Tear Jerker: Final Fantasy XIV

  • The imperial strike on the Waking Sands. You just defeated Titan, one of the most awesome bosses in the game. You've been congratulated, now you just need to return to the Waking Sands. So you do... and find rooms filled with corpses, and none of the main Scions are to be found. The only one left is the sylph who followed you from Gridania. She passes on a message from Minfilia, then dies. And you learn through the Echo that she could have survived; she was told to stay out of sight and pass on the message, but was unable to stop herself from trying to protect Minfilia. She is kicked into a wall so hard, she bounces off it.
    • Just when you think it's over, a few missions later, you're required to help clean up the mess. This means piling up some corpses into a wagon. Including the sylph's. Her's takes less time to pick up because she's so light. And the local church insists that you take her home for her burial rites, so you have to break the news to the other sylphs...
  • The End of an Era cinematic. Even with no context at all, it will make you tear up thanks to the score.
  • The "Trusted" (Rank 4) Reputation mission for the Amal'jaa. Loonh Gah infiltrates the Flamefang encampment for revenge and in hopes of finding her mother, who was taken as a slave in the same incident that nearly killed Loonh. And you find her mom... in a cage, cradling a rock, which she calls Loonh, and wants to protect... so she can offer her own child to Ifrit.
  • When you turn in "The Voyage of the Goobbue", an otherwise standard Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest, Barryn tells you about how the goobbue had basically meandered everywhere after the Calamity drove it from its home, causing it to also pick up plant life from everywhere. He lists the places it'd been and the seeds it'd picked up, barely stopping short of a Tannhäuser Gate reference.
    Barryn: To wander is a dream and a nightmare.
  • All you've seen Alisaie been is sharp-tongued and hot-headed from when you first meet her up to the Binding Coil quest line. That image is shattered at the end of the Second Coil where the aetherial shade of Louisoix appears, nearly kills her, then revealing that he's been tempered by Bahamut. Before he disappears from your sight, he threatens to kill her and you if you two try to go in there again to disable the rest of the coils. All of that within a matter of minutes. Alisaie has to accept the fact that her quest to go avenge her beloved grandfather is being stopped by the man himself and that the only way she could save him is to kill him. For the first time, you see Alisaie break out in tears, heartbroken.
    • It only gets worse in the Final Coil of Bahamut when Louisoix is revealed to have become a primal himself. His boss theme is a rearrangement of Answers played on the organ with an ethereal choir to really drive home the tragedy of the series of events that has forced the players to turn their blades on the man who saved Eorzea when all hope was otherwise completely and utterly lost. And if that wasn't sad enough you remember that Alisaie is absolutely powerless to help and can do nothing but watch you and your friends slay her grandfather, the very reason she even started exploring the Binding Coil of Bahamut in the first place, before her very eyes. When you win, you and your party don't cheer...you sadly close your eyes.
  • The story involving the quest "Corpse Groom", and the Tam-Tara Deepcrofts (Normal and Hard). Way back when you were a newbie (Or returning back to Eorzea after getting flung into the future by Louisoix), you met another adventuring party, that actually was looking up to you due to your early exploits in the realm. A bit later, the party's gladiator, Avere dies in Tam-Tara trying to clear it due to party miscommunication. Said tank was the lover to conjurer in the party named Edda, who was blamed for his death by her fellow party members. One of the party members, Liavinne, went on to join the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, and sadly was killed in Livia's assault on the Waking Sands during the main story. Flash forward to Patch 2.3, and Edda resurfaces, claiming that she's getting married to her dead lover Avere, and invited Liavinne and Paiyo Reiyo of her former party. The Torn Folios you can read in the dungeon make it clear Edda's hit the Despair Event Horizon like a freight train and ploughed straight into Crazytown, and worse, a Moral Event Horizon. At the end of Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard), she ends up falling off the platform the battle takes place on into a very deep pit, her clothing igniting by passing too close to some candles she walked through.
    • To top it off, not a single one of your party member cheers at the end of completing it, as normally happens after clearing a dungeon. Instead, your character just looks on solemnly and closes their eyes in regret that it ended that way.
  • Towards the end of the 2.3 storyline, Sultana Nanamo and General Raubahn discuss recent events including Teledji Adeledji's uprising and plan to claim Omega Weapon. Raubhan notes that thanks to insufficient evidence and rampant Loophole Abuse, nothing can be done to convict Teledji of any crime. Railing against the corruption of the rule of law and her own powerlessness to do anything about it despite supposedly being head of state, Nanamo breaks down and runs into Raubhan's arms crying. All he can do is reassure her that it's not over yet, but it's doubtful how much even he believes it.
  • The special cutscene for "The Rising" event during ARR's anniversary is tear-jerking in the heartwarming kind of way: it's basically Yoshida tapping on the fourth wall to say thank you to you, the player, for sticking with XIV through all the ridiculousness. It's very sweet and heartfelt and you can tell Yoshida and the entire team mean it and went through all this trouble just to thank the players. And they even throw in a little teasing of what the expansion will be about in there!
  • In the Gladiator storyline, Aldis' life can be considered as this. Once a famous champion in the coliseum, he was to face his friend Leavold. The latter begged for Aldis to throw the match, apparently resulting in a lot of money for the both of them, but he refused and defeated him. This lead to Malicious Slander from Leavold accusing Aldis of rigging his duels, resulting his records becoming null, his disgrace from both the coliseum and the gladiator guild, and the alienation of his friends. Seven years later he's on the run from the Alcran, led by Leavold in an attempt to kill him. And when that didn't work, Leavold, with the help of the Corpse Brigade, had Aldis framed for a murderous plot against the Sultana leading to his execution. After their eventual rematch, Leavold leaps to his death with a smile, taunting Aldis about how his life was ruined beyond repair.
  • In patch 2.4: Dreams of Ice Nanamo Ul Nanamo announces her plan to be the last in the line of Ul and the last Sultana, Sacrificing her own position to bring down the entire government in all its corruption in hopes that her people can form a better one through democracy. The Sultana then apologizes to the then absent Raubahn for all he has ever done to protect her position, which she is about to ruin.
  • An example that crosses over to Real Life: Many players held a vigil in memory of Codex Vahlda, a level 50 bard on the Gilgamesh server, whose player behind the character passed away in December 2014 from renal failure. What is even more tear-jerking is that the vigil was held in the same week that the final episode of Sword Art Online II aired, where many ALO players pay their last respects to Yuuki.
  • The Heavensturn 2014 event has a Brass Blade that is greatly drunk and demands more booze. You find a pair of glasses inside the saloon and the bartender says to show it to the drunkard so that he can remember about his wife and go home. However, the sight of the glasses causes the Brass Blade to burst into tears and cry uncontrollably because said glasses belonged to his late wife; the two of them planned to see the new year together, but she passed away before it could happen. The man then admits he had been drinking to forget the pain of his wife dying and asks you to help him get to sleep so that he can dream about his wife once more.
  • The end of the 2.5 quest chain: to permanently kill Nabriales, an already fatally wounded Moenbryda allows herself to be turned into aether to reinforce the blade of the light. This new hits everyone hard, but nobody harder than Urianger, who says that she lived her life feeling like Louixous turned his back on Sharlaya by leaving for Eorzia. As he speaks about their past together, how she felt, you can hear his voice slipping. When you tell him that as she died, she finally understood why Louixous sacrificed himself, he finally cracks. For a man who never, ever showed emotion, it's heartbreaking to hear him trying and failing to keep from bursting into tears. And this is only part one of 2.5's two-part story. If the trailer was any indication things are only going to get much worse before the launch of Heavensward.
    • Part 2 is just as heavy with the tear jerking, if not, worse. The player character is branded as Nanamo Ul Namo's murderer, which effectively makes them a fugitive in Ul'dah and Gridania (even though a good portion of the people don't believe the rumors, and according to people in Limsa Lominsa the Admiral of Limsa Lominsa is convinced of your innocence) and everything they done to serve Eorzea is now wasted. Minfilia, Yda, Thancred, Papalymo, and Y'shtola pull a Bolivian Army Ending just to help the player character escape from the soldiers that are hunting the player down and it's implied they might not have survived. Raubahn loses his arm to Ilberd in battle after the latter admitted to killing Nanamo, which gets Raubahn branded as a traitor and tossed in jail. Alphinaud realizes all of his endeavors to get all of Eoreza united might have made things worse due to him wanting to claim glory and the Crystal Braves and the Monetarists were using him like a puppet so that they could gain control of Ul'dah and Mor Dhona; Alphinaud's realization puts him into a Heroic BSOD and he almost gives up until Tataru tries to cheer him up with some encouraging words. By the end of the entire scenario, it's amazing how the surviving characters aren't a blubbering mess.
    • The final nail in this emotional coffin is that when you've cleared the last story quest (before Heavensward) the game's credits roll, playing the song Answers. It truly cements that, if only on a personal scale, everything that had just transpired is as emotionally devastating as the Calamity itself.