When Mitsuru first calls Yukari by her given name, especially given the namingformality of Japanese society.
This Troper will admit to nearly crying at the end of Persona 3. You're made to think that your entire team has forgotten about their adventures together after defeating Nyx when suddenly, during Mitsuru's speech on Graduation Day, the promise that you all made together brings it back. Mitsuru stumbles in a speech for the first time in her life, Akihiko pulls Yukari and Junpei out of their seats towards the stage, and (after recovering from her slip-up) Mitsuru - who'd previously been the emotionless, precise bookworm - jumped off the stage IN FREAKING SLO-MO and greeted them all, practically crying. Best. Ending. Ever.
Especially if you did the bad ending which is all about thinking about today and not worry about the future; heartwarming as the character in this ending realise that you don't live life to its potential this way, so they proceed to reclaim this potential
And even more heartwarming, is Aigis' tear as the hero finally leaves his body behind (dies) as the rest of the group is running up the stairs to the roof. "The Path is Open" will forever bring tears.
If you visit the fortuneteller at Club Escapade during the Playable Epilogue, she will tell you that you have infinite possibilities, and that there is nothing you cannot do, nothing out of your reach. It's a wonderful feel-good message, after all that has happened... then you realize what is about to happen to you, and... yes, "The Path Is Open" just becomes beautifully liberating, and poignant.
On September 23rd, ask Shinjiro to the movies. it's a heroic animal marathon. And if you've been paying attention so far, you'll know he loves animals. At the end, he starts to cry, and runs away. It was one of the best moments of video gaming for this troper..
The ending to The Answer also qualifies. After everything that's happened, the whole cast really has become very close. Aigis has become more or less human, she and Yukari have no animosity, despite what happened earlier, and then the credits and New Day start playing.
For anyone who played through Persona 3 already, playing the Portable remake as the female protagonist is nostalgic, but lightening in the fact she becomes much closer to SEES member through her different social links with said members improving the whole Nakama aspect. One that stands out though is the Moon Arcana Shinjiro Aragaki's Social Link. Through their interactions together, the heroine learns that Shinjiro is actually not that much of a jerk and more of a Type B tsundere, only to easily and often be irritated by Akihiko. He does care for everybody in SEES, but knows that being close to them would result in pain for them that he'd be more than happy to prevent by acting like a jerk. In later ranks, he hints that his days are numbered, but wants the heroine to accept what happens. in the final rank, he tells her that now he has nothing to worry about (SEES) and that he believes in her to lead SEES. It's surprising how much 10 moments with a Guest Star Party Member can be so touching.
Eleven moments if you choose to become lovers. There's something really heartwarming (and even a little funny) seeing the resident Badass get flustered when the girl he likes confesses her love and asks to go to his room.
On new game plus, if you managed to get Shinjiro as a lover, talking to a girl in your classroom will prompt her to say that Shinjiro woke up from his coma and escaped the hospital (to find YOU, the female main). On the very last day of the game, you can choose him to be at the heroine's side as she fades away to become the seal instead of Aigis. He musters enough strength to embrace the female main, and his final dialogue is very touching.
Shinjiro: "...I'm glad to have met you."
All of Shinjiro's links are like this, especially the ones closer to ten. In the 9th one, he basically tells you he'll be dying soon, and he asks you not to cry, as well as to forgive everything else — including Ken, who he knows will want revenge. The FeMC didn't cry, but I did.
If you max out Shinjiro's Social Link before October 4, it was stated by Shinji's extra dialogue that the FeMC DID cry when she saw Shinji blood-soaked on the floor. (Apparently, he was telling her not to.)
Also from the female's path in Portable, the end of Ryoji's Social Link.
"If I could stay like this I'd probably...stay with you forever."
Speaking of the female protagonist's route, having her become Akihiko's girlfriend in time for Christmas provides a lovely little scene in which the two of them spend Christmas Eve together. Akihiko presents her with the gift of a music box, and promises he'll give her something new to put in it every year... a deeply touching statement considering that they've spent all December contemplating the coming of the Big Badand the unpreventable end of the world, and that at this point they have no guarantees that any of them will live to see spring.
Also, the music box Akihiko gives her? You can use it in battle. It heals 50 SP and has infinite uses. It quite literally lifts the spirits of anyone who hears it. Aww.
Getting Akihiko to be the female protagonist's lover, if you triggered the right event flags. It's the joy you hear in his voice when you say yes.
Liam O Brien was knocking it out of the park for the whole social link. All of Akihiko's flustered blushing and stammering is perfect and sweet and sincere. But nothing beats the NG+ plus ending. The mix of emotions in his voice is incredible.
Akihiko: I remember now. Everything that happened, the fighting, Tartarus, all of it...and how I fell in love with you. I'm sorry I forgot it all.
Let's not forget about Ken. After the October incident, what he's living for (outside of finishing what he started) is for your approval/love. His romantic route, while it may be squicky for some, has some genuinely sweet moments. In fact, he says "I love you," multiple times (Rank 10, Christmas Date and March scene), promises to take her on trips when he's old enough (and that's on the Christmas date which is heartwarming for similar reasons as Akihiko's above) and on a more sad note is the only one that seems to notice that the protagonist performed a Heroic Sacrifice and asks not to leave.
The Answer is filled with these. Mitsuru comforting Yukari, Metis realizing that Aigis accepts her, Yukari reconciling with Aigis, Mitsuru choosing not to take everyones' Evokers, Yukari wanting Aigis to be her roommate...
I don't know about you guys but this troper found Mitsuru's social link quite adorable.
Especially if you're playing as the female.
Oh god yes.
(while getting ready to watch a horror movie)
Mitsuru: W-would you mind..if I held your hand?
It's also a funny moment, as the female main character is practically shoving the DVD in Mitsuru's face. Mitsuru is...actually rather nervous.
Koromaru's social link. All of it.
>This must be Koromaru's resolution. Koromaru will follow you for sure...no matter where that might lead. That's how you feel.
There's a minor one that hit this troper when he was checking out his social links during the last month to see Shinjiro's name listed in the Nyx Annihilation Team, despite the fact that this was created after his passing. Gone, but not forgotten, indeed. His name is also never removed from the Fool Link either, causing this one to count double.
Two days before the final battle, Koromaru will ask you to go out with everyone. You are then treated to a scene with everyone playing together at the shrine playground. Yukari and Mitsuru discussing clothes shopping, Junpei and Fuuka horsing around, Ken and Akihiko playing on the slide and Aigis teaching Koromaru a handshake. It's potentially a last moment together with the team and they're all enjoying it. *sniff*
Another small but somehow heartwarming thing: All through the month of January, while Takaya's cult is gaining followers left and right and it seems like everyone you talk to is either buying into it or giving in to despair, every teacher at Gekkoukan speaks up against the cult and its doomsaying during their class lectures.
At the end of the game you get to meet Akinari's mother on the same bench Akinari sat on what would have been his 20th birthday. It's both a tearjerker, yet heartwarming. "Only 19 years...it wasn't long enough. He was almost an adult, but he never made it. Every day, I wondered if he'd wake up the next morning...I blamed myself for what he inherited..." Yet at the end of his life, Akinari, smiling, tells his mother he was glad to have been given life and being her son. And his mother found joy in his life too. Even though she's lonely, her son inspired her to keep on going, looking straight ahead. The most heartwarming part is her promise to do everything her son couldn't do, and tell him everything when they meet again on the other side. And you tell her he finished his story, her only regret being he never finished it. She decides to wait for him to tell it to her himself, having something else to look forward to. She leaves with some advice that everyone can relate to: "Take good care of the ones dearest to you. If you wait until their time has come, and you're clinging to their cold bodies....then it's too late." Those who thought Akinari's Link didn't suit The Sun, this scene proves them wrong.
Also, the same troper finds just Akinari's smile heartwarming. For a dying young man, that smile conveys so much life and happiness...
The female route, Junpei's social link at rank 9. He finally finds your stalker and got into a fight to get the perpetrator to stop taking pictures of you. After explaining this, Junpei goes on to also say that he feels like he's become a better person after knowing you, and realizes that people aren't perfect, everyone has a little bad and a little good in them. He then explains his actual reason behind tracking down whoever was passing around pictures of you: "I guess in the end, I wanted you to trust me. Like, if someone like you could trust me, then I might be worth something..." (This also bordered on tear jerker for me, since I'd gotten this scene closer to the end of December, where it seemed like everything was going wrong. After seeing his life turn to crap, and him getting mad at me over small things, this scene made me think we were still bros for life, in spite of the obstacles.)
For those who played Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne every time you cast Best Friends feels like this Forneus is first boss you MUST defeat to get out of starting area. In second area there will always be Decarabia waiting for him and there is no way for you to tell her that he is dead. And seeing them finally reunited, in a different game and different time gives this troper a nice and fuzzy feeling that they are finally together
Metis really does seem to care for her sister, Aigis. Though likely subverted when it turns out she's actually just the human part of Aigis's personality.
Chidori's Heroic Sacrifice to revive Junpei after Takaya fatally wounds him. And, exclusive to FES, her revival. Unfortunately, The Answer renders the latter non-canon, but hey.
The moment when you first check Junpei's skill list afterwards and realize he now has Chidori's Spring of Life ability is both this and a Tear Jerker at the same time. Always together indeed.
A bit later, the gang retrieves Chidori's sketchbook and gives it to Junpei. When asked to see what she drew, Junpei (who himself doesn't know) simply repeats Chidori's claim that nobody would understand. Of course, when Junpei opens the book, it's filled with portraits of him.
Upon finding out that Junpei's love had come to life, an eavesdropping Yukari and Fuuka begin bawling Tears of Joy, and even Mitsuru is clearly elated. They are as happy about this as they would be if their own deceased loved one had come back to life.
Another comes at the end of the game during the final boss. Standing before Nyx, alone and taking 9999 damage from each attack, the MC begins to hear the voices of their team mates. This empowers the MC to survive the attacks, then begin resisting them, dodging them, and finally blocking them completely. The final voice the MC hears? Shinji.
Shinjiro: All right. Let's do this.
Persona 4 Arena reveals that the main character is not dead, but in a deep slumber, and that there's still hope for him to be awakened.
It's a bit of a stretch, but the decision to not kill Ryoji should count. Up to this point, the protagonist's actions had mostly stemmed from doing what people ask. (Signing the contract, joining SEES, becoming field leader, Elizabeth's requests, etc.) But come New Year's Eve, s/he's alone with Ryoji. No one else is around, so if the protagonist decides to go against SEES' wishes and kill Ryoji, no one can stop him/her. It's the first time s/he can make his/her own decision without someone else's influence. The fact that s/he doesn't kill Ryoji anyway, proves without a doubt that s/he is a true friend, and worthy of being leader.
A simple moment, on first day of school in the new year, January 8th. Junpei calls you over to ask if he can talk with you, seeing as the two of you haven't gotten a chance to really talk and hang out together. Junpei talks about a few of the different things happening lately, such as the development of the doomsday cults, two members of Strega still being alive, and the resolution to stop Nyx. But he also talks about how much he's come to depend on you, how he's glad to have met you, and even commenting on your SEES girlfriend, if you have one. At the end of the conversation, he asks if you'll still be friends after this is all over. It's not hard to tell him yes, and in spite of Junpei butting heads on occasion, it just goes to show how much he's changed, and that he's your bro no matter what.
There's also something sweet about the fact that this scene is nearly identical for the female protagonist. It's so cool that you have one male social link that isn't a love interest - just a totally awesome friendship. At another point, when Junpei asks if you're friends, one of the available options is "More like best friends!". This troper could never pick anything else.
The scene in the Velvet Room after you defeat the Nyx Avatar, where Igor helps you hear the voices of every social link you've maxed out. Just hearing everyone you've spent so long getting to know and help grow as individuals thinking of you in spite of the apocalypse happening around them, and how you've helped them in life. Even Akinari offers his encouragement from the afterlife. Also serves as a tear jerker as well.
The ending of The Answer, from The team coming to terms with the MC's death and sacrifice, to Metis' farewell in the Velvet Room, and everyone's relief after Aigis wakes up when they thought she was dying. The final shot of the dorm as well, as the team leaves the place they all called home for the past year with fond memories, a contrast to how they all started the epilogue.
Any of the Persona Evolution scenes. Each one involves the cast finding a new resolve within themselves to stop the dark hour.
Especially poignant is Aigis's scene, where everyone is encouraging her that she can change by telling her what they learned through their own Character Development. It showcases how much the cast has grown over the past year.
Easy to miss with everything that is going on during the Dark Hour on 1/31 but in the middle of the chaos who else would show up but Natsuki! Despite clearly being frightened out of her mind, she cheers Fuuka on. Not bad for a former bully with no idea what's going on and no way to defend herself.
Natsuki: "I'm the one who said we'll always be connected...That's how I know you're still hanging in there, Fuuka. I'm scared as hell right now...but I won't give up! Right, Fuuka!?
Although there are a few times when SEES gets to goof off together, the only time everyone is present and having fun is during Shinjiro's Rank 6 Social Link, where he makes dinner for the entire cast. It's simply an adorable scene. He's patiently trying to teach Fuuka to cook while Junpei, Yukari, Aigis and the MC hover around chattering about how excited they are for the food. Akihiko seems over the moon that he finally gets to eat Shinji's cooking. Mitsuru and Ken and even Koromaru join in the fun. Afterwards, the Fe MC has tea with Shinji and Shinji seems calm, satisfied and happy. Of course, all of this is just awful and tearjerking on a second playthrough. It is the only time the entire cast is together, because Shinji is going to die within the month.