A meta example, but during the launch party of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn in Japan, director Naoki Yoshida shed Manly Tears after years of hard work revamping the game from the ground up while receiving a great amount of support from fans.
Raubahn's Undying Loyalty to the sultana, especially when he props the little lalafell queen up on his arm.
Everyone remembering you're a Warrior of Light in the ending cutscenes, if you're a Legacy veteran.
F'lhaminn reuniting with her adopted daughter, Minfilia, after being away from her for so many years while watching over her from a distance as her daughter grew up to be a successful and strong woman.
During The Three Collectors arc of the Hildebrand quests, we're shown that while yes, Hildebrand is an idiotic bumbling fool, his desire to help people with their problems is true, as he happily helps a the neglected daughter of an Ul'dahn noble woman with recovering a vase she had dropped while bringing home to avoid a monster attack. He helps get the vase repaired and restored by his father, Godbert, despite his misgivings and disagreements with him over inheriting the family business, preferring to be an inspector. Despite failing to stop the thief from stealing a treasured sword, he helps the aforementioned mother and daughter connect via a good laugh caused by his antics.
The last Hildebrand quest (well, before he returns) is also a Where Are They Now for everybody touched by the phantom's crime spree and Hildebrand's efforts, as they help you with the quest in some way or another. The Ul'dahn mother acknowledges that both Briarden and Hildebrand helped her rekindle her bond with her daughter. Arabella, the meek adopted daughter of a trade mogul, shows that she's taken a lesson in assertiveness to get you one of the ingredients to cure Hildy of a zombification powder (don't ask). Avila, an Ala Mhigan gladiator who was cheating with the help of Ultros, has started from stratch; her popularity reborn and acquaintanceship with you is enough to give you the other ingredient.
The cutscene for "The Rising" anniversary event is definitely this, as another "meta" sort of example. The dev team, led by Yoshida and in the form of the Wandering Minstrel, takes the time to thank you, the player, for sticking with XIV through thick and thin. That they went through all that trouble, just to thank you, says volumes about how grateful they are everyone gave them a second chance.
The end of "The Beast Within" quest. After being stuck as a Tonberry and stirring in rancor for 1500 years, the Scholar who your fairy, Lily, originally belonged to could tell one another apart despite the changes. He warned her to stay away despite the rancor and tried to keep her safe by running inside so he didn't hurt her, and she stopped him from being killed and cured him of the hatred that left him tormented.
A player by the name of Codex Vahlda, who enjoyed playing the game as a level 50 Bard, had passed away from renal failure. When news of his death caught on, hundreds of players from several servers held vigils within the game to honor the passing of their fellow player. The gesture from so many players, including those who did not know Codex personally, is both heartwarming and tear jerker worthy.
What's more, Codex Vahlda still is part of the Free Company he was in before his death. They have not removed him in spite of the fact that he will not be playing anymore, instead giving him a high rank in the roster of which he is the sole occupant: Immortal Siren.
Heavensturn 2014 has two warming entries:
In Aleport, a mother is worried sick over her baby because it won't stop crying. At first, she believes that her husband's ugly face caused the baby to cry. When your sheep companion uses its soothing sleep magic on the mother, she realizes that it was her own worry and fears that was causing the baby to cry and after being calmed down herself, the baby also calmed down.
Bentbranch Meadows has a travelling merchant who is worried for her chocobo since it refuses to eat and has become very restless. You discover a chocobo tail feather nearby and showing it to the chocobo calmed it down a little bit. After having your sheep put the chocobo to sleep, showing the feather to the chocobo handler reveals that the feather belonged to a chocobo that was a mate to the merchant's chocobo. Said mate was bought by someone and they had quickly left before the two chocobos could reunite, which caused the merchant's chocobo to become heartbroken. After sharing the news with the merchant, she decides to sacrifice her profits for the day so that she can help her chocobo find her lost mate. Aww...
When you being the quest to explore Wander's Palace again (hard mode), you run into a couple who ask you to save the Tonberries inside. Why? Because after they were stabbed by one and left to die, the defeat of the Tonberry King lifted the curse on the Tonberries, making them calm and nursed the wounded couple back to health. As you explore the Mamool Ja infested palace, every Tonberry you save thanks you for rescuing them.
The couple themselves is this for members of the LGBT community. The two are a gay male couple that were kicked out of their home village...because one of them is a Miqo'te and the other Hyur. The fact that they're both male isn't even brought up and the two specifically point out that despite being entirely different species their love is the same as anyone elses.
And for those who have completed the Scholar quest chain, you find out that Surito (the tonberry scholar you helped out) is alive and well, and making good on his promise to help his fellow tonberries. In fact, he even appears in the dungeon, right past the first boss.
In addition, for those playing a Scholar in the dungeon, the mere fact that you are bringing Lily (in either Eos or Selene form) back home to save her people is kind of heartwarming in and of itself.
The end of the 2.55 story line is full of this towards the player. You're accused of killing Sultana Nanamo Ul Namo, and are branded as a traitor by the Monteraists and the Crystal Braves. Raubahn, before he attacks the true culprit, tells you that not once had he ever doubted you. After escaping by yourself while the Scions stay behind to hold off the corrupt soldiers, you can talk to several NPCs in each city and learn that they're still on your side; the commanders in each Grand Company believe you are truly innocent and refuse to believe that you, a Warrior of Light, would murder someone. If you completed a level 50 crafting/gathering class and/or a level 30 disciple of war/magic, the guild masters in their respective guilds tell you that you have their full support. For a major Wham Episode where it seemed like everyone you know has betrayed you, it's heartwarming to see everyday people who still believe in you to the very end.
Not just guild leaders, but plenty of others. Your initial escape, is facilitated by a simple chocobo carriage (the same one that brought non-Legacy adventurers to their starting cities). The owners of all three cities adventurer pubs flat-out say they trust you, as do those with close contact of the city leaders, with Gridania and Limsa letting you know that you have been granted free movement through their cities, and declare you innocent. The knights of Ishgard, who are probably not happy at some the accusations pointed their way by the conspirators, likewise intend to repay the Monetarist Hospitality with their own, with the leader of House Fortemps even declaring that any attempt to enter or cause trouble within Dragonhead, or the surrounding area in search of you and the Scions, will be denied entrance. Knowing that so many people are completely on your side will brighten your mood, given the dark ending of the 2.0 story.
Speaking to Haurchefant following the story's conclusion and the credit roll, and he will truly prove how loyal an ally he is to you, reassuring you that the horrible chain of events that took place in Before the Fall is not the end for you, guarantees your comfort and safety, and vows to stand at the side when the time comes to redeem yourself and take revenge against the monetarists.
Haurchefant: Do not hesitate to call upon me, regardless of hour. My home is your home, and I would see you afforded all comforts and courtesies. Rest and regain your strength, <name>. You shall have your redemption and your reckoning in due time—and when that day comes, I shall stand at your side.
Also from patch 2.55, is a "Level 22 Postmoogle" quest, involving Wymond, an Ul'dahn information broker, that the player deals with from time to time, is mistakenly given a ransom note meant to be given to a "Raymond" due to the illegible name written on the envelope. He reveals during the quest, that he chose to hang around that spot of town, as that's where a flower girl named Myrtha used to stand before the Calamity, and he'd always buy a flower from her to remind him there's good people in the world. He also reveals, that he used to part of the gang that has now taken Raymond's daughter; after the gang killed Myrthas brother, Wymond took a Heel–Face Turn and left when Myrtha vanished as well. He revealed the culprits to a certain Gentleman Detective who did solve the case and had them all of the gang locked up. After setting up an elaborate scam to draw both his former gang, and the corrupt merchant who hired them to kidnap Raymond's daughter to steal his land from him via ransom, rescue the girl and take care of the criminals for good, Raymond's wife, gives a flower, and a note as a token of thanks to Wymond. They both reveal she's Myrtha, making Wymond happy to know she's doing alright after all these years, and now happily married with a good family. Wymond then plans to use the left over money he generated from the plan to rescue Myrtha's daughter to help out the orphans of Ul'dah.
The 2015 Rising Event follows up the previous event of the same name and cranks it Up to Eleven, You're whisked away to the 18th Floor, which dives heavy into Breaking the Fourth Wall by introducing you to Yoshida (the game's director) and the rest of the developers of the game. The entire team thanks you, the player, personally for sticking by the game for over 2 years and hope you keep playing and enjoying the team's work for years to come. Yoshida then goes on to say how Final Fantasy XIV was a failure during 1.0 due to the development team getting too arrogant and that they must never forget the failures of their past in order to continue to make the game of today better and better with each passing moment. Between being thanked personally by the development team and seeing that they do not want to repeat the same mistakes they made from 1.0, it's hard to not crack a smile or shed a few tears.
The Final Coil of Bahamet, clearing its third turn (AKA, the "12th Turn") gives us the final moments of Louisoux with his grandchildren, that also crosses over with being a Tearjerker. Here is a man who has given up everything, including his very existence, to protect Eorzea and Hydaelyn. And for that, he spent 5 years as an ascended primal being trapped in thrall to another primal. How does he spend his extremely limited remaining time alive before returning to the Lifestream, after being freed from being tempered and existing as the primal Phoenix? By telling Alphinaud and Alisaie one final story, the full truth of what happened in his fight against Bahamet and how he saved Eorzea, and telling both of them about how he's proud of both of them and what they've accomplished. The man is about to Disappear Into Light, and his final moments in the realm of the living is to hug his grandchildren one last time, encouraging them to keep performing great deeds and forge a legacy of their own, with a smile on his face.
One side quest chain in the Dravanian Forelands has you helping out a young dragonling with various tasks, such as gathering food for himself and his mother. During each quest, the dragonling takes an interest in you since it's the first time he has seen man with his own eyes and is intrigued by the good deeds you have done for him and his kind so far. Later on, you meet the dragonling's older brother, who immediately casts doubt on you because of man's past sins and forbids his younger brother from interacting with you. The young dragonling is now heartbroken and confused because he knows his brother isn't lying, yet you are not what his brother says. You reassure him that you are who you are and he thanks you for putting his fears at ease. In the final quest in the chain, the dragonling's brother is sick and you're tasked with recreating an ancient medicine that would heal dragons. Once you give the medicine to the dragon who doubted you previously, he still acts suspicious of you, but he says he won't forget your kindness while the dragonling promises to tell his future generation about your good deeds.
In a similar vein, one of the Vath quests has you looking for a dragon mother's son who had been out all day playing. When you do find the young dragon pup, he runs away from you several times because he likes playing games where people chase him. When you finally corner him, the dragon pup thanks you for playing with him and how you were faster than the Vath who chased him. After you report back to the mother dragon, she says how her son came back home and promptly fell asleep with a smile and she thanks you for playing with him since her son rarely ever gets to play with people that are not dragons.
The Level 52 Bard Job Quest has the ever dutiful Sanson telling you that the very self-driven bard Guydelot has gone chasing after an Ishgardian Knight after the man's lover claimed he was a superior singer. Not only was Guydelot following leads for the overarching quest you're on together, but he followed the man's patrol out into the wilderness of Falcon's Nest. Why? To deliver a birthday gift from his love, which carries a message that informs him that she's pregnant with their child! After saving the lives of him and his patrol, he is so overcome with joy that he pledges full support to your group's quest.
"'Tis time to wake up, your Grace. Another day begins in Thanalan, and the sun blazes bright upon the sands." Just the look on the big guy's face, like he can't decide whether to smile or burst into tears.
After the events of 2.55, Alphinaud has made the tough decision of disbanding the Crystal Braves, only to find out that before he could even say the words the remaining loyal members have decided that they were going to stick together regardless, because they believed in him and his ideals so strongly, to which Alphinaud can only respond with teary-eyed gratitude.
Making this more heartwarming is that one of the aforementioned loyal members is Alianne—an adventurer you'd first encountered during your first set of dungeons, and the Crystal Brave you were supposed to meet before said events in 2.55 happened. It was speculated that she was either on the run, captured, or worse in on the coup, or even worse killed like Wilred was. To know that a character you've known even before joining the Scions is not only okay, but still among the good guys, is heartwarming in itself.
Despite all of the hardships they encounter during the Astrologian Job Quest, Jannequinard keeps inspiring Leveva onwards because it gave him a purpose in life when no one expected him to. And her father was his Only Friend, so he wants to see to it that his dream lives on despite the risk to himself.
Sidurgu and Rielle's interactions with one another. Despite everyone seemingly wanting to kill her, he stands guard over her and looks after her.
The 2015 Starlight Celebration has the Adventurers' Guild trying to revive a long-forgotten part of the story regarding how the celebration came to be. Namely, that when the Ishgardian knights set out from their barracks to find and bring orphans back to their barracks for shelter from the winter weather, they would play a certain melody on their signal bells to let all know they were now seeking to help those in need. The hope being, that by bringing this part of the story back into the celebration, the bells would add an extra amount of festive cheer to the faces of the children of the realm. Cue a team up between Ishgard (who sent the original signal bells that would've been used, which were held in storage for untold years), the player getting repair materials, a famed Eorzean composer to complete the full melody, the "Saint of Nymeia" (a.k.a. Godbert Manderville) finishing the restoration and improvement of the bells to increase it's tone and note ranges, and his Little Helpers note (Julyan Manderville, and ALL of the Disciple of the Hand class guildmasters to help decorate, and the Adventurers' Guild sharing the news of the celebration to children all over the realm so they can hear the bells ring again.
When players learned Yugiri's then-current English voice actress was found murdered in her own home, many players honored her memory by going adventureing with the Wind-Up Yugiri minon at their side.
The end of the 3.2 main story shows the culmination of your battle. After Vidofnir touches down, she and Aymeric share a speech about the future of existing alongside one another as man and dragon. While there are many in the crowd who are still wary, and the traitors who would rather the fight continue are present and glaring, that all changes when Aymeric reveals the fruits of their labor: a beautiful relief of Shiva and Hraesvelgr, wrapped in an loving embrace. Vidofnir is speechless; and even the leader of the remnants, who would rather die than let go of her hatred for dragons, visibly softens to tears upon seeing the sight, as if realizing what it would mean to end the war for good. While Nidhogg's arrival ultimately prevents the full dispersion of Ishgard's hatred, talking to NPCs around the town reveals that many Ishgardians were so touched by the ceremony they've redirected their hate towards dragons as a whole to just Nidhogg, especially after seeing Nidhogg sees benevolent dragons as enemies as well, and are more than happy to live in peace once he's out of the picture. Not the most positive stance, but it's certainly leagues better than the initial one held before your arrival in Ishgard.
Compared to the heartbreak of 2.55, the ending of Ishgard's story is the most hopeful that XIV's narrative has ever been. With Nidhogg dead, the Dragonsong War finally comes to a close. With the help of the spirits of Haurchefant and Ysayle, you and Alphinaud pull the dragon's eyes out of Estinien, freeing him from the Wyrm's grasp. The follow-up sees Alphinaud all but crying in joy as Estinien heals and he and Aymeric share words. The closing narration notes that Ishgard has become almost a paradise, with the corrupt theocracy replaced by a republic made up of both nobles and commoners great strides are made almost immediately with improving the life of the less fortunate. Aymeric is heralded as a new Azure Dragoon, one that rides upon the back of dragons instead of slaying them, entirely destroying the gap between man and dragon. Even Hraesvelgr, despite losing a wing, shows hope for the future of mankind despite his lingering heartbreak and anger at Ratatoskr's death. What follows after the credits roll can best be described a playable Where Are They Now as you retrace every step you took over the entirety of the 3.0 storyline, talking with all of the characters you met along the course of the main story and seeing how the war's end, new relations with dragons, and general sensation of hope among everyone involved you've left in your wake. No strings attached—it's a happy ending for the saga of Ishgard.
To further sweeten the ending, your journey of reflection ends with you giving Haurchefant's grave a silent smile, with you gaining an emote that mimics his expressive gesture.
Hildibrand proves again to be touching when not funny. When Gigi confides that he feels like he can't be Hildibrand's son as a mammet, Hildibrand reassures Gigi that what he is means nothing to who he is. He strikes his gentlemanly pose and declares that if some calls Gigi a mammet, he must correct them with, "Nay, I am a Manderville mammet!" Hildy's going to make an excellent father.
The heartbreaking saga of Edda Blackbosom finally reaches a peaceful, happy conclusion at the end of the Palace of the Dead. After a final confrontation with Edda, she explodes into dark energy like most bosses...before reforming in a white light, just long enough for her uncorrupted self to say a few words to you before she fades away forever, leaving behind her engagement ring. You later find Paiyo, who has slipped into depressive alcoholism after the events of Corpse Groom, but when you show him the ring, he snaps out of it, joining you on a brief quest to find her beloved's ring. Once you do, you head to a cliff overlooking Limsa Lominsa—where their love began—and give them both a burial that leaves both of their spirits, finally, at peace. The scene ends with a wonderful view of the city...and Edda's disembodied voice from beyond thanking you for what you've done.
A young Miqo'te child, Khloe Aliapoh, in Idyllshire has a friend her age who is sad that her parents are gone, but gets happy when she hears a tale told to her. The fact that the young girl wants to make her friend happy and asks for your help to make grand stories to tell is just sweet.
Mitigated a little bit by the fact that her "Wondrous Tails" all involve you murdering things.
The final scene in the Further Hildebrand Adventures questline features Cyr cleaning up the home in Idyllshire happy to start a new life away from Ishgard and the Inquisition. His cheerful expression shows just how much better his life had gotten since encountering Hildebrand and the Warrior of Light. At the end of the scene, he steps outside and glances at the "family crest" Gigi drew earlier (show at the top of this page) and notices something different about it. Gigi added a smile to his own likeness on the drawing, showing that he's fully moved past his existential crisis and the grief of his creator's death, happy to be a free mammet and a member of House Hildebrand.
The Level 60 Goldsmithing quest, appropriately called "Two Hearts Beat As One" has you creating anniversary gifts for a roegadyn couple. What you end up producing are a pair of matching music boxes that play two different variations of the couple's favorite song. You end up surprising the couple by putting the music boxes together (Which form a heart), and when playing the two boxes together, perform a composite of both variations that blend well together, of which the wife says is a perfect metaphor for them. When you meet with the man who gave you the quest at the end, he admits that you will truly be one of the legendary masters of the craft.
The end of the first trailer, which is already a moment of awesome, has a subtle moment of heartwarming, when compared to the Heavensward trailer. It features the trailer male Midlander Hyur again, duelling an unknown female Hyur in a sparring match, after having job changed to Monk now. Throughout the match, he can't stop smiling, a far stretch from the gloomy Midlander seen throughout most of 3.0