- When your partner quits the game, you see them sit down on the sand and slowly crumble into dust. The first time you see it, that sudden feeling of loneliness tugs at your soul's strings hard.
- Even worse if you wound up leaving your partner behind accidently, especially if it was the temple and the two of you had been together from the beginning. You watch your character sit down and may notice that your partner is chirping at you, which isn't normally possible at the end of a level, but it isn't until you see the end of the spirit's story do you realize what you just did because you see yourself face the harsh mountain winds by yourself and "wake up" to find yourself all alone. Then you realize that they were chirping because they were watching you turn to dust, leaving them to face the rest of their journey all by themselves, and now you have no way of getting back to them.
- The Fifth Confluence. Your character communes with yet another white-robed Ancient, but this time, the Ancient seems...reluctant. It looks away for a long moment, clearly ashamed of what it's about to tell you, and then the tapestry record appears, and in the aftermath of the previously-shown war there is nothing but corpses. Sand covers their great works, souls trail off into the sky, and your character is born into a dying world. That is the Ancients' legacy.
- The slow, agonizing trudge up the stormy mountain, surrounded by the freezing remains of the cloth creatures, culminates in your character finally stumbling to a halt just below the summit, as the music stops and the mountain fades from view, then lying down in the snow and dying. Just like that. The worst part of it is that subtle icy click that your partner's frozen joints emit as their knees give way and they fall face first into the snow.
- The Final Confluence. The Ancient spirit obviously knows what's coming, but also obviously knows that you cannot avoid it, and that it cannot protect you.
- The ending of the game, depending on interpretation, can be this, Tears of Joy, or both.
- During the 2013 D.I.C.E. Summit, Jenova Chen shares a fan-letter especially dear to him:
Your game practically changed my life. It was the most fun I had with him since he and been diagnosed. … My father passed in the spring of 2012, only a few months after his diagnosis.
Weeks after his death, I could finally return myself to playing video games. I tried to play Journey, and I could barely get past the title screen without breaking down into tears. In my dad's and in my own experience with Journey, it was about him, and his journey to the ultimate end, and I believe we encountered your game at the most perfect time.
I want to thank you for the game that changed my life, the game whose beauty brings tears to my eyes. Journey is quite possibly the best game I have ever played. I continue to play it, always remembering what joy it brought, and the joy it continues to bring.
I am Sophia, I am 15, and your game changed my life for the better. 1/8/2013
- "Open Arms".
- "Separate Ways". If you interpret the lyrics of the song, you can tell that it's sung by someone who has been dumped because his/her partner has found someone new, and yet this someone sings that s/he will always be open to the partner's return, despite the thin chance of that happening. Try listening to it when you've just been dumped yourself, and chances are the waterworks will flow.
- This story from over on the "heartwarming page": in 1985, a teenager named Kenny Sykaluk was dying from Cystic Fibrosis. His mother wrote a fan letter to his favorite band, Journey, on his behalf via Make A Wish. The band was stressed to hell, the members were constantly fighting, and they were on the verge of breakup. They sucked it up and presented a united front at the dying fan's bedside, and handed him a walkman with a demo of "Only the Young". Kenny was the first person outside the band to hear the single. Kenny's last conscious act was putting on the headphones and playing the song. He died peacefully, walkman in hand. The humbled rockers were so profoundly affected that they stopped their arguments and kept the band together.
- From the Wikipedia article for that song: "[Jonathan] Cain broke down in tears recalling the event, remarking that 'children should not have to live with that kind of pain'." Once you find out that Jonathan Cain was one of the smallest survivors of the Our Lady of the Angels Catholic school fire, which killed 92 children and 3 nuns who were teachers at the school — that quote is arguably Harsher in Hindsight.