Heartwarming / Papers, Please

Glory to Arstotzka.note 

  • Helping out desperate immigrants with improper paperwork. Especially the ones who thank you.
  • Despite his initial annoyance with him, the main character actually grows fond of Jorji over the course of the game, to the point where he is the only person the player will address by name. Jorji, too, is genuinely fond of the player, remaining friendly and upbeat even when you arrest him for smuggling. Multiple times.
    • Doubly so when the player confides in Jorji about the upcoming audit, and Jorji offers help in gaining fake Obristanian passports for your family, even giving you his own to use as a template. If you hold off on escaping until the final day, he even hands you a large cut of his drug money to help pay for them, wishing you good luck.
    • This is worth mentioning. At one point where you have to detain Jorji, the player apologizes for it, doing his job and all, and Jorji completely understand his position, even saying that the job can't be easy.
    • On the final day, you see Jorji one last time as he thanks the player for all his help and gives him a bit of cash. But the best part is that Jorji had no need to cross the border that time, he waited in line just to talk to you.
  • At one point, an immigrant comes to you without anything but a passport. He begs for you to let him through until he can afford the paper work, giving you a family heirloom (a digital watch) as collateral and promising to pay you. Over the next several days, two different people offer to buy it from you, one offering twice what the owner offered. If you turn them down, he does come through, with proper paperwork and 10 dollars, and takes the watch back. Then he exclaims that there is a scratch on it and demands the money back. If you actually return it, he is stunned by your honesty and gives it right back, admitting that the scratch was there before.
  • Early in December, you have the option to buy your son a set of expensive crayons for his birthday. If you get them for him, he will draw you a picture, declaring you an 'Arstotzkan hero'. You can hang it on your wall!
    • Note that doing so will result in a reprimand from your CO. Keeping it up will make him arrest you.
      • You can always take down the drawing when he's making his way to your booth and put it back up as soon as he leaves.
    • Doubles as a Tear Jerker if you're low on money and having to make the choice to sacrifice a family member.
  • Sergiu is a guard assigned to your post (shown in green) who will befriend you. There are a couple of occasions where you can save his life from terrorist attacks. He will always be grateful for it the next day.
    • Then he finally asks you for a favor and asks if you can check in his lover, Elisa. He'll even give you a pendant to remind you of her name and face. Once she comes, you discover that she only has her passport. Letting her in will get you a citation, but will earn you a scene of Sergiu and her being really happy to see each other. This scene consists of two tiny monochromatic sprites running toward each other and embracing, but it's no less powerful for it. (shown above)
      • Hand her the pendant before approving her, and the inspector adds "He is waiting for you."
      • Oh, and an organized terrorist attack happens on the same day. Save his life one last time, and he'll say that his wife plans on naming a son after you.
    • Meta example: It's widely agreed that trying to save Sergiu on that day is perhaps one of the harder tasks in the game, since you need to be either get a double kill via causing the bike to explode or be a sharp shot. And if you want a second try you have to repeat the entire day (risking whatever you earned and more citations). Doesn't stop people from writing entire guides on how to do it, because they could not stand the thought of letting him die on the happiest day of his life.
  • Debatable on this, but EZIC seems to be incredibly kind towards you if you help them. Even the ending where you're fully supportive of them is heart warming since they also protect your family.
    • Debatable indeed. While their interest in protecting you and your family is undeniable, and they do seem to genuinely care for Arstotzka and her people, their methods are very sketchy. One of the things you need to do in order to earn their trust is murder a man with anthrax. They insist that he's an assassin, but even so, unless you make the target wait the rest of the day you still end up indirectly killing an innocent (?) guard who checks on him when he collapses.
      • That, or several bystanders in the line if you deny him.
    • Thankfully, you only need to do four EZIC requests to get their ending. Not counting the "man in red" request, EZIC gives you five requests throughout the game. That means you can skip the anthrax request, but you'd better not screw up any of the others.
  • It's a funny and silly moment, but when you get a visit from a depressed immigrant, you can give him a crude card someone gave you earlier to try and persuade you to let them into the checkpoint. Despite the card's quality and mention of approving entry, and the fact that you've never seen him before, he cheers right up and thanks you, regardless of whether you do allow him entry or not afterwards. It's hilarious, but also quite heartwarming.
  • Dimitri is a Jerkass and Bad Boss extraordinaire, but if you manage to get a perfect no-citation record when he first arrives, he has this to say about you:
    Dimitri: You make Arstotzka proud.
  • If you refuse to help EZIC and succeed in defending the wall from their last assault, then M. Vonel completes your audit and informs you that you came out clean. In other words, even a hyper-paranoid secret police officer cannot doubt your loyalty after you single-handedly prevent Arstotzka's fall.
    M. Vonel: "We have audited your activities for the past 20 years. There are some anomalies. But you have served Arstotzka well."