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Not Quite Saved Enough

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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })So you spent the past 20 hours fighting your way past the forces of darkness, plumbing the depths of hell itself and personally handing the Big Bad's strongest minions their own asses, all to rescue the princess and see her home safely. The princess and the hero kiss, the king hands the hero his just reward, and he sets off, no doubt intending to walk off into the sunset. You can practically smell the credits about to roll...
...and then the enemy superweapon levels the castle, killing the princess and demolishing the surrounding town. You and the protagonist sit there, stunned: what the hell just happened?
As it turns out, the princess was Not Quite Saved Enough.
Sometimes, no matter what the heroes do, destiny (i.e. the writer) just has it in for some characters. Save the princess? You come back later and find out she's suffered a Fate Worse than Death. Rescue the village? The Big Bad burns it later. Recover the legendary artifact? Too bad; there's a mole among the good guys and he smashes it right before the heroes have the chance to use it. This is a very specific and special flavor of Diabolus ex Machina that only happens after the protagonists think they've won, a prolonged Hope Spot capped off with a "Shaggy Dog" Story, or worse, an immediate death right after the victory.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })Compare Pyrrhic Victory, Cheated Death, Died Anyway, and Take a Moment to Catch Your Death. Can rely on Cutscene Incompetence. See also All for Nothing and Yank the Dog's Chain. In sequels, this can also manifest as Happy Ending Override or Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome. In a work with Multiple Endings depending on the choices of the reader or player, this is typically a sign that the reader / player screwed up somewhere if it's near the end of the story, and/or doubling as a Non-Standard Game Over.
As this is often a Death Trope, spoilers will ensue.
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The final episode of Tales from the Crypt is a Darker and Edgier version of the Three Little Pigs story. The Pig who built his house of bricks gets revenge for the death of his abusive brothers by creating a Frankenstein monster to kill the Big Bad Wolf. The monster swallows the Wolf whole. The pig feels guilty, afterwards, and decides to stop the monster. He does so, only for the Wolf to pop out of the Monster's belly and eat the Pig. The trope is even Lampshaded by the Wolf before the episode ends.
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 Tales from the Crypt
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This occurs in Worm when the Slaughterhouse Nine attack the city. Most of the Nine are dead or wounded and Siberian's weakness has been found, but Jack Slash is still alive and escapes. A prediction made by a precog claimed that if he escaped, it would cause the world to end in two years.
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Then we flash forward to the .hack//G.U., where Jyotaro Amagi has single-handedly destroyed everything. The World R:1 is no more, its servers having been destroyed in a colossal fire after Amagi went berserk when his R.A. project failed to bring Aura back after she went missing. More frustratingly, the R.A. project required the data from the Eight Phases, and obtaining this data involved vivisecting Mia. That's right: they killed her off in backstory, after you had to go through all that trouble saving her. Sometimes .hack//G.U. feels like a colossal Take That! at the entire fanbase.
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The Lair of the White Worm: Cobra antivenom is proof against infection by the Vampire Snake People's bite. Angus gets bitten in the final battle but doses himself up. Then, after all the evil has been destroyed, he discovers there was a mix-up in the lab and they sent him an inert placebo sample by mistake. The film ends with him smirking ominously at his fellow survivor.
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In the season 6 finale of House, a woman is trapped under rubble and House goes to great lengths to keep her alive until she can be extricated. She then dies in the ambulance from a complication that House couldn't have prevented even if he'd seen it coming.
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.hack: Aura, Mia and the entirety of The World R:1. The original four .hack games end with Kite having secured his place in legend as the "Azure Flame" by saving the MMORPG The World and all the AI in it, including Aura, the daughter The World's creator wished he had, from the malevolent digital sentience Morganna and her Eight Phases. Mia, the purple catgirl who turned out to be one of the Eight Phases, can also be restored at the end of the final game by plumbing the depths of a 100-floor bonus dungeon.
Then we flash forward to the .hack//G.U., where Jyotaro Amagi has single-handedly destroyed everything. The World R:1 is no more, its servers having been destroyed in a colossal fire after Amagi went berserk when his R.A. project failed to bring Aura back after she went missing. More frustratingly, the R.A. project required the data from the Eight Phases, and obtaining this data involved vivisecting Mia. That's right: they killed her off in backstory, after you had to go through all that trouble saving her. Sometimes .hack//G.U. feels like a colossal Take That! at the entire fanbase.
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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: Raiden goes through a bunch of crap trying to save Otacon's stepsister Emma, and has to guide her and protect for a good part of the latter half of the game, capped off during a sniping sequence where both he and Snake take out enemies while she's attempting to cross a platform. Then Vamp suddenly shows up and takes her hostage. Even after taking him out, Emma manages to get fatally wounded in the process. D'oh!
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Perhaps the prototypal example is the original Night of the Living Dead (1968). In a movie filled with groundbreaking departures from tradition, this trope was perhaps the most significant. After a heroic struggle, Ben is left the only survivor of a night of mayhem and horror in the farmhouse. The next morning he awakes to the sound of a rescue party approaching the house, but as he peers through the boarded-up windows for a glimpse of his potential saviors, they mistake him for just another zombie and perfunctorily shoot him in the head. The movie ends with a sequence of still images of Ben's lifeless, anonymous corpse impaled on a meat hook and dragged to a human bonfire. No one ever knows who he was or what he went through to survive the night . . . of the living dead.
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 Night of the Living Dead (1968)
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Nia Teppelin from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann dies in the ending as a direct result of destroying the Anti-Spiral, even though Simon had spent the entire second half of the series trying to save her.
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 Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
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On NCIS: Los Angeles Dom was kidnapped by terrorists who were hiding in LA the whole time. He's finally found and is just within touching distance when he's gunned down.
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 NCIS: Los Angeles
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In the manga and Brotherhood, the same situation is a subversion. While the same events up to the civil war still happen, and much of the city gets destroyed, by the time the protagonists return the citizens have made peace and started to rebuild. However, enough blood was spilled during the civil war to power Liore's node in the nationwide transmutation circle, making this a Double Subversion.
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 Fullmetal Alchemist (Manga)
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In Highlander: The Series, Duncan MacLeod rescues his mortal girlfriend Tessa Noel from a renegade Watcher ... only for a random mugger to show up and gun her down on the street outside when she doesn't hand over her engagement ring fast enough.
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 Highlander
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In Call of Duty 4, one of the protagonists, a US Marine, rescues a downed helicopter pilot and gets and his squad evacuates the capital. However, the villain sets off a nuke in his own capital, not only killing destroying most of the US expeditionary force, but crashing the helicopter the Marine was on killing both the "rescued" helicopter pilot and the player, who is only able to stagger out of the wrecked chopper's exit ramp before collapsing and expiring.
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Every single one of the temporal screw-ups in Time Hollow was caused by the villain futilely trying over and over to prevent his mother from dying.
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Utøya: July 22, a reenactment of the Breivik Massacre (which happened on the island Utøya on 22. July 2011) from the perspective of the victims, has two examples:
The main heroine Kaja discovers a little boy near the tents and directs him into the forest before the shooter comes back to the tents. The boy is later killed at the beach.
Then there is Kaja herself, who, after surviving one perilious encounter after another, is suddenly shot by an Instant Death Bullet
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A rare, humorous version happens in the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Wallaby On Wheels", where the climax involves Rocko putting his jackhammer hobby to good use to save Heffer from falling into the O-Town Bottomless Pit. He ends up plugging the pit with a massive globe of the Earth, saving Heffer and winning the attention of the girl he'd been trying to woo the whole episode. Unfortunately, the globe cracks apart for no apparent reason, sending Heffer plummeting.
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Supernatural does this a few times when the people Sam and Dean managed to save die shortly after the heroes leave.
The brothers save the people trapped in a police station by demons and even manage to save the people possessed by the demons. They even gain an important ally in a FBI agent who was pursuing them (thinking they were domestic terrorists.) After the brothers leave, the Big Bad shows up and kills everyone.
After leaving a town where the inhabitants have gone Axe-Crazy due to a demonic plague, the brothers leave the two survivors they rescued. It turns out one of the survivors was actually demon possessed, and he quickly kills the other.
This is invoked by Crowley in order to stop the brothers from closing the gates of Hell. He finds the people Sam and Dean saved during the series and starts killing them one by one in nasty ways. He agrees to stop only if the brothers abandon their quest to close off Hell forever.
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The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion:
This happens in the beginning of the game. After you've accompanied the Emperor and his bodyguards through the depths of the capital city, you finally make it to a safe room. The Emperor (who's seen his death in his dreams) then gives you the jewel that is the symbol of his office (and keeps the Legions of Hell out of the mortal world) before one of the assassins that's been trying to kill him pops out of a wall and knifes him in the back.
In one quest, the man you're sent to rescue turns out to be trapped as bait, and you have to defend yourself against maniacs out Hunting the Most Dangerous Game. Once you kill all your assailants and find the key to escape, the mastermind behind the scheme shows up, kills your intended rescuee in a moment of Cutscene Incompetence, and reveals that he has the only real key.
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In the first season of 24, after being saved twice throughout the day, Teri is killed off in the finale.
And then in the finale of Live Another Day Audrey is saved from being held hostage by a sniper, only for another gunman to come out of nowhere and shoot her dead.
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 24
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In Homestuck, Doc Scratch tells the Handmaid that she's fated to serve as an agent of destruction for Lord English, but she wants no part of this. Andrew Hussie himself comes charging in to rescue her and to regain control of the narrative. Hussie effortlessly overpowers Scratch, and the Handmaid leaps out a window to make her getaway—and she is almost immediately recaptured by Lord English himself.
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 Homestuck (Webcomic)
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Castlevania: Lament of Innocence. Leon Belmont just saved his lover Sara Trantoul from the vampire Walter Bernhard. Just when Leon thought he could just put everything behind, he found out one nasty thing: Sara has been vampirized and is about to suffer Fate Worse than Death. He's forced to use his Whip of Alchemy to put Sara out of misery, incidentally evolving it to the legendary Vampire Killer. Cue Leon's Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Oh, and the Vampire Killer has her soul sealed within it, for extra suckiness.
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The Outcasts from Knights of the Old Republic that a Light Side Player Character saves? They get to their Promised Land, only for Malak's orbital bombardment of the planet to bring everything to ruin within the day. They do actually survive the bombing, but they're left to die a slow and horrible death by being picked off by rakghouls, disease, starvation, and toxic waste.
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 Knights of the Old Republic (Video Game)
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In Dead to Rights, a long Escort Mission requires Jack Slate to protect one of his allies by shooting mooks from a helicopter. Then, just when Jack thinks the coast is clear, one of the villains shows up and murders the ally without Jack able to do anything about it. (He does kill the villain in the subsequent boss fight, but still.)
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Can happen of a sort in Persona 4. If you get the bad or neutral endings, in which Nanako dies and stays in a perpetual coma, respectively.
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The Four Horsemen Universe: Nigel Shirazi's sister Parisa is taken prisoner at the start of the book. When Nigel finally finds her in the end, she's bleeding to death from two gunshot wounds at the hand of her captor.
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Obscure 2 has Mei's efforts to track down and save her twin sister Jun all come to naught when they're killed literally right before Mei can reach them. This is just the first of a series of Plotline Deaths that render the player's actions practically pointless, as only two characters survive all the way to the Bolivian Army end.
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Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure has the Frog Kingdom: after Micheal helps you retrieve the Earth Stone, the Jerkass King abruptly has him executed for grossly exaggerated 'crimes', just to keep him away from his daughter. Princess Caroline commits suicide shortly thereafter. While Cornet still technically got what she needed from the whole ordeal, the Mood Whiplash alone is staggering.
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Das Boot has a particularly cruel example. Most of the film deals with the sheer terror faced by the men in a German U-Boat during World War II, including several points where they're nearly sunk by Allied depth charges. Somewhere in the last quarter of the film, the titular submarine actually sinks, but the crew manages to devise a plan, repair the damage, get to the surface, and return home. It seems like the film will have a happy ending as the crew survives and makes it back to port, and then the majority of them get killed in an air raid.
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Milo Murphy's Law: Dakota and Cavendish actually do a reasonably good work protecting the pistachio stand this time. Unfortunately, they remove their dome too soon and the flaming pig returns.
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 Milo Murphy's Law
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On Deadliest Catch, Capt. Phil Harris suffered a massive stroke that should've killed him, but doctors were able to relieve pressure on his brain in time. He was recovering wonderfully, even regaining some feeling in his paralyzed side until he had a second fatal "episode". The few Hope Spots of people relaying good news are heartrending, especially since he died several months before the season premiered.
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 Deadliest Catch
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The first arc of Fire Emblem Elibe's main story is finding and rescuing Eliwood's father, Lord Elbert. The party succeeds- only for Nergal to interfere and use the Brainwashed and Crazy Ninian to call a dragon using Elbert's quintessence! Nils arrives just in time to stop the madness and Elbert manages to wound Nergal, but he's too weak and dies in his son's arms.
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At the end of Long Weekend, Peter finally manages to escape from the bush after Going in Circles for ages. He makes it to the main road and starts to flag down an approaching truck. Then a cockatoo flies through the open window of the truck cab; getting in the truckie's face and causing him to swerve and run over Peter.
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In Moonlight, Beth's DA boyfriend is kidnapped by a vengeful El Salvadorian mob boss. When Mick and Beth track them down, Mick smacks the mobsters around. As Beth is untying the boyfriend's hands in the car trunk, one of the mobsters shoots the guy a bunch of times. Mick tries to save him (having been a combat medic during World War II), but refuses when Beth begs him to turn her boyfriend. She barely shows up the next episode, still mad at Mick. The following episode, she has forgotten all about the boyfriend and is all over Mick.
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In Fallout 3, a diplomatic player will be pleased to negotiate a mutually advantageous deal between the Tenpenny Tower residents and the ghouls nearby, letting everyone live together in peace and harmony. (As opposed to the other options, aiding one side and killing the other.) Return a few days later, and you'll find that the ghouls changed their mind and killed all the human residents...
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 Fallout 3 (Video Game)
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The ending of the "Twins" and "Tokyo" arcs in Black Lagoon both end this way, with Rock attempting his best to help Gretel and Yukio, respectively survive and overcome their problems, only for it not to stick and for them to get killed anyway despite his efforts. Yukio, in particular, outright chooses to die rather than survive on someone else's terms.
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 Black Lagoon (Manga)
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The novel Nothing Lasts Forever has retired detective Joseph Leland attempting to save his daughter from a terrorist named Anton Gruber. At the end Leland is able to knock Gruber out a window... only for him to grab onto Leland's daughter and send the both of the plummeting to the pavement below.
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 Die Hard
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In the 2003 version, Ed and Alphonse Elric save the town of Liore by bringing down the manipulative Father Cornello. After seeing he didn't have the Philosopher's Stone like they had hoped, they left. Soon after, Lust and Gluttony kill the real Cornello, and have Envy impersonate him, splitting the city into two parts. Those who believe Cornello lives on, and those who no longer want to be cattle. These sides fight and cause open civil war, all thanks to the Elric brothers (and Envy). Scar sets up a massive transmutation circle from the streets of the city, and waits for things to play out. Then the fantastic military gets involved, which can only end well. Of course, Ed and Al only learn about as they are assigned to investigate, and everyone they know has been hiding this from them. As the last of the civilians secretly evacuate, the majority of the military forces enter the city. Scar activates his master plan, turning everyone caught inside the city into a Philosopher's Stone. And after that, things only get worse.
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 Fullmetal Alchemist
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In the original release of Resident Evil, Richard Aiken will expire from a poisonous snakebite if you take too long to deliver a serum to him. If you do make it in time, it still turns out to be too late and he dies moments after receiving treatment. This is double-subverted in the remake, however; if you get to him in time, he will recover from the snakebite just fine, only to die in a Heroic Sacrifice later on.
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The episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine titled "The Sound of Her Voice" did this, where a Starfleet captain marooned on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, and running out of medicine to counteract the excessively high amounts of carbon dioxide in said atmosphere, sent out a distress call that was picked up by the Defiant. After following the signal to her location in the nick of time, the Defiant crew discovered that the planet's atmosphere caused a temporal distortion in the communications, and they had actually arrived three years too late to save her.
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 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
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Mass Effect 3:
During the Grissom Academy mission, the final segment has Rodriguez fleeing several Cerberus troopers, having managed to fall behind the rest of her classmates. If Jack isn't present, then Pangborn will leap in to save her... only for the last troop to get off a shot that kills Rodriguez.
Can apply to the entire Normandy crew if the player seriously screws up enough. The Extended Cut has Shepard get their entire team out of the way during the final battle, even as they insist they can still go on. And if Shepard's Emergency Military Supplies score is low enough, then the ending results in the Normandy crashing and everyone on-board dying.
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Super Robot Wars Original Generation, especially the 2.5/Gaiden. According to the OVA that it's based on, once Kyosuke saved Lamia from the Bartolls, all should be well. So they're free to chat leisurely, right? Then Juergen pops by and shot down Lamia, making everyone think she's dead and Kyosuke failed to save her. It then continues for the true save later in the Duminuss arc, though.
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 Super Robot Wars Original Generation (Video Game)
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Skyfall. In the film's final act, Raoul Silva and his mooks arrive at Bond's ancestral home to kill M. After a prolonged firefight from the main house to the chapel across the field, Bond takes them all down ... but M was mortally wounded in the course of the battle.
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 Skyfall
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Lost:
Locke spends the episode "Further Instructions" saving Eko from a polar bear. Two episodes later, the smoke monster kills Eko.
Throughout Season 3, Desmond repeatedly uses his precognition to save Charlie's life, but since You Can't Fight Fate, Charlie is still going to die, just under different circumstances. Charlie is in a permanent state of Not Quite Saved Enough, with Desmond having to save him from new lethal danger all the time. In the end, the best Desmond can do is to get him to a point where he dies doing something useful, rather than just being killed pointlessly.
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 Lost
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In Season 2 of NCIS, Caitlin Todd survives being shot by a terrorist thanks to a bulletproof vest, only to be shot in the head by a sniper.
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 NCIS
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War for the Oaks: The Queen of the Unseelie Court has Willy Silver kidnapped in order to pressure the Seelie Court into conceding to them. Eddi determines to save him, recruits allies, and mounts a successful rescue attempt...all for nothing, when her ex-boyfriend Stuart comes out of nowhere with a gun.
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Young Sherlock Holmes has Holmes and Watson successfully save Holmes' love interest Elisabeth before Big Bad Rathe sacrifices her in a ritual killing. Then moments later she winds up getting fatally shot taking a bullet for Holmes as he confronts the villain.
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At the end of Rovdyr, Final Girl Camilla has killed the three psychos who murdered her friends, and finds the path leading her out of the woods. Reaching the road, she flags down a car that turns out to be driven by the woman from the café. The woman calms down the hysterical Camilla and puts her in the back of the car drives off: presumably to the police station or the hospital. And that's when Camilla discovers that the doors in the back don't open from the inside... Roll credits.
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This technically happens in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The Reliant, which Khan had hijacked, is dead in space and unable to do any more harm to Kirk or the Enterprise, and Khan himself lies dying on the bridge, with all of his fellow Augments dead around him. But then he activates the Genesis Device, and the Enterprise just doesn't have enough juice to get out from the device's detonation radius. Khan dies believing that this trope is going to happen to Kirk.
Even though the Enterprise (obviously) doesn't go kaboom along with Khan, its escape comes at the cost of Spock's life.
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 Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
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In Avernum 4, Vahnatai assassins magically ambush the king's adviser in his chamber in the party's presence. The unarmed NPC falls extremely easily in the ensuing battle, but with enough power and quick action it is possible to defeat the assassins before he is killed. He then collapses and dies anyway, from a poisoned wound.
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In One Piece, Luffy goes to rescue his brother Ace from the World Government. He fights through the world's worst prison only to find he's at the Marine HQ. So he goes there, and manages to, with the aid of a massive army, rescue him just in the nick of time. Only to have Ace baited back by some taunts by one of the Marine Admirals, forcing Luffy to follow him and try to convince him to keep running. Unfortunately, Luffy's body (which was running on fumes even before he got to Marine HQ) finally gave out during that critical moment, forcing his brother to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save him.
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In The Ruins, Amy escapes the ruins, but not without having been infected.
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Early in Gun, after saving Jenny on a couple of occasions, you find out she's being held captive. Rushing to her aid, you arrive in time to see her throat cut before getting knocked out.
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 GUN (Video Game)
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Green Lanterns: The "Rage Planet" arc ends on what at first seems like a triumphant note, with Jessica finally making her first Hard Light construct and destroying the Hell Tower in the process, saving the Earth from the Red Lantern Corps...but then the Wham Shot at the end of the issue shows that Atrocitus' ultimate plan (to recreate the Butcher entity) wasn't stopped, it is in fact coming along just nicely. And will probably cause all kinds of havoc, since said entity is growing inside the Earth's core. Not only did the Red Lantern Corps win, the titular heroes of the book don't even know it yet - they're convinced they averted the Bad Future that Simon saw, when they haven't. That would be the Bad Future that will see them facing a Rage-infected Justice League...
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In Jade Empire, you get to save your village from bandits in the prologue with a bit of help from Master Li, but the village gets firebombed and the population massacred anyway while you're out saving Dawn Star.
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In Morning Departure, eight of the twelve trapped sailors manage to escape the crippled sub. The remaining four are waiting for the salvage ship to rescue them. But then a one of them is killed by a gas leak, and a storm forces the salvage ship to return to port, leaving the last three sitting at the bottom of the sea awaiting their fate.
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Drag Me to Hell, where Christine's attempts to escape the gypsy's curse prove to be in vain, and suffers the title fate after her boyfriend returns the button she needed to get rid of to her.
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1.0
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 Drag Me to Hell
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Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed: Brigitte (and the audience) thought that injecting herself with monkshood could keep her safe from the injection she voluntarily gave herself while trying to save Ginger. One of the first things we learn in this movie is that the monkshood doesn't stop the transformation, but merely slows it down.
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 Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed
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Has happened a lot on Doctor Who. Several times, characters will be rescued by the Doctor and his companions, only to killed a bit later on.
"The Girl in the Fireplace": The Doctor spends the whole episode protecting Madame de Pompadour from the clockwork droids, but she ends up dying of an illness (after years for her, but only minutes for the Doctor and the audience).
In "The Waters of Mars", the Doctor changes established events by having an A God Am I moment. How does Adelaide snap him out of this? By killing herself as soon as she's Earth-side. Oh, and the history is still changed (the other survivors remain alive), so that's all her death achieves.
"Vincent and the Doctor" deserves a special mention. Admittedly, it was a Foregone Conclusion as even in-universe it is explicitly mention several times that Vincent van Gogh committed suicide, but it's still a little heartbreaking when Amy rushes to see if they saved him. They didn't.
In "The Angels Take Manhattan", Amy and Rory's final episode, they seem to have defeated the Angels, and everything is back to normal. Then Rory spots his own gravestone, as one last Angel lurks behind him...
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Queen Ismaire in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Even after Eirika's party kills the boss, Callaech kills Ismaire anyway when she refuses to hand over Jehanna's stone.
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 Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones (Video Game)
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All-New Wolverine: Wolverine is helping her three clones, who have been infested with Nanomachines that are slowly killing them. The eldest of the three, Zelda, is the worst off, and by issue 5 has slipped into unconsciousness and is on death's door. With no other options to save her life, Laura and The Wasp use one of Hank Pym's suits to enter Zelda's bloodstream, where the pair fight the nanites directly. They're successful, and Zelda regains consciousness once enough of the machines are destroyed...just in time for Captain Mooney, who has been pursuing the girls since issue 2, to show up and shoot her dead.
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1.0
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 All-New Wolverine (Comic Book)
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Hellblazer: John Constantine and a friend have come across a little village that's hoping to use a discontinued pagan festival to revive their economy. Unfortunately said festival causes people to become a twisted version of whatever they're dressed as and go completely Ax-Crazy. John eventually discovers that loud punk music can stop the effects and has safely hidden his friend and some survivors in a nightclub. He goes to get help and then the village is nuked thanks to a possessed ex-fighter pilot who comes out of the trance a second after letting the bomb go. The moral is don't revive things you don't understand and don't be friends with John Constantine unless you can drive a taxi (and even then--!).
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1.0
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In an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy meets a girl who calmly states that she is going to die on a certain day. It turns out the girl can see the future, and has known her fate long enough to have accepted it. She is kidnapped by a cult who intend to sacrifice her to the demon they worship, only to be foiled by Buffy. As they are leaving, the girl sets off a booby trap, and only Buffy's lightning reflexes save the girl from suffering a crossbow bolt to the face. Then the girl proceeds to drop dead of a congenital heart defect.
 Not Quite Saved Enough / int_e293455a
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1.0
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 Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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During the opening of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, a mercenary group is trying to extract an important item that kicks off the plot. One man handles communications on the ground while the rest of the team are in a helicopter and get the item. Then the T. Rex appears. The man on the ground runs for his life to the chopper's ladder and grabs onto it with a last desperate move as it lifts off, but as they fly away Rexy chomps on the ladder trying to get him. After a struggle she lets go and the team cheer in celebration... only for the Mosasaurus to burst out of the water like a whale and swallow the man alive.
Also partially subverted as the helicopter team were in the process of cutting the rope so they could escape, having no intention of saving their man on the ground.
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 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
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In Chapter 9 of Fire Emblem Awakening despite the well-planned attempt to rescue Emmeryn from her execution, she ends up committing Heroic Suicide anyway so Chrom doesn't have to hand over the Fire Emblem.
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In Chapter 7 of Spec Ops: The Line, the player has a choice between saving a critically injured Agent Gould from execution or abandoning him to save some civilians. If the player chooses to save Gould, he lingers just long enough to tell Walker to continue his mission before dying of his injuries.
 Not Quite Saved Enough / int_e9ec19e1
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 Spec Ops: The Line (Video Game)
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In Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Episode 2: The Tomb of Sammun-Mak, Sameth and Maximus' rip-roaring 20's-style pulpy adventure leads them through numerous close encounters with spring-loaded scimitars, diabolical crushing traps, a villainous, gun-toting Santa Claus lookalike, mad priests of eldritch gods and an irate conductor: any one of these encounters can end in certain death for our two early 20th-century heroes, but when all's said and done, the two are unavoidably skeletonized when Maximus mistakes little Nefertiti Bubbles' Protection Spell for her dreaded Holstein Hex and makes a break for it in the wrong direction. Considering, however, that the chapter starts with present-day Sam and Max finding their skeletons in the same boiler room that their story ends in, it's a Foregone Conclusion.
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 Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse (Video Game)
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In the Titan Maximum season 1 finale Willy stops the time bomb that will end up with the death of everyone living on Mercury with six seconds left, with Gibbs tied up. Unfortunately, while they were arguing with each other, Gibbs escaped and revealed that he prepared a remote detonator, and his plan succeeded.
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 Titan Maximum
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In Play Dirty, another WWII movie, this one set in North Africa, the hero and The Lancer destroy a Nazi fuel depot the night before the Allies take the city it's in. They lay low in a nearby shack, and wait for the Allied forces to arrive, at which point both main characters are promptly shot because they had to don enemy uniforms to complete their mission, despite the fact that they are walking slowly with their hands up and holding a white flag. This means that there is only one member of the team who might still be alive at the end of the film, and that 'survivor' is immobilized with a serious gut wound in a vehicle that no one living knows about, making his death only a matter of time. Even worse, the Allied commanders had changed the minds about the fuel depot, deciding (too late) to try and take it intact, so the protagonists' efforts were all for nothing.
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 Play Dirty
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An ending taken straight from The Fearless Vampire Killers, and also seen in both Count Yorga films.
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 The Fearless Vampire Killers
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An issue of Nightcrawler sees the fuzzy elf return to his home town of Witzeldorf when he learns a childhood friend has created a museum dedicated to him to help foster mutant/human relations. The reunion is short-lived when Kurt discovers the villagers are up in arms over a demon that's been stalking the local forest and has apparently absconded with a little girl recently. Having lived this scenario, Nightcrawler heads out to find what he suspects is a mutant and convince the villagers of their folly. When he manages to track down the creature though, he's shocked to discover a hulking, horrifying brute slowly turning what looks like a child's body over a cook fire and attacks. In the ensuing struggle, Kurt soon learns the demon is actually a village teenager under the curse of a gypsy who's daughter he'd cheated on, and the meat he was cooking was actually a small pig he'd managed to steal because he was starving. The boy breaks down on Nightcrawler, lamenting the fact that he can't even go home without people trying to attack him and the unfairness of being turned into a monster just because his eyes had wandered. Kurt swears to help the kid adjust to his new life, telling him to stay put while he returns to Witzeldorf to clear the matter up and find the girl. He soon discovers the girl has returned, saying how she'd been invited to a tea party in the woods and hadn't realized how late it was. Kurt heads back to the teen, only to find he's hung himself, unable to cope with life as a monster. It's at this point Mephisto appears, now holding the teen's forfeited soul as he taunts Nightcrawler over his failure (especially since, had Nightcrawler not intervened, the villagers would have killed their demon which, while painful, would not have resulted in the boy being damned). Nightcrawler even accuses Mephisto of having orchestrated the events, only to be playfully told the only act the demon lord took was to invite a new little friend into the woods for a tea party.
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 Nightcrawler (Comic Book)
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Dead Rising has various levels of this depending on which ending you get. Ironically, the game's best ending causes this for everyone. All the survivors you've fought so hard to rescue are carted off and silenced (lethally or otherwise) by the military to keep the dirty secret that's caused the Zombie Apocalypse under wraps. By the end, only protagonist Frank West, Annoying Video-Game Helper Otis, and the former Big Bad's sister (post Heel–Face Turn) are explictly alive, and even then it's not obvious how they escape (apart from Otis, who steals a helicopter in the confusion).
In a specific example, the death toll includes your temporary boss Brad Garrison, who you have to save from the Big Bad by finding medical supplies for him to treat his injuries (and gets turned into a zombie anyway).
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 Dead Rising (Video Game)
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In Psycho-Pass Kogami spends two entire episodes protecting Akane's friend Yuki from being hunted by Toyohisa Senguji. He manages to kill Senguji, but is wounded in the process. After he falls unconscious from his wounds, Makishima comes in and takes Yuki hostage. Akane attempts to take him down with the Dominator, but Makishima is immune to it and slits Yuki's throat.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

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