A lot of people seem to think it's narm, but Maria's speech in Sonic Adventure 2 is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. She's been shot, and is dying, but says to Shadow, "I beg of you. For all the people on that planet... give them a chance to be happy!" The Shadow the Hedgehog version, which has improved characterization, voice acting, and even context, is even better. In Adventure 2, Maria is an innocent little girl with no personality whose innocence motivated Gerald and Shadow to do horrible things. In Shadow the Hedgehog, she's a hero in her own right, trying to save other people despite being terminally ill and occasionally still laughing at things like a child would, even during a disaster, making her sacrifice seem a lot more human and a lot more poignant.
Don't forget the ending to the Last Story in Shadow the Hedgehog. When everybody in GUN HQ is celebrating, and the realization that Professor Gerald, and the project that created Shadow, had been misunderstood. "We were all wrong about the professor. After the way we all treated him, he saved us all in the end."
Another moment is in the final battle, after you spend about seven minutes in the battle.
Dr. Eggman: Shadow, can you hear me? This may be the last chance I get to speak to you, so... What I said about having created you? It was all a lie. Everyone thought you had died during that horrible incident. But I rescued you with one of my robots! You lost your memory, that's all. You really ARE the Ultimate Lifeform my grandfather created!
Speaking of Shadow, this exchange from Sonic 06, after Shadow learnt that Omega would eventually be forced to imprison him in the future, due to Iblis being released, must count for something.
Rouge: Even if you believe that the whole world will be against you... know that I'll always remain by your side. Remember that.
Shadow: ...I will.
Despite being considered one of the worst games in its series, Sonic 06 has quite a few of them, despite people looking at it as melodramatic.
Despite the hate it receives, the cinematic scenes with Sonic and Princess Elise are actually quite sweet, especially when she bandages Sonic's arm after it was hurt, and when the two stop by a lake. (Save for "the kiss of life," but even still DESPITE its hideous appearance, it DID bring Sonic back to life so that he could help save time and everyone else with it.)
Any scene with Silver and Blaze also fits here in this troper, and it even established a shipper to boot. Not to mention Blaze's sacrifice at Silver's story mode ending is a surefire tear jerker.
This action was provoked by a similar heartwarming moment, where after being sent by Robotnik to interogate Amy for the bird she is protecting, she begs for Gamma to save it. After some hesitation (which upon he is shown to be physically pained by his emotional conflict) Gamma breaks open their cell and orders them to leave. He hangs his head dumbfounded and guilt ridden at disobeying an order, at which point Amy offers him her friendship. The heartwrenching "Theme Of E-102" playing in the background only makes it more powerful.
Much of Sonic and Tails' interaction in Colors - with all the emphasis on heroics and believing in themselves in their characters taking precedent for so long, it's nice to see a game where even while saving the day the two aren't so intense, palling around and acting like brothers.
Sonic and the Black Knight has a special treat for the fans going through their treasury, namely a trio of videos of fanart from people around the globe, set to a slower, calmer orchestral version of "It Doesn't Matter". As a Sonic fan who routinely hears knocks against the Blue Blur from several sources, this made me melt inside because he really is still that loved.
The best part of it is, that Sega didn't just use the "Quality" fan-art.
The ending has a double Heartwarming Moment. At the end, everyone (plus the originally absent Shadow and Silver) is back at the party and having fun. Not only do we see Classic Sonic attempt to perform the Boost ability, but when Classic Sonic and Tails have to return, Sonic tells his younger self "Enjoy your future! It's gonna be great!". And at the end of the credits, after seeing clips of the original stages, you're treated to a small reprise of the opening cutscene, the box listing a title now replaced with "Happy Birthday, Sonic!" and a crowd shouting that same exact phrase. Even more poignant when you realize that this was a sound clip recorded at the Sonic Boom anniversary party and SEGA themselves asked the fans there to say it!
It's two recordings, actually. The other recording is from Summer of Sonic 2011, an event which may be the epitome of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming - since it was a totally free event set up by the fanbase out of love to the series. In the beginning in 2007, when the event could only hold 200 people in the room at a time, had local English guests, and was entirely home-funded, fans paid for aeroplane tickets just to get there to hang out, with no idea that the annual event would eventually get so big as to be visited by Crush40, Takashi Iizuka, and Yuji Naka himself. It seemed to be a special moment for Mike Pollock, who while leaving only at the very end of the day, said to one of the guys at the door that he really hoped it would be held again next year, and would come again regardless of his schedule.
What, no mention of Sonic's interactions with Blaze? In any of the games they've been in?
Their interactions are more than heartwarming. Especially the ending to the first Sonic Rush, where Super Sonic and Burning Blaze say their goodbyes and actually make friendly physical contact for the first time.. by Holding Hands as their dimensions are being torn apart. How is that not sweet? With or without Shipping Goggles?
Come on. No matter what you thought of Big The Cat and his fishing minigame, say you didn't smile even a little at his ending in Sonic Adventure. The extremely cheery "Lazy Days" only fuels this further.
It doubles as a Heartwarming Moment for EGGMAN of all people! For the longest time, Metal Sonic's reapperance was a mystery, with Metal Sonic implying in Sonic Heroes that he himself was the one who's responsible for it. Episode Metal showed that to be wrong. Eggman reached through time and space to rescue Metal Sonic from Stardust Speedway and bring him back. As soon as Metal Sonic got back to his base, he completely repaired Metal Sonic and happily sent the robot off to do his own thing in his quest to defeat Sonic, giving him weapons, tools and even a personal escort at times to assist him. It makes the The Dog Bites Back moment in Sonic Heroes rather heartbreaking in retrospect. After all the care and attention Eggman lavished on his creation, he ends up being one of it's victims, relying on a group of people who he was once fighting against with the very same robot on his side to rescue him.
Aside of the cast's interaction with Emerl in Sonic Battle (which is used to set upone of the series' most heartwrenching moments), Shadow's episode features him willingly relinquishing his Chaos Emerald—the only one that hasn't been absorbed by Emerl—in order to awaken Emerl and complete his evolution as the Gizoid. When Rouge expresses concern over this, Shadow merely replies, "It's okay. I have Maria in my heart." Given all of the horrors Shadow has had to endure, coupled with his own self-loathing in Battle over his status as a bioweapon, the fact that even one of the darkest, most jaded and brooding characters in Sonic mythos recognizes that true power comes from the bonds one makes in life with their loved ones is a Heartwarming Moment in and of itself.
We Can from Sonic Heroes, a very feel-good song about Sonic's friendship with Tails and Knuckles, and how The Power of Friendship makes all of them stronger together. Unlike the Last Story's Narmful presentation, this is how you talk about friendship in Sonic.
Meteor Herd from Sonic Adventure 2 has the lines "Took a shuttle to space and left from our home, At least we're with friends and I'm not all alone." Even though it's indirect, this is the first time Knuckles has acknowledged Sonic, Tails and Amy as his friends. His theme songs from the Adventure games mostly talk about what a loner he is, so it's sweet to see that he appreciates them being there with him.
"Follow Me," the Team Rose song from Sonic Heroes. A feel-good song about determination, feelings about the most important people in your life, and falling in love. Heck, the bridge of the song is the most heartwarming part.
Knuckles' re-imagined Heel-Face Turn in Sonic Triple Trouble. After spending most of the game tormenting and hindering Sonic after being duped by Eggman, the hedgehog finally defeats the doctor and comes across Knuckles, double crossed and placed in a cell. He wastes no time breaking him out and holds out his hand to offer a truce. After some reluctance, Knuckles shakes and the two exit together.
At the end of Sonic and the Secret Rings, Shahra is in tears with the game implying she and Erazor had been in a relationship. Sonic, seeing this, makes one last wish.
Sonic: Shahra, can you grant me one last wish? I wish for a mountain of handkerchiefs.(Handkerchiefs start gently falling out of the sky.) Now let yourself cry. As much as you need to. You'll have plenty of handkerchiefs to help you through it.