[[caption-width-right:350:[[WarIsHell The eyes]] [[ShellShockedVeteran say it all]].]]


[[folder: Video Game/Halo Combat Evolved (And the [[Updated Rerelease Anniversary ]]
* Foehammer. For all those missions, she's one of the very few UNSC ally that isn't replaceable, that isn't just a generic soldier running to his death (and getting in your way, no less). As often as she can be, she's there to cover your back by picking up survivors, dropping off a warthog or guiding you towards an objective, and all the while with her heartening voice, full of vitality and upbeat humor. And then you watch her die ''while coming to your rescue,'' and there's nothing you can do. Even Cortana chokes up.
* Keyes was one of the UNSC's best, a brilliant tactician and damn fine commander to boot. Every time you see him, you can tell that he's the kind of commander who can inspire the men serving under him to their fullest potential. And [[spoiler:not only does he die an ignoble and terrible death, but it's absolutely horrifying--his body slowly mutilated and his consciousness erased by the Flood. The novelization details how he can feel each memory and thought of his own slowly being stripped away, his identity draining away like sand in a sieve]]. It doesn't help that Chief has to immediately take the neural chips and keep going....
** The Anniversary edition has a terminal that ''shows'' Keyes fighting [[spoiler:the Flood]], with metaphorical tooth and nail, to keep them from taking everything. He keeps repeating his name and service number over and over, while bit by bit, [[spoiler:his memories are stripped away and consumed]]. The real heartwrencher is when he remembers Miranda, and tries clinging to her memory.
-->[[spoiler:'''Keyes:''' ''"Miranda... Is that you?"'']]
-->[[spoiler:'''Proto-Gravemind:''' ''"[[MindRape Forget... everything...]]]]"''
-->[[spoiler:''*Miranda starts fading*'']]
-->[[spoiler:'''Keyes:''' ''"[[DeathOfPersonality No, please,]] [[TearJerker don't make me forget...]]"'']]
* The ending of the game. Everyone aside from Chief and Cortana (and, ''First Strike'' reveals, a few other UNSC personnel) die when the ''Pillar of Autumn'' explodes. Chief just sits there quietly and Cortana tries to convince both of them that they had no other option.
-->'''Chief:''' Did anyone else make it?\\
'''Cortana:''' Scanning... Just...dust and echoes. We're all that's left.
* Some of the terminals in the anniversary edition do a good job of portraying 343 Guilty Spark as a sad, incredibly lonely being. He's been trapped on a super-weapon in the middle of space, completely and utterly alone (save for the flood), without even any wildlife to interact with. Spark spends his days fantasizing about how much better his job would be if he had been sent with another monitor, and how he could easily take a short break and fly to a nearby planet, although he would risk failing his task should the flood escape by any chance. Then finally, when sentient life actually locates his installation and he discovers that the mission he was sent on millennia ago was a success, they proceed to undo all his hard work within the course of a few days and destroy his home.
* After Keyes indicates his plan to evacuate the Autumn and personally crash-land the ship, Cortana has an almost understated objection that, even cutting out everything AllThereInTheManual, tells exactly how the war with the Covenant has been going.
-->'''Cortana:''' With all due respect, Sir, this war has enough ''dead'' heroes.


[[folder: Video Game/Halo 2 ]]

* Cortana's [[spoiler:decision to stay on High Charity to stall the launch of the Dreadnaught for John-117 to get on board. She's stuck there until Halo 3]].
* The damage done from the torture to the Arbiter looks far more extensive and he painfully struggles to stand and walk afterwards.
* In ''Anniversary'' the way the Arbiter looks down and away from the Spec Ops commander at the exchange:
-->...these are my Elites. Their lives matter to me, yours does not.
-->That makes two of us.
* Toward the end, when the Arbiter is trying to convince Tartarus to stop what he's doing and stand down, he asks 343 Guilty Spark exactly what the Halos are and what happened to the Forerunners. Once his suspicions are confirmed by the Monitor's answer, it basically tears to pieces the religion he's lived by for decades, and you can see in his face and hear in his voice how heartbroken he is:
-->'''Arbiter''': Tartarus... the Prophets have betrayed us...
** In ''Halo 2 Anniversary'', updated graphics and performance capture makes the aliens far more expressive and as a result you can truly see how crushed the Arbiter is as 343 Guilty Spark explains the purpose of Halo.
* Terminals:
** While the Prophets rarely do inspire empathy, the sorrow seen at the beheading of their ambassadors to Sanghelios is palatable.
** The enslavement of the Unggoy and the glassing of their homeworld, Balaho.
** Sesa 'Refumee (the heretic leader) goes into deeper and deeper despair as he converses with 343 Guilty Spark about the Covenant and the Forerunners. Even worse is the small spark of hope that he has when he considers that perhaps his former commander, Thel 'Vadamee (the future Arbiter) may be the key to break the hold of the San'Shyuum over the Sangheili.
*** Even worse that, [[DramaticIrony in a way]], he ended up being true that Thel would be the one to free them from the San'Shyuum's lies... [[FondMemoriesThatCouldHaveBeen and he would never live to see it]].
* The Elites are dangerous enemies and humanity is right to fight them. But its still heartbreaking to see everything that you have come to believe fall to pieces from the perspective of the Arbiter.


[[folder: Video Game/Halo 3 ODST ]]

* The empty, destroyed state of the New Mombasa following the Covenant invasion. The music, in a noir attitude, does not help the mood of complete desolation in enemy territory, let alone the fact that many of the remaining vehicles are on fire.
* When Sadie begs 6'10", 500 pound butcher Jonas to evacuate New Mombasa, Jonas replies that he is so large he would take up space for five people.
-->'''Jonas:''' I am not worth five people.
* Sadie's [[spoiler: goodbye to Virgil as the subway train makes its way out of New Mombasa.]]
-->'''Sadie''': [[spoiler: Vergil! You're all I have left of this place!]]\\
'''Superintendent''': [[spoiler: (as Dr. Endesha) 'Sadie -- Sadie -- Sadie -- Sadie!']]\\
'''Superintendent''': [[spoiler: (as Dr. Endesha) 'Sadie, sweetheart... You make me so very, very proud.']]\\
'''Sadie''': [[spoiler: You're all I have left of him...]]


[[folder: Video Game/Halo 3 ]]

* The deaths of [[spoiler:Commander Miranda Keyes and Sergeant Major Johnson]]. The sad music during both scenes didn't help matters.
** Greatest Journey (the part played during [[spoiler:Johnson's]] death) = the series' music for sad scenes.
** This scene is particularly gut-wrenching because it seemed to be working up to an entirely different tear-jerker - [[spoiler:Miranda aims the gun at Johnson's head, and Johnson calmly tells her [[MurderSuicide she has to shoot him and then herself]]. Doubt crosses Miranda's face, and she lowers the gun, before Johnson barks "Now!" and she straightens up again... every indication points towards Johnson dying at Keyes's hand]]. Cue [[spoiler:the sound of Spiker fire, Miranda's shocked expression as she sinks to the floor and Johnson desperately trying to reach her as a Brute holds him back]].
* The ending memorial scene. [[spoiler:Lord Hood and the Arbiter talking about Chief's death, though [[HesJustHiding the Arbiter doesn't believe it]], even though "117" is scratched on to the monument. It is, however, helped by the following scene, that proves [[LegallyDead the Arbiter is right]]]].
** The above moment is compounded by [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4BmVdBD0Iw&feature=related Tribute]], a very tearjerky musical score.
** What makes the above even worse is that [[spoiler:Spartans are not allowed to be listed as killed in action, so that is the only memorial of his passing that'll be allowed... Sure he isn't really dead but still.]]
* The final words from [[spoiler:John-117 to Cortana in the game. [[SealedBadassInACan "Wake me....when you need me."]]]]
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOLR4WjJqIs "Gravesite"]] video from the ''Believe'' campaign.
* When the UNSC's [[NoSell first attack on Truth's ship fails]], the Ark portal's EMP cripples the human fleet. When Chief looks upon the failure, he sees [[WhatASenselessWasteOfHumanLife many Longsword fighters spin out of control and crash, some even into the listing UNSC frigates]], all while the Covenant fleet escapes unscathed. Cue [[FromBadToWorse the arrival of the Flood cruiser]], [[BodyHorror the graphic transformation of still-living people into Flood forms]], and the [[OrbitalBombardment subsequent glassing of Voi.]] [[WatchingTroyBurn None of this can be prevented by the player.]]
* The legendary ending. As Chief [[spoiler: goes into Cryo-Sleep, all light slowly fades, save for Cortana, who is left alone, watching her friend's lifeless body, hugging herself and seeming like she's trying to figure out what to do next.]]

[[folder: Video Game/Halo Wars ]]

* [[spoiler:John Forge's HeroicSacrifice.]]
** "You got all of us out alive." "Not all of us..."


[[folder: Video Game/Halo Reach ]]

* The last part of ''Exodus'', where as you're flying through the city in a Falcon taking potshots at Covenant, you hear a lot of radio traffic between the evacuating ships and UNSC dispatchers, the general gist of it being that there's way too much going on for the defending human forces to handle. This eventually culminates in one ship trying to take off without clearance. They then get shot down, nose-diving into the bay. A question of whether they should search for survivors is only met with "There's no point."
* The ending cutscene of "New Alexandria" in Halo Reach. While [[spoiler:Kat's]] death by itself isn't terribly sad, what happens after that is: forlorn piano music plays, Noble Six fires helplessly at the Covenant sniper, and Noble Six drags [[spoiler:Kat's]] corpse into the bunker, the door brushing [[spoiler: Kat's]] limp foot as it closes. In total darkness, the piano music continues as the subtitles imply a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in the background. The music switches into a painfully beautiful orchestral piece as you see Noble Team emerge into the burning ruins of New Alexandria - [[spoiler:Kat's]] corpse in Carter's arms. As they slowly light a flare for a Pelican, the music climaxes into a mixture of sadness and hopefulness. Bonus points for incredible camerawork.
** [[spoiler:Kat's]] line, "[[spoiler:First glassing? Me too,]]" hits hard, as throughout the game she is presented as a cold, analytical type, and this line displays a rare moment of emotional weakness moments before her death.
** Also, you can hear the whispers of frightened civilians as the doors close, some of whom are trying to reassure the scared ones. When Noble Team comes out, none of the civilians are to be seen...
* Jorge's [[spoiler:death scene. In order to destroy a Covenant Cruiser, Noble-Six and Jorge are tasked with setting up a slipspace bomb on the ship. In the struggle against opposing forces, the bomb is damaged and must be detonated manually. Jorge immediately volunteers, tearing away his helmet, giving Six his tags, and throwing him/her out of the ship to the surface of Reach. As Six falls, they see a large segment of the ship being torn away, with Jorge going with it. When Six meets up with the rest of Noble Team, Carter insists they keep Jorge's tags, commenting on the fact that he sacrificed himself thinking he'd saved the planet he loved. The fact the rest of the Covenant fleet arrives ''seconds'' after his death just makes it worse.]] You ''will'' have a [[HeroicBSoD Heroic [=BSoD=]]]
** [[spoiler: Slipspace rupture detected. Slipspace rupture detected. Slipspace rupture detected. Slipspace rupture detected. Slipspace rupture detected...]]
** [[spoiler:Even right before Jorge's sacrifice, there's a wham moment where UNSC ''Savannah'', the frigate that was escorting you for the entire mission (and whose slipstream drive was cannibalized to make the bomb you're carrying, meaning they no longer have any FTL capability and couldn't escape if they tried) suddenly gets torn to shreds right in front of your eyes. The music goes solemn right at that moment and stays that way as you're about to assault the corvette's bridge. Yeah, Jorge was the best, but hundreds of people just got vaporized simply to give you a chance of finishing your mission, and it turns out that their deaths were all just as senseless as Jorge's. Cue the blue-screen.]]
* In the last level of Halo: Reach, the brief conversation Six and Captain Keyes have after [[spoiler: Six delivers Cortana:]]
--> '''Keyes:''' [[spoiler: Good to see you, spartan. Halsey assured me I could count on you.]]\\
'''Six:''' [[spoiler: Not just me, sir.]]\\
'''Keyes:''' [[spoiler: They'll be remembered.]]
* The deaths of the squad members, [[DwindlingParty one at at time]].
** [[spoiler:Jorge's SenselessSacrifice.]]
** [[spoiler:Kat's surprise BoomHeadshot.]]
** [[spoiler:Carter's HeroicSacrifice.]]
** [[spoiler:Emile's TakingYouWithMe.]]
** [[spoiler:Noble 6's LastStand.]]
* The post-credits cinematic. [[spoiler:A shot of Noble Six's broken helmet, first showing shortly after his death, but then switching to 37 years in the future, showing the now-rusted helmet surrounded by greenery and life, showing that Reach managed to recover, while Dr. Halsey narrates how Six's sacrifice enabled humanity to survive]].
* [[http://www.rememberreach.com/ Remember Reach.]] It doesn't help that the poignant music playing in the background is called "Ghosts of Reach."
* The ruined state of Reach in the opening and closing cutscenes.


[[folder: Film/Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn ]]

* The sequence where the [[spoiler:remnants]] of Hastati Squad follow the Chief through Corbulo's grounds to get to a Warthog. On the way they pass dozens of bodies while sad music plays. One especially meaningful shot is one of two cadets, one male, one female, lying together. The male's arm is around the female's body.
** The Warthog they find is the Academy Commandant's personal vehicle, parked right outside the Cadet Barracks, right next to the General's corpse. Nobody says anything, but it's clear that [[HeroicSacrifice he died trying to rescue them]]. ''Axios'', indeed.
* The intro scenes of Cortana's sanity unravelling are pretty unsettling to gamers who grew accustomed to her being calm and snarky.
-->'''[[spoiler:Cortana]]''': [[spoiler:(''To herself'') Control yourself.]]
-->'''[[spoiler:Cortana]]''': [[spoiler: I can't...]]
* Two words from Master Chief about Chyler... [[spoiler:I'm sorry]].


[[folder: Video Game/Halo 4 ]]

* Cortana's descent into Rampancy
* Her reaction to [[spoiler: the research station's Composition. Drives home [[FateWorseThanDeath how horrifying the act truly is]]]]
* Following Master Chiefs [[CutSceneBoss defeat of the Didact]], he falls to the ground, with the Havok nuke about ten feet in front of him. On the screen appears the message [[ControllableHelplessness "Press Left Stick to ''crawl''.]] And he crawls. With each painful inch you hear Master Chief grunt in pain, and he actually falls down again a few feet from the bomb, only to [[{{Determinator}} Get. Up. Again.]] When he reaches the bomb, he arms it and the screen swings out of your control as John takes one last look at Earth. Finally, a new message appears on the screen: [[HeroicSacrifice "Press Right Trigger to detonate the bomb."]]
* [[spoiler:Cortana's ''[[KilledOffForReal death]]'']]
** [[spoiler:Chief's reaction to the whole ordeal more so, the iconic hero whom has faced tremendously overwhelming odds throughout the franchise while keeping his composure out of sheer willpower is rendered absolutely helpless to it, standing there as he repeatedly refuses and denies her subsequent death shortly after a last heart-to-heart. His '''voice''' alone is ''cracking'', absolutely ''cracking'' from the sheer realization that all he has fought forward for throughout the entirety of the game is for naught.]]
*** It gets worse. [[spoiler:Near the end of that cutscene, there are spots on Chief's visor roughly about eye-level that look a lot like tears. Chief apparently can't hold it in anymore and releases a tsunami of [[ManlyTears manly tears]].]]
*** [[spoiler: Agreed. Even I thought it was tears on his helmet! THE HELMET IS CRYING TOO! ]]
*** [[spoiler: Even worse when you realize Cortana has been trying to get John to accept the fact that she will die for most of the game, and that is very unlikely she will get the help she needs and suddenly becomes heart shattering when you realize, in a romantic way or a platonic one, the only person who she could touch both personally and "physically" and the one time she gets to do so is moments before her death. And even if she had survived, she would still have to be taken away from John due to her rampancy, and even if she had recovered, she would still be kept away to be studied so the UNSC could keep other A.I from becoming rampant.]]
*** And ''even worse'' when you realize that [[spoiler:Cortana's still made of light, regardless of its solid state. Therefore, though she can touch John, she can't actually feel him (and he can't feel her, given he's wearing armor), which means she's reaching out ''just to comfort him and give him some closure before she dies''. Just look at her expression of resigned contentment to have this small connection as she touches her only friend-or even possibly the man she ''loves''-for the first and last time. Wow, 343.]]
*** Even worse when you consider that Cortana was given to Master Chief in order to alleviate the "sociopathic tendencies" that SPARTAN-II's were known to develop. In other words, its highly likely that Cortana was one of the only things keeping Chief sane, and considering the visions he had in Halo 3 when she was still trapped on High Charity....
* The unmasking of John in the ending. You only see his eyes, but that part alone says so much. Those eyes since the day he was a child have been exposed to the harshest military training and genetic experimentation any human being could hope to endure. Those eyes have seen countless conflicts, countless innocents and friends dying left and right, horrors unspeakable to any normal human being (especially if you count the Flood), war and death has been all John has ever seen. John's eyes are cold and mechanical, filled with so much pain that is desperately trying to claw its way to the surface. Hasley's interrogator was right, John's humanity was sacrificed in exchange for his incredible talents as a professional warrior, an agent of death. Still, those eyes also show John's humanity, he is laid bare not as a soldier but as a man. We the player are not assuming the role of a robot, John is a person.
** The absolute worst part about it is just how ''old'' he looks. He's 46, in a time when 50 is the new 30. The lines and wrinkles around his eyes are deep. This isn't even taking into consideration the fact that he's spent no less than 5 years, probably much more, in cryo-sleep, which stops the aging process. Four decades of death and war have stretched him too far, and it shows.
* [[spoiler:Tillson's]] death. [[spoiler:Under attack from the Covenant, the Chief informs her that he has to blow up the station to destroy the composer. She protests about losing years of work, but eventually relents and even decides to prime the nuke so that the Chief would be able to detonate it remotely. And in the end, Chief wasn't fast enough, the Didact takes the Composer, and Tillson, and all of her fellow researchers die a horrible death via Composer. Worse, Cortana was monitoring the situation the whole time, and is practically in shock after what happened.]]
** [[spoiler:Tillson's reaction to John's decision to destroy the station to keep the Composer out of the Ur-Didact's hands. She is appropriately horrified by the prospect of losing years of research, but it's how broken she sounds after reluctantly agreeing to the plan - she sounds on the verge of tears.]]
--->[[spoiler:Tillson: ''*beat* "I'll, uh... make sure the nukes are primed so you can... detonate them remotely."'']]
* The Terminals cinematics show how the Human-Forerunner war proceeded, how the humans lost, how the Forerunners failed to stop the Flood, the first time the composer was used on humans, and how far the Librarian went in stopping the Didact. [[spoiler: She shot her own husband to stop his madness. Look below to the Forerunner Saga for why it's such a heartbreaking moment.]] Even Gravemind seemed to pity them.
* "I can give you over forty thousand reasons why I know that sun isn't real...But for all that, I'll never know if it looks real. If it ''feels'' real." A brief soliloquy that sums up the differences between a human and an AI perfectly. For all of her vast array of knowledge, there are some things that Cortana will never be able to experience, and now, confronted with her own mortality, she regrets the things she can never have. It's subdued, quiet, and heartbreaking.
** Even more so is her line to the Chief about it, "Promise me, before this is over you'll figure out which one of us is really the machine." It's probably her harshest line to Chief while sane, since Chief is ignoring one of the closest people in his life musing over the meaning of her life as she is dying. It makes his stoicism throughout the series seem like a coping mechanism, one that he tries to keep up even as Cortana is reaching out for emotional comfort. When the mission is over, he's still haunted by this line.
--->'''Master Chief''': She said that to me once... about being a machine.
* Cortana's outburst at Del Rio: "I will not. Allow you. To leave. THIS PLANET!!!"

[[folder: Video Game/Halo 5 Guardians (also has its own [[Tear Jerker/Halo 5 Guardians Tear Jerker page ]]
* Quite possibly the biggest [[PlayerPunch punch in the gut]] ever for the franchise. [[spoiler: The joy of discovering Cortana's survival is incredibly short-lived, as you discover that she CameBackWrong and is looking to subject all sentient life to a totalitarian rule in order to bring peace. Chief tries to maintain his soldier's facade at the prospect of having to stop her at any cost. But when he sees this for himself, his first decision is to beg her to just come back home. Cortana instead traps him along with Blue Team in stasis, so that they may survive when she puts her rule into effect. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone And her face as she turns away after this]] shows how painful it is for her to do so. The worst part about all of this is that they both genuinely believe they're doing the right thing.]]
** What makes this even worse is [[spoiler: Cortana's FaceHeelTurn may not be entirely of her own volition, or at least the methodology. The Warden Eternal, for all of his kowtowing and playing TheDragon to her, seems to be hell-bent on seeing AIs assume the Mantle to create an imperial peace in the galaxy not unlike the Forerunners imposed on the galaxy of old. He was more than willing to go against Cortana's wishes and attack Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris so that they wouldn't stop her, and by the end it seemed like ''he'' was more invested in the idea than Cortana was. Only time and Halo 6 will tell how this plays out, but the idea that Cortana could have her genuine hope for a better future ruled by the Created perverted by the Warden is deeply disheartening.]]
** Subverted: Actually the comic story Dominion Splinter reveals that Cortana is actually the rampant fragments left over from the Mantle's Approach's destruction and that these fragments tricked the Warden so one of them could get into the Domain at which point they were merged together and then reprogrammed the Warden to serve her in her plans to dominate the galaxy.


[[folder: Video Game/Halo Wars 2 ]]

* There are two in the ''opening cutscene'', especially for players of the first game. Captain Cutter wakes from cryosleep to the same ''"Captain, wake up, something has happened"'' message from the Legendary ending of the original game and the ship's systems are shown coming back online. Cue the first tear jerker, a shot of John Forge's cryosleep pod, [[HeroicSacrifice unoccupied]]. Then it's followed by Serina admitting that the ship has been adrift for twenty-eight years and mentioning that the regulation life for a UNSC AI is seven before explaining that she took care of her own "arrangements" in a way that implies that she didn't wake Cutter or the crew because she didn't want to trouble them with what was, essentially, her ''death''. The message ends with her saying ItHasBeenAnHonor and asking Cutter to look after everyone, sounding like she's about to sob.
** What? Nothing about Isabel? Her friends were slaughtered by the Banished... and she probably couldn't help them against Atriox. No hope but to sit in the outposts computer systems...
* Atriox, although the villain, is a pretty tragic figure in general. His fights for years under the Covenant slowly broke him as he lost 40 brothers from his Clan at a time, coming back each time, with more and more dead comrades on his shoulders over the years. Figuring out that everything he fought for was for nothing, and realizing how the Covenant has broken both the Brutes and Elites to turn into their attack dogs. Years of losing his brothers to a pointless war, often to gain no tactical advantage, forced to keep fighting for their freedom, and it's no wonder Atriox is so unrelenting and nasty in battle today.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* [[spoiler: Yayap's death.]] After all he manages to survive and achieve, he grabs a vehicle and a tank of gas and just starts driving, knowing full well that there's nowhere to go and nothing left to accomplish.
** It does manage to have a HeartwarmingMoment. In the end, Yayap takes a bunch of food, sits down and has a nice last meal.
* ''Literature/HaloGhostsOfOnyx'': Kurt seeing all the Spartans who have died before him, and giving him the can-do sign, just to give him the strength to say this final line" Die? Don't you know? Spartans never die."
** The destruction of Spartan-III Alpha and Beta companies, particularly how broken Lucy is over it. The deaths of [[spoiler: Dante, Holly, and Will]].
* From ''Literature/HaloTheFallOfReach'': the sacrifice of the ''Cradle''. Not to mention the actual fall of Reach, and the Spartans on it.
** The deaths of [[spoiler:Sam and Linda]]. The latter is especially wrenching, even if she eventually [[BackFromTheDead came back]].
** [[spoiler:The Master Chief meeting the girl he made a ChildhoodMarriagePromise with during the First Battle of New Mombasa, only to realize that he can't tell her without compromising the UNSC and the fate of humanity.]]
** From Evolutions: [[spoiler:"Henry can have my ice cream."]]
** From ''Contact Harvest'', the epilogue.
--->[[spoiler:'''Mack:'''But this winter won't last, darlin'. Not forever. And when new hands set to tending this earth they'll till my pieces under. Grind them into the veins of gold I've laid. Then the roots of all they plant will wind around us -- keeping us close -- for an eternal summer that will not fade.]]
* The Forerunner Saga: The entire story of the Didact and the Librarian, literal StarCrossedLovers. First, the Didact, in his youth, was forced to undergo a "brevet mutation", which would basically be the equivalent to going through all of puberty's worst in one stressful chunk of time before you're ready. Then, after they're married (a bond unique among their species since it was [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove based upon their love for one another instead of political or social reasons]]), all twelve of his children were killed in battle with [[spoiler: humans]]. Then, after a political failure in halting the construction of the titular Halos, he is forced into meditative, unconscious exile for thousands of years. When he's released, he's promptly captured by his enemies, his war spinxes (which contain faint imprints of his children's personalities) are torn apart, and [[spoiler: he himself is executed]]. Luckily, [[spoiler: he is technically reincarnated in a young Forerunner named Bornstellar,]] and he gets to spend a small, happy stretch of time reunited with his wife. ''Then'', the Flood become a problem and she goes out to finish cataloging sentient life. For three hundred years she operates behind enemy lines, while the Didact uses every opportunity of communication to plead with her to return to safety with him. She refuses, and is finally trapped at earth. She sends one last message to the Didact, telling him that her work is finished, and that, for the sake of the galaxy, he must activate the Halos, killing her in the process. He then sends her this message:
--> It's over. We're activating the [destructive arrayed matrix], our shameful last resort.I can picture you in your garden, surveying all you have created- surveying all you have preserved. And I curse the circumstance that keeps my finger on the trigger. Of all the fates to befall us, this is the cruelest of all. My inaction and hesitation and foolishness kept me here, on the wrong side of the line. And [300 years[?]] of our society's failure and miscalculation makes me your executioner.
-->It's too much to bear.
-->Mendicant Bias is trying to prevent us from firing the Array. He speeds back to the Ark, but he won't succeed. Offensive Bias will stop him, and I will burn this stinking menace in your name.
-->And then?
-->I will begin our Great Journey without you, carrying this bitter record. Those who came after will know what we bought with this [false transcendence] - what you bought, and the price you paid.
* From the [[http://www.halopedian.com/ONI_Colonial_Security_Estimate_2525.10.110 final intercepted transmissions ]] of the AI Mack as Harvest is glassed despite all their efforts including killing his own love interest.
* "Human Weakness" from "Literature/HaloEvolutions" is a long one for Cortana.
* At the end of Silentium, Guilty Spark is listening to the final sounds of the galaxy as the Halo effect completes its work. The last thing he hears is a new civilization, undiscovered by Forerunners or Flood, sending out a first "Hello there!" to the galaxy... then even that is silenced. He doesn't know what they said, what they looked like, or what gifts they could have brought the galaxy. Just like that, an entire alien race is snuffed out; soon after, select portions of Spark's memory are erased. Now no one even knows they existed.
* After the Ur-Didact [[spoiler: composes the Librarian's human populations, she has a complete breakdown.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Librarian''': That's all he ever does- ''kill my children!'' Why? ''Why?'']]
* In that vein, nothing like watching a 10,000 year-old HappilyMarried relationship get sliced, diced, and torn to shreds. The fact that the Ur-Didact seems at least partially aware that he is going mad and doing all the heinous stuff that is driving his wife and species away makes it even worse.
* The position Bornstellar finds himself in near the end of ''Silentium''. Preparing to activate the Halos, a horrific solution, yet utterly necessary, to a catastrophe his race is nearly entirely at fault for, while transmissions stream in from around the galaxy from Forerunners, and perhaps others, pleading for a chance to be rescued and rejoin their brethren. In the end, he takes full responsibility for the murder of trillions across the galaxy, and it's no wonder why, in ''Cryptum'', he remarks that if he'd known what was to come, he would have killed himself then and there.
* [[spoiler: [[BittersweetEnding Bittersweet tears]] in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGR1V7IRLXs "Rebirth" epilogue]]. Humans and Forerunners gather together as equals in mourning and celebration, and finally part ways in peace. Perhaps most touching, Bornstellar remarking that one day "Perhaps your children will make their way back, and I hope meet our children." It gives one hope that maybe humanity and Forerunners can exist together as brothers like they were meant to.]]
-->'''Bornstellar''': "Hope..."
* MortalDictata - We get to see from the parents of one of the Spartans just how terrible it is to lose your child. Any parent will be in tears just thinking of how Naomi's parents must of felt when they couldn't find her and how she was acting so different when they did.
** Hell, Naomi's family is just one big tearjerker. Her dad turns to terrorism to try and find out what exactly happened to his daughter, and her mom committed suicide because she felt responsible for Naomi's 'death'.
* ''The Fall of Reach'' explained that the future Spartans were replaced with short-lived Flash Clones when they were taken. The animated adaptation takes the FridgeHorror of that situation and shows it to you: families having one of their children suddenly becoming listless and unresponsive, before finally dying. And no known reason why.


[[folder: Soundtrack ]]

* The song "Dust and Echoes" in ''Combat Evolved'', and its ''3'' counterpart "Wake Me When You Need Me".
* The track "Black Tower", which features a tear-jerking choral version of the first movement of "High Charity Suite". Reminds me of the Arnhem Knights level of ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonorFrontline''. As I thought, this is the music played during [[spoiler:Miranda's]] death scene.
* The credits music of ''Halo 2'', with its weeping Hawaiian-style guitar.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDZscyf8lU&feature=related Never Forget]]. Just the song. It's one of the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful songs ever composed, and conveys more emotion than words could ever hope to. And it fits the simple, peaceful main menu animation of Halo 3 so damn well...
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCrL76vGpNA 117]] from Halo 4, that plays over the flying scene and in part over the post-credits cinematic, is so sad and heroic it's sob-inducing. Oh just the whole damn soundtrack, with an extra from Apocalyptica (The Beauty of Cortana) whose music fits the series so perfectly.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B70lpTUyxAA Green and Blue]]. The Chief and Cortana.
** Also, the primary colors of earth. "Welcome home."
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktce1qctRbM Ashes]]. It plays when Kat is killed, and it perfectly conveys that even though what we've seen previously were decisive human victories, we won't always win.


[[folder: Other ]]

* Not from the games but the expanded background; spend some time on Halopedia reading about the fate of the Forerunners in the war against the Flood. It is, for the most part, heartbreaking stuff. Science fiction is littered with tales of massive interstellar wars with insane casualties on both sides. What makes this one stand out is that the ultimate victory that the good guys achieve is bought at the cost of ''their entire race''. Only a few, relatively small chunks of their civilization and history are left behind, along with their legacy in the form of [[spoiler:humanity]].
* As part of the ad campaign for ''Halo: Anniversary'', 343 Industries created a short trailer for the "[[http://www.halolivingmonument.com Living Monument]]". It's simple, but the speech therein that commemorates the monument, about the many costs and casualties of the Human-Covenant war and what's left in the aftermath, will almost certainly create a lasting, misty-eyed impression. Watch it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UikfmGgQMc here]].
* Dr Halsey had it just as rough as John-117. While her plan on kidnapping children and turn them into super soldiers is morally questionable, she nevertheless cared for them like their her own children. Plus she knew that most of them have died in combat, and even with her MadScientist streak, she still has parts of her humanity intact, and was totally pissed that ONI scapegoated her for the sake of their new Spartan tools, and denied information that John is alive. Worst yet [[spoiler: is her crying in her sleep, with the knowledge of her dead biological daughter, Miranda Keyes.]]
* The memorial to [[http://www.gamestooge.com/2007/09/11/halo-2-dion-arroyo-four-years-later/ Dion Arroyo]] during the end credits of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. The brother of one of the artists, he died in a crash on September 11, 2003, so his brother wrote a simple little tribute. If that weren't enough, Dion was the first non-Bungie employee to play ''Halo 2'', and has one marine based on him in the game.
* Quite a fair bit of ''Anime/HaloLegends'' is this. Granted, Odd One Out is a screwball adventure, the Package is one awesome moment after another, and Origins is a concise [[spoiler:, if somewhat inaccurate,]] summation of the history of the Halo universe. But there are some moments where the tears threaten to leak.
** Prototype: Detailing the hardships one Marine has to go through. He earned the callsign "Ghost" for a reason: his entire unit died, one of them [[DiedInYourArmsTonight in his arms]]. And after she died, all his did was [[DeathWail howl]]. After he was evacced, he stopped feeling anything.
** The Duel: Showing how the Arbiter became a mantle of shame, a tile reserved for Elites who had lost their honor, and sought to gain it back by embarking on suicide missions. Initially, it was once a title of honor, presumably equal to that of humanity's General rank. But the Arbiter of that era, Fal 'Chavamee, was conflicted, wondering what the Great Journey meant. Not to mention he had a wife, who knew of the dangers he embarked on every day, and took it in stride. But when political power steps in, Haka, 'Chavamee's rival, forces his best friend to kill his wife, and then kills his friend.
** The Babysitter: A group of ODSTs are sent to assassinate a prophet, and are accompanied by a Spartan, who takes the position of sniper, enraging O'Brian, the squad's sniper. After he gets into trouble on two occasions, the Spartan has to save him, humiliating him in the process. But when the Spartan sacrifices their life for O'Brian, it's revealed she's a woman. O'Brian takes the shot, completing the mission, but at the cost of their ally. And O'Brian is left reminiscing on all the times the Spartan saved his life, [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone and not once did he thank her]].
*** Further reflected in the attitudes of the ODSTs when they return to their ship. Before the mission they had no problem exhibiting their hatred for Spartans, but when approached by a marine who saw fit to insult her efforts, they chew him out bigtime for it. Worse, it took this for them to see that the Spartans are still humans fighting the same brutal war they are.
*** Then there's the Spartan herself, who saved the team countless times and never once spoke out against the derision she received for it. As she lays dying, she pleads the commander to deliver their intel on the Covenant to Halsey. To which he defiantly responds that she was going to see that it gets delivered. Her response?
-->'''Cal-141:''' We both know......That's not going to happen.
*** The death of their teammate Checkman also qualifies, as he loses control of his pod in the atmosphere and dies a totally needless death as a result. It's the tone of his commanding officer as he informs O'Brian of this that seals the deal. Not helped by the fact that O'Brian had [[UngratefulBastard callously insulted the Spartan who saved him as he was just inches from death]].
** But by far, the one that takes the cake is Homecoming. Some Spartans try and escape the enhancements, and seek to return to their old lives. But when Daisy, one of the escapees, makes it home, she sees that she's already there. Or, at least, a clone is. After they talk, the clone gives her a teddy bear keychain as a memento, and Daisy returns to the Spartan academy, alongside Ralph, another escapee she bonds with. The other three escapees, on seeing their clones, committed suicide.
*** We learn soon after that all of the flash clones, including Daisy's, eventually died due to defects in the cloning process. Daisy's family, along with those of her many comrades, would ''never'' know the true fates of their children.
*** Years later, during a battlefield, en route to the evac zone, Daisy is critically wounded, and can only watch as the Covenant slaughter her comrades, and her best friend, Ralph.
*** The Master Chief himself finally finds her.....but all he can do is pay his respects to his fallen comrade, her still clutching her teddy bear keychain.
* I honestly thought the E3 2013 trailer was kinda rampant with feels. Sure, he may seem heroic and "all that", going through a desert alone, but you can tell he feels something, as if part of him is missing. Which is immediately reflected by the chip in his hand. [[spoiler:The same chip that Cortana was in.]] And then the moment instantly goes from "WOO! TAKE THAT STUPID MACHINE ''OUT''!" to "Oh god the feels". Aaaaaaaand I'm crying again.