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Tear Jerker: Kingdom Hearts
Oh, Disney, Square-Enix. You've both got reputations to uphold, tugging on our heartstrings by twisting and destroying our childhood icons and building up characters only to tear them down. And they do their job.
Games with their own page of this trope
I — Sora seals the Door to Darkness and saves the universe, but locks Mickey and Riku in, Riku calling out "take care of her". Then Sora runs to Kairi, but the shifting worlds being put back in order separate them before he gets to her, and he calls out that someday he'll come back.
Chain of Memories - Sora has to go to sleep to get his memories back, and Namine, the girl who risked her life to stop the Organization's plans because she knew it was wrong even though she never knew Sora, will be forgotten by him when he awakens again.
II — After all that went down up to that point for Sora, Riku and Kairi, you'll cry tears of joy when the three of them are finally reunited and get to go home together.
Birth By Sleep — Aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, Ven is comatose, Terra is Xehanort's vessel, and while the worlds are happy and peaceful you know they're Doomed by Canon to be destroyed.
358/2 Days — Roxas has to kill the girl who was pretty much his girlfriend, and with his memories of her already fading, he decides to fulfill her last request and heads to the World That Never Was to free the hearts inside Kingdom Hearts and destroy Xemnas, and he knows it's probably a suicide mission.
3D — Sora reunites with his Dream Eater allies, and Ven's comatose body smiles as he senses his happiness.
This isn't anything that actually happened in the game; rather, it's something that didn't. The fact that Kairi never returns to the restored Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden, thus never meeting her grandmother again. Then again, her grandmother might be dead by now, which is another tearjerker all together.
And when she is there for the short time at the end of the first game, she's home, but her home is in ruins and used as a fortress by the forces of darkness that destroyed it. Kairi may or may not even remember this is her home — either way, just makes it worse.
The thought of how callous the Nobodies are with life as a whole. They don't care that their two replicas are merely replacements, but if anything, it's merely showing that if one simply replaces a missing or dead person with an exact clone (or someone intended to be their replacement), that you can never replace them. They won't have the original's memories, and games like this and Persona 2 teach us exactly why a human life can never be truly replaced. (Also AI.)
It gets better. Consider that NaminÚ was able to convince the Riku Replica that it was the real Riku and make it fall in love with her. What happened to him? He went Ax-Crazy when he found out he was aclone. So even fully convincing the Replica that it is the person you are trying to replace isn't enough.
Think about Mickey. He starts off living, literally, as a king. Then he discovers the darkness waiting to destroy his world and, the hero that he is, he goes off to try and stop it. Things get worse from there. Of the two friends he makes, one gets locked in the Realm of Darkness and the other loses his heart. Leading to a short Heroic BSOD, which he is brought out of by Yen Sid. Then he spends a few years trying to hold off the darkness, but ends up leaving everything behind, again, and winds up locked in the Realm of Darkness himself. The friend he finds there and later escapes with nearly gets taken over by Ansem, again, and they end up separated. He bounces around the worlds some, trying to find anyone or anything that can help while keeping the Organization off of his tail, meaning that he is traveling all alone, not knowing what's happening to Riku or his home. After Sora wakes up, he gets a Hope Spot, safeguarding him as he travels from world to world. But then, at Hollow Bastion, his friend nearly dies. In the ensuing battle, everything goes to pieces and he has to go find Ansem the Wise, who (supposedly) dies at The World That Never Was. It's not until the end of KHII that he gets any respite at all, and then he finds out there's something else to worry about. In short, he watches as his entire world falls apart around him, with terrible things happening to those he picks as his friends, and all his plans to save everything being undone at every turn. And he still manages to be someone that so many people rely on. Wow.
It's either that or the Disney Death to end all Disney deaths, with everyone returning to life and their loved ones. Really, it looks like things could go either way.
I'm going with the mass resurrection theory, because it fits the Christian allegory that is laced throughout the plot. First comes Armageddon, and then comes the Resurrection.
The time Axel came to beg Roxas to come home is one for Organization XIII fans, as is Vexen's death. It was horrifying.
What makes it especially bad is how it is simultaneously deserved and unfair, seeing in Birth By Sleep how with their hearts they're nice people all 'round, and then seeing the apathetic and amoral stuff they did as Organization members that made killing them necessary. Not to mention the fact that they were literally kamikaze-ing and crossing the moral event horizon for a lie, that Kingdom Hearts would give them hearts, rather than the truth that it was to give Xemnas power and memory. You feel bad that they die, and at the same time also bad that you're not paying enough attention to the innocents who suffered, and also bad for the Organization for the fact that most of them were hurting innocents over a lie Xemnas and Xigbar were telling, and so on. No matter what perspective you take on them (and there are several dozen possible perspectives), it leaves the viewer depressed.
Putting it simple, everyone in Organization XIII deserves a huge, comforting hug. After they get their hearts back and/or are informed of having been deceived, obviously, if you did it before they'd just take it as an opening to knock your heart out and/or use you as a weapon against their enemies.
Word of God has confirmed that most of Xemnas is indeed Xehanort, especially in KH3D.
Dream Drop Distance makes the Organization's situation even worse: Xemnas lied to them about the whole "no hearts" thing. While it's true that Nobodies have no hearts when they are born, they can develop replacements. And more From Bad to Worse: had Kingdom Hearts been completed, all of the members would have been infused with Xehanort's heart, essentially turning them all into clones of him. Oh Xemnas, you Manipulative Bastard, you. And just in case he wasn't enough of a Jerkass as it were, Xigbar was in on the plan all along as well.
You know what else is sad? The fact that King Mickey and Queen Minnie haven't seen each other from a little before the beginning of the first KH to the credits of KH2! If anyone has been told to wait for someone for a fraction of that time would know the pain Minnie must of been going through. Talk about devotion.
And the fact that Kairi reaches Sora just as he dissolves into pieces... sniff... and Sora's line about falling into darkness... WAHHH!
Sora, you DO NOT grin like everything's going to be alright before stabbing yourself in the chest with an evil Keyblade! It's just not right...
Being a mother and watching the scene in the first game where Sora's mother calls for him is particularly heartwrenching for a parent. It is a short, simple scene, and she doesn't say much at all, but I know what she doesn't: that her little boy is gone, and won't be there for quite some time. She doesn't know he comes back eventually. The only conclusion his mother could possibly make is that he's either run away from home, or he's dead. And the pain of losing a child is something no one should have to endure.
Sadly, it might only be a matter of time, hinted at with the ending of Birth by Sleep, that Sora (and Riku) will probably leave again, willingly this time, without stopping in to say "Hi." And to add insult to injury, you never see Sora or Riku worry about their parents even once. (Then again, there's the possibility that they're confident that their parents are strong enough to handle them being gone for a while without knowing what's going on, but still.) It's implied that everyone who knew Sora forgot about him during his year asleep—imagine being the mother who discovers a room in her house full of toys and clothes for a child she doesn't remember having. And then for him to just be gone? I would be amazed if she hasn't suffered some permanent trauma.
A moment before you even start playing the first game: if you put the disc in and don't select anything on the menu, it will go to the demo mode and the orchestral version of Hikari after a few minutes, accompanied by Kairi's letter to Sora, "Thinking of you, wherever you are..." Those words paired with that music is so unbelievably moving.
The ending. And the way that Simple and Clean starts playing the exact moment Sora and Kairi are separated. That is all.
Chain of Memories
The death of the Riku Replica, who pitifully asked his assailant where his heart would go when he died, when he doesn't even know for sure if he has one. Particularly painful because he is arguably the worst case of Unwitting Pawn in the series — he existed only to help the Organization manipulate Sora, and was probably going to be disposed of no matter what he did.
The original GBA version is even worse. Repliku's last words? "Oh, well."
His entire story was incredibly powerful and simple in a series that lacks simplicity. He was a replica despaired and empty after discovering the girl he was in love with had actually just edited his memory to make him think he was an original human. Not a single good thing happens to him in his life, and that's the only reason he's not afraid of death, even though he's plagued with uncertainty about where a fake goes.
It does bear mentioning, however, that his ending in the CoM Manga is far more happy. This troper was expecting something heartrending, but gave just one tear of happiness; he left Castle Oblivion with two Vexen Replicas, going to make himself his own person.
The ending scene didn't really affect this troper that badly the first time around, but after the second game and realizing the extent of what NaminÚ was and what she was giving up, it really broke her heart. To add insult to injury, Jiminy literally wrote a reminder to 'Thank NaminÚ', but when Sora woke up, he completely forgot who she was, and the thank you never happened. Not to mention in the final cutscene of CoM, if you watch closely, a tear runs down her cheek.l notice that Axel is crying as he says goodbye. This Troper joined him.
Zexion's death always gets me, and I've only seen the cutscenes. Just the look of fear on his face when he realises it's over...
Well, if you're just going by the game itself, Zexion was a Smug Snake who kind of deserved it. But in hindsight, what with Zexion as the innocent kid Ienzo in Birth By Sleep, his whole life and even that death does make one feel sad for the guy...
This troper also gets really upset when (and why) Vexen dies (which is really for no reason at all).
A couple things of note: first of all, you get a different tearjerking experience with this one based on which version of CoM you pick. If you go with the GBA version, you have to put up with the fact that he practically had to be dragged with heels digging into the ground to that battle, and he really, REALLY didn't want to face off against Sora. Or you can go with the PS2 version, where he kind of asks for it... and then watch the fully rendered 3D scene of him getting knocked over and trying to get off the ground unsuccessfully. When the scene pans out to Sora and Axel yelling at each other, he's actually on his hands and knees NOT MOVING in the background, like it's that painful to get back on his feet. In the GBA version, he literally begs for mercy, and tells Axel, "I don't want to... go yet..." You can go with the PS2 version where you don't have to watch him beg for mercy and opt instead to watch his final words get CUT OFF. Okay, seriously, as quick as this scene was and as much as Vexen deserved it, why is this more inherently tragic than Sora's reunion with Riku? I... I think I need a Kleenex now... or a box of them.
Larxene's hysteria when she's fading away was mildly upsetting, even if she did ask for it. Her line of "No, this isn't the way I..." makes it sound like she, as a Nobody, always knew she'd fade away eventually and had hoped for it to be dignified. For this to be denied her, a being who has practically nothing as it is, is quite sad. Narmy if you realize the woman that voices Larxene does the Wendy's commercials.
The memories re-uploading into Sora's head during the prologue. All the most powerful parts of the first game, clipped together with a slow piano melody.
Axel's death scene. Made even worse in the original unedited Japanese version, where he functionally explodes himself in order to wipe out the nobodies trying to attack Sora.
Even more saddening when you realize how exhausted he is when helping Sora. Notice the sluggish movements, panting and slouching as he forces himself to fight. Talk about loyalty. He actually gives his life to protect the complete being of his best friend just because he cared that much. When replaying the game, this troper had to pause the game while fighting because she knew what was coming and the final speech is rather heart-wrenching.
Add that to the fact that the way he's trying to play off his death is pretty much like him saying, "Hey, shit happens."
It gets better, or worse, depending on how you view these things. Watch the original, unedited scene; there are still flames flickering all over him as he fades. And the last little spark, as he fades away completely? It's right where his heart would be.
So, does that mean (and I could be wrong about this) that Roxas was forced to watch his best friend sacrifice himself, and he could do nothing about it...? I mean, if he is still somewhat functional in there...
And if that's true, then guess who else was inside Sora and just watched her best friend die? Xion.
Indeed. The reason that you see Roxas breaking off from Sora afterwards is because he was enraged and saddened at Axel's death. The following scene becomes even more sad if you're using Bond of Flame while Roxas attacks...
And the sorrowful death scenes kept on coming. Saix dragged his half-dead body to Kingdom Hearts and begged for his heart. The kicker? He had a heart the whole time. And Ansem, yes, the real Ansem's death scene was also very heartbreaking, particularly due to his monologue of regret that came before it.
Roxas suddenly learning that he's the Tomato in the Mirror. "Sora... You're lucky. Looks like my summer vacation ...is over."
Now let's look back from here, Roxas spent 358 days before arriving at the fake Twilight Town, starting from when he was "born" to when he actually got there. Then he spent 7 days in the fake Twilight Town with the friends he never had, making it 365 days. 365 days = 1 year. Considering Roxas being sucked back into Sora on day 7, Roxas "died" on his birthday.
The manga adds one more heartbreaking line: "It was real to me..."
Roxas crying, through Sora, over Hayner, Pence, and Olette, the friends he never actually had.
And because it wasn't enough of a Tear Jerker the first time around in Final Fantasy X, the end montage of Kingdom Hearts II has to go and show Auron watching the residents of Olympus Colosseum celebrate and dissipating, unnoticed, back into pyreflies.
This troper was only lightly moved by Auron's fate , since it seems he comes back from the dead any time he damn well pleases. But then I wondered why Auron was imprisoned in Hades' underworld like the worst of villains in the first place. After we get a sampling of the thoughts in Auron's heart, via Hades' figurine, I could only come up with one answer - Auron was punishing himself for believing that he failed his friends...
When Auron says "Perhaps... It's time I make my own story." Considering his role in X in regards to two generations of heroes and Auron's fate both times...
The Proof of Existence room in the Castle That Never Was. It's pretty much a Graveyard for the Organization, the portals to their personal rooms looking like tombstones and marked with symbols of their weapons. It's a room they need because Nobodies don't leave corpses behind — they need that room to mark to others that they did exist, even if they're no longer in existence.
It actually goes a little deeper than that... Consider this for a second: How do we, in this world, prove the existence of someone who no longer exists? We raise a grave for them.
The battles with Saix and Luxord are in their personal rooms, which as mentioned you get to via the Proof of Existence. You're essentially challenging and killing them in their own graves.
Not to mention all the cracked and broken markers to show how many members have fallen by that point, and how few are left.
And you realize after 358/2 Days: who's the one member who has no Proof of Existence at all? The one member who was never considered a member and is forgotten barely a day after she died? The series really drives home the idea that in the eyes of the Organization, Xion never really existed in the first place.
The prologue in its entirety, on second and subsequent playthroughs, especially after playing 358/2 Days. Knowing the real reason Axel is trying to stop Roxas, and what's going to happen to both of them... pass the Kleenex.
NaminÚ's parting words to Roxas - "Roxas! We will meet again. And then we can talk about everything. I may not know it's you, and you may not know it's me. But we will meet again. Someday soon. I promise!" And at the very end of the game, they do, smiling at each other through Sora and Kairi.
The ending always moves this troper to tears, seeing the three friends finally brought home after all those years of separation.
Sora: W-we're back.
Kairi: (holding out her hand) You're home.
Especially when one takes into account the original Japanese dialogue of that scene, which is literally translated exactly as above, but is culturally powerful.
Watching Mufasa die AGAIN, only this time in full 3-D. Thanks, Disney, it's not like that wasn't traumatizing enough the first time around.
This Troper always gets weepy-eyed when watching the scene where Demyx bites it. The way he reacts to his disintegrating sitar, then clutches his head and screams "No...no WAAAAAYYYYYyyyyyyy~!" as he fades... plus his being the most light-hearted and quirky of the Organization, and cute to boot... ;_;
This Troper is still unsure if his death scream was supposed to be funny or depressing.
The loud sob that comes after the scream definitely makes it depressing.
Final Mix+, go watch the dream meeting of Roxas and Axel (warning: HEAVY spoilers). See them say "See you later". Cry when you realize they're just trying to cheer each other up, since Axel is going to disappear into absolute nothingness, and Roxas will be subsumed by Sora's personality.
Not helping matters is when you see the scene in a better quality, you'll notice Axel is crying.
Sora finds Riku in the second game, and the way he grabs his hand and just breaks down and all he can say is "I FOUND you..." To see Sora, who's normally such an optimistic character, just break down can really get to you.
Gets even worse when you think for a minute and realize why he reacts like that: The last time he saw Riku, he was being locked in the realm of darkness and trapped there. The players know that Riku's escaped the realm and is all right, from playing through his story in Chain of Memories, but Sora sure didn't. Up until that point, for all Sora knew, his best friend could very well be dead, and he is relieved to see him alive and safe.
Luxord's death and his last line "How COULD you, Roxas?!" Made more upsetting after playing Days, when he seemed to actually somewhat like Roxas, so it's obvious he feels very, very betrayed.
The one that got me was that moment in KH2 where Sora first goes back to 100 Acre Wood. Everything's all fine and dandy, then the Heartless come and poor Pooh Bear forgets Piglet. I literally couldn't breathe for a moment.
This troper refuses to play the 100 Acre Wood until he's collected all of the Torn Pages for that reason. He makes it a goal to get everything fixed in one go.
What about when Sora enters the book for the first time and is FORCIBLY EJECTED OUT BEFORE HE CAN SAY HELLO? Then discovering that THE BOOK HAS BEEN TORN UP AGAIN IN FRONT OF YOU? For anyone who grew up with Winnie the Pooh, this can hit hard as it's like watching a precious part of your childhood being destroyed right in front of your eyes. This troper was certainly hit hard by this and broke out into tears watching that for the first time.
How about the first time you meet Pooh Bear, and he's sitting there trying to figure out how to "say goodbye to myself"? Because all his friends have disappeared, and he's certain he'll be next to go. Poor Pooh is left all alone, waiting basically to die next. How is that not sad?
For this troper, the giant Tear Jerker moment is in the last scene in KHII, on Starry Hill. Pooh turns to Sora and admits he's been "trying to think of a way to make you not leave." That in and of itself is a sad line, but what made the waterworks flow was Pooh's next line:
Pooh: "Sora, if I go looking for you, would I find you?"
The end of the last Halloween Town episode, when it starts to snow and Sora sees himself and Kairi dancing.
There's a subtle one in the second game. Right after the awesomeness that is The Battle of1000 Heartless, Sora leans against a wall to catch his breath. Just seeing this generally upbeat kid so exhausted (let's face it, you never even see him winded even after crazy boss battles) broke this troper's heart.
Goofy being hit with debris from an explosion... The reason Mickey's reaction is such a Moment Of Awesome is because this troper (and probably many others) pretty much wanted to say the same thing. And they would pay for this...
I'd like to compound of this and further explain why this scene is such a tear jerker. Of course, we all knew Goofy's going to be okay, but still... Seeing a childhood icon like Goofy actually being hurt enough that it knocked him out and looked frickin' dead was just heartbreaking! Now, I grew up in the 90s, and grew up with Goof Troop and the Goofy Movies, so I'm just a bit more attached to Goofy than even Mickey and Donald.
Yeah, even if you knew Goofy was going to be okay, it still kind of hurts seeing him get hurt, especially if he was your favorite growing up.
This trooper still feels sad for Tron when he goes to leave Sora and co after defeating the Master Control Program by jumping into the big pit thing. Turns out he wasn't really gone...
In Final Mix, there's a scene where Sora and co. fight against Terra Lingering Will. The fact that it's still there after all these years, waiting, and the only thing it seems to have left is its rage and hatred towards Xehanort is heartbreaking after playing Birth by Sleep.
358/ 2 Days
Whenever Roxas or Xion falls into what is essentially a 30+ day coma. The thought of waking up one day to find that your best friend or loved one has fallen into a coma, unmoving for days on end, and, despite being scared and concerned for them, you are ordered by someone higher up to continue with your daily life as though nothing has happened. Oh, god... *sniff*
This troper predicts that Xion will definitely make this page when 358/2 Days makes its way to Europe and America... She goes psycho, finding she's a failed Replica and was a tool, then tries to become the original Sora, dies at Roxas's hand, and then fades while nobody remembers her as if she fell into a plothole.
The last part was definitely the strongest one; not just because of what it represents (complete erasure), but also the way it's presented. At first, we see a heartwarming scene of Roxas, Axel, and Xion on their usual spot, laughing, joking, goofing around happily. Some minutes later, the same scene replays; but this time, Xion slowly fades, her interactions with her friends becoming more and more slim, until she vanishes completely with neither Roxas nor Axel noticing. It's not like NaminÚ who was just forgotten; Xion died completely and then was forgotten. All memories of her are erased from any who met her.
Also note the part in 358/2 Days when NaminÚ and Xion meet. NaminÚ tells her that she will be erased from existence and everyone's memories. NaminÚ's power is over memories, but she tells Xion, "I can't save you."
Roxas's line "Who will I have ice cream with?" may seem like Narm until a Fridge Tear Jerker kicks in — he doesn't know any better, he associates his friendship with Xion with their moments on the clock tower eating ice cream together. He lacks the emotional capacity to fully realize what she means to him or him to her, that line is the only way he knows to express himself to her.
The same thing happens when fighting Riku. A cutscene plays showing Riku's memories of her blurring and disappearing. He even tells Roxas, "It's a struggle just to remember the name now, isn't it?"
Xion's Theme is an incredibly emotional piece of music and it nearly threatens you to cry again because it was played during her last moments.
The scene where Xion is curled up on her bed and says to herself "I'm not a sham." She sounds so utterly depressed, alone, pitiful and broken. It is heartwrenching.
Also from 358/2 Days is Roxas's final line about how maybe today they'll hit the beach... both because it harkens back to an early conversation and because you know that he never does.
Oh, it's worse than that. His real final line in that "hitting the beach" scene are "Only seven days to go... and then my summer vacation is over." Knowing how that last bit gets repeated at the end of KH2's Prolonged Prologue, it's very depressing.
That line, it's just like, all he went through, and all he lost, reduced to nothing. And yet at the same time, he went through so much and was so hurt and now he has a few happy, carefree moments before he is basically erased, which is basically all that he's destined to be. It's so sad...
This troper was sobbing enough through all of the above, but the last screen featuring a shot of Roxas and his friends eating ice cream, while on the bottom screen shows him alone, shedding those memories away (along with his Organization coat) was enough to set off the water works again.
The ending scene with Axel and the WINNER stick.
Personally I found it more happy than sad, but the very end... well I was real close to crying and the only other time I recall crying over a game is from the ending of Final Fantasy X.
What makes the ending even more brutal is if you look at everything on a large scale: Since his outrage against the Organization (including Axel), the only thing Roxas can believe in is Xion. Who Roxas attacks. After that, he slowly starts to forget Xion, only remembering she was important to him, and that she wants Roxas to release Kingdom Hearts. This being the last thing to him that matters, he goes on a Roaring Rampageof Revenge to The Castle That Never Was, but gets stopped by Riku, who tries to convince him that he is only Sora's Nobody. After that, Roxas gets strangled to near-death, after which DiZ looks over Roxas's unconscious body, saying that Nobodies have no feelings. Then he spends the rest of his life thinking it was all a dream before getting absorbed by Sora.
That and the fact he loses all his memories of Xion before then as well.
Also from Roxas' diary. The thing that apparently frightened him most was the possibility of losing Axel or Xion; that anything could take away the time they'd spent together. Which is exactly what happened.
In a somewhat meta example, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was Wayne Allwine's (the late voice actor of Mickey Mouse) final performance.
The credits of Days said: "In loving memory of Wayne Allwine." That almost made me cry more than the rest of the ending.
For this troper it's even more of a tear jerker because he died on my birthday from a disease we both share.
Most of the character of Xemnas in Kingdom Hearts II is really, really depressing when you factor in BBS, some stuff in the ultimania guide, and basic logical extrapolation. Xemnas is basically an amnesiac Terra, whose only memories of emotion are of Xehanort's emotions. As a result, his faked emotions are... off- but by no fault of his own, and he probably knows it's not right, but the alternative is robot-like behavior. The reason he doesn't want to get his heart back like the others? He knows it's infected with the heart of another, and he's afraid that getting it back means Loss of Identity. His whole plan is about getting his memories back so he can become at least a facimile of what he was before BBS's ending- which he only has the vaguest recollection of - and we, the players, are fully aware that if he had gotten back the memories he did so much to obtain, he'd suddenly be hit by a "My God, What Have I Done?"
Birth by Sleep also takes one of Xemnas's lines to a new height of sympathy, in light of what happens to Terra.
Xemnas: I need more rage. I need more hearts.
Sora: Xemnas, there's more to a heart than just anger or hate, it's full of all kinds of feelings. Don't you remember?
This also makes 358/2 Days even more depressing, in light of what's really in the Room of Awakening, and the most probable reason he's so desperate to find it... In all likelihood, he's trying, in his own futile partial-amnesia-addled and Xehanort's-darkness-clouded way, to save Ventus.
While this is all very sad for Terra, sympathy for Xemnas himself is minimized once one recalls that the Nobodies of Organization XIII are the shells left behind of people who've lost their hearts, and who act based upon recollection of what it was like when they had their hearts before the split occurred. Ansem's apprentice Xehanort was confirmed to be Master Xehanort's heart completely commandeering Terra' body at the time of the split. So Xemnas is technically Terra's Nobody, but he acts upon the memories of Xehanort, explaining why he's so pure evil. His plan was actually to absorb Kingdom Hearts' power and become a God before casting all the worlds into nothingness so that he can recreate it in his image "one heart at a time" - an Evil Plan in line with Master Xehanort's. He did not want to get his memories back, because the possibility of Terra's persona taking dominance of Xemnas was something he wanted to avoid. It's true that he's afraid to regain his heart because he knows it's infected by the heart of another, but in his Xehanort-based perspective, the one "infecting" it is Terra. Also, the others didn't want to "get their hearts back" either: they just wanted hearts of their own - hearts that could make their Nobody selves complete, existent beings.
Playing through Olympus Coliseum in 358/2 Days was just depressing to me, and normally I find that world boring. Phil keeps saying he has great expectations for Roxas, and Roxas keeps thinking that means he isn't doing good enough at the training and games. It's like watching the kid who comes from a dysfunctional family try to interact with normal people and not knowing how.
There's also the way Phil so consistently believes in Roxas — the one who, from the moment he was created until the moment he "died", would always be viewed as Sora's Nobody. That Phil sees him entirely in his own light, tells him he has the makings of a champion in him, and treats his existence as having value is a Heartwarming Moment ...that he's one of the only people to do so (save Axel and Xion, sort of) is absolutely heartbreaking.
Even worse, after Roxas' last mission in the coliseum, Phil never sees him again. And he will never know why.
The last thing Phil says to Roxas?
Phil: Don't be a stranger, kid.
The part of 358/2 Days when Roxas learns to fly. He's just so amazed and so happy that something so awesome has touched his life, a life that the player knows will end up all but erased, all but forgotten. I've only played the game through to the end once, but that part really stood out.
What is one of the last things Roxas and Axel do before Roxas leaves? They have an argument. It's clear that Axel is trying to cling to their friendship and make sure Roxas stays safe, but Roxas is so lost, confused, frustrated and fed up with the Organization he doesn't even trust his friend anymore.
Even worse in the voiced HD remix, with Kouki Uchiyama and Keiji Fujiwara at the top of their game. One imagines the English version will be just as upsetting.
Almost all of the above is getting remade into HD with full voice acting. Now we can relive all the lovely memories while dying of broken hearts.
Oh, and something even better? There was a planned Pinocchio themed world, which, as Tetsuya Nomura himself said, "Would've been the saddest point in the story".
In coded, when Data-Roxas merges with Data-Sora. All his hurt memories start flooding into Sora, and we're quickly reminded of the sadness that was Days.
"I see a place. A sunset. Comforting...but also sad. This is where I spent my first...and my last...summer vacation. Rest easy...Your hurt can be mine now."
In the next scene, Data-Sora sees images of NaminÚ and Xion and can only manage to get out a "Something terrible happened, didn't it?"
On the subject of Days in coded, the opening of coded is a flashback of many different scenes from all the games chronologically before it. The scenes from Birth By Sleep, Kingdom Hearts, and Kingdom Hearts II are not obscured, except by the Matrix Raining Code. But when it gets to Days... we're shown maybe a full second of scenes, all flashing by fast and obscured by static. Because it wasforgotten.
Birth By Sleep
Before you even start the game, you know the main trio, Eraqus, and the princesses they're saving are Doomed by Canon.
At least the Birth By Sleep characters have hope of a happy ending at some point in a future installment.
The scene where Ventus asks to be erased in the Keyblade Graveyard. Thanks to Ven's Puppy-Dog Eyes.
It isn't just what he's asking that's the tear-jerker. No, it's the way Terra puts his hand on the kid's shoulder, saying they're his friends and will make sure nothing bad will happen to him, and Aqua bends down to look at Ven and cup his face gently in her palm. And then Ven says he may still have to go through with everything, slowly moving Terra and Aqua's hands off him, knowing that his friends can't help him this time, no matter how much they may want to.
Ven: I'm asking you as a friend... Please... Put an end to me.
The cutscene shown when you begin the Final Episode. Particularly the part where Aqua comes back to the utterly DESTROYED Land of Departure, and the camera pans over all the doom and gloom, and finally comes to rest on Eraqus' Keyblade. And when that heartrendering remix of "Fate of the Unknown" is playing...
Hell, try visiting the Land of Departure as Terra or Aqua to collect treasure chests. All the other worlds, even the Keyblade Graveyard, has music playing, characters to interact with, or at least enemies to fight. The Land of Departure is completely barren, no music, no enemies, no life left. There is really nothing left of their home. They're on their own now.
The sheer depth of the remorse and sorrow Terra feels after he is suckered into contributing to the death of Master Eraqus and the destruction of their homeland. At the end of his story, the Lingering Will is left alone on an empty battlefield, having lost Xehanort, Ventus, Terra, and Aqua in the aftermath of the horrific battle. As he kneels in the dust, prepared to wait for as long as it takes, one thought is left in his mind.
"Aqua. Ven. One day, I will set this right."
Watch the interaction between Lea and Isa, and then go and watch their interactions in the yearsto come. Cry at what happened to their friendship.
Lea's wish to be "immortal", knowing how he went out.
Keeping that in mind, Days and the prologue of II just got even sadder. All Lea/Axel wants is to be remembered, and one of his two best friends forgets all about him and he himself forgets the other one even existed.
The Secret Reports in Days makes it even worse, driving it home how that dorky kid and his snarky best friend are effectively dead, and how much their relationship has deteriorated over the last ten years.
Axel: Talking to Roxas and Xion always brings back memories of my human life, back when I was a kid. It's a weird sensation. I ought to be able to share all this with Sa´x, but I just don't feel like it anymore. It's strange, but I'm content with just missing what's gone. I'm not the one who changed. You did.
Sa´x: ...What were you really after, Lea? We joined the Organization at the same time, and formulated our plan. At this point, it's just an idle fantasy. Everything changed. You, and me.
The end of every damn story. If you managed not to cry at Terra's story... wait until "Hikari Instrumental" kicks in...
The entire latter half of Birth By Sleep. It's so tragic, Sora is driven to tears in-game, and he doesn't even know why. The tearjerker is simply so powerful it draws the most empathetic into it like a black hole.
During the credits, Mickey Mouse is so devastated over the fate of the three protagonists, he hands over both his starshard and his keyblade to Yen Sid. As he turns to leave, Yen Sid gives him back the keyblade. Between Yen Sid not approving of Mickey's training before, the events of the game, and what's to come, it was quite a gut punch.
Ventus's Theme. At about 0:39, where the melody restarts, it sounds about the same as the beginning for a second, but then, the string portion goes up an extra octave to repeat the melody from "The Other Promise." As if the music itself is crying.
Aqua's Theme is pure depression. It makes you wonder how much longer she can last without going suicidal or something.
Aqua. Her fate. My God. When she sacrifices herself to save Terra, and those three words she says with a smile: "I'm with you!" And then, when she's wandering around in the Realm of Darkness and she sees Terra, and Ventus, and Eraqus, and everyone she met in every world...
"Ven, I'm sorry. I won't make it back as soon as I thought. But I promise I'll be there one day to wake you up."
What Aqua says to Sora on Destiny Islands:
Aqua: So then, if something happens, and Riku's about to get lost... or say... he starts wandering down a dark path alone — you make sure to stay with him, and keep him safe. That's your job, Sora, and I'm counting on you to do it, okay?
The sad thing is that Sora couldn't keep his promise: Riku wanders down a dark path alone and Sora is unable to stay with him to keep him safe. It all ends happily though, but the fact still stands that Aqua's intentions were ruined: Riku ended up like Terra.
Actually he didn't, Sora WAS there to interfere unlike they were. And unlike Terra who shuns the darkness in him, Riku is the darkness that leads to the light (Road to Dawn)
The secret ending of Birth by Sleep.
The battle with Eraqus. Hearing Fire Lord Ozai express anguish over having to kill the student he saw as a son was more tear jerking than expected.
"The Masked Boy" features Ven's first talk with Vanitas... followed by a flashback of the former's interactions with Terra. During one of said interactions, Terra's telling Ven off, prompting poor Ven to cry. We don't get to hear why Terra was upset at Ventus, but boy howdy, does Ven have quite the Puppy-Dog Eyes.
"That would be the last night we ever spent beneath the same stars." Now, let's be honest. How often do you replay that section?