Ineffectual Gaming Heroes

Your player character in KOTOR achieves precisely nothing, on Taris at least. You run him around being nice to aliens and muggees, saving hapless debtors from mob bounty contracts, handing out credits and medpacs like candy, finding and giving away rakghul serum, leading loony outcasts to salvation {hey, I was playing for Light Side points} and enduring Carth’s incessant bleating all the while.

After numerous ordeals you win the big swoop race, only to have

Bastilia rescue herself anyway. Well, that was a waste of time. Then the Sith come and raze the entire planet. Aliens, fugitives, killers, duellists, outcasts and rakghuls all get wiped out despite your best efforts. Thanks a bloody bunch, Malak.

And he managed to miss Carth, who still looks troubled by something. Maybe you should talk to him. With the business end of a lightsabre.

I’ll go for the easy Mario/Zelda series. Mario/Link always has to save the princess and defeat Bowser/Ganon.

The Diablo games have had endings that are beneficial to the bad guys. In the first the hero becomes corrupted by Diablo because he was arrogant in thinking he could contain his spirit. At the end of the second, well, sure, Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto are dead (or their physical manifestations…) but it doesn’t matter since the worldstone is destroyed and “Hell will wash over the mortal realmn like a wave of shadows and blood.” ETC. So they will be back anyway.