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"I know I'm supposed to be all 'the one', but I have too much fun killing everyone."

This is the potential a video game has for the player to do awful, horrible things to enemies or even friendly and neutral NPCs.

It can be knee shots causing screaming, telekinesis to literally play catch with guards, punching out scientists, or many, many other things. Something Awful has dubbed two specific variations of video game cruelty as Asshole Physics and Asshole AI.

Some games specifically cater to this; these often skip out on a Karma Meter. This can also be the carrot along the path to The Dark Side for players in a game with a Karma Meter.

The severity of this trope varies. Some games only let you be cruel to your enemies and give harmless NPCs immunity. (Harmless enemies will still be fair game.) Other games let you torment random NPCs you meet along the way. Still other games give you absolute, unchecked control over your subjects.

This trope is often used for laughs. Remember, though: Just because a game lets you do something doesn't necessarily mean you should do it.

Contrast Video Game Caring Potential -- though sometimes helping your little drones means doing horrible things to their enemies... See also What the Hell, Player? and Video Game Perversity Potential.

One of the Acceptable Breaks From Reality. You may laugh at video games, but if someone did this in Real Life? You probably wouldn't be laughing. And if you are, then you're a sick freak.

Sub Tropes to Video Game Cruelty include:

If an example fits in one of the subtropes, it doesn't need to be listed on this page.

For examples where someone takes joy in being a dick to other players, see Griefer.

Straight Examples:

Action Adventure

  • Not only can you kill all the main characters in Heavy Rain in a variety of cruel ways, one of Ethan's trials requires him to cut off his finger. You can get him drunk to ease the pain, grab a piece of wood to put between his teeth, and sterilize his finger...or you can skip all of those and grab the saw.
    • If you grab the saw or the scissors, you have to do another QTE to hack the rest of it off.
  • In Epic Mickey, you can melt not only bad guys, but friends as well. You can dump Oswald's children into a bunny pool. You can turn blotlings into friends and then knock them into a pool of thinner. The game even has a Karma Meter throughout the entire thing.
    • The clock tower in the small world attraction? You can destroy that too.
    • Petetronic? Turn him into the MCP. Hook? Throw him into an animatronic Tick Tock the crocodile. Mad Doctor? Uh, both ways, you destroy his machine and send him flying. Shadow Blot? Thin him out. The actual Phantom Blot? LAUNCH FIREWORKS AT 'IM!
    • Early in the game, you have to choose between saving a Gremlin or catapulting him away for some E-tickets.

  Gus: Mickey! You chose E-Tickets over the safety of a Gremlin! You launched him to who knows where! You are supposed to be the hero! You are the hero, right... Are you?

  • Subverted in The Legend of Zelda series: you can't kill the chickens. In fact, in most cases, they kill you. (No, Hyrule isn't in Soviet Russia, but the chickens are imported from there.)
    • Tip: Link's Awakening chickens are vulnerable to magic powder and fire. Time for revenge! This works on the dogs in that game as well. That's right: you can immolate your neighbors' pet dogs.
    • In Ocarina of Time, you can ride your horse over the chickens on Lon Lon Ranch. Since you couldn't be damaged while on horseback, a flock of chickens would fly behind you waiting for you to get off.
    • Don't forget about the fairies and how you're essentially imprisoning them in little glass jars against their will. In The Wind Waker, their expression when bottled is clearly visible, and pitifully sad.
      • Parodied beautifully here.
    • Also in Wind Waker, the pigs can kill you. Especially on Windfall Island, where there are so many of them; if you attack one long enough, ALL of them will turn red, surround you, and literally attack and try to kill you.
      • Not to mention that later on in the game, there's a giant black pig on Link's home island which can do 3 hearts of damage if you tick it off. That's more than any boss, including the final boss himself.
      • When pillaging the various lookout towers, many times you will knock a Bokoblin off the edge. Sometimes, though, the Bokoblin will catch onto the side to prevent himself from falling. In response to this, you can actually stab his hands to make him fall to his doom. Also, the Fire Arrows will make a Bokoblin run around frantically while burning, obviously in pain. This gets even better when he runs into one or three of his comrades and accidentally sets them alight as well. Who knew you could be such a bastard in a cartoony Zelda game?
      • If you sneak up behind a moblin you can stab him in the ass, causing him to yelp in pain and hilariously dance about. Keep being sneaky and you'll eventually ass-stab him to death.
      • One particularly horrible/wonderful thing you can do to Bokoblins in Wind Waker occurs in an early lava-themed dungeon, in a room where a thin rope bridge covers a gap over lava. It is possible to use Link's spin attack to sever some but not all of the ropes holding the bridge up, causing the bridge to be weakened; it'll hold his weight, but not the weight of two people. After cutting the ropes, you can bait a Bokoblin onto the bridge. It snaps under the weight. The player can guide Link to safety with quick reflexes, but the Bokoblin is not so lucky, and it falls into the lava.
      • During the final battle with Ganon, it appears that there's no Boss Arena Recovery. Actually, you can ... hookshoot your helper Zelda to steal some hearts from her...
    • Violence against chickens has actually become a staple of any longtime fan's playing experience, mainly because the retribution eventually inflicted upon you has become a Running Gag in the series, one that reached its logical conclusion in the Oracle games, where if you bothered the chicken enough, a giant chicken twice the size of Link himself would show up to kill him.
      • And then there's in Link's Awakening, where you can eventually get Marin to cheer you on as you slaughter her chickens.
    • Kakariko's cursed family in Ocarina of Time, unlike most friendly NPCs, will register sword hits. You can't actually kill them, but you can make them scream in agony repeatedly.
    • In The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Twilight Princess, beating chickens lets you take control of their bodies, and you can make them jump into lakes or off tall structures. If you spot a pair of boar riders aimed at a cliff -- and the game helpfully spawns some every time you enter Hyrule Field -- shoot the boar. It will scream in pain and sprint cleanly off the cliff, dragging its panicked riders with it.
      • In an uncommon example, consider the Poes, whose souls you rip out from their bodies, and they writhe in agony as they boil away.
      • There's just something satisfying about running through Castle town while in wolf form and freak everybody out.
    • In The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks Spirit Tracks, you can attack Zelda with items when she's possessing a Phantom. She'll get agitated when you hit her with the boomerang and yelp if you attack her with the Snake Whip.
      • Hit her too many times, though, and she'll crush you.
      • Ironically, you need to attack her a few times; it's the only way to get her to drop an item that she can't set down in a fixed location.
      • What is really fun is standing in the middle of some sand, then attacking her. She runs out onto the sand and then sinks.
      • You can also fire a cannon at birds, cow-spotted pigs, and golden dolphins. Or you can use it to kill adorable flying elephant things that try to charge you that would be scared away just by blowing the whistle.
      • When Ferrus is taking pictures beside the train tracks, you can hit him with a cannonball for a satisfying little yelp.
    • In OoT, you can throw a chicken into the ravine on the way to the Gerudo fortress. Or for added fun, you can grab it and jump into the ravine, making it flap its wings furiously trying desperately to keep itself aloft with your added weight.
    • After you've emptied the well in OoT, throw all seven chickens down there. Then start dropping bombs. Totally worth the inevitable chicken revenge.
    • In the Wind Temple of Wind Waker, there is a room with a huge bladed anvil that slides back and forth. Guess what happens when the player decides to force poor little Makar to stand in its way?
    • In Majora's Mask, you can blow up Sakon. Strangely, he doesn't leave a body.
      • That's because you kill him by detonating the bag of stolen explosives he's carrying.
      • There's also a man in a tree outside the comet observatory. If you roll into the tree, you can knock him out of it, leaving him to clutch his injured leg while you take the rupees he was stealing from a crow.
    • Skyward Sword mixes the chicken formula up a bit with Skyloft's Remlit population. The small, kitten-like creatures are completely docile in the daytime, but at night, they become highly aggressive, and the only way to make them stop attacking you is by giving them a few well-placed sword swipes. After you've done that, you can go ahead and toss the little creeps off the edge of Skyloft for extra satisfaction, but they'll save themselves by flying back up with their ears.
      • Another point in the game, you have a love letter you could either deliver to a student's crush, or you could give it to a ghostly hand in the toilet. Either way, the girl ends up with another student. Then again, it's Cawlin who wrote the letter.
      • The real cruelty potential comes out if you give the letter to the ghost hand. Visit Cawlin soon after that, and he'll complain of constant nightmares. Visit his room that night, and witness Cawlin whimpering in terror in his sleep while the ghost hand caresses him, having fallen in love with him. That's right, you not only broke his heart, you condemned him to a lifetime of night terrors.
      • In the Fire Sanctuary, there are two mogmas hanging in the air. While you cannot hit them with an arrow, the slingshot, beetle, and gust bellows all hit them.
  • The survival adventure game Raw Danger allows you control of several characters, each of whom get multiple opportunities to be a giant prick, from insulting people to out-and-out Murder One.
  • In Predator Concrete Jungle, you can sneak up on Mooks and civilians alike and kill them in at least a dozen ways, from crushing their heads to tearing them in half with your bare hands.
  • In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, you end up traveling through several towns and villages, and are free to slice up anybody you see and suck their blood. The game has a day/night cycle, which means you can break into people's beds and kill them in their sleep. And that's not even going into the items you can use, which include shuriken which instantly flay the flesh from enemies' bones, and an orb which forms a mini black hole centralized on your target, crunching them into the size of a marble. Kain himself describes that last item as "the cruelest" of the powers he employs.
    • Not to mention, the game's equivalent of shops are fonts where you sacrifice some of your blood for items. Later in the game, you get the power to mind control other people, and bleeding them to death for items is a highly beneficial activity. "Nobody says it is Kain's blood that has to be sacrificed."
  • Using your vehicle's laser gun, you can shoot at friendly boats and airships in the bay in Beyond Good and Evil. They'll shout funny things at you (one of them is even a friend of your family, who calls you out on being a jerk) until they get really annoyed, at which point they call the cops. The cops will fine you... if you don't evade them and escape first.
    • You can also use your Disc Launcher to kill the green spiders in certain areas, which are otherwise completely and totally harmless. But they spit out money!
  • The video game adaptation of X-Men Origins: Wolverine is MADE of this trope. You're dealing with a man who has indestructible metal claws. People are going to be dismembered. Not to mention quick kills, environmental kills, and the VAST majority of ways you can literally tear people apart. It's a very satisfying game for that reason.
  • Okami. You start out being able to tackle people and bite them. By the time you reach the endgame, you can explode, shock, freeze, and burn any NPC in the game, from innocent shopkeepers to kittens.
    • You may also headbutt those kittens off the cat tower to have them plunge to their deaths.
  • Shadow of the Colossus makes it nearly impossible for you to kill your horse, but you can still shoot an exploding arrow at him (the blast will simply cause him to fall over, limp a bit, then right himself up). With excellent timing, (as the exploding arrows take longer to adjust into position and don't launch as quickly as regular arrows), you can shoot one of these suckers into the eye of the tenth colossus.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum lets you have some real fun in the challenge rooms. So there are five guys patrolling with guns, meaning you need to stick to the shadows and use stealth. Excellent! Sneak up on a guy and take him down, leaving his buddies panicking! Blow up a wall, knocking down two guys at once! Grab a guy and leave him hanging from a gargoyle -- then, when his buddies come to look him over, use a Batarang to cut the tether and scare the crap out of 'em!
    • You can also spray some of your gel right next to them, then set it off when their friends come to check it out.

Action Game

  • PAIN is about firing people at buildings and billboards with a giant slingshot. Cruelty and, well, pain are the entire point.
  • Assassin's Creed goes a way to averting this trope. Killing civilians will get you de-synched, and there are no children walking around, again, for this very reason. With a reasonable degree of inventiveness, the determined sadist can kill civilians, however (i.e, by dropping lifts on them, or poisoning a Brute (causing him to swing his weapon around) then throwing gold around him).
    • ACII-onward averted this because the game had you automatically getting desynchronized if you killed too many (i.e, 3-4) civilians in a short span of time. The first plays it somewhat straight; while you do lose synchronization ("health") each time you kill a civilian, it regenerates over time, and there's no set limit on how many you can kill without getting a game over... which make it all the more satisfying to stab the lepers and beggar women.
      • On top of that, after winning the first game you were allowed to run around killing with impunity.
  • The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Considering that the main protagonist is the embodiment of Bruce Banner's suppressed rage, it's no surprise that the player gets to do some pretty mean things. Players can pick up policemen, soldiers, and absolutely defenseless civilians alike and beat them up, throw them from buildings, into the sea, or traffic. Speaking of which, all cars, clearly driven by mere passers-by, can be picked up, destroyed, thrown, or crushed into metal gloves, whereas buses can be crushed and used as surfboards. Several buildings can be destroyed, different destructible objects piled up for bigger explosions, lampposts can be turned into clubs... In fact, there are several side-quest minigames that make a pronounced point out of cruelty. One particularly noteworthy example is using a metal girder to bat soldiers away for distance records. On top of all of that, one unlockable changes the Hulk into his gray "Mr. Fixit" incarnation, who gleefully throws out one-liners about the suffering he causes.
    • Hitting people with a lamppost makes a very satisfying "PONGK!" sound.
      • The giant fighting robots the military sends to fight you can get not only IMPALED with the lamppost, it can pin them to buildings. Watch the operators inside struggle to unpin themselves before their robots explode with glee.
    • The Hulk actually has two special moves he can use when holding civilians. One has him putting the civilian down and patting them on the head. The other has the Hulk flick the civilian and send him flying. You can also do a dramatic elbow drop while holding someone. While it doesn't hurt them, it seems cruel to basically pile drive some random person off the tallest skyscraper there is.
      • Notably, that special move where the Hulk gently puts the civilian down and pats them on the head can be turned into one of the crueler things to do in the game; they will always run away from you screaming after you set them down. Always. Even when you set them down on top of skyscrapers, they will run away off the top of the building and fall to their deaths.
        • And that means ALWAYS always. For example, if you pick up the broken body of a hapless civilian which you have just finished smashing before they disappear and put them back down with a gentle pat on the head, they will revive, leaving them vulnerable to more unspeakable Gamma-fueled cruelty.
    • Like the Spider-Man example, you can pick people (or mecha) up and then piledrive them off a skyscraper and into the street below. Even better, Hulk's piledriver is a 'chain throw, meaning you slam the poor schmuck into the ground, bounce up into the air, and repeat for as long as you can keep the combo going.
    • For once, this trope is justified until the last two missions by the character of Devil Hulk, a being in Banner's mind who compels the Hulk to wreak even more chaos than usual; one of the goals of the game is to fetch the parts for a machine that will allow Banner to enter his own mind and deliver a smack down to the Devil.
  • In Lego Batman (and assumedly the other Lego games), you can beat up your allies. Including Alfred. The temptation to wander around the Batcave beating up the various batfolks is almost overwhelming. The Batcave is also possibly the most dangerous area just because nothing has handrails and it's incredibly easy to either walk off the edge or 'accidentally' push someone off. And then you go to Arkham... and the fun noises the various rogues make when you beat them up -- with other rogues. Plus of course, having Poison Ivy destroy every plant she can.
    • You can beat allies up in other games. Die, Jar-Jar, die.
      • There's actually an Xbox achievement for destroying Jar-Jar 20 times. It's called Crowd Pleaser.
    • And sometimes the game will even automatically add Batgirl to your party if you select Joker. What sick bastard approved that?
    • In order to get the "Superhero" rating for the hero storyline, you have to get x number of studs per level. In order to do that, you have to break things. Ergo, Heroism = Vandalism. Breaking things equals FIGHTING CRIME.
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man, you get to run around as Venom and basically wreak cruel, cruel havoc -- including throwing cars at bystanders, snapping their spines, and literally draining the life out of them until they're reduced to shaking and lying in a fetal position on the street. It's...oddly satisfying after a hard day.
    • In the game of the first movie, there are several levels where you're hunting gang members on rooftops. One of the elementary moves (alongside tying people up, which can often qualify for this as well) is to snag them with webs and yank them over your head. Combine this move with the natural property of roofs to include precarious edges, and you've got a party. Bonus points for your mission radar (which includes an 'elevation' bar) tracking the descending gangster on his short trip to the ground.
    • Then there's the second movie game, in which you can pile drive bad guys off the Empire State Building.
      • You can also throw them into the ocean, off of a building (though much less exciting than pile-driving them off the Empire State Building), or into other bad guys. Add this up to the numerous hideouts and Bad Guy Bars...
  • In Mirrors Edge, your character doesn't carry any weapons and can only use the weapons of disabled enemies until the magazine is empty, so most of the time you just beat them unconscious or, which is an even better idea, just run away. As all the enemies are cops and the entire plot of the game revolves around saving the main character's sister, who also is a police officer, it's also easy to consider them not deserving to be killed at all. But at the same time, almost all of the game takes place on the roofs of very high skyscrapers, with cars and people appearing only as tiny dots on the ground far below. Let's just say that none of the roofs have handrails.
  • The early 80s Lucasfilm game Rescue on Fractalus had you flying around a hostile planet in your space fighter, rescuing friendly pilots stranded there. However, if you weren't interested in actually rescuing your comrade, there were plenty of ways to kill him instead, such as turning on your fighter's engines when he's outside (instantly incinerating him), shooting his crashed ship while he's sheltering inside it, or refusing to open your airlock when he knocks to be let in (the acidic atmosphere of the planet eats through his spacesuit and kills him if he stays outside for more than a minute -- you can actually hear his knocks getting fainter and feebler as time passes).

Adventure Game

  • In Snatcher, Handsome Lech Gillian Seed can flirt with almost every woman in the game, walk in on Jean Jack Gibson's daughter while she is showering (and she was 14 in the original JP version of the game; chances are her raised age in Western countries was due to how Squicky the scene could be.), force a Robot Buddy to watch a porn movie, and go to a strip club. The problem? Gilliam is married.
    • Gillian has nothing on his Spiritual Successor, Jonathan Ingram, from Policenauts. Gillian can hit on every woman. Jonathan can outright molest every single woman in the game, including fondling the breasts of every single female character. The remake for the Sega Saturn actually upped the amount of Fan Service "due to popular demand."
  • In updated rereleases of The Secret of Monkey Island, one Xbox Achievement/PS3 Trophy requires you to let Guybrush drown. Gee, thanks for making me feel guilty just for a virtual reward!
  • Both Little Big Adventure games pretty much allow the player to attack anyone. Some of the NPCs can even be killed (only to come back later once you leave the area), and some of them will fight back. Note that most of the friendly characters can't be hurt, but if they fight back, you do get the damage. In particular, try beating up the kids near the beginning of the second game when it's still raining, then go outside and watch an... interesting cut scene.
    • The second game also has some locations that allow for creative ways of killing the Franco guards. One can be lured onto an electrical bridge while it's turned off and fried on it by pressing the switch in time (complete with X-Ray Sparks). Another one can be tricked into following you into the space suit chamber on the Emerald Moon and sucked into space when you put the suit on, opening the gate.
  • There is one part of Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders where you have to raise hell on an airplane to loot the crucial stuff you need from it. First off, you plug the sink up with toilet paper and call the stewardess. She quickly shouts "Oh no!!!" and starts cleaning up the mess. Then, in order to keep her completely distracted, you go to the microwave...set in an egg and then BOOM! The stewardess then asks what the awful smell is and notices the microwave on the airplane is a mess. "AAAAAIEEEEEE WHO DID THIS?!" Poor stewardess... Zak would end up on Not Always Right for that!
    • You can also kill animals in inventive ways (Bludgeoning a squirrel, running a fish named Sushi through a garbage disposal.) Unlike tormenting the stewardess, these are optional.
  • In Maniac Mansion, it's possible to steal Weird Ed's pet hamster, put it in the microwave, blow it up, and then show him its exploded corpse. Of course, he'll kill you for it, but it's worth a shot at least once, because hey, not many video games allow you to nuke hamsters in a microwave!
    • Subverted in the sequel, Day of the Tentacle; Laverne revives the frozen hamster in a 22th century microwave oven, while delivering An Aesop. (She explains that in her century kids who microwave their hamsters are taken away and put up for adoption, so don't do it.)
  • In The Journeyman Project, you can dispose of the robot in NORAD by turning up the pressure in the sub dock and watch him crumple like a pop can. You lose points for a non-peaceful resolution, though.
  • In the flash game Haunt the House, your goal is to scare everybody out of the house; you're warned not to freak them out too much, or else they may "do something stupid" (i.e. jump out of a window and kill themselves). Judging from user comments, quite a few people have finished the game by deliberately killing everybody.
  • Each mission of Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (video game), you start with a landing party of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and a Red Shirt. There is always, always a way to get him killed. Painfully.
  • In Sam and Max: The Devil's Playhouse, you have to use ventriloquism to distract the Samulacra -- you can have Max throw his voice into a warehouse, making the Samulacra assault the door. Or you can use ventriloquism to have them assault Bluster Blaster or Sal, depending on who you like least.
    • There's a totally pointless Easter Egg in Ice Station Santa which lets you fling bleach-laced yellow snowballs in the face of each of The Soda Poppers, just in case you don't like them.
  • There used to be a list of evil actions you could take in the Quest for Glory series, titled Quest for Evil by the discussion board members that came up with them. They included such things as killing the unconscious EOF opponent when told to in QFG2 and stealing coins from the musicians in QFG3 and 5. In 5, the musician would even thank you for stealing by playing a song for you.
  • In addition to a certain amount of required rat-abuse, Ghost Trick also lets you cause a couple of hilarious alternate deaths for people you're allegedly trying to save. It can be very hard to resist the urge to, for example, recline Detective Rindge's chair while he's driving, or, when Yomiel shoots Inspector Cabanela, swap the bullet for a nearby hard hat instead of the knit cap you're supposed to use.
  • In the 16-bit era Pac-Man game Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures, you do not control Pac-Man directly, but act as his offscreen helper, guiding him along and helping him achieve his various goals. It is very possible to put the poor guy through a lot of suffering. Some of it is unavoidable, like where you have to induce a crow to attack Pac-Man in order to knock down an out-of-reach item. The downside to tormenting him is that he'll start ignoring your cues and you won't be able to proceed further until his mood improves.

Arcade Game

  • Many arcade games from the mid-80s allow players to use vehicles to run over mooks -- some examples include Ikari Warriors (tanks), Top Gunner (jeeps), and Speed Rumbler (modified sports car). The ur example is TNK III, a tank battle game where not only are you allowed to run over enemy soldiers, you have an incentive to do it because running them over actually refills your Life Meter.
  • One of the earliest examples of this trope in any video game is the arcade game Death Race from 1976, where the whole game is chasing down and running over people fleeing your car. They scream when hit, and a tombstone appears on the screen to mark the kill. Ostensibly they're supposed to be gremlins, but with the primitive graphics of the time they just look like little people. The fact that the game's working title was "Pedestrian" doesn't help.
  • In Phoenix, there are stages featuring large birds that hatch out of eggs, grow to full-size, and come swooping down trying to crash into you and kill you. When the birds are full-sized, you can earn points by shooting them in the body, killing them instantly, or shooting out their wings, which wounds them for a few seconds until the wings regenerate. Whereupon you can shoot out their wings again for more points, and again, and again....
  • In Spy Hunter, you drive a cool car full of gadgets like machine guns, oil slicks, and missiles, while you battle with a slew of enemy agents in their own cool cars trying to kill you. There are also numerous civilian cars and motorcycles, and you're free to machine gun the civilians or run them off the road to your heart's content. Every time you take out a civilian, however, the computer prevents you from earning points for a few seconds.
  • Paperboy! The game where everyone on the block who doesn't subscribe to your newspaper is a target for unchecked vandalism. Smash their windows, shatter their porch lights, knock over their statues, destroy their shrubs and planter boxes, or run over their flower beds... don't worry, you won't get in trouble! Complete all of your assigned deliveries successfully and they may take out a subscription themselves, even if you broke every window in their house yesterday.

Beat Em Up

  • In Ninety-Nine Nights, you can kill unarmed civilians when playing as Inphyy or Dwingvatt.

Driving Game

  • In Midnight Club 2, a streetracing game, you drive along the streets of LA, Paris, and Tokyo and are free to crash into any obstacles you want, and that includes pedestrians as well. Doing so will, however, lower your speed.
  • In the game Carmageddon, you have to race on a very limited timer. The only ways of increasing your time is to go past checkpoints, destroy your competitors, or kill civilians. You would get bonus time if you killed them creatively (splatter bonus, anyone?). On top of that was the fact that winning the race casually is nearly impossible, because The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard.
    • There are three ways to actually win a Carmageddon race -- either finish the laps first (boring/impossible), destroy every single competitor's car (what 99% of victories consist of), or run over every single pedestrian on the map. Keep in mind that these maps are the rough equivalent of four square miles and there are several hundred pedestrians.
    • Despite the stated goals for the level, Carmageddon may quickly become a sandbox once the player gets the hang of the basics or gives in and uses the built in cheats. Some examples of cruelty include the following:
      • Carmageddon 2 onward includes not only pedestrians, but also wildlife. Repeatedly crash through an elephant until the recorded crash sequence includes the sounds of metal tearing, flesh and bone crushing, and elephant trumpeting overlaying each other for an amazing noise. Execute this from an airborne, tumbling trajectory to produce a video with which you may impress and entertain your friends.
      • Pedestrians do not always explode on impact. If the pedestrian is not struck with enough force, it may lose a single limb, or even simply fall down and briefly spray a bit of blood around. Such hits are apparently cumulative.
      • Fill one of the hangers on the Airport Level with random, inanimate objects such as boarding ladders, sound barriers, private jets, and helicopters. Use the forklift, of course. Bait a competitor into pursuit in the direction of the hangar entrance. Make a clever turn or use the repair reset to get out of the competitor's way and activate the Pinball Physics special. Frame-rate dropping, error clipping, bouncing, exploding Hilarity Ensues.
      • Locate or otherwise gain the Suicidal Pedestrian special on a particularly pedestrian-heavy level. Hold very still, watch, and listen while the crazy fools charge the player's car and throw themselves against it while blood, limbs, and torsos fly. If the pedestrian is unfortunate enough to end up on top of the car, they will appear to hump the car until their bloody, limbless demise.
      • Mind you, the above involve effort. For a more laid back game, just locate a Pedestrian Electro-Bastard Ray and have your car automatically zap all nearby civilians with lightning. Carmageddon takes the “potential” out of Video Game Cruelty Potential.
  • Some of the older NASCAR titles had this. Especially the ones that let you turn around and drive backwards until you catch up to the field. Or just the ones that let you ram intentionally. And repeatedly.
    • EA Sports' NASCAR '98 had a code that allowed you to shoot lasers from the front of your car. Turn off cautions, park in a turn, and when the pack comes back around, let the fun begin! Win races by simple process of elimination!
  • Twisted Metal: Destroying Paris while Frère Jacques plays in the background on electric guitar? Hell yes.
  • In Indy Car Racing II, you can put the damage-rate of your car in indestructible-mode. Then disable yellow flags and the pace car. Then go racing. Now you can push off all the other cars and make them crash horribly. Often they will remain on the track after crashing. Especially on ovals, this has the wonderful and destructive result of other cars hitting them at full speed, causing massive, moving balls of wreckage that get hit over and over by other still functioning cars, scattering car parts all over the track (too bad they don't flip over). You can even turn around and take the track in reverse. If you time your head-on collisions well, you will launch the car you hit backwards. Often, it will then travel along the wall for a half to a full lap (going backwards) while totally ripping itself to pieces. Finally, it will come to a rest, or smash into some other cars that were still racing, causing more crashes. Then drive past all the wrecks until you're in the leading position. Now hit the race accelerator, and win the race!
  • The Burnout series gives us Crash Mode and Showtime, which consist of smashing up as much traffic as possible.
    • Burnout: Revenge introduced traffic checking, which allows you to smash vehicles out of your way.
  • In Flat Out and Flat Out 2, the ragdoll minigames usually consisted of you LAUNCHING the car's unfortunate driver out of the windshield and into bowling pins, a chainlink fence, flaming rings, etc. Combine this with falling long distances and landing on a metal beam and a disturbing crunching sound when one of your bones was surely broken for instant fun.

Edutainment Game

  • In the old-school days of Oregon Trail, it became common practice to play "Suicide Trail" (aka "Oregon Fail"), trying to achieve a Total Party Kill as soon as possible. There is also a lot more cruelty potential in the sequel, such as administering Worst Aid or taking the more dangerous routes. Beware though, you may be punished for it.

Fighting Game

  • Professional Wrestling games can get this way too. Get a no-DQ match in, the ultimately-buffed character, some poor jobber, and inflict pain in a very customizable manner. Especially if you lost the prior match to disqualification, too -- remember no-DQ? Remember how the referees of late actually appear in the ring?
    • Is it wrong to put the Great Khali against Candice Michelle? Is it so wrong?
      • Not when Candice is kicking Khali's butt.
    • Some normal moves have a cruelty potential all their own, especially when replicating certain matches...
    • Particularly hilarious is to change movesets around and manage to humiliate everyone involved. Did Triple H really just skip to the ring like Mickie James and do the splits like Melina when he got there? Did he grab John Cena and spank him in the middle of the ring to open the match? Was Cena's response to stand up and work his hips lewdly at Triple H in a taunt? Yes. Yes they did. And it was awesome.
  • A variation to the pro wrestling example can be found in the UFC 2009: Undisputed video game -- since the match can go to a decision, and the crowd doesn't get a vote, why not drag out a horribly unbalanced match-up? Example, fifteen or twenty-five minutes of Lyoto Machida leg kicking James Irvin, with Machida (at least in the release version) having low enough Strength that he's unlikely to knock Irvin out, or as long as your striking defense is up to par, sticking Demian Maia against any middleweight with middling or lesser grappling.
    • With 2010's enhanced graphical effects, it's possible to repeatedly strike the opponent in the body, creating humongous red welts on their torso. Enough body shots will stun and knock down the opponent, but will not KO unless they're too close to the edge of the cage. It can eventually reach a point where every body hit will cause a knockdown, all while Rogan and Goldberg remark that hits like that are probably breaking ribs. Yes, that's right -- you can deliberately prolong the match just to see how many bones you can fracture!
  • The Soul Series allows you to continue wailing on a character after KO'ing him or her. Made even more cruel by the KO'd character letting out a death scream for every hit after his or her death. In fact, in IIIs Legend mode and IVs Arcade mode, you get an "Overkill" bonus for doing this as much as possible.
    • You can extend the cruelty by using throws and attack grabs, since the replay will not kick in (stopping the overkill) until the throw animation has ended. Certain characters get to extend the punishment to almost 10 seconds by chaining throws one after the other, Ivy with her sword-impaling attacks and Astaroth or Rock with their variety of grabs, including catching in midair or lifting you off the floor could probably take away a second life bar after they KO'd you.
  • Any fighting game with fatalities could fall into this trope, but special mention has to be made for Samurai Shodown V Special. In all the games in the series, it is possible to "accidentally" kill an enemy by using the right attack on the right part of their sprite as a finisher, usually cutting them cleanly in half. Samurai Shodown IV introduced actual fatalities which were messier. In most games in the series, Nakoruru (the Nature-Loving Girl) and Rimururu (her younger sister) were immune to any death effects. In V Special, however, not only was it easier to kill an opponent, but these two characters were no longer death-exempt. There is something disturbing about chopping the twelve-year-old in half or making her cute sister explode in a shower of blood and body parts.
  • Toribash. One of the ways to win a Judo tournament is to make the opponent touch the ground with their hands. There's no rule saying that they have to be still attached to the rest of the opponent.
  • In the Mortal Kombat series, after you have beaten your opponent, the game prompts you to "Finish Him!" Each character has a special coup de grace attack you can use to deliver a brutal and completely gratuitous death blow.
    • Taven's quest in the Konquest mode (which is basically another game within the game) in Mortal Kombat Armageddon really adds a new dimension to just how cruel the Mortal Kombat universe can be. It's no surprise that Taven can murder defeated enemies in the game with his bare hands (in four different ways!) and with various weapons he picks up, but to unlock a treasure, Taven must kill an opponent after he's already surrendered, been rendered helpless, and has even given him help on his mission, immediately after Taven promises to spare his life in a cutscene. Worse, there's one point where you can not only beat up some monks who have done nothing to you, but you're rewarded for doing so. That Taven is explicitly set up as the noble hero of the game makes things more screwed up or hilarious, depending on your POV.
  • Rumble Roses has "Humiliation" techniques characters can use if just beating their opponent into submission isn't cruel enough. The game can also be set to only allow humiliation victories, and various game modes encourage or even require it. Also, no character is ever knocked unconscious; beating on them just makes it harder for them to escape pins/humiliation/etc, so if you have the upper hand in a match, you can pretty much pound your opponent mercilessly until you get sick of it and decide to pin her to put her out of her misery.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, after you K.O. an opponent, you can press the start button to interrupt your victory pose and continue attacking your opponent who is lying unconscious on the ground. You can even pull off a hyper combo if you're fast enough...

First Person Shooter

  • The first Medal of Honor as well as its sequel, Medal of Honor: Underground, gives you the ability to hit certain body parts on enemies. This results in hilarious animations.
    • Examples include shooting an enemy in the balls while standing close to a thrown grenade, or, when they pick up a thrown grenade, you can shoot them in the arm, which results in them holding on to the grenade and having it explode in their face.
    • Better yet, Soldier of Fortune's "gore zone" system allows you to bloodily destroy individual body parts, and relish the horrific death animations.
  • Bioshock and its sequel BioShock 2 firstly allow you to dispense with enemies with varying degrees of sadism. The greatest cruelty potential, however, is in how you deal with the Little Sisters. Dealing with them in a certain way results in immediate material gain for you, but existence failure for them. The shame the player may feel over acting so selfishly is exacerbated in the sequel by the re-tooled design and voice acting of the Little Sisters ramping up their cuteness and vulnerability; oh yeah, and the way that if you Harvest the Little Sisters throughout the game, you bring about the worst possible ending, and you also have to play the final section of the game alongside Eleanor, knowing what a sociopath you've made her and not being able to make it better.
    • In Bioshock 2, you can also shoot the unarmed nice old nanny on the face, or put a drill through her head. She's only taunting you a little bit, and doesn't try to fight at all.
    • Then there's Cindy, one of the little Sisters you can encounter with her biological father (who is now a Big Daddy) Meltzer. While there are exploits to avoid killing him, canonically, you do have to kill him. Cindy, being a little sister, is still subjected to the "immediate material gain" method above. Reading into the back story of her, you realised that her father gave up everything to make sure she's safe, only to have you pull the literal plug on her without a second thought.
  • Call of Duty
    • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has the infamous "No Russian" level in which you gun down unarmed civilians in an airport. You can CHOOSE how many people you kill; the game doesn't care either way. The game allows you to skip the level, and there's no completion penalty if you do.
    • Call of Duty: World At War has a moment in the level "Eviction" where you can choose whether to kill wounded and dying German soldiers after an explosion in Berlin. Worse of all, later on, you get called evil in Chernov's diary if you kill them all when Reznov reads it after Chernov's death.
  • Deus Ex allowed you you to take people out non-lethally and abuse the unconscious bodies in all manner of ways until they finally exploded into giblets. Or, for that matter, just sticking them with slow-acting tranquilizers and watching them run in circles until they fell over. Drop them off high places, feed them to wild animals, or collect them into piles arranged in neat rows or spelling out short messages visible from above. You can also withhold food from a homeless child in Battery Park, walk into a women's washroom at UNATCO (making the female worker in there insult you), and freak civilians out by shooting near them. Great fun for the whole family!
    • While not particularly cruel, at least compared to some of the other things described here, this video is certainly amusingly brutal.
    • Does it count as cruelty if you try to wound the enemies until they are low on HP by shooting them several times with a handgun, before using up one of the precious tranq needles? It works, but it is kind of conscience panging, seeing them run around like idiots, but at least they've stopped shooting you.
    • In the sequel, there's a secret one-of-a-kind sniper dart gun that, rather than knocking them out, once their health drops below half, sets them on fire. You can do this to the children in a school.
    • What a shame. He was a good man; what a rotten way to die. I don't know what else to say.
    • It should also be noted that this is one of the few games that allows you to kill children. In the sequel, you can even shoot up a school.
  • Deus Ex Human Revolution allows you to perform takedowns, both lethal and non-lethal, to any character you find in the city. Want Adam to go on a ho-slapping spree? Go right ahead.
    • Talk a man out of suicide... Then kill him. Also, the groin attack takedown.
    • That 'any character you find' bit? It can include the grieving mother of your ex-girlfriend, your former partner from when you were a cop, and a kindly (though senile) old woman who saved your life when you were a baby and has been saving up birthday money for you ever since. To spice things up, you can choose to stay your hand and let a man die in absolute agony even though he's begging you to kill him. Of course, if you don't have the stomach for wanton slaughter, you can always emotionally destroy people instead! That grieving mother? Go ahead and tell her exactly how horrifically her daughter died. After being kind and sympathetic to an emotionally-shattered former colleague, convincing him to open up to you, you can tell him that he's a pathetic, child-murdering scumbag when he begs you for forgiveness.
  • Turok
    • Turok 2: Seeds of Evil. Cerebral bore. Why shoot, stab, or plasma-vaporize the enemy when you can fire a self-guiding orb at them that will embed itself in their forehead and start digging, with sickening whirring and gushing noises, and then explode?
    • Turok: Evolution. All the cuddly cute animals roaming the forest? Most can be shot dead.
  • In Postal 2, in fact, it is conceivably possible to chop off a random bystander's arm, then chase them down and subdue them to self-wetting pain and terror with a taser attack, douse them with gasoline, and burn them to a hideous char before dousing the flames with urine, step on the victim's back and "ride" them as they try to crawl, sobbing, away, and finally finish them off with a dose of anthrax... and then decapitate the body, kick the head around city streets like a soccer ball (sending other bystanders who see it into hysterics), before crushing the thing with a sledgehammer like a hellish Gallagher, splattering brains all about. Yeah. And this is a game that, technically, you could complete without harming anyone.
    • Don't forget that you can get dogs to play catch with the severed heads.
  • The original Syphon Filter had the Air Taser which, when used on enemies, would shock the living bejeezus out of them. And you could hold them in this state until they CAUGHT ON FIRE. Did I mention they would often scream horrifically the whole time? Also, this weapon is available from the very beginning, costs no ammunition to use, and counts as a STEALTH weapon.
    • Not to mention that it has infinite range. No scope, but it can literally hit at ANY distance as long as you aim accurately. Super sniper flame-taser with infinite ammo... so much fun...
  • Caleb in Blood 2 can regain lost health by killing hapless civilians (who uselessly shield themselves with their arms and beg you to spare their lives even as you hack at them with your knife) and harvesting their life force.
  • You're not supposed to be killing people in SWAT 4 (as the name implies, you are a cop), but there's no restriction on non-lethal weapons, so nothing's stopping you from hitting people again and again with beanbags fired from shotguns, pepper spray balls fired from paintball guns, tasers, flashbangs, stingers (grenades filled with hard plastic spheres instead of shrapnel), tear gas...
    • Alternately, you can just set the game to the minimum difficulty level, which allows you to advance to the next level with a score of 0. The only thing that gets your score below 0 is deliberately killing civilians. Shooting every bad guy in flagrant disregard of the rules of engagement? Hell, murdering suspects after they've already been handcuffed? No problem!
    • Because even failed or unwinnable-due-to-large-penalty operations won't be aborted, you can try to get as much penalty as possible. Kill your collegues, and shoot terrorists on sight. Or even better -- cop them and then shoot them in the head, committing cold-blooded murder.
    • The briefing of one early mission notes that an elderly woman known to be in generally poor health is likely to be an innocent bystander at the scene. In real life, most of your less-than-lethal gear would probably kill someone like her. But since this is a game, you can feel free to pelt her with all the tear gas and pepper spray in SWAT's arsenal!
  • In Half Life and its expansions, you can kill helpful NPCs for the hell of it, or in the case of Barney (and in HL:OF, the military NPCs) kill them just to get the extra ammo when they refuse to go another step. "Don't shoot, I'm a scientist" is just begging for it, really.
    • Killing some specific NPC's too early (or at all) can get you a Nonstandard Game Over though.
    • In the sequel, setting enemy soldiers on fire and watching them flail around in a vain attempt to put themselves out is immensely satisfying. Don't do this on zombies, though, as they will scream bloody murder.
  • The Darkness gives you the possibility to go around being a dog-kicking Jerkass slaughtering civilians, and the only thing that changes people's reaction to you is whether or not you're in Darkness mode... which is to say, random people in the subway will always be nice to you even if you've killed most of New York City in incredibly brutal ways, as long as you don't have Combat Tentacles sprouting from your back and shoulders. Which may in fact be accurate.
    • When a Mook manages to get lucky and actually seriously hurt you, it's oh so satisfying to dispatch him via painful and horrifying impalement using your aforementioned Combat Tentacles.
    • In the second game's Vendetta mode, one of Shoshanna's Executions is shooting the mook victim in the balls, then shoving her gun in his mouth and killing him while he's trying to double over.
  • Metroid Prime features a room with Space Pirates studying Metroids. You have two options here: go down to shoot the Pirates yourself, or kill the power to the room, releasing the Metroids and having a balcony seat as the Pirates start screaming and futilely try to fight off the galaxy's ultimate predator. (Really, it's only one option.) Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any video links.
  • In Unreal Tournament III, it is entirely possible to staple an opponent's corpse to a wall with the Chaingun. Especially fun is stapling them with a shard in the stomach, and firing a shard into their head, making their neck the length of their body.
  • Far Cry 2 was already mentioned in the enemy-killing section, but let's not forget that there are plenty of wild animals running around. Hmm, a herd of zebras, and me with a jeep, landmines, and a flamethrower... The possibilities!
  • Officially, the point of JFK: Reloaded is to see if you can replicate the Kennedy assassination with a mouse. Unofficially, it's generally used simply to see how many people you can slaughter and how much of the ragdoll physics you can enjoy. And, of course, there's killing JFK by sniping out the Innocent Bystander driving the car in front of him, then scaring JFK's driver with a few rounds, then taking him out just as the car speeds up. Presidential car slams into the back of the stopped bystander car. Secret Service agent sprints into the back of the car, almost certainly ruining his chances of ever breeding. It's also possible, should you hit the driver at the exact right time, to end with the Presidential car embedding itself in a distant wall.
    • Freelance Astronauts, a crew of guys who do Let's Play videos, took it one step further, playing HORSE with the game. Some of the shots include shooting Secret Service agents in specific places, or shooting off Jackie O's hat.
  • Jedi Academy, where to even begin? How about the Jawas of Tatooine that you can brutalize in all sorts of manners? Or the stormtroopers that you can grab with force choke and slam from wall to wall like rag dolls?
    • Force Choke, which lets you hold enemies off the ground, actually gives you much more telekinetic control than push or pull, so you can throw them into each other, slam them against things, lift them over edges and release, or escort them into electrified/burning/toxic stuff. They still remain aloft after they've died of suffocation.
    • As your Force powers get higher and higher, you can jump above enemies and force pull. What goes up must come down! If you're lucky, you can get 'em to comedically slam against stuff. Also, there's nothing like using the Jedi Mind Trick for a Let's You and Him Fight scenario. And some of the Finishing Moves are rather un-Jedi-like, such as combining force pull and saber stab to pull them in front of you in order to shish-kebab 'em. And there's one gun that shoots a number of tiny spheres. Useless at a distance because of how far they spread, but get up close and your enemy will go flying as if jet-propelled.
    • Or Saber Realistic Combat? You can control the dismemberment level caused by lightsabers!
    • There's one level that literally starts out with crushing a hapless mook by pushing a boulder out of your path.
    • Much of this also goes for the previous game in the series, Jedi Outcast.
    • Before Jedi Outcast, in Dark Forces 2, you had the option to kill civilians in various unpleasant ways, from Force Lightning to sticking a time-delay railgun charge on them (causing them to run about in panic for a few seconds and then explode -- hilarity!). This would, of course, net you a hefty amount of Dark Side points. Pushing them off a conveniently placed ledge, though? It's all fine with your Light Side buddies (as long as you don't Force Push them).
  • In the aforementioned Perfect Dark, there is a way of making the scientists in the weapons training facility an actual needle pad by pushing one of the crates from the hangar all the way up to the training room, jamming the door open with it, and then proceeding to throw poisoned knives or shoot bolts at the NPCs. Whichever method you chose, you could turn them into living chunks of blood, and their heads would tilt towards every direction because of the effects of the poison in the bolts/knives. Take up "how many knives can you stick on the scientist before the first one disappears?" as a hobby.
    • Mines also stick to people in Perfect Dark. Nothing could be more terrifying than having some secret agent stick a beeping Timed Mine onto your person, as you realize you've mere moments to live and there's nothing you can do to stop it!
      • Even more fun is playing the multiplayer with bots. Summon one of the bots to you, give him a nice shiny coat of remote mines, and then send him on his way! You can either detonate him yourself after a time or wait for somebody to shoot him.
      • Even better, throw Proximity Mines on the slap happy, disarm-using PeaceSim. When he tries to hug people, he blows them up. PeaceSim is then responsible for death, flying in the face of his beliefs!
  • Bulletstorm actually rewards the player for doing this. Watch the trailer and see for yourself. Atrocities give you points and are named things such as "fourth of July" and "gang bang." The man at the end, with the deadly explosive rope tied around his legs and primed to go off at any second, especially looks like he is not having much fun.
    • Hilariously subverted in the combo called Mercy, where you shoot them in the gonads and kick their heads off to "stop the pain."
  • Time Splitters has a few examples. In several levels, you have the option to either fight it out with mooks, or just shoot the explosives near them and watch them all get wiped out. There are also weapons called Plasma Grenades (or you'd probably know them as Sticky Grenades). When you hit somebody with one, it sticks to them as they run away panicking for several seconds before it goes off. However, if you stick it to their feet or legs, it won't just blow them away, it will launch them several feet in the air.
    • Also, the monkeys were put in the game for pretty much just this purpose.
  • In the Halo series, it's always fun to shoot your own marines. In the very first one, you can shoot Captain Keyes in the face with his own gun. This prompts Cortana to summon invincible marines to kill you, though.
    • In Halo Reach, killing a civilian causes your character to immediately drop dead.
  • In GoldenEye, killing too many scientists (or civilians in the single level that they are present in) causes a mission failure, but doesn't immediately end the mission. Considering how annoying and stupid they can be, spending an entire level killing all of the scientists or riding around in the tank in Streets for half an hour crushing civilians is immensely gratifying.
    • Turn on the 'All Guns' cheat. Get out a DD44 Dostovel. Shoot Natalya in the face. Don't even look back, she's dead now, thank God.
  • The Barney Fun Page.
  • In Yoshi'sSafari, it's possible to shoot Yoshi in the back of the head with your Super Scope.
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay allows you to kill many of the inmates you encounter. You can systematically empty the entire Single Max prison wing one person at a time, and your only punishment will be a temporary incapacitation each time. You can even contrive circumstances to kill a fair number of inmates in Double Max (such as disabling the lights in the diner and then making your way back there to go on a killing spree in the dark), which normally makes this extraordinarily difficult due to being chock-full of wall-mounted gun turrets and almost every area being highly visible.
    • In Assault On Dark Athena a helpless prisoner on the Athena is being converted into a Drone. He asks you to kill him to spare him this fate, but you can just leave him lying there, in which case you may well imagine him as one of the Drones you kill later in the game.
  • Judge Dredd: Dredd Vs Death, setting the lawgiver to incendiary while fighting street criminals results in them being burnt to the bone even from leg and arm shots. This will get the SJS set upon you fairly quickly.
  • The reboot of Syndicate tries to discourage this by not giving you Limit Break energy for killing civilians, but it's no actual hindrance.
  • Wolfenstein from 2009 allows the player to be exceedingly cruel to anyone on the opposite end of the barrel. Options include simply shooting them to exploding limbs with high caliber weapons, burning, blowing up, stabbing them in the throat with bayonets or vaporizing with one of the rayguns. All of it's excused by them being Nazis (and by the looks of it the worst psychopaths from all branches of the Heer and SS).

Four X

  • In Galactic Civilizations when colonizing planets, the player may sometimes be confronted with an event that can affect both the bonuses and the people on it, in which the player decides based on a Good/Neutral/Evil multiple choice response, going insofar as to sometimes commit genocide for more productive bonuses. It should be noted that these bonuses are often incredibly biased, as most of the 'Evil' choices have great bonuses whilst 'Good' choices not only have no bonuses, but oftentimes have DRAWBACKS.
    • Also note that the evil responses are HILARIOUS. "I've told you before, citizens are a RENEWABLE resource" for one of the ones where you have to sacrifice people. Most of the others require too much context to describe here.
    • In the larger picture, it's generally better to be seen as a Good civ than an Evil one, since other civs will be automatically distrustful of you if you're Evil, and more trusting if you are Good. Being Evil and attacking everyone around you will also quickly lead to other civilizations ganging up on you. It is possible to play the game this way, but you had better make sure your military and economy can handle that much conflict!
  • In Master of Orion 2, after conquering a planet in a ground offensive, you have the option of committing slow genocide after looting all the new tech and then moving in your own race. For the impatient, a modest fleet can destroy up to 30 million inhabitants in one round of epic bombing or even blast the planet into asteroids. For the impatient and greedy, biological weapons can wipe out the populace instantly while leaving the tech intact... but the rest of the galaxy will hate you for it.
    • A race that chose Democracy as its government cannot eliminate conquered colonists. It can, however, still use biological weapons or conventional bombardment.
  • Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri allows you to be a genocidal maniac. You can order your units to obliterate cities you've just conquered, killing every man, woman, and child inside in the process; the game gives you the approximate number of people you've murdered each time you do this. You can even annihilate YOUR OWN cities in the same way. You have a thing for nukes? How about Planet Busters that can engulf the heart of your enemies' civilizations in nuclear flame, instantly erasing three or four bases and leaving an inland sea where their capital city used to be? Use enough of these and you may melt the polar caps, drowning everyone on the planet who happens to live near a coastline. Maybe you want to commit mass murder without the pesky ecological side effects of nuclear holocaust? Just depopulate entire continents with nerve gas, or have your units destroy every farm in an enemies' territory and watch their population drop as their bases starve to death. If you prefer biological weapons, you can breed Mind Worms to paralyze your rivals with horrific hallucinations while they implant ravenous larvae into the still-living brains of their victims. The list goes on. And the icing on the cake? You can do all this as the leader of a free-market democracy under the aegis of the United Nations!
    • He really seemed to enjoy using this trope: In the original Sid Meiers Civilization, there were two ways to win. You could open a whole new vista for the human race by leading the colonization of Alpha Centauri, in a triumph of learning, technology, and the indomitable human spirit. Or you could just conquer the world by force. Now guess which was not only easier, but gave you more points.
    • Sid Meiers Colonization, however, really took the cake. The manual that came with the game talked specifically, and in no uncertain terms, about how evil the treatment of the American Indians by the European colonists was. The game itself, however, heavily rewarded the destruction of the Indians. About the dozenth time they have launched an unprovoked attack on one of your colonies, you will likely feel tempted to adopt a particularly violent form of Manifest Destiny.
  • Step one: Complete the Hub plot in X3: Terran Conflict. Step two: Use your newfound control over the game's Portal Network to connect four Xenon sectors to a populated area. Step three: Laugh maniacally.
    • Lampshaded: A character actually mentions this possibility in passing.
    • If another pilot ejects from his ship (whether because you bought it from him, or because he offered his damaged ship in exchange for you not finishing him off), they'll start floating towards the nearest space station in their spacesuits. You have the choice of leaving them alone, using them for target practice, or scooping them into your cargo bay and enslaving them at pirate bases.

Hack And Slash

  • Shadow of Rome actually rewards you for finding out just how many different ways you can kill someone in the arena. Force them to wet themselves by holding an arrow to their head and then shoot them while they pee themselves, hack off an enemy's arms and legs, then beat him to death with a limb, push enemies into fire traps and then throw the switch to incinerate them, push enemies into spike pits, duck underneath spinning blades and trick enemies into walking into them, smash their head with an iron ball and chain, kick a guy in the junk when their back is turned... There's well over 100 different Salvos for you to find, which means over 100 different ways to kill an enemy. Chop an enemy's head off and throw it into the crowd. They go absolutely nuts and cheer you on harder and give you health items and better weapons.
  • God of War is perhaps the king of this trope, as you can kill your enemies in ways that don't bear repeating; hell, one of the basic moves is to rip enemies to shreds with your bare hands. In fact, if you don't do horrible things voluntarily, the game will make you do them.
    • There's a very specific scene early on in Athens with Ares attacking the city proper and citizens fleeing around chaotically. The game rewards you with health for killing them.
    • In Pandora's Temple, one puzzle is solved by you lowering a suspended cage holding a soldier and, instead of freeing him, pushing him uphill to a machine that incinerates him. He pleads with you and shouts for help the whole trip, of course.
    • There's also one section where you're on one side of a chasm, and the only way across is to pull the lever on the other side and activate a bridge. Naturally, there's a civilian who'd be all too happy to pull said lever, but he's too terrified of all the monsters on your side. Pop quiz: how do you get across? Answer: Zap the civilian with lightning. His dead body will fall on the lever and allow you to cross.
    • And don't forget the sequel, where -- not once, but twice -- you must drag a helpless and protesting old scholar towards a book so that he can read it for you. Once you get him there, you brutalize him until he does what you want, then kill him. The real cruelty here lies in the fact that the game uses Quick Time Events (i.e., button-mashing) to literally force the player to put some real physical effort into this act of elder abuse.
    • Along with a scene where you have to kill an Argonaut by dropping him on a conveyor belt leading to a crushing wheel.
    • The third game ups the ante, by forcing you to drag a screaming and begging woman to be horribly crushed in a wheel... all so he can prop up a door. Why Kratos doesn't just use one of the very plentiful enemies in the area instead is completely unknown. What makes this better is that you brutally murdered her husband earlier in the game.
      • Brutally murdered in this case being poking his eyes out with your thumbs, snapping his neck, then throwing him off Mount Olympus.
    • At the very end of the third game, the fight with Zeus is ended off with a button mashing section where you're just punching Zeus's head in. Over and over again. You can do this as many times as you want before killing him, and it feels so damn satisfying.
  • Dantes Inferno has you punish or absolve the sins of the people and monsters you meet in hell. It is also, in some ways, a clone of God Of War, so similar examples to that game above abound.


  • In Kingdom of Loathing, certain objects are defined as alive in their descriptions; destroying said objects seems especially cruel. Two ways of destroying objects are smashing personal equipment, and having a Comma Chameleon eat familiar equipment. "Living" equipment includes: A (talking) miniature dormouse; Rhesus Monkey; Turtles (who are used as helmets)...
    • Hell, Turtle Taming in general. This is the item description for the Torquoise ring: "You convinced this torquise to grab and hold onto a ring setting, probably by threatening it with your pliers."
    • There is a certain two-handed club in the game called a "Flamingo Mallet." Yeah...
  • The Wings of the Goddess expansion of Final Fantasy XI introduced two monsters that are mostly harmless and/or beneficial: Lycopodiums and Pixies. Lycopodiums are a non-aggressive variant of the Mandragora (which is about the size and stature of a toddler) that follow players around and dance, providing the player with Regen if s/he has completed a quest. Pixies will heal and resurrect dead players whenever in range. In spite of this, players are not above carting groups of innocent, dancing Lycopodiums to their doom or killing pixies on sight. To make matters worse, pixies are known to drop Stygian Ash, a necessary item for claiming the notorious monster, Dark Ixion, giving players further justification for killing them.
    • And people wonder why Lycopodiums and Pixies went extinct.
  • In the classic BBS game Tradewars 2002, you could create a planet and then fly to Earth, land your spaceship, load up the cargo holds with millions of colonists eager to go into space, and bring them to your new world. Or, if you wanted to become evil so you could rob and steal and such, you could load up your cargo holds with millions of colonists, and then eject all of them into empty space; the game "rewarded" you for this by lowering your alignment.
  • In Dofus, in order to practice the enhancement and modification of magic items, one must use lots and lots of magic runes on items to practice. The runes come from getting items which enhance stats, and smashing them to extract the magic runes. Through a variety of ways, one can come into possession of "Bow Meows," which are cute and cuddly little kitties which follow you around. If you feed these kitties twice a day, they develop abilities to boost your stats... and since they are easy to get, they are a popular rune source. Alternately, there are some crafting recipes and the like which require one to skin a Bow Meow and use their ghost as an ingredient..
  • In World of Warcraft, there is a quest in Hillsbrad Foothills called "Do the Right Thing." You are given the quest after you see that there are humans buried in the ground with their heads sticking out, with Scourge roaming around in the area. Since you cannot allow the Scourge to reinforce their numbers by using the humans something has to be done about it. You are given the option of pulling the human out and letting him go free, but you are also given the option of bashing the humans heads in with a shovel you were given upon accepting the quest. Even more hilarious is that their heads EXPLODE upon doing this. Killing them even comes with its own debuff.

  Head Asplode: You should really reexamine your definition of "right."

    • One quest in Tirisfal Glades has you feed a pumpkin to a captured Scarlet Crusade member right outside where you get the quest. The pumpkin is laced with a potion that turns him into a ghoul, and then he breaks in half a few seconds later as if though he's been slain and of course respawns. Shame you can only do it once.
    • The Corpse Explosion spell in the Death Knight's Unholy talent tree can be used to blow up corpses of dead mobs and players for when mocking them by using an emote just won't cut it. Alternatively use it on your ghoul minions and turn them into undead suicide bombers.

Platform Game

  • Quite a lot of games allow you to beat up harmless animals and NPCs. For example, in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, you can beat up tortoises (who yell or make cranky reproaches) and rats (who giggle and say things like "Ooh, harder!" and "Don't hold back!").
  • In Psychonauts, you can set fire to squirrels and birds with your mind. And then eat them. You can also toss them against walls and stuff and they break apart into various pieces. You can't eat them afterward though. But you do get to hear Raz comment "Oops," "I meant to do that," and "I'll See You in Hell."
    • You can also try out your many psychic powers on your camp mates, who react differently to each and every different power used on them. Yes, you can even try to set them on fire. While they never actually catch flame, they do start to smoke a little bit.
      • In the Milkman Conspiracy, you can set the rainbow squirts on fire.
      • You can also enter into a trashcan's mind, then telekinetically throw them off the end of the world... while still being in their mind.
      • The best part is messing with their dysfunctions. If a girl constantly worries about setting something on fire using her pyrokinesis on her is several times as funny. And I dare you to stop trying to convince Chloe that the aliens have finally come to pick her up.
    • There's also a level in which you're (relatively) a titanic behemoth, allowing you to smash civilization and burn down puppy orphanages.
      • I always felt a fuzzy, warm feeling inside as I watched Raz squish tiny, scared lungfish. They flatten! And turn red!
    • Your Exposition Fairy, Ford, actually encourages you to be as creative as possible when fighting Censors. Since they're very weak Mooks who can be killed by almost anything, you can have a lot of fun with them.
    • Considering everything mentioned above, that's a hell of a Take That pun.
  • Tomb Raider features a variety of unique death animations for Lara Croft depending on how she dies. This can lead players to intentionally kill her to watch her writhe in agony or crash into rocks. In the commentary for Tomb Raider Anniversary, the creator comments that during the development time, it just wasn't a good day unless they impaled Lara on some spikes.
    • Ragdoll Physics took brutality to a new level in the otherwise sham-game Angel Of Darkness; videos exist on YouTube of players gleefully tossing the protagonist off a ledge to hear the scream and see the resulting death pose. While rag doll physics do exist in the later games, they are usually accompanied by a quick fadeout before the player reaches the bottom of the cliff, or the exact instant that contact is made, whereas the early games let you get a good look at post-mortem Lara for about eight seconds.
    • In the 2013 reboot right before Lara gets the assault rifle she blows a room up and mortally wounds a mook. He lays there helplessly and begs Lara to mercy kill him. You could do that, or you could simply walk away and leave him to slowly bleed to death.
  • The second Jak and Daxter game gives you free roam. Because for most of the game you're a Phlebotinum Rebel with a thing for guns and a Super-Powered Evil Side that isn't actually much worse than your normal side, you can do whatever you want as long as it isn't actually outside the game physics. Knocking civilians into the water to drown? Check. Reducing vast numbers of cars to burning shrapnel with the Peace Maker? Check. Beating everyone within a significant area to death with your bare hands? Big ol' check. An especially entertaining one is to steal one of the sturdier vehicles and piss off the Krimzon Guard...then brake at the exact right time so that the Guard on a bike who's following you careens into the back of your car and dies. It's fun when your enemies are Too Dumb to Live.
    • Perhaps even crueler is the fact that if you're in a large ship, you can fly around the city at high speeds ramming into citizens on small ships causing an instant explosion of the craft and the driver. You can do this multiple times with one large ship. It's delightful!
  • In some of the Ratchet and Clank games, you can achieve rewards for shooting down enough cars. Not that bad? Try the stage in the second game where you have to take on a Thugs 4 Less boss as Giant Clank on a small, heavily urbanized moon. You can knock down every single friggin' building if you take your time, and even be rewarded for it with health and ammo. And you're supposed to be the good guy.
  • Killing Omochao in Sonic Adventure 2 is a pretty good example. Simply shoot him as Tails/Eggman (tricky to do, because you can only do it without the auto-aim), jump on him as Sonic/Shadow, or punch him as Knuckles/Rouge to knock him off a cliff (easier to do the later in the game you try this). He still shows up, but says things like, "I'm mad at you. I'm not going to help you out anymore!" Which, for most players, is a perk.
    • Best way to kill Omochao? Go to the Space level as Sonic, and destroy a window nearby him. He will get sucked out and regenerate-- right next to the window. Cue infinite deaths of Omochao. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    • If you REALLY feel like kicking the dog, go into the Chao gardens and beat on any of the cute, harmless, innocent Chao you're raising there. Eventually, it'll start shivering in fear. Pick on it long enough and it'll eventually start hiccuping and rubbing its eyes. Carry on still further, and it will openly cry. After that, the Chao will run away from the character you abused it with, and if you pick it up, it will squirm and cry (in a manner that sounds a lot like "No, no, no!" and "Put me down!").
    • And you can do this with every single character. One after the other. And isolate your target chao in the Dark Garden, which is basically Fire and Brimstone Hell. So the poor chao has been beaten up systematically by six people -- Even Tails -- and abandoned in Hell next to a blood lake. You Bastard.
    • There is a pool in Sonic Adventure- in the hotel. It's shallow and mostly just there for decoration... except if you stand there long enough, it's one of maybe three places in the entire freaking game Sonic can drown. Seriously, there's no reason to do it, yet almost nobody can resist, it seems.
    • Worse off of the things in Sonic Adventure you can do, you could actually kill your Chao by attacking it seven times. Again, you can kill an infant creature by attacking it several times while it cries each hit. You can imagine why you can't do so in the sequel.
  • Shadow the Hedgehog also offers you a chance to abuse more Chao. One of the stages has a room full of little Chao running around and you can beat each one up and they cry and cry and cry.
  • In The Simpsons Game, you can hurt any NPC, which makes them run away from you.
    • Likewise, in Hit and Run, you can kick NPCs until they fall over. You can then kick them into the road, and run them over in a car... repeatedly. Unfortunately, all this does fill up your Hit and Run meter, and can fill it up quite quickly...
      • In other words, Homer Simpson beating the ever-loving hell out of Ralph Wiggum.
  • In New Super Mario Bros Wii, you can really screw over your fellow players. The down side is that they can dick you over just as much.
    • Really, combining the tighter jumps in the game along with the physics in multiplayer is more like Video Game Cruelty Provocation.
    • Also, there are those Toad rescue missions. You can throw them into an enemy, lava, or poison water. Or, you can bring them to the end, which gives you some 1-ups and a Mushroom House.
  • In the "Space Junk Galaxy" level of Super Mario Galaxy, before fighting Tarantox, you can actually kill the Toad Tarantox captured in his web before your battle with him by pulling the Sling Pod said Toad is tied to away from Tarantox's web-strewn planet and sending him flying into space. He does survive later on, however.
  • In Ren & Stimpy: Stimpy's invention if you're playing as Ren you can go up to Stimpy and slap him. (smack) "You stupid eediot!"
  • How big of an asshole can you be in Iji? Seriously, point, shoot, and you can hit Omnicidal Maniac in minutes. Alternatively, you can actually pull off being an Actual Pacifist if you work for it. so much easier to be cruel.
    • Thing is, though, the story will change if you go around blowing everybody to pieces, leading one boss to laugh at you for attempting to shoot your way to peace.
      • It's still fun, though.
  • Dynamite Headdy has a reward system of secret bonus points that you can root out and achieve through various means, the most common of which involves destroying odd looking enemies or certain stage props. One recurring bonus point provider is a large headed character named Bino, who seems to be something of a stage hand or extra, and every time you kill him (while he's doing nothing but minding his own business), he makes a pitiful little crying noise.
  • Several of the Harry Potter games allow you to throw things like boulders and exploding cauldrons at Ron and Hermione. Their complaints are hysterical. Adding to the hilarity, occasionally Harry will respond with a very insincere-sounding apology. Even better when they accidentally hit themselves with these things. You can also push them into spiky plants.
  • In the Cool, Cool Mountain world in Super Mario 64, you can throw the baby penguins off the cliff. Yes, even while momma penguin is watching.
  • And in Wario Land, you're rewarded if you throw a smaller Mook underneath a Thwomp or a lightning bolt, you are REWARDED with 10 coins rather than the usual 1.
  • In a mild case, in Super Mario Sunshine you can spray water at the Piantas, though it seems to only briefly annoy them.
    • How about the fact that one of the bosses is a squid that gets "disarmed" as Mario rips off its tentacles one by one?
  • In the Spyro the Dragon games, you can have Spyro breathe fire at NPCs, or attack them by ramming them with his horns, which causes them to jump or yelp in protest.
  • Rock Man 4 Minus Infinity:
    • Eddie can be killed. Just use the Recycle Inhaler and he turns into an Energy Splitter.
    • There is an Up'n'Down with a scuba mask in Dive Man's stage. Shoot at him to destroy said scuba mask and watch him drown.
  • In the third Crash Bandicoot game you can kill chickens with the wumpa bazooka.

Puzzle Game

  • It might be wrong to enjoy the screams of terror that erupt when the Prince rolls up living beings in Katamari Damacy... but if so, I don't want to be right.
    • In We Love Katamari there's a series of levels where a sumo wrestler replaces the Katamari. Sucking people into his belly was... fantastic.
  • Go ahead, try to find someone who hasn't shot those poor animals a single time in Boom Blox. Its sequel even has achievements for hitting them a number of times.
  • Lemmings is a classic example of this: there are lots of ways for the little things to die. Most levels will have a trap of some sort, including falling off the bottom or into water, or if you fall too far and splat. Or you could always just use the nuke button: ostensibly a way of aborting the level, but quickly became popular with frustrated gamers who would gather the lemmings into a small area and make them all explode in showers of confetti, the chorus of "OH NO!" just the icing on the cake. And there was even a level where you had to only save 10 lemmings out of 80, letting the rest of them splat. It's fun! (Notably, however, there is a non-trivial 100% solution to the same level...)
  • To balance out its Caring Potential Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 allows the player to earn or purchase charms that have a humorous effect when used on most NPCs (i.e., freezing them, forcing them to dance, making them laugh, making them throw up a slug akin to Ron's backfired spell in Chamber of Secrets, etc.). The real cruelty is when you find and purchase a dark wizard character, whom can cast two exclusive spells that can outright kill teammates and NPCs: one is the Cruciatus Curse, (overlaps with Wingardium Leviosa) which kills NPCs if you don't cancel it out (even though the curse in the books and films could not actually kill), though you normally need to use it on teammates 4 times to kill them. The other is the Avada Kedavra Curse, which kills most characters (including teammates) on hit. And when you use them to kill NPCs in Hogwarts they don't regenerate when you leave the room...
  • The Incredible Machine games allow the player to dream up countless ways to inflict terror and pain on Mel and the assorted fauna - it is possible to trap the immortal Curie Cat in a never-stopping intricately crafted contraption of agony, for example.
  • In Catherine, you can shove the sheep trying to climb the block tower with you to their deaths, lead them over spike blocks that cause them to explode in a spray of blood, or even squash them with heavy blocks. And remember, all of them are innocent victims of the nightmare, just like you.
    • You can also do this to your girlfriend Katherine if you want. You monster.
    • You're also allowed to inflict emotional cruelty on your fellow sheep in the game's downtime sections. Do this enough and you'll hear a news item in the waking world that so-and-so was found dead in his bed...

Real Time Strategy

  • Age of Empires and games derived from it make killing civilians a sound tactical move. Then again, most of the games are set before the Geneva Conventions and most civilians can take up weapons and attack the enemy anyway...
  • Dungeon Keeper 2 gives the player access to prisons, torture chambers, traps, fight pits, a temple where you can sacrifice your minions, and rigged casinos. So many possibilities...
    • Capture a group of heroes and convert all but one of them. Feed your converts, heal them, and train them while giving the odd one out only the barest amount of food and healing to survive the prison. Then drop the unconverted one into a pit and put his former friends on the sidelines to cheer as he's beaten to a pulp over and over.
    • Capture a hero. Drop him in the torture chamber and keep him barely alive until he gives some information. Reward him by dropping him in the fight pit with your meanest monster before returning him to prison and letting him starve to death, becoming a skeleton.
    • Line the walls of your hero lair with torture devices, so the heroes that serve you live surrounded by screams as you torture their former allies.
    • Take the monsters you don't want and lock them a sealed room without food, money, or beds. Wait until they get angry and revolt and burn them down with lightning. Have your imps send them to prison and let them rot into skeletons or vampire fodder. Or simply beat them into unconsciousness or death.
    • When Payday comes around, grab every minion in your domain and drop them in the Casino. Switch it to rigged and let the money roll in. Once you've got back some and the monsters begin to show displeasure, switch it back to normal and put the monsters back to work.
    • A monster displeases you? Stick it somewhere surrounded by lava so it can't reach the exit portal and wait for it to turn on you. Send your creatures to beat it up, then torture it into serving you. Repeat.
  • The PC and Amiga game Syndicate, where evil corporations use squads of cyborg hitmen to duke it out in bloody campaigns of espionage and terrorism, and where plenty of innocent civilians would end up getting caught in the crossfire even if you weren't aiming for them on purpose (and let's be honest, you probably were. Maybe you even have brought the flamethrower for that reason.). And if that wasn't cruel enough, you could even use mind-control devices to round up herds of civilians and use them as meatshields.
    • Why use them as mere meat-shields, when you could arm them all with miniguns, or - god forbid - gauss guns. (Of course, if you wanted to be really cruel to your mindless minions, you could lead them on to a train track or other soon-to-be fatal area.
    • Is it a subversion that the persuadertron (the Mind Control Device) would let you take over and own the enemy agents without firing a shot, provided you first took over a large enough number of civilians?
    • That one is probably closer to Mercy Rewarded, as the persuaded agents get a permanent spot on your team if there's a vacancy.
  • Even since Dune II, RTS players have been running over infantry in tanks. The crunching sounds just encourage you.
    • In a later game, Emperor: Battle for Dune, the Harkonnen light vehicle is the Buzzsaw. Unsurprisingly, it is good at destroying spice fields and infantry.
    • Way back in 1986 you could do this in the Origin Systems adaptation of the boardgame called Ogre, overrunning infantry with an AI-driven mega tank was not just fun but standard, orthodox tactics.
    • In the spinoff of its spiritual successor Command and Conquer, the first person shooter Renegade, you are actually encouraged by the tutorial to squish people while in a Tank. "Now you can practice Squishing!"
    • Feeling bored? Try marching your troops across a Tiberium field for shits and giggles.
      • This is actually a viable tactic. If your enemy's base is close to a tiberium field, letting enough infantry die in the field and morph into visceroids causes them to eventually merge into very dangerous large visceroids, which will soon start attacking the base. It's probably not as efficient as just attacking with the infantry units in the first place, but it's so deliciously sadistic!
      • Against human players this is a viable tactic because they will have to focus on the attacking visceroids, since they do not register as "enemies" and your units would not engage them autonomously. The little buggers also move extremely fast, making actually clicking them a difficult task as well. If left alone they can destroy entire bases within minutes.
    • In Command and Conquer Generals you can totally obliterate your enemies with more than one superweapon (either with Particle Cannon, Nuclear Missle, Scud Launcher) take your pick.
    • In Company of Heroes, not only can you run over infantry with tanks, but Sherman tanks can be upgraded with mine flails, a collection of weights attached via chains to a spinning motor. Their primary purpose is to destroy mines, but there's no reason why you can't use it on infantry.
  • Countless Critters of several Warcraft games have met their bloody end at the hands of various troops, thanks to myself and others.
  • Crusader Kings has this in spades, though some of it is governed by Random Events. You can assassinate little children to inherit titles, kill your wife for a new one if she doesn't provide you a proper heir, burn churches, revoke titles from your vassals for no reason at all, ruthlessly pillage enemy lands with your troops, force heathens to convert at swordpoint, and even steal relics.
  • Mech Commander allows your mechs to target and destroy civilian objects such as houses and cars (although you get no bonus for doing so--apparently civilian casualties are of no importance in the 31st century), and has the "lordbunny" cheat, which allows for infinite artillery strikes. While this has the obvious potential use of decimating enemy forces, it also can be used to annihilate huge numbers of civilian targets without wasting your mechs' ammo. You can call in dozens of artillery strikes to raze entire cities to the ground and, once all civilian buildings have been flattened, set the forests on fire, probably condemning Bambi to certain doom in the process.
  • In both Pikmin games, you can have control over put to 100 cute little vegetable minions whom you can do anything you want with, including throw all of them over cliffsides, feed them to bigger creatures, and my personal favorite, taking all my non-blue Pikmin and drowning them in a nearby body of water.
  • In Starcraft II, there is a level in which you control the Odin, a souped-up prototype Thor in the streets of the capital enemy world, and you're playing as a Tychus Findley.
    • Subverted you spend most of your time attacking Dominion forces, while civilians are unharmed in all the chaos.
  • In a mission in Sacrifice you have to destroy a tree for one Pyro but if you kill all the peasants around the tree Charnel rewards you for it.


  • Dwarf Fortress adventurer mode. Not only can you indiscriminately kill (although the guard will come down heavily on you for that one), but there's a fun way to kill people without getting into trouble:
    • 1. Find a dwarf, elf, human, or other friendly standing next to a tree.
      2. Set the tree on fire.
      3. Friendly dies, because DF is very, very bad when it comes to fire (unless you're after the laughs, in which case it handles fire perfectly).
    • See also: Elona, provided you aren't the one who started the fire.
    • The newest versions of Dwarf Fortress allow players to specify their attacks in great detail in adventure mode, including the type of attack and the body part to target. This includes, but is not limited to, grappling and breaking limbs and joints, hacking and slashing with edged weapons, bashing with blunt weapons and shields, punching, kicking, scratching, and biting. Given how the game generally doesn't use a hit point system and bodily damage is realistically simulated, players could potentially break an enemy's every joint in every limb, gouge out both eyes, bite off both ears and the nose, and cut open the enemy's torso so the guts spill out. The guts may, if desired, also be ripped out entirely. And this is all in one fight, against any NPC you choose.
    • Heck, you can be evil and cruel in any game mode. Adventurer? Randomly kill things and use the hilarious combat mechanics to torture an elf for three days with an iron whip. Dwarf Fortress? Magma traps (for purging useless dwarves), releasing poisonous creatures anywhere you want, evil temples with frequent blood sacrifices, and more. Kittens are butchered to make the game run faster. Magma is dumped on sieges so the player has less clean up later, useless dwarves are culled... The list goes on. The less said about Arena mode, where you can summon any creature with any level of skill and equipment you want, control any of them, and assign teams, the better.
      • When ghosts were implemented, players took to many inventive methods of inflicting on their own dwarves variously miserable deaths and/or torturous lives guaranteed to drive them berserk, in order to get their ghosts to appear. To kill more dwarves.

Role Playing Game

  • Rather mild Kingdom Hearts, you can not only run up and smack the Queen of Hearts (who dies in one hit) with your Keyblade and she falls in the battle with the card guards, but make Captain Hook's day miserable. You can simply light his pants on fire and cause him to run around in mid-air. Or knock him off the ship and watch as he yells "YOU'LL NOT GET ME OTHER HAND!!!" before he almost hits the water. Even more satisfying when you light his pants on fire and he puts it out right over the water.
    • Goofy is also the perfect height for you to throw barrels right into his face.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3D, should one of your dream eater allies get KO'd, a timer will start ticking down, and if it expires before you revive it, the dream eater will fade away, and leave behind a dream piece. The dream pieces left behind in this fashion can be of a higher quality then what's currently available through other means, meaning you can potentially create some better dream eaters earlier then normal by repeatedly creating and allowing weaker ones to die off (Though it's not exactly efficient).
  • You can be an evil bastard in Planescape: Torment. Especially to Dakkon. "Oh hey, this chick is suffering but can't commit suicide and you're their culture's euthanasist? And you swore a life debt to me? Torture her to death."
    • Or you could always constantly remind him of that debt. In every conversation you have with him, no less.
    • Or to Morte whom you had once pulled from the Pillar of Skulls, and get an in-game opportunity to put him back in exchange for information you can pay for in other (much less evil) ways.
    • The same can be done to other party members. Including your current love interest.
      • In fact, the game actually encourages this kind of personal, soul-crushing malevolence over random violence. If you start just killing at random, the Lady of Pain will show up shortly to inform you that you are not top dog in her city, but there is no major penalty for ruining other's lives with just words. Go right ahead!
      • That is part and parcel of the Clap Your Hands If You Believe nature of the setting. However, Video Game Caring Potential pays far, far better in the game. Kindness to Dakkon, Morte, and company can buff them to Game Breaker status, allow you to use a morphable shape-changing Infinity Plus One weapon, and bolster the status of your allies through hidden mechanics regarding their loyalty.
        • On the other hand, the Entropic Blade isn't that much worse than the Celestial Fire and you obtain it by being a complete monster. Even better example of utter cruelty: Dakkon's people used to be slaves and a huge part of their beliefs center around their escape from that slavery. A certain evil book will empower you with various spells for doing evil acts, including selling a party member into slavery. Hmm. Dakkon, come here a minute, I'd like you to meet someone...
  • Exploring in Might and Magic 2 you can stumble across a peaceful goblin village... and choose to attack. It was filled with standard goblins, but as many as the game could handle, and with the right spells you could kill them with ease. That's right, you could commit genocide.
    • When the series went 3-D, it became possible to also annihilate friendly villages as well, including the eventual release of a spell called Armageddon that wiped out everything except your party.
    • Dark Messiah has the standard "personal" methods of killing things: cutting them up with blades, bludgeoning them with staves, shooting them with arrows, setting them on fire/electrocuting/blowing them up/freezing them solid with spells, stabbing them in the back... and that's before you start exercising the game's specifically designed capacity for creative killings. Almost every single object may be hurled as a weapon (by hand or with the telekinesis spell), that freeze spell can make charging enemies slip and slide... off the cliff, charm spells will make them attack each other, and there are a disturbing number of spiked walls that seem to serve no other purpose aside from being something convenient for kicking enemies into as a change of pace from kicking them off ledges or into bonfires or fireplaces. Of course, since you play the spawn of a demonlord and the game forces you to choose between which of the two love interests you want to kill this is only to be expected.
  • The Neverwinter Nights module Aribeth's Redemption allows the player to continuously needle Aribeth about Fenthick. And, being the lawful good suicidally depressed Elvish former paladin she is, she sits and takes all of your insults as if she deserves it!
    • The evil options for every Optional Sexual Encounter in The Bastard of Kosigan. And the evil options for dealing with the prisoners in the Inquisition's basement in Cologne.
  • As might be expected, Knights of the Old Republic has a number of these if you choose to follow The Dark Side. You can destroy a personal assistance droid on Dantooine in the first game, then tell its distraught owner that it's still out there somewhere. Then there is the whole Sandral-Matale feud, which, depending on how you played it, could have a happy ending. Depending on how you played it.
    • The Sandral-Matale sequence may very well be the funniest The Dark Side sequence ever implemented in a video game.
    • Outside the Sith Academy on Korriban, you will see a student, Mekel, making a bunch of hopefuls stand at attention for days, with the promise that the last one left can enter the Academy. Needless to say, Mekel is just doing this for shits and giggles. Of course, you CAN convince some of them of the truth. But it is SO much fun to convince one of the poor saps that he has, in fact, won, and that his last challenge is to attack the guard by the gate. Goodbye.
    • The ultimate example is near the end of the game if you choose to become evil. You get the opportunity to force Zaalbar to kill Mission.
      • KOTOR was ridiculously, hilariously cruel. On the Sea planet Manaan, you've been asked by a worried father, Shaelas, to find his young daughter. Depending on your actions on the quest, you'll be afforded the option to shake him down for extra credits for his information, before finally telling him "I killed your daughter, Shaelas. And I'll kill you if you tell anyone about this. Now give me those credits!"
      • Hell, let's go crazy. In the sequel, after you defeat Master Atris, you have the option of letting her live. Or killing her. Which, granted, is pretty standard in KOTOR. However, for the sake of sheer cruelty, locking her in a chamber with Sith Holocrons for the rest of her life, letting her go gradually insane is the recommended choice.
      • Her reaction to The Exile leaving is like a lit match to Nightmare Fuel.
      • It was always impossible to resist the opportunity to play the thorough rogue on Korriban. The final test of the academy would leave the player character alone with the academy master, Uthar, and his assistant, Yuthura. If you suck up to Yuthura enough over the course of the academy's initial tests, she asks for your help in betraying her master during the final test. With him dead, the two of you will share power at the academy. You can accept, and then go rat her out to Uthar, who rewards you by advancing you further through the academy tests and gives you poison to plant on Yuthura, so that she will be weakened during the final tests. The fun part is going back to Yuthura, showing her the poison and telling her what happened. She will chide you for endangering the plan, but give you some poison of her own to use on the headmaster. The really fun part is going ahead and using the poison on both of them, leaving them to come to the slow and horrible realization during the final test that they've been triple crossed. Then you kill them.
      • The best part about being an absolute monster of a dark sider is how gleefully HK-47 reacts to your cruelty. Get your dark side score high (low?) enough and he'll come right out gushing over you and the number of new ways that the exile has taught him to be cruel. The dark side conversation option is something to the effect of "Stick with me, and you'll learn a few things," to which he replies "Oh yes, Master, I already have."
    • Never pass up the chance to ensure the untimely yet amusing demise of some thugs on Nar Shaddaa in the sequel, even while Light Side.
  • Jade Empire.....many of the Closed Fist options are downright cruel, especially the final choice of poisoning the Water Dragon's body with blood from your rebelling companions. The scene is actually a Tear Jerker, as the Water Dragon sadly looks on while you pour the blood into the machine. You then cruelly take her power.
  • Especially prevalent in later Ultima games, as complexity increased so can the twistedness of clever players. One example that leaps to mind, in Ultima VII one can bake bread. Stay with me here, one of the ingredients is a bucket of water. For some odd reason the game lets you use buckets of blood as well. More twistedness, the first bucket of blood you can find is at a murder site, and the son of the murdered man can join your party. You can, without the game realizing the implications, feed this son bread baked with the blood of his murdered father.
    • There are entire internet communities devoted to finding out the evil things you can do in Ultima.
    • One of the few good things players had to say about the ninth installment was that little thing involving Lord British and the poisoned bread. Go Google it.
  • Mass Effect lets you be particularly cruel to some people. One option you have: come across an alien commando who was betrayed by the leader she was devoted to, fed to a giant sentient plant, and out of thanks for freeing her, she gives you the critical Plot Coupon you need to keep going? Nope, sorry, she's too dangerous to let live. Bullet to the brainpan.
    • And yet, despite the killing, that was still nowhere near as satisfying as punching out an annoying reporter. On live galactic television.
    • That fanboy who you meet in the Citadel? Wants to help you out. Point a gun at him, so he'll piss his pants and run crying.
      • This is also one of the correct solutions. Not being cruel enough or not being nice enough when dealing with him will end badly.
    • It's probably not considered very cruel, but the game offers you the chance to let Fist live, or murder him as being "too dangerous to be left alive." What probably makes it more cruel is that none of your companions object to his death. Same situation with the warehouse workers who hesitate when you show up.
    • The renegade Shepard is generally a pretty terrifying person. Apparently pushing people up against walls/sticking guns in their faces is a normal way to end arguments.
  • Mass Effect 2 picks up right where the first game left off in allowing you to be as much of a renegade/bastard as you want to be.
    • One of your squadmates, Samara, is an Asari justicar who will ask for your help in tracking down a dangerous fugitive who also happens to be her daughter. If you feel that said fugitive doesn't deserve to die for their crimes, no problem! If your paragon or renegade score is high enough, you can choose to kill Samara instead, and the fugitive takes her place on your team.
    • This video shows what can happen if you pick the absolute worst options throughout the first two games (including, but not limited to, screwing around and letting the captured Normandy crew members die, romancing Liara, who eventually becomes the Shadow Broker and cheating on her with Garrus, alienating the entire Krogan species, killing Samara and letting Morinth take her place, letting Garrus [and most of your other specialists] die on the suicide mission, and letting Zaeed die after the SM by killing him during his loyalty mission). The end result is that the only people left to help you save the galaxy are a computer AI, a pilot and an amoral serial killer who has a tenuous loyalty to you. Almost everyone else is dead. Good going.
    • Something that was actually featured in a promotional trailer for the game was the ability to interrupt an uncooperative mercenary by kicking him through a window... on the upper floors of a skyscraper.
    • Downloadable squadmate Zaeed gives you a quest to hunt down a man who double-crossed him. Zaeed sets a fuel refinery on fire in the process, and keeping in mind that dozens of workers are trapped inside, renegade Shepard will reprimand him only by saying, "Hey! The next time you plan on blowing something up, tell me you're going to do it first!"
    • The fanboy from the first game makes a triumphant return in the second. And instead of pointing a gun at his face, you can actually shoot him. In Shepard's defense, he really was asking for it. (If you think shooting him is a bit harsh, you can also knee him in the crotch.)
    • "I've had enough of your disingenuous assertions."
    • Some players take advantage of Anyone Can Die to kill off characters, despite it obviously being detrimental to do so. If you intentionally choose not to upgrade the Normandy or do any of your crew's side-missions, it is possible to kill everyone in the final mission - including Shepherd him/herself.
    • Analysis: Defenceless herbivores are no match for guided missiles.
  • Mass Effect 3 makes cruelty a lot less entertaining. The list of people you can kill - you, personally - can include Mordin, shooting him in the back to stop him from curing the genophage; Wrex, after he finds out you sabotaged it; one of Samara's daughters (and you can let Samara herself commit suicide); Legion, if you let the quarians wipe out the geth, in which case you can shoot him four times; and you're directly responsible for Tali committing suicide if you let the geth wipe out her entire race. Renegade Shepard goes from being an amusing jerk to a Complete Monster.
    • Renegade Shepard? If we accept that the upper right choice on the wheel is paragon and the lower right choice is renegade (like it is for the whole trilogy), then siding with the Geth by allowing the upload is the PARAGON choice. That's the choice that wipes the quarians out and drives Tali to suicide in what is probably the single most gut-wrenching scene in the entire series. Rene Shep gives a slow clap. Bravo, Para Shep. Bravo.
    • Except that only happens if you make a series of choices that do not allow you access to the para or renegade dialogue options, or ignore certain missions before tackling the main one.
  • Arcanum offers lots of cruelty options, especially to the talented mystic. One particularly glorious possibility involves charming a wolf or bear, then walking to the nearest town, entering an occupied house, and releasing your control over the wild animal (but not before leaving the house and Magelocking the doors and windows). Other fun activities include using Force Walls and Walls of Fire to trap and burn the clothes off passersby and tricking NPCs into picking up and equipping armor that deals continual poison damage.
    • If you're really set on playing the game as an evil bastard, one of the required quests becomes to slaughter the entire population of a small, quiet out-of-the-way village. One of the endings you can get even involves you and the Big Bad killing every living thing on the planet.
  • Fallout also contains some amusing possibilities for the vicious Vault Dweller, such as planting timed explosives on random NPCs or - in one scenario I'm simultaneously proud and ashamed of - murdering an unarmed flower child with a single, well-aimed thrown rock to the back of the head. Let's face it: this series really goes out of its way to let the player be one evil, sadistic son of a bitch.
  • Fallout 2 has it even better. The best example would be when you force a conman, at gunpoint, to dig-up a grave where he has buried loot. Half-way through he sheepishly removes a booby-trapped landmine and hands it to you. A popular choice is to wait until he's finished digging, and...

 Chosen One: Hey Lloyd! CATCH!

    • In Modoc, you can persuade a guy to cut off his finger as a way of settling a deal. You can, of course, change your mind about taking part in the deal afterwards. "Now, take your finger and saute it in a light garlic sauce. Very tasty dish!" The guy in question doesn't react well to your prank and, after bandaging his hand, attacks you.
    • Broken Hills, leading a midget down a well, and them leaving them down there with the...things.
    • Just helping the anti-mutant guys in Broken Hills condemns their settlement and all its occupants. Turns out the humans can't survive so well on their own...
    • You can sic the Enclave on a peaceful mutant settlement, who send a strike team to slaughter the lot. Then the reactor fails, and poisons the water of a nearby city condemning them all to death too. All with one little phone call!
    • Annoyed by all those kids who pickpocket you? Get revenge by arming the explosives in your inventory, then reverse-stealing them into their inventory.
      • One must be careful with pickpockets and explosives. The pickpocketing children immediately try to fence anything they steal to nearby merchants, and explosive timers don't count down while in merchant inventories. The game, however, does remember the timer's state---buying the explosives back from the merchant will lead to a bit of a surprise.
    • The game specifically gives you the option to aim your weapon at the victim's crotch. In the very first village of Fallout 1, within 5 minutes of starting a new game, you can smash a young child in the nuts with a sledgehammer. Alternately, you could go back to that raider who used to kick your ass, and introduce his groin to your brand new powerfist.
    • Seducing a hillbilly son or daughter results in a shotgun marriage, unless you're a smooth talker. This hillbilly husband/wife will be entirely useless, and cannot be removed from the party. You can get a quickie divorce in New Reno...or you can sell them into slavery instead for a quick buck.
      • Or, you can rent them out to a porn studio as a "fluffer" for three bottlecaps.
      • You can also get back to Grisham and tell him that his son/daughter disappeared if you had a divorce or sold him/her to slavery. A heart attack will kill him.
      • You can feed your spouse into a hacked organ extractor (it can remove bowels) but this isn't quite so cruel.
    • Selling party members to slavers not enough for you? Join the slavers yourself and help enslave tribal savages. The fact that you're a tribal yourself won't bother boss Metzger, though the other tribals will be.... less than happy about your new career.
    • Give Cassidy some Jet. Order him to shoot up. Watch him have a literal heart attack. When he told you his ticker wasn't so good, he wasn't kidding.
    • Murder nearly every living creature in the game, be they man, woman, child, friendly, hostile, or unawares. There is nothing stopping you.
    • There were special ways you could sneakily assassinate the heads of the crime families in New Reno - some rather sadistic. To whit: re-arm Bishop's safe with explosives, then change the combination. BOOM. Give one of the youngest Wright kids a loaded gun, which results in him shooting his own dad. Give Big Jesus Mordino any kind of chem, even a Nuka-Cola, and watch him suffer a heart attack. Steal Mr Salvatore's oxygen tank, then enjoy the floating text as he slowly, so slowly, chokes to death.
      • Not to mention you probably got the combination to Bishop's safe by sleeping with his wife. You can also sleep with his daughter, and if you're a man and don't have a condom in your inventory, she'll get pregnant. Yep, you can literally screw that family over.
        • Though your offspring does do well in New Reno, as one of the ending voiceovers will tell you.
    • Some of the death animations when killing foes were pure Squee as well. How about turning the foe's insides into bloody gibbage with burst fire, blowing a football-sized hole in their gut with a single bullet, slicing them apart with laser, melting them into a puddle of goo with plasma, or crisp them with electricity - turn 'em into a neat pile of ash. And, of course, the flamer... set 'em on fire, watch them run around in flames before collapsing. Lovely.
  • In Fallout 3, you can walk out of the Vault, and arm a nuclear bomb in the middle of a major quest hub within five minutes. And get paid, well, for doing so. Big boom.
    • In a later mission, the leader of a "Matrix"-style simulation of 1950's Americana has gone nuts and begun torturing the other residents. The player is given the choice to help torture them or mercy-kill them.
    • You can't kill children. The game won't stop you from, say, laughing at a kid you just orphaned, or sentencing another kid to certain death, abandoned and the only human in an entire town in the Wasteland.
      • O RLY? You have to be logged in (it's free), but it's the Killable Children mod.
    • In early versions of the game, you could actually, with the help of a perk called "Mr. Sandman," slit the throats of sleeping children. And they'd live, due to being unkillable. This Good Bad Bug even led to a method of gaining infinite XP, until it was (sadly) patched out. Children are now unkillable even with this perk...unless you use the mod above.
      • It can be done in Fallout 1 and 2, and you'll even get a perk for it. The perk makes people hate you. Hooray!
      • Not only can you kill children in the first two games, but they have a full suite of death animations. Shooting a child with a flamethrower will cause the poor mite to run around screaming and burning until collapsing into a pile of ash. This was considered sufficiently gruesome that European versions of the game had to be patched to remove children entirely. Unfortunately, this was accomplished by simply rendering them invisible, breaking several quests and rendering the source of their floating dialogue inexplicable, as well as infuriatingly not stopping them from pickpocketing you. Ironically, these heard-but-not-seen children could still be killed by stray gunfire.
    • You can find, and turn in to be enslaved or destroyed, a synthetic human who intentionally had his mind wiped. If you do things right, he'll even beg. And you get a Perk for doing so.
      • Even better, you can get the perk AND a sweet, unique gun: Tell Harkness that they are an android, then tell him you'll kill Dr. Zimmer yourself, as otherwise you won't get the perk. You'll get his unique gun, as well as Good Karma. Next, tell Dr. Zimmer that Harkness is the android, and you'll get his perk and Bad Karma, neutralizing the Karma gain from earlier. Now laugh evilly as they wipe his memory and take him away. You could also kill Zimmer and his Bodyguard, but that's not nearly as cruel.
    • You can do the tutorial just beating the ever-living crap out of everyone. The funniest bit? After getting the BB gun the Kid keeps shooting daddy, who passes out just when the celebratory picture is taken.
    • There is an achievement for sticking a live grenade in someone's pocket and the game keeps track of how many times you do it with the "Pants Exploded" stat.
    • You can can use the fast travel system for some extreme sadism. Get the Experimental MIRV (a nuclear catapult that fires 8 mini nukes shotgun style), go to the center of Megaton and fire straight up. Fast travel to Megaton and you'll be right outside the town. Wait a few seconds and walk in. The only living thing in that area is you.
    • You can take a perk allowing you to become a cannibal. Enough said.
    • In what may be the most despicable example, you can make a man kill himself. Fans will gladly post videos of them nuking Megaton, but there are very little videos of said suicide occurring.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, a child will ask you to look for their lost teddy bear, Mr. Cuddles. You can find the toy, sell it to a trader for a few caps, and then go back to the child and tell them that Mr. Cuddles is dead. Evil in its most basic form.
    • For more teddy bear fun times, there's a child slave at the Legion encampment who also asks for help getting her bear back. You can tear Sergeant Teddy in half in front of her.
    • Oh, that's just the tip of the iceberg. You can sell one of your companions into slavery, kill a man and cook him into a meal before feeding his remains to his former colleagues, crucify a man, reprogram HELIOS One resulting in the slaughter of everyone there, blow up the Brotherhood of Steel bunker before Veronica's eyes, and much more.
    • New Vegas is the only one that offers you the chance to sell your companion to cannibals because they were short a main course.
    • You can exact revenge on the Legion for releasing a dirty bomb in an NCR held town by doing the same thing to their encampment nearby, killing everyone there including a family of slaves.
    • For consequence-free cruelty, you can attack Yes Man, whose submissive nature means that all he's able to do in response is to beg for mercy and talk about how much he deserves it. Of course, since he's an A.I., he can freely upload himself to any Securitron. Rinse and repeat.
    • There's one Legion quest that involves blowing up the NCR's monorail into New Vegas, then framing an innocent soldier so the Legion Double Agent can continue to operate in secret. One of the methods of killing the soldier, after planting evidence in his room? - distracting him with talk of a great prank you've cooked up, as you pull the pin out of one of his grenades.
  • Fallout's spiritual predecessor Wasteland allows you to attack some kids who laugh at you. As you kill them, more kids will appear and the atmosphere will get more and more creepy, ending with a puppy crawling into a dead child's arms and the camp suddenly looking as though it had been abandoned for years.
  • There are lots of opportunities for recreational mayhem in The Elder Scrolls:
    • All non-plot-important NPCs in Oblivion can be killed, making it possible to go on killing sprees of hundreds of individual characters. Plot-important characters can only be temporarily knocked unconscious.
    • But why just kill people yourself when you can get them to kill each other? The Frenzy effect causes the target to go berserk and attack the nearest person. Because it doesn't count as an attack, you can use it in the presence of guards without committing a crime. Riots are fun. You can start a Guard vs. Townsperson brawl that can result in every non-essential NPC in the town being ruthlessly slaughtered by the very guards that are supposed to defend them.
      • To add to the hilarity, drop some weapons on the ground (whatever kind you want) then cast the Frenzy spell. All affected NPC's will run over, pick up a weapon (if they don't already have one) and then go bat-shit on the closest person, friend or foe. Made even more hilarious on the PC version where there is actually a spell (added through a mod) that can both give and revoke essential status to ANY NPC. Yes, it is as hilarious as it sounds having a literally unkillable begger armed with with an enchanted Daedric longsword go on a murderous rampage. And the Grey Fox wants to help those little bastards too...
    • Poisoned Apples (which you get in the Assassins Guild quests) are a good source of fun. If you see an NPC sit down and eat, just put one on his plate. Ten seconds after they eat it and their poor, lifeless, limp body will be hanging from the chair.
      • Create a weak, but long-duration Destruction spell, say, 3 HP/Sec fire damage for 120 seconds. To the NPCs, that's a full hour of being on fire. Be sure to call this spell "Hell".
    • In the Shivering Isles expansion to Oblivion, part of the main quest requires you to reactivate a dungeon used to "greet" newcomers to the Isles. After you reactivate it, you see a group of adventurers come into the dungeon and enter 3 rooms. In each of these rooms, you get to hit one of two buttons to decide on the adventurers' fates. One of the buttons will brutally get them killed, while the other drives them insane.
      • Similarly, in the main game, there's one section of the torture caverns in Camoran's Paradise featuring an immortal in a cage hanging over a river of lava. There's a lever on the ground beside him. If you pull it, it dunks the cage and rises up another. Have fun.
    • Let's hack now shall we? Hack Hand-to-hand and adjust it to a disgustingly high taunt someone into attacking us. BLAM!!! Knocked out for three days straight. Three days later....they get up, remember that you insulted their mother and then come after you again. POW! Three days later...BLAM!!!!
    • In a similar way to the hand to hand example above, custom fatigue draining spells can be added to zero weight items, which when reverse pickpocketed into the inventory of essential characters to leave them paralyzed and unable to die.
    • Good fun can be had with demoralize (fear) spells, causing NPC's to run around in panic.
    • Skyrim continues the tradition, adding shouts into the mix. Much fun can be had with Unrelenting Force, which lets you knock others a few feet into the air by yelling at them. You can shout others off a mountain, and spend a few minutes climbing down just to see how far they fell, or shout them into a river and watch them get swept away and into a waterfall.
  • Fable allows you to slaughter practically every single person in the game, save for the first city (the laws prevent you from pulling out your weapon, but you can still pound away at innocents with your fists until they're unconscious), and if you're in a city, all you get as punishment is a high fine and a banishment from the area for a couple of in-game hours. In fact, in order to get one of the best weapons in the game, you need to sacrifice an innocent to an evil god at a certain time of night.
    • Best Level-up ever, or worst, uses this very mechanic in the first town. While the town proper does not permit weapons or even the mechanics behind them to work, it also makes the people unkillable. Thus, as soon as you enter the town for the first time, you can gain a huge in-game advantage through something referred to as the "Ike Turner Strategy." Step one: seduce a woman in that town (the men fight back, and can interrupt the chain). Step two: have her follow you to the adjacent area of docks, which is still part of the city so weapons are not permitted, but combat targeting and throwing punches are thanks to the boxing event. Step three: corner your immortal girlfriend in the warehouse via clever placement of crates, target her, and start swinging. Step five: pass the time. Change the TV to a movie, (maybe J-Lo's "Enough" to reduce karmic backlash) while holding the remote and tapping the attack button. In less than the two hours it would take to finish the movie, the physical XP earned (most notably from the CHAIN of successful hits) will be enough to MAX physical stats on a starting character. The only penalty is a similarly-maxxed out evil meter, fixable if you care to do so by killing bandits or just donating money to charity. The countless stories of spousal abuse buy-offs makes this a particularly ghoulish commentary within the game...
    • But why stop at killing? The game also lets you be an evil jerkass with business sense by permitting you to slaughter an entire village, buy up all the newly vacated property, and lease it to new tenants for cash. Murder for profit in the most literal sense.
    • It is indeed possible to kill people in Bowerstone, the city with the weapon prohibition. All you need to do is get the guards shooting at you with their crossbows and wait for some unfortunate collateral damage...
      • Why wait for the guards to do the dirty work when you can hire an armed mercenary who's inside the same city who is more than capable of killing NPCs?
  • Fable 2 takes this kind of thinking mans violence to new heights. The game has a semirealistic economy that functions as a result of how people are feeling. In short? Rampage through town to sink the economy, buy up all the property and jack the rent up to sink it lower AND make money faster, and then buy goods off your abused tenants at a hilariously low price!
    • In Fable 2, there's the Wheel Of Misfortune, which kills the sacrifice in a number of ways. There's one non-fatal fate: the victim is transformed into the opposite gender. (Which is, of course, hilarious.) As well, to get a special weapon that deals damage to "good" creatures, you need to sacrifice a spouse.
    • The best thing about killing your wives for a legendary weapon had to be the good points you got from doing it. Marrying a girl gives you 100 good points, x renown, and x money as dowry. Having a child with said girl gives you 50 good points. Sacrificing your wife for power gives you 100 evil points(-100 good points) and a small amount of corruption points plus money and with enough sacrifices the legendary weapon. You have a net gain of 50 good points for marrying, impregnating and then murdering a random girl.
      • As well, you can also sell people into slavery, rob stores, extort civilians for money, abuse spouses and your dog, carry out assassinations for quick cash and help drive at least one person to commit suicide.
    • Fable 2 also introduced subtargeting to the series. Yes, shooting people in the crotch or BLASTING THEIR HEADS CLEAN OFF THEIR SHOULDERS are perfectly viable tactics.
    • Try killing all the adults in a town, then buying back the children's affections with gifts. They don't care if you murder their parents in cold blood, if you give them toys, they will love you.
  • The underrated tactical superhero RPG Freedom Force practically LIVES by this trope. Every building, vehicle, tree, NPC, etc. is damageable & destroyable. This is somewhat balanced by the fact that you lose experience (or "prestige") if you cause too much damage and certain levels require you to protect specific landmarks, but that doesn't make whittling down an apartment building to near-death, then punching a civillian into it from two blocks away, therefore causing the entire thing to collapse any less hilarious.
  • Contact allows you to kill and attack just about everything you come across, from civilians to hapless livestock. You'll lose karma, though.
  • In Soul Nomad and The World Eaters, the game allows, and sometimes even encourages, you to do things to the various NPCs in towns and villages, such as stealing from them, beating them up, kicking them in the face, or forcibly conscripting them into your army. This is all menu-based, meaning the game is basically suggesting to kick people for no good reason. And let's not get into the Demon path, which basically calls you a wuss for all that.
  • Start a New Game + in Chrono Trigger just to take three hyper-powerful characters into Guardia Forest and unleash hell on some poor unsuspecting imps. Triple Techs, particularly Omega Flare, is a little bit of overkill on a critter with 30 hit points, but it's still somehow very satisfying to drop the equivalent of a magical nuke on some harmless little green thing.
  • In the Paper Mario games, there's the Whacka, an absolutely adorable little guy and a member of an endangered species. If you hit him with your hammer, you get the Whacka's Bump, which is a fantastic healing item. Go back and do it enough times, and you'll eventually have killed the last Whacka, you freak.
    • And then there's that toad in the station that talks about the cute little Whacka and how she wants to protect it or something. Little does she know that you plan on killing it! Once Whacka's dead, she still won't even know what just happened, and comment on how she hasn't seen him in a while, clueless the whole time that his last remains are now part of a delicious meal. Oh, and he'll explode in the first game like a defeated enemy, and even drop a few coins or even flowers (if drop-rate increasing badges are equipped).
    • The game literally asks you: "How do you sleep at night?" However, you need at least two of them to get Hundred-Percent Completion.
    • In Super Paper Mario, if the player talks to Whacka, he'll remark that he doesn't think anything can ruin the nice day. That's before Mario showed up with his hammer. It's made worse after he dies: his Cragnon friend comes looking for him, and gets pretty depressed when she finds out he's gone. Tippi says the girl's heart is about to burst.
    • Try talking to him after you've hit him a few times. With each whack, he gets steadily more incoherent and confused...So even if you don't outright kill the poor thing, you've probably given him irreversible brain damage. Is Hundred-Percent Completion really worth the cost of your soul? Especially since you don't actually get anything for it?
      • Well not exactly the LAST one. Only in the Paper Mario series. In Mario Party 6 about a million of them appear on the snowflake board.
    • In Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door you can push your partners into water or even spikes; and the best part is that they don't lose any HP from it, unlike when Mario falls into them.
  • In The World Ends With You, equip Holy Light + Visionary Blend + Regen threads. Use Joshua (for extra fun, remove all his threads) on max level in Easy Mode and set the partner AI to Manual. Scan for and fight Jelly Neocoustics. Then pass the puck to Neku and watch in horror (or glee) as Joushua is repeatedly stunlocked by the jellyfish as Neku watches in the bottom screen, never being able to die because of the Regen and the Subconscious. For added fun, put your DS on AC power and the carnage goes on forever. You're welcome.
    • After completing the game, you can go back to Week 2 and use the Rhyme Pin to attack Reaper Beat. It's funny because they're siblings who love each other. It's impractical to do, but still.
  • In Valkyria Chronicles, you can either let your troopers rush towards the enemy for a suicidal (and admittedly, stupid) move, or sock a rocket right in the enemy's face. Your choice.
    • Ramming people with tanks does nothing but punt them around like a rag doll and make them scream in agony. If you want to be outright cruel to a mook? Stock up 20 CP and spend them all to just ram a poor guy into a wall with the Edelweiss. He won't die, and likely will be stuck there for him to die by your gatling gun on his turn. Oddly enough, the "ran-over by tank does zero damage" thing applies to enemy tanks, so if you want to be mean without losing troops... get your redshirts ran over by the Batomys.
  • Trapt, a game which consists of setting a complex series of traps to kill enemies. Said traps are rather cruel, especially 'Dark Illusions', environmental traps which require a bit of set-up, which can, for example send someone through the clockwork of a music box, complete with bone crunching sounds.
    • All of the Deception games, really. Skewering young girls on deadly wall spikes is pretty common... especially since then you can harvest their bodies.
  • You can complete the Bukamatsu (Ninja) Chapter of Live a Live by either doing a Pacifist Run and avoiding unnecessary kills (I.E everyone except the undead creatures and monsters you encounter. Bosses fall into said categories) or becoming death incarnate and murdering every NPC in the level, including women and harmless merchants. Either way will reward you with a powerful weapon for you to use in the final chapter.
  • Avernum. If you register, you can up your army until they are super powerful...and cheerfully wipe out the majority of the towns if you so desire. Even the super powerful guards cannot stop you! You can also set the days far in advance and not bother killing off the plagues of monsters. Townies will DIE if you do this! Having her husband killed by monsters makes the blacksmith lady very sad.
    • This is also doable earlier on with a highly skilled mage/cleric team combo. The mage summons monsters that do chip damage to guards, meanwhile the cleric continually summons higher level shades as meatshields and mobile obstacles. Made even simpler in the sequels due to simulacrum.
  • Final Fantasy Adventure actually allows you to kill citizens when you're strong enough.

 Citizen: Hello there! Welcome to Topple!

Boy: This is Topple? Wow, nice. Well where's Wendell?

Citizen: Hello young man, welcome to Topple!

Boy: This isn't Wendell! Where can I find it?

Citizen: Hello young man! Welcome to Topple!

Boy: YEEEAARRRGGGGHHHHH! * Goes Ax Crazy and repeatedly slashes the townsperson until he vanishes and dies*

Citizen's death quote: Hello young man! Welcome to Topple!

  • Final Fantasy VII has one part where you can be a total asshat to Red XIII. When the party reaches the beach town from Junon for the first time, Red XIII sits in the shade and notices how his tail loves to bat the soccer ball the kids are playing with. You can smash the ball to Red XIII and hit him in the face, causing him to growl, but that is it. Best part is you can do this endlessly and Red XIII won't be mad at you later.
    • There is another part in the game where you get to be cruel and it's a part of the storyline! Around disc 3, after Tifa manages to escape from Shinra, Scarlett confronts Tifa and slaps her in the face. You then get to press O and slap Scarlett back over and over again until she gives up. Safe to assume that at least a few people made a separate save file just so they can go back and play the slapping mini game.
    • On Disc 2, when you go to get the submarine, there are two Shinra grunts and their superior inside. These are the guys Cloud met on Disc 1 while posing as a grunt himself, and as such, you can either take them prisoner... or just kill 'em dead.
    • There is a bird's nest in North Corel with a mother cockatrice and her chicks. You can choose to leave it alone or go for a treasure, but are strongly encouraged to leave it alone if either Tifa or Aeris are in your party. If you choose to go for it, the reward is ten Phoenix Downs, but first you have to kill the mother cockatrice. And the girls will make fun of Cloud's hair.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers you have the ability to manipulate gravity. You use this power to toss monsters into one another and make impossible jumps. You can also use it to toss random civilians around. Some of them drop money when thrown. Old ladies are the most likely to drop Gil. It's like they want you to abuse your powers.
    • They do: There are achievements for getting an old lady who comes only when you've thrown a lot of them around, and one for throwing guards about and getting sent to prison.
  • Final Fantasy IX
    • One of the Knights of Pluto wants to quit the Alexandrian army to become a writer, and asks Steiner if he can leave the Knights. Steiner can either say that he'll eventually let the knight leave, but first he has to find Princess Garnet, or he can be a Jerkass and yell at the knight, telling him he can't leave before basically telling him to get off his lazy behind and find the princess. Either way, the poor knight runs off in tears.
    • The wonderful Thunder Plains, which are constantly plagued by thunder and lightning. You can take shelter near very tall pillars designed to divert the lightning, jump out of the way of a strike with good timing, or - if you're feeling particularly sadistic - let Tidus get struck by lightning. over and over again. For as long as you want. (Unfortunately, this feature was removed in Final Fantasy X 2.)
  • In the evolution-based RPG E.V.O.: Search for Eden for the SNES, there is a point in the second chapter where you are actually able to kill and devour a pair of helpful amphibians (one of whom is a child whose father sacrificed himself to save his species). Doing so causes a horrified Gaia to ask what you're doing. If you eat the meat the two provide, you're instantly killed. (That's karma for you.)
    • You can avoid dying, though, by eating one and immediately evolving in some way, restoring your HP to full.
  • Playing Might and Magic 6? Going for Master Dark Magic? Head to Free Haven and cast Armageddon. Instant evil party~! Just make sure you hotfoot it to Paradise Valley before going to a castle...
  • In Might and Magic 7, it's quite easy to bait a pack of monsters into a town and watch them slaughter the helpless peasants. Not only that, but in the tutorial mission you get rewarded for doing this. Normally, you have to buy a lute for 500 gold and you can accept a magic wand in exchange for performing a later favor for the mercenary guild. Get the NPCs who offer these two things killed by monsters and you can loot the items from their corpses.
  • In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, a random NPC whose house you walk into says your rival scared him into giving away a rare Pokémon. He then gives you another, to keep safe. Go to the PC, and release it from the game. Upon returning to the NPC, when you talk to him he says 'How's my Pokémon?' And later he says 'I think I can have my Pokémon back now'. So it's kind of like "I think my psycho ex-wife might try and kill my cat, can you hold on to it for me for a while?" "Sure, naïve fool. Kitty go for solo plane trip now. Bye-bye forever, beloved companion."
    • The happiness system. There are most of the time only things that increase a Mons happiness, which result in them evolving; on the other hand, you can also decrease their happiness by letting them faint in battle and giving them bitter medicine. Especially seducing with the Revival Herb, it resurrects your fainted Mon with full health. Besides the Max Revive (which only exists in limited quantities), it´s the only item with this power.
    • The move Frustration becomes more effective the more your Mon hates you.
    • Consequences of the (un)happiness stat have no impact on anything, really. The only exceptions are HeartGold and SoulSilver, where you could speak to your Mon and it would display a speech bubble, sometimes with an unhappy face.
    • Use Psychic with your Mewtwo on a level 2 Starly. Mind rape ensues.
    • Poke Park Wii: You can dash Pikachu into smaller mons and send them flying a few feet into the air. Most times out of ten, the victimized Poké will cry its little eyes out if it's one of the adorable ones. However, it's also averted with some. Dash or Shock a Pokémon like Scyther, and they will knock six bells out of Pikachu!
    • The 5th generation of Pokemon introduced Audino, a pseudo-replacement for Chansey. They're these adorable little pink, rabbity critters that can be encountered in nearly every patch of grass in the game under the right conditions. They also have an insanely high experience yield. Perfect for grinding, right? You Monster.
    • In Pokémon Snap, you can use Pester Balls to stun and/or drive Pokemon out of their hiding spots, just so you can take their picture. Taken to an extreme in Rainbow Cloud, where, in order to get a good shot of Mew, you need to nail it with dozens upon dozens of Pester Balls in a row, so that it stays stunned long enough for you to get a nice close-up picture.
  • Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines makes it very possible to have a bloody rampage, slicing hobos to bits with a fire axe, snapping the necks of club kids, and eating hookers for a late night snack, but discourages this in two ways. One, killing innocents (as in, anyone not trying to kill you,) even when feeding reduces your Humanity, the game's Karma Meter. Having a low Humanity makes you more likely to frenzy, where you lose control of your character and try to drain any nearby juicebags dry. Also, any use of obvious supernatural powers or feeding when people are watching results in a Masquerade Violation, which results in Vampire Hunters following you around. Also, if your Humanity drops to zero, or you stack up five Masquerade Violations, it's an instant game over. However, there are limited opportunities to regain both Humanity and redeem your Masquerade Violations, so you can get away with this to a point. Plus there are enough opportunities for plot assisted cruelty as well: sending a hapless TV Show Host to be devoured by a flesh-eating Vampire, enticing a naive thin blood to attempt to assassinate the president, and arranging for a young woman to have her blood slowly drained and sold to local Kindred are just a few of them. All of these do cause your Humanity to drop though, so it's a fine line.
    • It's also worth mentioning a few of the clan-based vampire abilities, such as forcing the target (or targets) to commit suicide, attack their allies, get eaten by a swarm of insects, or have their blood boiled while they are alive. Have fun splattering the walls with blood and organs.
  • .hack//G.U. gives you Chim Chims, whose only purpose of existence is to get kicked by the players and have their cores used to open some doors in the dungeons. It doesn't stop there... Now try to run into those little critters with your steam bike. The game even rewards you for it!
    • And don't forget the Lucky Animals. They can be even cuter than the Chim Chims. And you're rewarded for kicking/running over them by the Lucky Animals themselves giving you special bonuses for being fast enough to kick them, such as item sets, money, temporarily increased stats, and a few saves from game over. Kicking the Unlucky Animals doesn't really give you any bonuses; it just rids you of any negative effects they give you if you don't.
      • It's worth noting however that most of the Lucky Animals are actually happy for you if you can manage to kick them.
      • Hell, there's a sidequest to kick all the lucky and unlucky animals, for which you get even more rewards. Same with kicking as many Chim Chims as possible. Kick the Dog in its most literal sense.
  • In Dragon Age you can do quite some cruel things such as slitting the throat of a kid instead of going into the kids dream and help him to get rid of the demon possesing him.
    • That is not even close to touching how much of a psycho you can act in that game. You can go into the kid's dream like you're supposed to and instead sell his soul to the demon. You can convince werewolves to slaughter a village of elves, desecrate religious artifacts, bait your party members into attacking you (they die of course), toy with the affections of your followers, allow a crazed woman to get her hands on a superweapon, backstab people both literally and figuratively, and generally act like the biggest asshole in all of Ferelden.
      • One particularly nasty possibility is romancing Alistair as a female PC, then sparing Loghain at the Landsmeet and having Alistair executed. Condemning a man who loves you to public, humiliating death? That's a level of soul-crushing personal evil worthy of Planescape: Torment. The Practical Incarnation would be proud.
    • Dragon Age II continues the tradition; the game's Grey and Gray Morality means that there are compelling arguments for and against a lot of the things you can do, but there is no justification for some of them. For example: one of your companions, Fenris, is an escaped slave on the run from his blood mage master. When his master inevitably catches up with him, you can help Fenris fight him off... or you can hand him over, saying you don't need him any more, leaving Fenris so gutted by your betrayal that he leaves with the slaver without a fight.
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, the player character can set companions characters up for some really brutal party conversations. Viconia's romance also allows the player to take her to bed when it's clear she'd rather not. Thankfully, this ends the romance and avoids Rape Is Love.
  • In the Destroy All Humans! series you can do many horrible things to the citizens such as dropping them from high heights, mind tossing them off into the distance, burn them, drown them, blow them up,etc.
  • In the prologue of Golden Sun, you encounter a guy who's apparently wounded and asks if you think he's going to die. Answer "no", and he realizes he's not actually hurt. Answer "yes", and he dies.
    • The game turns off Random Encounters in Sol Sanctum once everybody in your party reaches Level 3. You can avoid this by getting Jenna killed before she hits the cap; she's not going to be in your party much longer, anyway. Might want to loot her stuff before she goes, too.
    • Ignore those oddly-placed trees in Kolima Junction. Oh, wait, those trees were people, and because of your neglect an innocent girl just got washed away downstream to an unknown fate.
    • You can drop a crate on one of the Kibombo guards in The Lost Age and watch him flail around underneath it. I can't remember if this is necessary to get past him or just to grab an item nearby.
    • Also in The Lost Age, a bit of Fridge Logic turns taking the treasure from Treasure Island into cruelty towards Champa, since they were using that treasure to restore their economy. You just forced them to remain pirates.
    • Dark Dawn brings Slap Psynergy to the table. Its main canon uses are bopping statues on the nose, slapping sleeping things to wake them up, and knocking Djinn and friendly pirates down from high places. Said pirate is understandably peeved with us for doing so.
      • However, the dev team thought of one more: You can ring the emergency gong in Tonfon, sending the city into a panic, and then blame a guard for the false alarm.
    • Dark Dawn also has two locations where you can see seemingly-inaccessible Mercury Djinn. The trick as it turns out is hitting them with Fireballs so they dive in the water to cool off, and then you either drain the water or find a local fisherman to get the Djinni for you (by catching it on a fishhook).
  • Persona 4 allows you to cheat with all six datable girls at the same time. And get away with it. Completely.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning allows you to toggle friendly fire so you can freely slaughter helpless villagers. One of the loading screen tips even encourages you to do it! And of course there are the obligatory dialogue options that let you blackmail/extort people.
  • In Task Maker, you can kill any NPC with a Neutral alignment and get little more than a few points taken off. This includes shopkeepers, guards, etc. And if you're feeling really cruel, use a Restart Place spell to reset the location and do it again… and again… and again…

Shoot Em Up

  • The old PC/PS1 flight game G-Police has an unlimited number of civilians flying or driving cluelessly about, an unlimited magazine of machine gun ammo, and no such thing as police brutality.
  • Made worse in Crime Cities, which has the same thing going except the traffic is even more intense. Coupled with the tendency of civilian vehicles to die if looked at sternly, this makes it virtually impossible to complete the game without shooting down a fair number of innocents.

Simulation Game

  • The Sims: Fits this trope to a T. The base game and its expansions allow you to lock your hapless Sims in a room and watch them starve to death, drown them in a pool because they can't get out without a ladder (3 allowed them to climb out on the sides, but if you cancel out the action that has them do this, they'll drown like normal), have them launch a firework in the first one indoors and burn the house down, refuse access to the bathroom, and much more! Oh, the internet was filled with all sorts of custom content that be used to sadistic means. Usable guns, seemingly harmless objects that can kill and/or torture in fun ways. For the original game, there was a object that would spread a plague throughout the neighborhood, killing all of your Sims!
    • There were even posters promoting The Sims 3 that actively embraced this gameplay, with a Sim wondering why he was was doing these crazy things.
    • In Sim Animals, you get to watch over all sorts of little critters and make sure that they are all happy and healthy. Or you could throw them into each other, dangle helpless squirrels next to hungry bears, drop them in water, starve them, and make it rain on them. If an animal is unhappy enough, they'll even attack your hand.
    • This video says it all.
    • Sim Copter puts the player in control of an unwieldy helicopter with which you are expected to carry out various missions, many of which involve human cargo. Forcibly ejecting passengers from the aircraft at high altitude invokes a minor penalty for injuring a civilian, silently cancels their original dropoff destination and creates a new medevac mission conveniently located nearby. Completing this new mission gives a reward exceeding the penalty, making it profitable to injure passengers with inconvenient destinations and instead deliver them to the nearest hospital. (It also stops captured criminals from escaping every time you land to make another pick up.)
    • Continued in The Sims Medieval, though that game is a little less wide-open and a little more like an RPG, so killing your active Sim rarely helps you. You can still have your Sims be all manner of nasty to each other, with options like dueling to the death and sending to the pit.
  • Evil Genius, Spiritual Successor to Dungeon Keeper, gives players a wide selection of ways to "Interrogate" (torture) enemy agents and tourists. It's not unheard of in some circles for players to subject female agents and tourists to the greenhouse in the lab. One of the objectives of the game even requires the player to put an uppity crime boss into a hilariously oversized mixer located in the chow hall.
    • Dozens of traps, some pretty simple, some very deadly, others just plain cool. Who doesn't love watching a jet of flame streak down a corridor and roast those pesky agents?
    • Interrogation of captured agents (or even your own minions) can be done in many ways.
      • The interrogation chair has the minion doing the interrogation take a few approaches, such as spinning them around, crashing spit-covered cymbals against their head, and making them watch the minion's pathetic dance moves.
      • The laboratory has seven different pieces of equipment you can use for torture. There's an inquisitive supercomputer, a spin on a big centrifuge, a dunk in the biotanks, being put through a virtual cyclone in the environment chamber, a pummeling with the impact stress analyzer, and the classic frying with a giant laser.
      • A few less-obvious methods include making the victim dodge bullets on the marksman firing range, squashing them in bookcases, and putting them through a big mixer.
    • The Evil Genius can kill a minion at any time to inspire the workforce.
    • One kind of cell you can research can kill its occupant without a minion having to do the work. Suffice it to say, once you first build them, you'll probably end up capturing agents just to watch them get killed by these cells again and again.
    • The traps offer a lot of opportunities for fun:
      • Use wind generators to blow agents around a dozen corners before smacking them into a wall.
      • Giant Magnet + Sawblades = dead agent.
      • Corridor full of pitfall traps set off by motion detectors.
      • The Venus Man Trap. The sign in front of the plant says "Do Not Feed." Do the agents read it? Nope.
      • A room full of beehive traps and motion sensors can work wonders for keeping agents locked up.
    • The Super Agents cannot be killed through normal means. Of course, this means that until you get up to the missions for disposing of them you can torture them over and over again.
  • Life & Death and its sequel, Life & Death II: The Brain are surgery simulators. Needless to say, you can do quite a bit of damage to a patient if you're not careful or you're feeling sadistic. For example, you can start cutting before you turn on the anesthetic gas, at which point the game will play an audio clip of a bloodcurling scream, and you will be taken out of the operating room and given a lecture by the doctor in charge.
    • You can attempt an appendectomy or aortic aneurysm repair without turning on the anesthetic gas first. Cue blood-curdling electronic scream...
    • Three words. Life & Death.
  • Like the aforementioned Life & Death example, the Trauma Center series lends itself to certain abuses. While you can't make your patients scream in agony, there are an awful lot of intentional mistakes you can stack up before they die, like cutting fluffy bunny shapes into their pancreas or stitching "THIS TROPER WUZ HERE" across their brain. In fact, the easiest way to restart a mission that you know you're going to fail is equip the scalpel and tap the stylus/A button rapidly, racking up massive vital losses and death in mere seconds. There's also the perennial favorite of half-removing shards of glass and stabbing them in again, or the more passive method of simply watching the viruses go. Add this to the fact that a lot of your patients are kids and you start questioning whether the ESRB shouldn't have been a bit stricter with the rating...
    • Bizarrely, since any improper application of your medical tools results in a loss in patient health, you can do this with seemingly harmless objects such as bandages, even to patients who aren't in any immediate danger.
  • In AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity (a game which simulates BASE jumping from buildings suspended in air) the player can aim for, hit, and get bonus points off of seagulls. Attempting to do so to hovercars is not recommended.
    • In California Games, flying seagulls were also a target during the Foot Bag contest. Hitting one landed you 1000 points. (Not a whole lot, but still, you were rewarded with some points and a funny message.)
  • In the original Tropico, the entire premise of the game is being a Dictator on a tropical island/Cuba Expy which can be anywhere from a Benevolent Dictatorship to one where you use the military to attempt to keep your poor peons in place with bad food, no real medicine, and so on. And of course various edicts you can slap down to see just how far you can push your poor citizens...
    • Tropico 2 is still worse though, since at least in 1 your peons can leave, but in 2 you are the Pirate King of a Pirate Isle, and since the pirates under you only work as, well, pirates, or guards and overseers, all of your labor is provided by, well, slaves that you kidnap from settlements, including the that you use to keep your pirates entertained. Plus the aforementioned edicts. And the fact that one of the ways to keep your captives from revolting/escaping is by keeping them in abject terror...
    • Tropico 3! You can lock political prisoners up in gulags, or have them gunned down in the street! Intellectuals being annoying? Go on a book burning fest! Elections being demanded? Martial law! Want to be subtle? Have your secret police assassinate the target while they sleep! Rebels have planted a bomb in your factory? Let them blow it up! Court the religious faction, and have them declare a political enemy a heretic! Slash the wages across the island and force everyone except your power elite to live in hovels, and then ally with the US or USSR to cement your power base! And cruelest of all, put the ranches in the middle of town so everyone is constantly facing traffic jams and cattle droppings!
  • The Rollercoaster Tycoon games provide a tool which you can use to pick up your guests and put them anywhere in the park. Including dropping them into the water and drowning them. You can also deliberately build certain rides to crash in a horrible, firey explosion.
    • In the first game, one of the pre-made coasters is a loop coaster that's supposed to seem like the car is going over the edge, but then it stops and goes backwards. You can increase the speed on the coaster, watching the cars fly off in a terrible wreck. The game shuts down the coaster for this. You can open it back up again. Repeat.
      • The third game removes the requirement of actually finishing a coaster you have built, so you can build a roller coaster that launches at 100 mph that points directly at a path full of guests. Unfortunately, the guest cannot die. It is quite entertaining to see them fly after being hit by a 300 lb. roller coaster car, though.
    • You can synchronize rollercoasters to launch with their neighbors. String a couple of rigged shuttle loop coasters together and wait untill every car is loaded with poor, unsuspecting cattle. Best. "Fireworks". Display. Ever.
    • Non-lethal cruelty can be just as fun, and also profitable. For instance, dragging your guests to an island with nothing but a drink stand and a bathroom that costs $20.
      • Cheap drinks. Expensive toilets. Good. Cheap popcorn, moderate drinks, expensive bathroom, even better.
    • Start building a path underground. When guests start using it, delete the path.
    • Connect the exit of one nauseating ride directly to the entrance of a second, and vice versa (after plenty of people have gotten in line).
    • One of the cruelest examples of this in the games has to be Mr. Bones Wild Ride. This is what happens when you make an insanely long ride out of a very slow rollercoaster type. Even at the beginning it takes several in-game months to finish the ride, and even then the ride was still expanding. The full ride that resulted had the riders on it for an entire year of in-game time before they were allowed to leave, with Mr. Bones occasionally taunting them that they are there forever. And the worst part is? The exit path leads right back to a completely sealed off space with an entrance leading right back to the ride they came from.
  • Despite it resulting in an instant Game Over, many Stunt Copter pilots preferred to drop the stuntman onto the horse or driver of the target haywagon. Well, they are more challenging targets!
  • In Star Wars: X-Wing, you'll learn to hate the Gallofree Yards Medium Transport. So much so that when you can get away with blowing one up, you probably will.
  • Animal Crossing allows you to attack villagers with your net and axe (although the latter cannot be used to mutilate them, sadly, and is actually rather hard to pull off because it has shorter range than the former, so you'll likely end up accidentally going into a conversation with them[1]), which will of course cause them to become depressed or outraged. You can bury pitfall seeds for them to walk over and get stuck in (they'll become unstuck over time or if you talk to them). You can also push them around by walking into them, which has the same effect as hitting them (but with less tears), and talk to them repeatedly so they get flustered. Lastly you can just dig holes around a villager to trap them until you go off-screen, or combine this with the only way out being over a pitfall.
  • The objective of the freeware Porrasturvat/Stair Dismount is to push a guy down a flight of stairs by choosing a body part, angles, and power. You're scored on how much damage you do to him.
    • Likewise with Spiritual Successor Rekkaturvat/Truck Dismount[2], in which you position two ramps and a guy on a truck, and manipulate other factors, in order to cause said guy to fall out and get run over by said truck. And again, you're scored based on how much damage you do to him.
  • Dwarf Fortress Has this in spades. Kittens are butchered to make the game run faster. Magma is dumped on sieges so the player has less clean up later, "unfortunate accidents" befalling troublesome dwarves... The list goes on.
    • Black Comedy is a part of the game. Two of the most hilarious threads on the forum discuss inventions such as mermaid bone gathering (24 pages of "won't you just need a room with chained up mermaids that has 4/7 water and a door leading to the airdrowning room for the babies?") and "Dwarven Child Care" (25 pages worth of dwarven kids locked in and defending themselves from animals who go nuts from being stuffed in such small cells).
  • Interactive Buddy. So many possibilities; everything from punching him to pelting him with flaming bowling balls while he's trapped in a gravity vortex to shooting explosive missiles. You actually get rewarded with money for hurting him (or being nice, but where's the fun in that?) and can use the money to buy new ways to "interact" with him.
  • Tamagotchi. You can scold them, starve them (or go the other way and make them morbidly obese), let them lay around in their own waste... One popular Self-Imposed Challenge once you're sick of playing the normal way is to see how fast you can kill them off.
  • In the Harvest Moon series, opportunities are ripe for abuse of both your animals and your neighbors. You can attack your animals with your tools, making them hate you - and, sometimes, your fellow townspeople too! You can also force townies to take rotten food, garbage, weeds, and food they really hate. The ultimate dickishness, though, is probably in the Friends of Mineral Town and DS games, in which you can put a poisonous mushroom in a group stew and give the whole town food poisoning. (Do it in DS Cute with a level 99 mushroom, and you get a Nonstandard Game Over, presumably from murdering everyone.)
    • In fact, in More Friends of Mineral Town, when starting a new game, you attack the mayor, after which he says "stop hitting me," and you are prompted to either stop hitting him...or continue hitting him, with a farm tool of your choice. You can do this indefinitely; it has no effect on anything. Encouragingly, he has a unique response for each tool; for the sickle, "stop cutting me," for the watering can, "stop watering me," etc. I'm not kidding. You can keep doing this forever.
    • Also, in some later games, if you want to marry a character called the Witch Princess, you have to do any number of horrid things, including repeatedly killing your animals. Which she praises you for. What. (Notably, in the girl version, when you first encounter the mayor [same guy, despite being a different town--long story] you again attempt to hit him. He dodges, mentioning that he wouldn't fall for the same trick twice. Your dog proceeds to run up and attack him.)
    • In Island of Happieness and Sunshine Islands, Mark and Chelsea[3] respond to all gifts with the "likes" reaction, meaning nothing you give them will give you negative points. Meaning you can raise their love points by feeding them a steady stream of trash (rocks, sticks, weeds, failed cooking dishes, etc.).
    • In the Rune Factory spin-off series, it is possible to trigger a proposal event and then reject the girl in question. She loses all affection for you, but it is possible to break the heart of every marriageable girl in game. Repeatedly.
    • In the Squeal Rune Factory Frontier, you may have left you old life behind that you started in the first game, including any wife and kid you may have had, for added points if you chose a wife that follows you into the new game in the series you could marry her again (leaving the child from the first game still abandoned) or marry a completely different girl wile your apparent ex-wife just looks on.
  • This was actually conceived as part of the reason for the Creatures series--in the slightly paraphrased words of the creator, "Something a father would teach soccer to, and a complete bastard would torture mercilessly." You can be a merciless god indeed, and many Game Mods exist that will simply make life difficult for your creatures. At the same time, the complexity of the creature's AI and artificial life made some fans wonder if this is ethical.
    • To add detail, the third game presents possibly the most cruelty potential of all video games ever made. There is a machine that allows injecing any chemical in the creatures. This includes various toxins that may cause a lot of pain, birth defects to unborn creatures and a nasty case of death. One may even inflict the worst pain there is by directly injecting pain chemicals. Oh yes, and there is one creature type, Grendel, that is ugly, evil and aggressive - socially acceptable cruelty ensues. In addition to the chemical injector, there are various other machines of fun - airlocks, piranha pools with a trapdoor (right next to where the Grendels spawn!) and a genetic splicer that reduces two creatures into a single egg with a nice slicing sound. And for the more scientifically inclined, genetic manipulation allows some innocent creature to be made utterly repulsive by making it emit a Grendel stench.
  • The Nintendo 3DS AR Games aren't exactly simulations, but one of the unlockable shop items is a globe. You can operate it much the same way as the globe in the Wii's Weather Channel. However, you can also shoot at it as you would in other modes. Shoot it too many times, and it will start to glow red. Keep shooting it, and it explodes. After the smoke clears, you're told to "Look after our planet." On top of that, the globe disappears from the menu, and you have to buy it again. It's only one coin, but still.
  • Viva Piñata, and how. Summed up by this VGCats comic.
  • In Privateer, you play as a freelance cargo pilot, and you can make money any way you damn well please, up to and including drug smuggling and slave trafficking. You can even tractor beam the pilots of the ships you just blew up into your cargo hold and sell them as slaves. WOW.

 Spoony: It's that kind of freedom, that little personal touch of pointless cruelty that makes you feel like a real authentic space bastard!

  • In Mechwarrior 3, you can abuse the helpless soldiers in enemy bases in a variety of ways, like stepping on them (keep in mind that your Mech weighs dozens of tons) complete with crunching sound and shriek, or shooting them with a weapon, like a large laser, SRMs, or an auto cannon (also keep in mind that all of the rounds for those weapons are as large, if not larger than the person, so this appropriately disintegrates them, turning them into a red cloud).
  • Princess Maker has several endings where you can send your poor little girl down the path of darkness. She can marry the prince of hell or be essentially sold off to a dragon prince for all you seem to care. As she gets older even though she's still a young teenager you can force her to work in a hostess bar. You can even do so while forcing her to wear something that would be risque at the beach. For extra evil you can send her adventuring with the possibility of losing and being RAPED and she has absolutely no choice in the matter.
  • What? All of this and not one mention of anything related to Zoo Tycoon? You can do a number of horrible things to both your guests and your animals.

Stealth Based Game

  • Hitman Blood Money allows many, many ways to kill people. A particularly satisfying example from the mission "A New Life" involves using lighter fluid on a grill and waiting for the wife of your target to start it and go up like a Roman candle. And by doing so, you orphan 2 kids since you need to kill their dad in that mission, all this happening on the younger one's birthday.
    • Rigged pyrotechnic display + Tank filled with oh-so-cooling water. And a shark.
      • If a bullet hits someone in the stomach but doesn't prove immediately fatal, the victim crumples to the ground and rocks back and forth before succumbing to the wound. Highlighting the brutality of the kill, the victim spends the next few seconds howling and moaning in pain.
  • The Metal Gear Solid series allows for cruelty to both people and animals;
    • The invisibility inducing stealth camouflage that appears in every game allows the player to abuse NPCs with near impunity.
    • Metal Gear Solid (and The Twin Snakes) allows players to shoot mice and ravens, which if done repeatedly causes Naomi to chastise the player via codec.
      • Shooting seagulls in Metal Gear Solid 2 elicits a similar response from Rose.
      • MGS3 requires the player to hunt and kill animals for food in order to survive, however it's also possible to use live captured creatures as weapons, for example throwing live venomous snakes at people - a combination of both cruelty to humans and animals which is often lethal to one of them.
    • Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake had something similar: Apparently, Snake could actually kill the NPC war-orphaned children if the player decides this. Note that these weren't even Enemy NPCs, but just defenseless children whose only action is to talk. The only punishment is losing health, which is pretty lenient compared to being docked of a rank in the the first Metal Gear, having it grant you a severely low rank in future games (and in the case of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker, lowering your clearance rank after completing a mission), and also making some battles even more difficult than usual (case in point, The Sorrow battle in Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater).
    • Metal Gear Solid 4 allows the player to kill caged chickens and guinea pigs.
    • You get a lot of chances to fuck with the guards in Metal Gear Solid 3. For instance, first, kill a poison dart frog and collect its meat. After that, blow up one of the guards' food caches. When they start complaining of hunger, toss them the meat of the poison dart frog you killed and watch what happens...
      • Overt guard and scientist abuse is possible when dressed in the Major Raikov disguise. Victims can be physically attacked and fail to fight back, instead cowering before and apologising to their "commanding officer."
      • This is lampshaded before you get a chance to do it by a radio conversation with EVA where, to Snake's disbelief, she tells you that you can punch anyone in the face because Raikov is "just that kind of guy".
  • Some of the counter-attacks and combo kills in Assassin's Creed look and sound painful. One attack involves kicking out a guard's leg, and then stabbing the sword down through his hip and out his crotch...
    • Other such attacks include a counter kill option to break a guard's legs with an audible crack. A short sword combo kill in which Altair grabs his victim in a sleeper hold before breaking their neck, again with an audible crack. And who can forget throwing your opponents into the merchant stands, causing the stands to collapse and killing both your opponent and the merchant. Bonus points if you catch civilians in the collapsing merchant stand.
      • For the above leg breaking and neck snapping, one combo kill combines both: Altair kicks a guard in the knee hard enough for it to bend backwards and break, to which the guard lets out a quick scream of horror and agony. Once the guard is bent over, Altair finishes him off by getting the man in a headlock and snapping his neck.
    • Which is still nothing compared to finishing someone off with a normal attack and seeing them writhing in pain for twenty seconds before they finally die.
    • Not to mention some of the "high profile" Assassination animations, one of which involves you walking up to a man from the front and stabbing him in the eye in broad daylight with your hidden blade.
    • Considering how annoying some of the citizens are, especially the beggars, lepers, and drunks, it's not surprising when one feels the urge to start stabbing and slashing.
      • Not only that, but citizens simply love getting in your way when you're trying to stab a guard.
      • Sometimes if the guards have enough room and after you've killed enough of them, they'll panic and flee. You have two choices, chase after them (since you're faster) and kill em with the hidden blade, or simply toss some throwing knives in their direction...
    • The approach to Jerusalem. A long, narrow path packed with at least a hundred civilians walking along, and you're on a horse. Its like the developers want you to maim them under your mighty steed's hooves...
    • Civilians will absolutely freak out if they see someone die suddenly. Want to see some chaos? Stand on the rooftops and fling throwing knives at the guards below, or perhaps sneak up behind an archer and shove him off his roof.
    • There is absolutely no penalty for killing guards at random. Stab one guy, wait for his friends to show up and investigate, stab them, rinse and repeat. It's quite easy to get caught up in this and carpet a street with bodies.
  • Assassin's Creed II introduces the ability to poison a person, causing them to go insane for a short while before dying. If said person is a guard holding a weapon, there will be blood. Bonus cruelty points for throwing money on the ground to attract more people. It's possible to get 30+ casualties this way, and because the only person you kill directly is one guard, there is no penalty.
    • You can also poison a civilian near guards and they'll distract the guards. While they're focused, assassinate them all without being noticed.
    • Get a bunch of guards chasing you and jump on a tight-rope run while they're on the roof. If they're close enough together, they'll jam into each other and fall to their deaths. Also works with thieves.
    • One finishing move jams the dual hidden blades through both eyes.
    • You can pick up bodies in this game which adds all new dimensions, like the following: Kill an archer on a rooftop, then grab his body and chuck it into the street near guards. They guards will walk over to investigate; use the opportunity for an aerial dual-assassination.
    • Some of the combo kills you can perform with the sledgehammer are hilarious in their brutality. Block of iron swung straight at a guard's crotch? Check. Hitting that same doubled-over guard again in the back of the head to lay him out on the floor? Check.
    • One of the barefisted counters lets Ezio break the victim's Adam's Apple.
    • One assassination technique you gain is that of hanging off the side of a building, then stabbing the target in the gut as they walk past before pulling them off the roof. If you find an especially tall tower with guards, you can use this technique, then, as gut wounds don't kill instantly, watch them plummet to their bloody dead with the knowledge that they are still conscious. Bonus points if they hit a slanted roof and then the ragdoll physics sends them spinning halfway down the street.
    • Or you can just throw them off the roof and hear them scream. Them hear the civilians scream as they realise that someone just dropped out of the sky and died in front of them. It is not unknown to find someone still running in fear of the cruel deed you commited several minutes later. Congrats, they're probably scarred for life.
    • Using Ezio to quietly nudge a fishing civilian into water is a great way to kill as many people as you want without penalty or incurring the wrath of the guards. Also, the civilians never, ever resurface.
  • Assassin's Creed Brotherhood looks set to continue the proud tradition. Among the moves that have been shown:
    • Stabbing a guard through the bottom of the head up, followed by point-blank headshot.
    • Flooring a guard with a Groin Attack, then stomping on his head.
    • Throwing a spear hard enough to impale a guard and send him falling back.
    • Ezio's Counter Kill animations have also become severely more...violent than they were in AC 2. The strongest knife, the Dagger of Brutus even has its own kill-animations, including, but not limited to, Ezio trying to force a 5cm wide dagger into a person's eyesocket, only to turn the dagger 180 degrees, while it's still implemented in the victim's eyesocket.
    • Execution Rows. Ezio is able to kill a guard and then seamlessly move on to killing the next. And the next. And the next. All in one hit each.
    • If the player is feeling lazy, he can even call for apprentices to kill the guards for him.
  • In Thief: The Dark Project and Thief: The Metal Age, you can potentially kill every single last person on almost any level. Granted, you can't be playing on the higher difficulty settings (as those make killing innocents, or on the highest difficulty setting, killing anyone, a "mission fail" condition. Also, some levels are pure stealth missions and auto-fail if you kill anyone on any difficulty setting.) Since your character is relatively physically weak, you're encouraged to use ambushes and sniping. Still, you can render entire sections of The City devoid of human life.
    • Or, you can knock people unconscious with your blackjack or gas arrows, then drag the unconscious NPC to the nearest body of water and throw them in. Not only will they drown, you will actually get to hear them choking and gasping frantically for breath as they expire.
    • On some levels, you can throw their unconscious bodies into lava!
      • There's a lot of lava in the The Dark Project mission "The Lost City." And in Thief Gold, there's wizards from the Mage's Guild running around down there. And the designers didn't add a 'Don't Kill Anyone' for the updated mission. Have fun!
  • Shoot to wound in Sniper Elite and then shot (preferably to wound) anybody who comes to help him. He'll die within a few minutes without any treatment. You can practice your grenade skills, run away and shot him again for bonus sniper points or just watch.
  • Splinter Cell Conviction requires you to outright torture certain people for information from simply slamming them into things to forcing their face against a burning hot grill.

Sports Game

  • The Football Manager series (World Soccer Manager in North America) of managerial simulators gives you a fair amount of leeway to abuse any player on your team. You can bench someone, yell at him, smear him in the press, work him to death during practice, fine him a week's pay or more for any reason or no reason whenever you feel like it, and generally do everything in your power to make his life hell. Some managers even use this as a deliberate strategy to get a rid of a player they don't want on their team anymore, by trying to make him so unhappy that he'll finally agree to being traded or having his contract bought out.
  • The NFL Blitz series of football games allows many types of hits and tackles that would have players fined and suspended, at minimum, if they did them in real life. It's certainly not necessary to take the ball carrier down with a flying clothesline and then suplex him two or three times after the whistle, but if you feel like doing it, hey, have at it!
  • The Skate series. The first one had Hall of Meat, which told you how many bones you had broken. But things get amped up in Skate 2, where you have the ability to trigger bails at anytime.

Survival Horror

  • An exceptional amount of psychopathic fun can be had with the chickens and cows in Resident Evil 4 your first time through the village and its farm, if you have a couple of grenades handy. The infinite ammo rocket launcher packs a lot more punch, but you'll likely be causing wanton destruction to everything in sight at that point.
    • Damage the cows enough and they'll damn near kill you.
    • Don't forget the good ol' Merchant, who can get killed by firepower, but'll re-spawn in the next area. I don't have enough cash for that weapon upgrade, eh? Enjoy a face full of rocket then! HAHAHAHA!!!

Tabletop Games

  • While not a videogame, it's an inherent risk of running neutral or evil parties in Dungeons and Dragons. In the case of evil parties, this is arguably the point.
    • Some spells in the expansions seem made for this trope. Great examples are Inner Fire (cause target to slowly combust inside and out), Drown (cause target to drown on dry land by filling their lungs with magically respawning water), Choke (basically what Darth Vader does), and the Distort Limb and Distort Body spells (turn target into Body Horror).
    • Some editions of the game had "Heat Metal" as one of the standard, go-to cleric combat spells. It was a spell that caused metal to gradually heat up over the course of several rounds until it burned flesh on contact. The spell description specifically mentioned how excrutiatingly painful it was to try to hold on to something affected by this spell to discourage DMs and good role-players from simply deciding to hang on to their white-hot weapon if they had enough hit points to soak the damage the spell did. Unpleasant when used on your weapon, but remember: the spell was intended to be used against peope wearing metal armor. Heavier armors actually took longer to remove than it took the spell to heat them to flesh-melting temperatures.
  • Earthdawn has its moments as well, at least as a Nethermancer. You get to skin people alive just by touching them, or breaking bones just by snapping your fingers or just inflicting pain (this one without physical injuries though) for the hell of it.

Third Person Shooter

  • Battlefront 2: the award for getting four critical hits on a vehicle with a rocket launcher in one life is a remote-guided cruise missile launcher. Which you can use to snipe enemy infantry. Without giving them the remotest hint of a chance at shooting back. MUAHAHAHAHA!
  • In the Oddworld series, you can kill and/or beat the creatures you're supposed to save or the ones you possess in a myriad of ways. But the probably cruelest of them is presented in Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. Follow the steps:

 Step 1: Find a depressive Mudokon

Step 2: Slap him

Step 3: Watch him kill himself by tapping his forehead

Step 4: Karma Meter goes all way down

    • Other suggested forms of play:
      • Line up ten Mudokons in a row. Slap the Mudokon on the left of the line. Escape to the right of the line of Mudokons. The first Mudokon will get angry and swing his arm in your direction... hitting another Mudokon, who gets angry, and slaps the first Mudokon back, as well as the other Mudokon standing on the other side of him. This continues until everyone's hitting each other. Suddenly, one of the Mudokons falls down dead. Cue all the depressed Mudokons slapping themselves in the head until they die.
      • Ask many Mudokons to follow you. Tell them to wait. Walk behind an electric barrier that has been turned off. Turn it on. Tell the Mudokons to follow. Enjoy several cries of "Aaaaaaahhhh!!!" before Abe says "Whoops..."
      • Ask a blind Mudokon to follow you. He will continue walking in that direction until you tell him to stop. Enjoy watching him bounce painfully off of walls a few times before leading him to a meat grinder.
    • This isn't even mentioning pulling the various levers in the first level without getting the hapless Mudokon cleaner to move first.
    • Possess a Slig, then after using it to do whatever has to be done, stand with its back to a drop and just hold down the fire control until recoil pushes it over the edge. It'll be dead, and you'll be glad.
    • There's actually a special ending if you kill as many Mudokons as possible (apart from the ones you have to save).
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed you can break almost anything. Including the windows of space ships that will pull out everything and everyone near them before the hole is automatically sealed.
  • In Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico, another driver/shooter, between missions during sandbox wandering, the player can pretty much commit any violence to civilians without consequence. When hijacking, the driver is pushed to the passenger's seat and remains in the vehicle, and will make panicked comments in Spanish when the player leaps from it while in motion. Since all vehicles are Made of Explodium, even if it coasts to a halt to lightly tap an obstacle, it and the driver will immediately turn into a spectacular ball of flame.
    • Also in sandbox mode, floating red skulls can be found which initiate the 'Day of the Dead' minigame, in which random hordes of Day of the Dead revelers dressed in skeleton costumes appear and assault the player with a subset of weapons (a good way to stock up on ammo). When the game times out, the celebrants fade back into normal civilians, dying from whatever weapon crosshair was on them at the time.
    • Also in sandbox mode, the player can find chaingun turrets at random and implausible locations. Using one is the only time police will rally, and the gun's only purpose is to blast as many of them as possible for the largest kill streak. The weapon's power easily explodes police cars within a second of sustained fire, killing police inside and around the vehicle, and often triggering a chain reaction that guarantees collateral damage among civilians as well.
  • Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction lends itself to this. Especially when you unlock the aptly-named Cheat Crate and discover within...the portable air strike. Ever wanted to level significant chunks of North Korea? Or indeed any concentration of life and architecture?
    • "Don't take my car, don't take my - nevermind."
  • In Blood Rayne, in the mines, you may notice a few doors have been barricaded from the inside with a few Nazis hiding in them. Rayne will actively taunt these poor fellows who are just hiding from the Daemites, even though they offer no resistance, in fact they are out right cowering. They are free health should you need it, but damn.
    • BloodRayne 2 meanwhile, has many, many different ways you can dismember the human body.
  • Psi Ops the Mindgate Conspiracy is basically designed to be able to mine as much out of this trope as possible. An extremely understated list of what you can do to enemies in the game includes: Shooting them with a few different normal guns, using telekinesis to throw them off precipices, through windows, into walls, into each other, into electrified fences or equipment, using mind control to cause them to shoot each other, themselves, walk into the path of a particle accelerator or off a roof, psionically draining their brains until their heads violently explode, and you know, fire.
    • In fact, the game's mechanics practically encourage cruelty: weapons are relatively weak, and ammo scarce; psi powers drain your meter quickly, with the exception of mind drain. Solution? Use a combination of telekinesis and Mind Drain to yank a foe towards you; drain him of his "psychic energy," causing him to flail around in the air, gibbering incoherently until his head pops like a watermelon with a lit firecracker stuffed in; shampoo rinse repeat. This works on all mooks save the ones in anti-psychic armor, and is a great way to top off the old mind-woogie-juice in mid-fight.
  • Being based on much the same premise, Second Sight lets you perform similar acts of cruelty. It's possible to not only choke your enemies to death with telekinesis, but then to use their bodies as missiles against those enemies still living, if they haven't run away screaming in terror, that is. You can grab an enemy from behind and drag him for use as a meat shield, his comrades won't shoot but you can... So they may get fed up and shoot your hostage anyway.
  • The protagonist of the Wild West video game GUN has, amongst his arsenal, dynamite arrows. This is exactly as awesome as it sounds. The "cruelty" part comes in when you use it on civilians - they react to being hurt first and start running away, only to explode three seconds later. This works especially well since civilians react appropriately to thrown dynamite, but treat dynamite arrows just like normal arrows. For more fun, shoot hookers; rather than running away, they'll run towards you with the intent of knifing you. Just make sure you do it a safe distance away.
    • Gun also allowed you to scalp people after nearly killing them with gruesome results.
  • The 2005 Punisher game allowed you to brutally interrogate people for information and/or your sick enjoyment. The four standard methods included choking, punching, threatening with a pistol, or smashing their face against the ground. Specialty interrogations included feeding them into a wood chipper or a crematorium and this troper's favourite, threatening them with getting gored by a rhinoceros. If you killed them after spilling the beans, you lost points. There were also specialty executions involving shoving them face first into a bear trap and shoving the barrel of a flame thrower into their mouth and pulling the trigger.
  • Just Cause 2. Aside from the perennial favorites of running people down and pumping them full of lead, you can do hilarious things with the grappling hook [1], like tether a person's car to the road (while they're driving) and watch as their car flips over in midair, drag them behind your vehicle while you race along busy streets, or (most importantly) tether a helpless woman to a supersonic jet, fly into the stratosphere with her still attached and jump out of the jet and watch as it plummets back into the ground, with her flailing all the way down.
    • Tethering deserves a line of its own. Tether someone on a vehicle going across a bridge, and there's a good chance they'll go over the side, being suspended in the air all the way to the end of the bridge - and then smacked into concrete. Tether someone to a gas canister, then shoot the canister and watch as it flies into the distance, dragging the enemy along with it until it blows up. Tether someone to a fuel barrel, shoot it and it'll rocket straight up, carrying the person along for the ride. Then it blows up, letting the poor sap plummet to the ground. Get a plane, fly it alongside another plane, jump out of the cockpit and on your plane, tether the two planes together and cause the civilian plane to lose control by pulling it around... or just jump off and see how much of an adverse effect an inert military jet has on an airliner's flight plan.
  • Let us just say that Crusader: No Remorse and its follow-up No Regret are aptly-titled when it comes to what you can do to people.
  • In Syphon Filter you are rewarded for killing Mooks in certain conditions and styles. By using stealth kills, killing them with darts, knives or headshots. Doing so will unlock new weapons and you can carry more darts.
  • 'Video Game/'Jet Force Gemini. You can pick up the heads of both fallen enemies and the teddy bear things you're supposed to be saving (this counts as "saving" them, incidentally). Two late-game weapons are short-range, low-damage guns that exist solely to allow you to slowly and painfully kill your enemies (either by setting them on fire or electrocution). You can slaughter enemies after they've surrendered (actually a good idea, since they like to pull grenades on you when you turn your back).
  • In Slave Zero, you take on the role of a giant 60 story tall robot. Among the actions you can take, are stepping on pedestrians and cars, or you can PICK THEM UP AND THROW THEM AT ENEMIES.

Turn Based Strategy

  • Advance Wars. Remember that using damaged units as bait or as human shields is a valid strategy.
  • In La Pucelle you are encouraged to take the monsters that you purified, put into your party, and loved and nurtured to trust you...and sell them into eternal slavery to the Dark World. You are encouraged to do this as the Dark World will send you gifts for any accomplishments that monster does, such as working through the ranks to Demon Lord or Overlord. In addition, the process fuses any items they had together. Maybe there's a reason Prier is a Demon Overlord in the Disgaea games...
    • Granted, that "loving and nurturing" you did involved stuff ranging from making them break blocks and do push ups to turning them into cyborgs and even shooting them (Granted, you have to build up their trust a number of times before they wouldn't quit over that last one).
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance can be like this if you leave a character KO'd in a Jagd, which they will die afterward. People who aim to have the best optimized team will quickly kill off Montblanc as soon as they enter their first Jagd battle since he can't be booted from the clan and most "pro" players hate him for having poor magic stats compared to others.
    • If Montblanc is killed mid-game, his storyline scenes are replaced with the arguably much more interesting character Ezel Berbier. Some players actually kill Montblanc just to replace the annoying storyline companion with the more interesting one.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics pretty much from the very beginning, you can pass over Mandalia Plains repeatedly until you get a random encounter. The enemies' party will invariably have a yellow chocobo in it and you can kill off everyone else in its party, then surround it and attack it virtually endlessly as its only healing action, Choco Cure, also heals characters on all four sides, thus giving you a way to level up and get a hell of a lot of jp to boot, and joy of all joys, all you have to do is torture a sad-faced chocobo forever.
    • It doesn't stop there. You can attack your fellow party members for experience and/or job points, invite people into your party just to take their gear and kick them out, or murder your own teammates, wait for their Final Death and eat their soul absorb their crystal to instantly learn the skills they did. You can also raise monsters only to kill them permanently for their "skins" (which can them be traded for rare items in certain shops).
    • Slightly less cruel is the ability to Level Grind yourself retarded so that every story battle is a demonstration of No Kill Like Overkill, or going for a Total Party Kill in the "Kill X" scenarios. The downside to this is that random encounters scale with Ramza's level, making certain areas Beef Gates.
  • Jagged Alliance 2. Two words: mustard gas. It is entirely possible with a mixture of launchers, mortars, and hand-thrown canisters to flood an area with sickly yellow clouds, and then serenely walk with your own (gas-masked) mercs wielding knives and punching weapons.
  • It is a common occurence in Fire Emblem games for there to be a non-recruitable friend/mentor figure/family member/lover/etc. of one of the player's characters on the enemy side. If one so chooses, he can make them the one to do their loved ones in. Usually, they get a special battle conversation for that.
  • Star Trek: Birth Of The Federation can implement this trope. Though you're usually given a diplomatic option (an option you're encouraged to use if you play as the Federation), you can simply choose to subjugate or destroy other races. In fact, your people will actually be happier with you for choosing these options if you're playing as the Cardassians (in the case of the former) or the Klingons (in the case of the latter).
  • In the otherwise excellent old game No Greater Glory, a simulation of the US Civil War, your score if you won depended on how well you had brought your country through the war, and evaluated you on the basis of four criteria: popular support, finance, diplomacy, and peace terms. You will note what is missing from that list: casualties. The number of men you had killed on either side over the course of the war has no effect on your final score, so if sacrificing more of your own men would improve your performance in one of the four categories, the game would register that as a better and higher-scoring performance. What that often meant in practice was that if you knew you were about to win, you could juice your score by grabbing areaa that you didn't need to win, even if that meant both inflicting and taking unnecessary casualties.

Visual Novel

  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney may not seem like this at first. But consider: in his quest to clear various clients, Phoenix drives several witnesses to tears. Including an eight-year-old boy.
    • In case 2-3 Acro turns out to have killed Berry accidentally while trying to kill Regina because she accidentally killed his brother Aero. At the end of the case, Regina asks is Acro is going to come after her. The "correct" answer is to say "No," and to show her some evidence, but's there's no real reason you can't say "Of course he is!" and send her off in tears.
      • Halfway throughout the case, you'll run into Franziska during the second investigation phase. For every irrelevant piece of evidence you present to her, she whips Maya. You can do this for as many times as you like without any repercussion.
    • In case 2-4, the game forces you to accuse Adrian Andrews, an innocent woman who has just solidified herself as The Woobie of murder in order to stall for time. For a client that you know is guilty as sin.
    • In Investigations Case 5, you run into the Steel Samurai, who reveals himself to be Larry Butz. If you present the wrong evidence to him during the one invesigation phase that lets you talk to him, Larry refuses to look at your evidence because he's too busy staring at Franziska. Franziska promptly offers to "sear her image into his mind for eternity" by sending him on a "Whippity-Whip-Trip" into unconsciousness. This is probably the one time in which presenting wrong evidence in an investigation phase can be pretty satisfying...and hilarious.
    • Case 1-4 had two examples of this with the buttmonkeys of choice being Lotta and/or Butz. At some point Gumshoe will offer you either a dog (Missile), a fishing rod or a metal detector to fish for Gourdy to find key evidence for your case. The correct choice would be the metal detector, but the two other options can lead to this. For Lotta the player can take the fishing pole which Maya will use in the lake to fish for Gourdy, only to trip and fall, causing Lotta's cameras to react and waste more (very expensive) rolls of film than you already wasted earlier in the case. For Larry the player can take Missile who will react automatically to the aroma of Larry's Samurai dogs the minute you get into the park, let alone the crime scene, causing the aptly-named poochy to run like a missile and chow down on all of Larry's hotdogs, making him lose his (at this point, already doomed) business. For added butthurt, you can also show Missile to Larry after the puppy ate his entire revenue.
      • Lotta's the Butt Monkey even if you don't get the fishing rod. If you don't Maya sneezes setting off the camera anyways.
  • Half of the fun of playing Winter Shard is the freedom it gives the player to be the evilest, sickest bastard imaginable if they want to play Frederone like that. It won't get you anywhere near the True ending, though.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • In The Godfather: The Game, your character is capable of a wide variety of sadistic acts, including throwing people into ovens. And you get a special bonus, a fairly nice amount of money, for managing to fill out the entire list of execution styles. There are 22 for the original PC, Play Station 2 and Xbox versions, but the ante was upped to 52 for the Wii version. The assassination sub missions also have this, as you gain a great deal more money and points for killing the targets in specific ways.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Everything from mowing down pedestrians in a high-speed bus to lighting a bunch of Hare Krishna's on fire with a flamethrower - and plenty more besides. Those games may have a central storyline and missions to play through - but we all know that they're basically one big, brutal sandbox.
    • A special mention goes to the GOURANGA bonus, which you get by flattening a line of six chanting Hare Krishna without missing any. You'd get an instant four-star rating, but it was oh so worth it.
    • Killing people will quickly spawn an ambulance, and setting things on fire will quickly spawn a firetruck - and you didn't really want to go all the way to the hospital/fire station to jack one of those, right?
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV there are ample opportunities to cinematically execute certain in-game persons using a pistol. Stand there, gun poised and finger on the trigger, listening to them beg for mercy. After hearing everything they had to say...oops, my finger slipped.
    • Oh, and some pedestrians/cops won't immediately die after you've accosted them. Sometimes they roll onto their side or back and just lay there, begging you not to finish them off. They'll eventually die, though some even try to get up and limp away. You can put a bullet in their head or a few in the chest and watch a pool of blood slowly flow from beneath them...
    • A fun thing to do in GTA4 is to run around pushing as many people as you can, getting a mob on your hands... And then running around them until someone hits someone else, and seeing how big a brawl you can start.
    • Not to mention that the physics engine itself in GTA IV has potential all its own, allowing you to push NPCs down stairways, down steep hills, and off balconies.
    • Said physics engine along with the AI also allows for some fun little situations, as most people won't even be bothered (beyond a few 'get out of my way' type sound clips) by you pushing them around or even standing on them... Just as long as you don't actually hit the attack button. Even cops can be mercilessly pushed over simply by running up against and around them, and as long as the fall isn't hard enough for them to lose health, they'll happily tolerate a Serbian dude standing on their chest. They also won't mind you walk-pushing someone they just arrested away... Rather, they'll chase HIM down and ignore you.
    • Police can't get around proverbial waist-high fences -- vehicles you leave parked in inconvenient spots, such as stairwells and doorways. This means having free rein to engage in some truly disturbing behavior, like visiting a TW@ during the busy hours, and not leaving until everyone inside has *ahem* logged off.
    • Due to some odd AI, police will attempt to get up right next you at all costs... including falling to their deaths. Just watch this video.
      • Bonus: Watch for the taxi backing up over the cops.
  • San Andreas has a few cruelty moments that are a part of the main missions. One mission has you kidnap a music manager and drive off the docks while you jump out of the car, hearing him whine before that he can't swim. Another one has you get revenge for your sister who was harassed by some construction workers by pushing the foreman around with a bulldozer while he is inside a portable toilet, hearing him gag and yell about the smell and being splashed with his own poop. You kill him by pushing his stall in a ditch and filling it with cement, burying him alive!
    • In San Andreas, they added the ability to swim to the player, the girlfriends and some other NPCs. Note that cops are not on the list.
    • San Andreas has just dozens of examples; heck the cops and pedestrians will sometimes just kill the hell out of each other with no player involvement.
    • In most of the GTA3 spin-offs, the police will always spawn on roads, coming at you at high speeds. There are plenty of places to stand where you are close to the roads but not easily reached. Get yourself a 4-6 star rating, find one of these perches, and just sit and watch various police units damage their cars (ramming objects, ramming each other, jumping their cars through the air with no regard as to where they land...) to the point of exploding as they spaz out trying to reach you. You'll need a weapon to fend off the helicopters in later games, but in GTA3 one can keep a "chase" going forever just by finding the right spot to sit while the police repeatedly kill themselves trying to get at you.
      • San Andreas gives the player the option to do burglaries as a side mission. While the only mandatory burglary enforces stealth, the typical sidequest burglary goes like this: Enter house, kill the occupants in their sleep and then just sweep the apartment clean. Repeat a few times each night.
    • Sometimes, hitting a pedestrian in the car would not be enough to kill em. You could just park over them instead and watch the blood flow from underneath your car...
    • China Town Wars introduced the tazer as a melee weapon. The in game manual introduces it as a non-lethal repellent to allow the protoganist run away. Developers anticipated that few players would be that peaceful, so that continued tazering would set the victims on fire. It earns you one immediate wanted level.
  • Crackdown: It's like Grand Theft Auto, except you're a superpowered cop bordering on the concept of Ubermensch. It is so easy to drive down the sidewalk screaming "I am the law!" After all, who is going to stop you? Well, the other police will try, but they don't have rocket launchers.
  • Scarface the World Is Yours never allows you to directly target innocent people for killing when controlling Tony, but that won't stop players from shoving and smacking them with melee weapons to their heart's content. My favorite thing to do was call up a henchman to bring a car over, wait for him to get out, then push him and quickly press the taunt button to get results like "Get the hell outta here!" shove Using explosives or running them over would also work, although these would never be fatal against civilians.
    • Since rewards are given for taunting after shooting an enemy, it's actually beneficial to shoot to wound. Oh yes, we mustn't forget how Tony's hired guns can kill whomever they want.
  • In Saints Row 2, you were offered the hilarious option of satchel charges that attached themselves to people. The developers even went so far as to code the targets with the same animation that they have when on fire. You could do this to literally anybody, leading to hilarious moments where everyone in your crib would explode in quick succession.
    • This also works in Red Faction.
    • For added fun: Set people alight with the flamethrower. Blow a train off its tracks with a well placed rocket. Throw grenades into crowded clubs. Mow down entire crowds of people in a pick-up truck. Use the pimp-slap weapon to send people flying through the air. Take some people hostage and drive the car straight into the sea.
      • Or drown pedestrians in a stream of raw sewage. This won't always kill them, but would you seriously want to survive something so disgusting?
      • Your own avatar during the 'Insurance Fraud' missions. Throwing yourself at speeding vehicles to get flung into the sky and bounce into a ragdolled sprawl is addictive fun. Catch the front-end of a semi to gain the most air, and if you're lucky you can guide your plummeting descent into the grill of yet another.
      • Really want to be sick? Shoot up a hospital, like in GTA 4. You can shoot up a hospital. Filled with the doctors and nurses who may have just patched you up after your last rampage.
      • Grab an innocent civilian or cop as a human shield, watch them struggle futiley in your grasp, and listen to them try to convince you to let them go. The kicker? There's no way to do so without killing them, be it by snapping their necks, a headshot, or throwing them a ridiculous distance. Some of what they say is pretty funny, but some sound clips cross over into legitimate Tear Jerker territory, so much so you may be tempted to revive them with the shock paddles to soothe your guilty conscience.
      • This is lampshaded by one of the six voices you can choose for your character. In a Take That against YOU, one of the voices, when drunk on 4 beer bottles, might say "I ONLY HURT PEOPLE CUZ I'M CRYIN ON THE INSIDE!" Yup. That's you they're talking about, you angry video game nerd.
  • Cole McGrath, protagonist of In Famous, is gifted with electricity-based superpowers, but he can only manipulate it, not generate it. One possible option for recharging the metaphorical batteries? Suck the electrical charge out of people. One imagines this isn't good for the morality meter.
    • Another option is demonstrated in this Penny Arcade strip. A God Am I anyone?
    • Pressing any button to start the game kills a large part of the city
    • If you play the good karma route, you can be even crueler. Innocent people love you and run after you to take your pictures. Lead them into a dead-end alley with a puddle at the entrance. Fry one person once they're all clustered around you, and then stand in the puddle. They all try to run out of the alley, through the puddle being charged by your electricity. Excellent.
    • The sequel adds many more karma events, and thus many more possibilities for this trope. One good example is the random bombs that will be stuck to walls. Cole's electricity makes these defusable with ease. Alternatively, you can fire at them at a distance, thus setting them off prematurely and killing anyone in the area (sometimes upwards of a dozen people). Then there's casting bio-leech on the wounded, dying civilians instead of healing them, "saving" a mugging victim by throwing a truck at them, and many more.
  • You can ransack and pillage handfuls of towns in Sid Meiers Pirates!
  • So much in Prototype (Well, it is the Spiritual Successor to the aforementionned Hulk: Ultimate Destruction...). Some of the "consume" animations are obscenely vicious, and there's a lot of nasty things you can do to enemies or innocent bystanders even beyond that. Actually justified, for a change -- one of the nodes you can unlock in the "Web of Intrigue" notes that the protagonist is a sociopath, very nearly in so many words.

  "Eat an old man, take his appearance, run all the way up the tallest building, then elbow-drop 200 stories onto his confused and frightened wife! Then sneak up behind two soldiers and eat one without his friend noticing, and when the two of you get back to base, accuse your friend of being you in disguise! Then when all the other soldiers are distracted shooting him, eat them, too! If only Jeffery Dalmer had had this game to blow off steam with, a lot of young Milwaukee gay boys would be walking around uncannibalized!"

    • And nobody mentioned the Body Surf ability? The ability to not just deliver a flying kick to a person's body, but to follow through and ride their corpse in a trail of gore, knocking over anyone else in your path. For extra stunt-satisfaction, it is possible to palm-strike enemies into the air and do a flying body-surf on them as they come down. Of course, all of this is for when you don't feel like bisecting whole crowds with the whipfist, mashing them with thrown cars, gunning them down with a helicopter or driving over them in a tank... all while they run away screaming.
    • There's also the fact that he's not even human, but instead an avatar of the Blacklight Virus.
  • Bully. You can beat up anyone you want, and unless they're cops you'll probably win. More importantly, no matter how many members of a specific faction you attack, missions are the only way to decrease your standing with any of them.
    • With the motor scooter you can win at the fair, you can even run over innocent schoolchildren, although you can't kill them. For added fun, this will make the teachers run after you to send you to detention, but they can't even come close to catching up to you.
    • Scenario: untimed mission, like 'Christmas'. Stuff all nearby prefects in lockers (yes, you ARE allowed to do this!). Usually it takes two in the area to get this going, but once you have..everyone's a target, not just teen boys. Remember those annoying little kids who love to tell on you just because you're defending yourself against an ambush? Knee in the groin on a little boy will remind them. And since Everything Fades, you can do it again in a couple of minutes!
    • In the boys dorm, throw marbles in front of the door. Then pull the fire alarm and hide in the trash can - watch as everyone says, "Oh boy! A Fire!" "Who set that alarm off?" and other stuff, and then watch as they can't get past the door because of the marbles. Then throw itching powder and hide in your room and watch the riots break out.
      • Also, hide in your dorm room and fire the fire extinguisher at people as they walk past. Or just fire at people and then hide.
    • If you can find them, Kick Me Signs can be a prime source of comedy considering that EVERYBODY takes them seriously - even prefects, girls, and little kids come over and kick people with a "Kick me" sign on their back. Sadly it's quite rare.
    • Disturbing icing on the cake is that you can beat up the dog in the grass-mowing detention area until it runs away.
  • Red Dead Redemption gives you a lasso to Wreak Havok with after you help Bonnie McFarlane out a few times. You will inevitably lasso and hogtie a woman onto some train tracks and be rewarded for it, or if you're particularly sadistic, you can just skip the hogtying and drag her around until she snaps her neck on the ground.
    • Here's the kicker: The name of the achievement for tying a woman to the train tracks? Dastardly.
    • Red Dead Redemption certainly has a lot of this, while it's not as obvious as in Grand Theft Auto. The player may use the lasso to catch and tie down almost any NPC, and do whatever to them. Leave them in the middle of nowhere? Check. Shoot their knees? Oh yes. Leave them on a railroad track? Yes, and you even get a trophy when the train comes! And then there's animal cruelty... dismount your horse by shooting it in the head, hunt bears with dynamite and make the buffalo extinct (yes, you can do that).
  • Yume Nikki, and most fangames associated with it, usually give you at least one effect that allows you to kill practically everything up to the Goddamn Bats. That said, not EVERYTHING can be attempted to be killed without punishment, though they vary from game to game.
  • Spore is just made of this. Even though cruelty is the whole point of the game (and so a certain amount of it is necessary), there's still a boatload of unnecessary pain-infliction in each stage:
    • Cell Stage: Not so much here, since if you're a carnivore you need to eat basically every other cell, but there's one specific cell towards the end of the stage which is itself completely harmless. Should you decide to take advantage of this and gobble it up, it will (in addition to the usual amount of meat) drop several eggs... which you can then eat. Congratulations, you've just eaten unborn cells. Somehow.
    • Creature Stage: Here's where things get a bit worse. Attacking helpless, big-eyed baby creatures because they're easier to defeat? Yep. Eating other creature's eggs because the game gives you a hefty bonus for doing so? Uh-huh. And just try to tell me that you've never lured an Epic over to the nest of a particularly annoying species.
    • Tribal Stage: In your quest for planetary dominance, you have two options. Befriend every other tribe... or destroy every other tribe. Sure, if you choose the former, you can beat the stage in about ten minutes, but guess which option is more fun? Sure, if you want a red or blue card you need to annihilate some tribes, but...
    • Civilization Stage: Cruelty in this stage is more sophisticated and requires a bit more planning. For example...

 Step 1: Using an Economic city, befriend just about every other city and set up trade routes

Step 2: Buy out a Military city

Step 3: Cue alliance-breaking, ridiculously easy rampage

    • Space Stage: This is the real example, as you don't really have any objectives in this stage, and you're free to do whatever the hell you want. Such as... lasering, pulse-blasting and bombing innocent creatures, tribes and cities from orbit? Stealing the spice from primitive alien cities and getting off scot-free? How about supersizing an unsuspecting creature and watching it unwittingly destroy its peers? Looking for a good planet to colonize? Just wipe out whatever species is living there and you get a free, very inhabitable planet with no need for altering. And then... then there's the Planet Buster. Enough said.
  • Minecraft has a lot of cruelty potential for the imaginative. Want to run around punching chickens, cows and pigs? You can. It's also very possible to build complicated traps to use against the mobs that come after you with enough time and resources, and once you've got the right materials, it's entirely possible, depending on the environment you're in, to start a forest fire that engulfs an area the size of a large city in flames. Assuming you can bear to destroy your own constructions, there's even more cruel fun to be had creating, and then setting of a self destructing base.
    • It takes a special brand of cruelty to log into a multiplayer server just to burn the place down, or leave crude designs and message everywhere, though most servers have measures against this kind of thing.
    • Recently in Minecraft, Notch added the feature that if pigs die due to being on fire, they drop cooked pork. In his twitter he acknowledged this was probably bad.
      • 1.8 added for cows and chickens to drop their respective meats and cooked variants if on fire, the full release adds the ability to enchant weapons with fire aspect...
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the advent of auto-generated NPC villages complete with villagers. The sadistic player can easily slaughter the inhabitants, burn the houses down, and if you're feeling extra dickish, you can even bomb the ruins.
      • Except, not since Iron golems, that protect the villagers, defend them when you atack them.
  • Sometimes, dealing with the survivors in Dead Rising and Dead Rising 2 is just plain annoying - or worse, as they can sometimes indiscriminately hit you with their attacks. Others are a particular pain to try to escort to the safe room (particularly any that have to be lead by hand or carried). That said, Frank and Chuck, respectively, don't have to take it. When those times come, it can be just fun to stick survivors with an utterly terrible weapon (like a foam hand) and watch zombies overwhelm them (or for extra bastard credit in the first, take pictures of them being eaten by zombies for extra experience). Though if they really annoy you, you can also just wail on them yourself. Sure, they'll turn on you if you hit them enough, but by that point they'll soon be about to die themselves.


Adventure Game

  • One part of a Nancy Drew game has the character's aunt ask her to make a sandwich to eat. The player can then make the most volatile sandwich ever (Peanut butter, tomatoes, ice cream, outdated mayonnaise, jellyfish) and then either feed it to Nancy's aunt or have Nancy eat it herself. Unfortunately this causes a game over.
  • Averted hard in Below The Root. The society is so Actual Pacifist that you can't even pull Kleptomaniac Hero - unless it's out in the open, you have to find the owner and ask nicely. Better is if you find the Wand of Befal (machete). Use it on a living creature, and you've just made the game Unwinnable.

Driving Game

  • In Midnight Club Los Angeles, you cannot run over the pedestrians however hard you try. They always jump out of the way when your car comes down on them. Always.
  • The same applies to the Grand Canyon track in Gran Turismo 4, which features tourists standing in the middle of the road to take photographs and jumping out of the way just before you'd end up hitting them. If you actually do, you'll just clip through them.

First-Person Shooter

  • In all three of the Marathon games, you are not only capable, but encouraged by Bungie to kill BOBs, which, in the first game, are unarmed civillians who have no hope of survival without the Player's help. In Marathon 2: Durandal, they are volunteers risking their lives and listening to the batshit Durandal to help the player, however, like in Halo, killing two of them will cause them to shoot at you. In Marathon Infinity, it's actually the player character's mission to kill them in more levels than they help him in, and for some reason they're a lot better at killing you than they are at killing aliens. The aliens that so easily killed them before, while working at your side, get mercilessly mowed down by the BOBs.
  • In Soldier of Fortune II, killing any NPC's results in an instant game over.


  • In World of Warcraft, the schoolchildren in Stormwind that travel in a group are not hostile to Horde players, so cruel mages cannot use AoE spells on them.
    • Children can't be targeted at all, although you can pointlessly give them buffs.
  • In Star Wars: the Old Republic, in Corescant there is a child quest giver that is inordinately higher level (maxed at 50) than all the other quest-realted NPCs in the area. Almost as if the devs are protecting her in case PVP ever makes it way to that area.

Platform Game

  • Despite the appearance of its sequel above, the original Jak and Daxter game went so far as to make all the NPCs invulnerable to avoid this. Of course, this was before Renegade sent it Darker and Edgier.

Sports Game

  • In some Madden NFL games, if you make a dive at a CPU player who's crossing the endzone, the CPU player turns invincible and your player just bounces off of him, the intent being to stop people from invoking this trope by trying to hit players as revenge for the touchdown. The issue is that they give human players no such invincibility from CPU players. They'll fall to the ground from hits while in the endzone as though they're still in the field of play.

Wide Open Sandbox

Simulation Game

  • The Sims is well-known for the cruelty which players may inflict on their little computer people. My Sims, on the other hand, avoids all that. Eating and drinking is merely recreational, the toilet is a place to read the newspaper, there's nowhere to drown in, and if you could so generously give them an item that separates them from the door, they'd just teleport through it. The cruelest thing you can do is Be Mean, which chooses from a random set of mean actions (yell at, stomp on foot, throw water balloon at, breathe bad breath at, start a fight, pop an inflated paper bag...), and that doesn't even reduce your relationship below "Acquaintance," like repeatedly being nice raises it up to "Best Friend."
    • Really? You can take all their furniture, replace it with tacky furniture in their hated Interest and even leave them without a place to sleep, eat, or even use the bathroom, and they can't do anything about it or even die a mercy death. Put Goth Boy or Violet into a house made of flowers and rainbows. Light Is Not Good.

Turn-Based Strategy

  • The Fire Emblem example above is averted in the 9th and 10th game. Trying to make Jill kill her father will actually have her decide that she can't do it and rather side with him instead, fighting you. In the 10th game, you have playable units on both sides, often also related in some way. Some of them simply will not have the Attack command appear if you put them next to that enemy. Of course, Brom would never raise his weapon against his own daughter and so on...
    • However, if you've gotten an A-support for her, you can re-recruit Jill after she turns against you, and if you re-issue that attack command...
  • The Third Fire Emblem had a chapter where you fight four previous recruited characters from a previous arc. You can kill three of them, leaving a specific unit to survive and be recruited later. In the Remake, where killing them won't give you nothing as they are recruitable.
    • Bonus points that that two of the three are Game breakers from the Prequel's Second remake.

In Fiction

Anime & Manga

  • Digimon Adventure 02 has a villain who takes this to the extreme; it's quite clearly implied that he treats Digimon absolutely horribly... however, we then learn that he was under the impression that the Digital World was a video game all along.
  • This happened again in Digimon Xros Wars. This time, Yuu Amano was manipulated by the villains into thinking the digital world was just a game world where he could play however he wished. All he wanted was a way to play to the best of his abilities without the risk of anyone getting hurt, and when he finds out this isn't the case- and that a lot of death and destruction has come from it- he also has a major breakdown. Fortunately, the heroes, one of whom is his loving sister, are more than willing to forgive him and help him come to terms with things.

Comic Books

  • Kid Paddle when he plays Sim City. He put barbed wire around the city so noone can leave it, and raised taxes to 100% to pay for the police he needs to oppress the population. Not surprisingly, when asked what the biggest problem is, 100% of the people say "The mayor!"


  • In War Games, David and Jennifer definitely get into the spirit of this trope when they start playing the "Global Thermonuclear War" and gleefully discuss which U.S. cities they should bomb first.


  • In Animorphs, the Ketrans had a god game called Alien Civilizations. The Capasins wiped the Ketrans out because they caught their transmissions and thought it was real.
  • In Ender's Game the battle school students are basically forced to use this to its furthest extent in order to beat the game on their electronic desks.
    • Hell, this is essentially how the plot is resolved: Ender is tired of playing games for the military, and does what he thinks is the most despicable and cruel thing he can possibly do in order to get out of it - slams the device into the alien planet and destroys the whole thing, including all of the ships in orbit from both sides. Turns out that's exactly the response they wanted.
      • It was also his only choice for victory when faced with overwhelming odds. "The enemy gate is down" indeed.
    • And this also comes into play even earlier with "The Fantasy Game", the recreational computer game that the students play. Ender not only discovers he can kill the Giant that commands the unbeatable "Giant's Drink" minigame, but also has to kill the "wolf-children" that he finds, and then repeatedly kills the snake he finds in the tower. However, it's inverted in that final level. The way around the snake in the tower challenge is not to kill the snake, but to love it.
  • In Daemon, Loki sees humans who are not part of the Darknet as NPCs. The Daemon does not allow him to outright kill them for no reason, but he can torment them in various ways (like destroying their bank accounts). When he is able to kill them (as part of a mission or in self-defense), he does so happily and in the most gruesome way available to him.
  • The mid-80s collection of computer articles Digital Deli includes the "Crunchy Computer" comics. When hippie Crunchy tries to steer his son away from violent video game fair by giving him the "Save the Whales" game, Crunchy Jr. finds it far more fun to shoot the whales.

Live Action TV

  • Spaced mentioned this in an episode where Tim is playing Tomb Raider. When Brian notes that Lara Croft is drowning and asks if that's the point, Tim replies that it "Depends what kind of mood you're in."
  • The Star Trek holodeck gives the characters to plenty of chances to do horrible things to their in-universe fictional worlds.
    • One Star Trek: Voyager episode features Tuvok strangling a hologram of Neelix to death.
    • In an episode of Deep Space Nine, Nog invites Jake Sisko to spend their day looting and pillaging a city in the holodeck.
    • Another episode centered around a Holodeck Malfunction with a James Bond theme. In order to buy time so they could rescue the crew, Bashir pushes the "submerge the world" button, drowning all but the highest mountaintops. Everyone is just shocked at this, including the villain who was planning on doing it.
    • In The Next Generation, after Data inexplicably experiences anger during a fight with a Borg drone, he creates a Holodeck program where he kills the drone repeatedly in an attempt to replicate the emotion.
    • In a very intentional case, Seska sabotaged the Holodeck into a death trap that reprogrammed itself to torture its occupants.
  • Community features an episode with Troy and Abed playing a war game that turns out to award points for killing innocent civilians, as they learn when they start playing with a guy who is unbeknownst to them an actual war criminal.
    • Another has a Legend of Zelda-esque shopping trip turn into the brutal murder of the shopkeep and his wife, the shop being burned down, and their daughter now forced to marry or live in the woods.

Tabletop Games

  • Related to this trope, Exalted has an inherent metaphysical bond between two player character types. While it was meant by the divinities who put it in place to be the stuff of eternal romances and battle-forged friendships, the nature of the bond between the Solar and the Lunar Exalted has the potential for great abuse, both within the world and with certain magical abilities the Solars possess that can subjugate their Lunar Mate even more. There is a reason, after all, one Solar charm was dubbed the Lunar-taming Leash.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • In an episode of X-Men: Evolution, a teenage (but not evil) version of Arcade hacks into Cerebro and commands it to attack all the X-Men who show up in the Danger Room, believing it is simply an advanced computer game.
    • For some reason he doesn't recognize any of the "characters" as his schoolmates.
      • Well, obviously, he thinks everyone except Kurt created a "character" who looked just like them.
  • Averted in The Venture Brothers where 21 and 24 are discussing Tomb Raider and how Lara could drown, which a horrified 21 described as grisly.
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Regina Monologues", Bart and Milhouse are playing a video game called Hockey Dad, which, as the name implies, is a fighting game that involves two dads at their kids hockey match. Bart manages to win essentially by ignoring the child of his character pleading for him to stop, as he didn't want the dad to resort to murdering Milhouse's character (note that when the kid was begging him not to, the dad in question was literally stomping the snot out of his opponent's face [well, blood, but still], and his final blow involved strangling his opponent with the opponent's own tie). The winning screen has the winning dad doing a victorious pose and is implied to be arrested by the police, although whether this was supposed to be Video Game Cruelty Punishment was debatable, given the fact that there was a winner sign, the dad smiling while being carted away by the police, and the announcer saying "You're a big man! BIG MAN!!"



  1. In the Wild World version for the DS, you can just tap your character with the stylus to make sure you swing and not talk.
  2. available at the same page as Stair Dismount above
  3. the male and female player characters. Playing as one gender makes the other a marriage candidate
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