself, he's managed to grenade himself more often than any given enemy has managed to shoot him.
  • People in Black and White. Too dumb, lazy and apathetic to live, to be more precise.
  • The race Thraddash in Star Control 2 is so warlike they bombed their own civilization into the Stone Age. Nineteen times.
  • One of the bosses of the Three Kings mission in Just Cause 2 uses a sort of satellite missile system to try and kill you. Thing is, you're on top of a building, without much room, and if you stand in certain spots, he'll happily blow himself up without even touching you.
  • In the first game of the Exile/Avernum series, Erika Redmark is one of three immensely powerful archmages that was tossed into Exile for being on the wrong side of a political struggle in the Mages Guild on the surface. Not being very genre savvy, the Emperor apparently never even paused to consider that pissing off one of the(if not THE) most powerful Sorceresses in the world would have consequences. It's not like she could construct a portal back to the surface that leads directly to your throne room, right?
    • Well, the Emperor's mages did give her a curse so powerful that even she could not repeal (and just that demanded the collective effort of hundreds of the Empire best mages): what they did not expect was that one banished in Avernum, she would prove capable and cunning enough to change the local ecosystem to make the caves more habitable and build a whole civilization from the ground up as a tool to get her revenge: they knew she was the most powerful mage of the Empire, they just did not realize by which margin
    • Also, the First Expedition to explore the underworld. "They were arrogant. They were stupid. And they were slaughtered."
  • This has the potential to (and often does) happen in Tales of Symphonia Dawn of the New World. Whenever Raine or Marta run out of TP which they NEED to be useful, they'll just charge the enemy unless you tell them to stay away from the enemy. And even if Marta's not functioning as a healer, she will spam her combat skills and waste her TP.
  • Used as humorous Lampshade Hanging in Conquests of the Longbow: in one of the final segments, the player (as Robin Hood) has to sneak into a tower to rescue an captive knight. If the player decides to talk to the enemies he's sneaking past, Robin will say "Excuse me, could you lend me a hand? You see, I'm nearly safe, but I thought I'd do something truly foolish instead and get myself killed." The enemies gladly oblige.
  • The titular Pikmin have a bad habit of being this, on accord of automatic AI decisions getting them into often-perilous situations.
  • In a Newgrounds flash game called Gretel and Hansel, Hansel (the older brother and leader in the original fairytale) is very, very, very mentally challenged. He watches his little sister burn to death and doesn't seem fazed when she dies horribly in front of him in part 2. Speaking of part 2: Instead of saving his sister from the pit she fell into, he chases after a fairy and leaves Gretel to deal with a tree monster. When Gretel needs saving a second time, he shoves the fairy who's willing to help into his mouth, cuts that same fairy in half with scissors and even swallows those scissors. He then stands on a cliff's edge tip-toed. No wonder Gretel is our protagonist.
  • Fairies in Touhou are an entire species of this trope, pathetically weak beings that throw themselves at individuals magnitudes more powerful than them and are swiftly obliterated as a result (fortunately for them they instantly resurrect after death, but they never learn their lesson). Cirno is a stellar example, declaring herself to be "the strongest!" and acting as such, which rarely ends well for her. In Great Fairy Wars she even picked a fight with Marisa, a girl with enough firepower to level continents (that Cirno managed to actually win doesn't make her actions any less stupid).
    • Word of God states that fairies are agitated by the powerful youkai in the vicinity (that you will soon be fighting). They either try to run away, i.e., run towards you, or are just scrambling at random and fire at whatever startles them, i.e., you.
  • After a large number of zombie outbreaks and failed business ventures resulting from said outbreaks, you'd think that Umbrella Corporation would move on to something different or at least put in stricter containment protocols, but nooooo...
  • Skie Silvershield from Baldur's Gate. Just... Skie Silvershield from Baldur's Gate. Especially when it comes to her Bastard Boyfriend Eldoth, and, well... life in general.
  • As the Punisher is ascending some stairs in the 2004 video game, a group of mafia soldiers blow themselves up while trying to set an explosive trap. The Punisher even comments something to the effect of "Gnuccis and explosives. Bad combination."
  • The Space Pirates in Metroid. They decide to reverse engineer Samus Aran's vast and dangerous weaponry and other such functions of the Power Suit she wears, all well and good up until they try to replicate the Morph Ball, of which they know jack about. Since its been made clear that Science Team has vapor for brains, they went ahead anyway. Result:

  Pirate Log: "Aran's Power Suit technology remains a mystery, especially the curious Morph Ball function. All attempts at duplicating it have ended in disaster: four test subjects were horribly broken and twisted when they engaged our Morph Ball prototypes. Science Team wisely decided to move on afterward."

  • Jade Empire has a sequence where you can help the target of a bounty escape the city. To do so, you have to talk to the city guards while he leaves, telling them he's left the city. Only, instead of simply walking out like a normal traveler, he takes the opportunity to practice walking in a fashion obviously designed to call attention to himself. Then he goes back and does it again. It's like the game's begging you to tell the guard, "You know what, I guess he hasn't left yet. See that idiot? That's him."
  • The 9th Man in Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors attempts to kidnap Clover at knifepoint to force her and Ace to open one of the doors, believing it to be his ticket off the ship. He immediately messes up after that by attempting to go through the door by himself even though Zero explicitly stated to all of the passengers that everyone who opened the door had to go through it, and is "rewarded" with a very messy death after being exploded by the bomb planted in his small intestine.
    • Arguably justified because Ace told him that the game was altered so that the bomb wouldn't go off if everyone didn't go through the door. Given what Ace has done over the years though, the 9th Man would still justify, just for listening to him.
  • The enemy AI in Scott Pilgrim isn't smart enough to avoid obvious and fatal environmental hazards. They'll walk into pitfalls and through roaring fires without a second thought.
  • In Sim Ant, when the ants are in the house, they can walk into electrical sockets and die.
  • The guests in Rollercoaster Tycoon can be this if you're feeling cruel. Sure, let's ride that incomplete rollercoaster. What could possibly go wrong?
  • The Church of Unitology in Dead Space. What they worship? An Artifact of Doom that turns you into mindless, bloodthirsty, psycopathic ZOMBIES. And then, even after investigating the setting of the first game, they bring the ship back to a densley populated human colony. Granted, that's not as bad, given that the Artifact of Doom was destroyed and the ship was harmless. Until they make a new, bigger Artifact of Doom. And intend to make even more. What happens next is easy to guess. At least the small group of Unitologists you meet eventually end up dying in the vacuum of space by a Cavalry Betrayal hostile-to-you-and-them gunship.
  • The people of the planet depicted in Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Phantasia suffer from this collectively. Periodically, somebody builds a massive Mana cannon that devastates the environment and frequently causes The End of the World as We Know It. As soon as the dark ages caused by its previous use are over, they get started on the next Mana Cannon, and are then astonished when it makes things worse instead of better. You'd think they'd notice the pattern after the third time or so, but no.
    • The first time around isn't actually an example, as the only country that would have been able to pass on the information about the Mana Cannon's first firing was Thor and it was hit directly by a comet after the other two nations destroyed each other. Symphonia is an example though, because not only is the Mana Cannon extremely dangerous to the world, it is one of the direct causes for the world being in the shape it is in.
    • Symphonia and Abyss's characters have a common habit of keeping secrets and vital information from their fellow comrades and the player, which sometimes leads to needless injuries, deaths and plot complications that could have been avoided.
  • In the Portal universe, the entirety of Aperture Science deserves a posthumous stupidity award for empowering their AI Is a Crapshoot Master Computer, who had already been proven to have murderous intentions, to release a deadly neurotoxin throughout the facility. Portal 2 explores this further by revealing that when they ran out of test subjects in the 1980s, the researchers began testing their inventions on themselves. The founder, Cave Johnson, died of poisoning from deliberately ingesting moon rocks.

 GLaDOS: This. Sentence. Is. FALSE (to self) don't think about it don't think about it...

Wheatley: Um... TRUE. I'll go "true". Huh. That was easy. I'll be honest, I might have heard that one before, though. Sort of cheating.

GLaDOS: It's a paradox! There IS no answer!

  • Interplay, as a company, has fallen into this trope.
    • Step 1: Have Blizzard, Bioware, Black Isle, Parralax, and Volition developing games for you.
    • Step 2: Convince those companies to develop new intellectual property, which you own, that are critically acclaimed, well known, and easily allow for sequels to be made. This is the last step where you are legitimately allowed to make money.
    • Step 3: Stop any attempt to advertise games to save money.
    • Step 4: Cancel sequels for every intellectual property you own.
    • Step 5: Use your intellectual property to rush out games using your intellectual property in whatever genre is the flavor or the month. This ensures the original series fan base is unhappy because the game lacks all of the gameplay qualities that made the original games good. Fans of that gameplay genre ignore it because the game was rushed out and not the same quality as the other games of that style. Also, the story lacks the complexity of the longer developed games and often falls prey to Did Not Do the Research. Failure Is the Only Option.
    • Step 6: Rather than selling off your franchises, make up for what losses you can, and disband the company, create elaborate licensing deals with other, more successful companies resulting in costly legal battles.
  • Buster Badshot from the classic arcade game Cheyenne (made by Exidy of Death Race infamy) is implied to be this. He's supposedly a bounty hunter who goes after various gangs (with various "creative" names), but all he ever does is walk around the stage (or drive the stagecoach in one level) while the player has to protect him (and get the gangs). Indeed, even his last name alone seems to imply this.
  • Esher from Myst V: End of Ages. He admits to Watson that he considers his Mengele-esque experiments on the Bahro essential. And he wondered why Watson did not give him the tablet?
  • The citizens of New York in Prototype. You're driving a tank, and they think it's a good idea to run right to you.
    • Practically anyone who thinks it's a good idea to go one-on-one with Alex Mercer and isn't a Super Soldier.
  • Hector: Badge of Carnage has many of the inhabitants of the town of Clapper's Wreake qualify but the town's police force qualifies almost to a man. By the time Hector takes over the hostage negotiations they have lost 37 hostage negotiators. They just keep sending them forward and the Terrorist keeps shooting them in the head with a sniper rifle.
  • Too many to count in Fallout: New Vegas, but the thugs in Camp Searchlight stand out. This gang of looters are hanging out in a basement in a very radioactive town full of giant scorpions and ghouls, looking for radsuits. You know, the things you'd expect to bring before going in? If you bring them the wayward suit package, they'll agree to split the loot with you, if you help them loot the police station and the fire station. Note that the fire station is home to a gigantic queen scorpion, which you'll have to help take down. Once you've looted everything (because the thugs do nothing but loiter around), their leader tells you that he's going to kill you now. At this point, you're probably pointing your powerful gun at his face already, and blow him away (and possibly a few of his men, if you have the action points for it) the moment he stopped talking. Winner takes all.
    • There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Easter egg that counts under this trope. In Jacobstown, there are former resort bungalows which can be entered. One has a long-dead skeleton in an overturned chair next to a table where a card game clearly went awry. No points for guessing that the corpse on the floor was shot for being a cheater, as this trope first comes into play when the cheater's cards on the table are examined. Five kings. All of the same suit. It's entirely possible that they were shot for being terminally stupid, rather than just dishonest.
  • In many games, perhaps too many to name, AI (and occasionally player) characters have the tendency to fire small arms at large, heavily armored vehicles. Word of advice, your pistol is not gonna hurt that M1 Abrams barreling down the street. (Does not apply to Halo, though, where just about any weapon can harm a vehicle and/or it's driver.)
    • On the subject of Halo. It's worth pointing out that in a peculiar inversion of this, even a year after Halo: Reach was released, players still can't figure out that their weapons (DMRs, Sniper Rifles) can damage vehicles. Allowing enemy Warthogs or Banshees to wreak havoc while they wander around looking for a Rocket Launcher. While this fact has been present in every Halo game, it is most obvious and visible in Recah.
    • Even further back, still. 4 years after Halo 3 came out, and people still don't realize that bubble shields do not protect you from oncoming vehicles.
  • A large chunk of the Space Station 13 fanbase. The fact most of them hail from Something Awful explains this.
  • Arniel Gane in The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. He actually wants to replicate the event that caused the Dwemer to vanish from existence. Fortunately for the world, the shortcuts he takes in his experiment ensure that he is the only to be killed by his stupidity. Better yet, his ghost becomes a very powerful combat summon.
    • Also, Silus Vesuius wants to recreate Mehrunes' Razor, the artifact of Mehrunes Dagon, Daedric Prince of Destruction due to his belief that the Mythic Dawn of the previous game should be celebrated for nearly destroying the world.
      • Not to mention that he thinks he will be rewarded for assembling the pieces of the Razor when he's making you do all the work. Even the nice Daedric Princes don't hand out prizes for layabouts; Mehrunes Dagon decides that Silus can at least assist in testing your dedication in handling His weapon.
    • Boethiah's cultists. What sort of sane person chooses to worship someone whose portfolio includes betrayal? The second challenge for that quest includes you and the other cultists holding a Battle Royale to see who's most worthy to be Boethiah's Chosen, and the third is to track down Her last Chosen and kill him because She doesn't think he's up to scratch anymore. No matter what you do, your chances of survival are poor.
  • Many of the "be weird" options in Fantasy Quest are fatal and pretty obviously so. Like, say, jumping off a cliff.
  • Fritz in Brain Dead 13 at times. For example, in the intro, when Fritz was gonna blow up Lance with a cannon, Lance tricks Fritz by shouting, "BOOM!" Fritz evily laughs, but stops, and the screen cuts to Lance saying, "Hiya, pal." Fritz then screams as his eyes pop out of his head, then checks if the cannon fired, and gets blasted in the face. Fritz is invincible, however.
  • Ships in the X-Universe piloted by NPCs or Player Mooks will always take the most direct route to their destination. Even if that route goes straight through a Xenon sector and they are not equipped with a jumpdrive to hop over it with.
  • There's a minigame in Runescape that requires you to escort people through an extremely dangerous swamp for rewards. There are 6 people, 2 being easy to escort, 2 being a medium difficulty escort and the last 2 being hard difficulty. While one of the two hard escorts seems to understand that anything other then hiding behind a rock will get her killed, the other, a rowdy and excited old man, will gladly assault the giant snakes, panther-like monsters, spirits, giant snails and the boat eating tentacle monsters, with little consideration for the fact that he's more fragile than soggy toilet paper.
  • The Demoman in Team Fortress 2 in the fluff makes some very terrible choices. Opening an obviously possessed book after a wizard told him not to. Working with explosives while drunk. Going to battle while drunk. Attempting to blow up the Lock Ness monster as a child. It is a miracle that he has ONLY lost one eye.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer: Provided you chose to proceed with the invasion of the Fugue Plane instead of defending against said invasion, Araman pulls a Last Villain Stand on you after the battle when Kelemvor has already agreed to let you try to get your soul back. Factor in that your party most likely consists of four 30th-level characters at this point.
  • One of the endings in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines involves siding with the local Kuei-Jin -- outright alien Asian vampires that despise the Kindred as barbaric monsters and normally kill them on sight. It ends about as well as you expect.
  • One Blackbox audio log in Prototype 2 involves an autistic child getting his family killed because of his refusal to speak to the Blackwatch soldiers.
  • Paragon City is actually called "The City of Heroes" in-universe, a fact that is well-known and well-publicized throughout the city. So the street thugs you meet at the lowest levels should know better by now than to draw their weapons and charge at the people in costumes. Even if they do know better, it doesn't stop them from trying, anyway.
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