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Tear Jerker: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
CQC hug. That is all I have to say.
Raiden's Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Act 4 and then screaming Rose's name, despite acting not to care for her. Thankfully, he survives.
The return to Shadow Moses Island: The depressing and dark mood in which the flashbacks are presented is just gut-wrenching. Yes, even "A surveillance camera...?". The strangely emotional part is the flashing images of MGS1 graphics, and after it? The camera... falls off its support and shatters on the ground. Poignant.
That moment carries out an absolutely brutal assault on the heart of anyone with feelings. To think that ten years ago (almost literally if you've been playing since the advent of the Solid series or before) you stood on this spot and there was so much to come, and now it's all rusted-out, decayed, cold, dead. You don't feel any closer to Snake than in that moment because it sums up his personal journey so well.
During the wedding scene where Hal and Sunny watch the sunset together, there's a brief moment: Sunny, knowing nothing about Snake's plan to kill himself, asks when Snake is coming back. Otacon's reply is visibly painful.
Otacon: Snake... Is sick. So, he went on a trip to help him get better.
Sunny: We're not going with him?
Otacon: ...No. He needs to be alone.
Sunny: ..I wonder if I'll ever see him again.
What absolutely seals it, however, is Otacon's next line, which is probably one of the most simple and honest statements in a series built around lies and deception. "Snake... Had a hard life. He needs some time to rest." Cue the Manly Tears, from both Otacon and the player.
"You have... such beautiful eyes..."
To sum it up, Naomi reveals how she and Vamp should be dead, as they suffer from cancer. While she is doing this, she lets herself die from said cancer, all the while Otacon is weeping, helpless to stop her from killing herself, begging Naomi to not die. Naomi ignores this and pushes the Mk. III away from her, telling Snake, Otacon, and Raiden to go.
"This is good... isn't it?"
Not to mention when Snake apparently commits suicide in order to prevent his rapidly mutating FOXDIE from creating a worldwide epidemic right after saving the world... Thankfully he doesn't, but still...
This is pretty much Snake's MO throughout the entire game. From when he runs into a fire to pull Big Mama out, screaming in pain as his face gets burned in the process — and it will stay that way for the rest of your playthrough, cutscenes, and gameplay — to the horrifyingly sad trudge through the room being bombarded by microwave radiation, the player having to jam Triangle to get him to push forward as his suit pops and fizzles and his strength depletes, forcing him to have to pull himself along the ground with one arm at the end, all the while a cut scene takes up the top half of the screen showing all his friends slowly being overtaken in their respective fights.
The game's whole collection of Tear Jerker moments were building up to that sequence. Up until there, it's all pain and sacrifice, and then you finally turn the tide and make it right.
The dying Big Boss painfully stands up to salute in front of The Boss's grave.
Big Boss tells Old Snake first that the whole saga "began with a bunch of old fools" and implicitly including himself... then that "if you'd been in my place back then... Maybe you wouldn't have made the same mistakes that I did." Yes, the one that we're all gay for admits that perhaps Old Snake is better than him... arguably canonizing Kojima's belief that Solid "Old" Snake is the only true hero of Metal Gear Solid.
Big Boss echoing The Boss's line "There's only room for one Snake and one Boss"... and then reconsidering, deciding that the world would be better off with none, and telling Snake to live his life before his own death. Snake does die at the end... but Dave can finally live.
The whole deal with Big Boss and his cigar. All throughout the game, the player sees quotes of Snake of "having one last smoke before death". I was expecting it to be true for Solid Snake, but not for Big Boss. And the way it was shown. Big Boss not having any life left to light the cigar up, then Snake lights it up for him.
What makes the conversation even more poignant is that it's almost the complete opposite of the conversation Snake and Big Boss have in Metal Gear 2, shortly before Snake defeats him.
The sad meeting between Big Boss and Old Snake from beginning to end is just pure Tear Jerker. Basically, when you take it into account from EVERY Metal Gear game up to this point. Everything that was done, every action taken behind the scenes. Every step and word uttered lead up to the eventual meeting between two legends. Big Boss slightly and coldly never considers Old Snake his "son". Instead, he refers to him as a fellow brother. A man. Tall, heroic, proud and destined to overcame great odds because of their fighting spirits. To hear Big Boss explain himself with every ounce of strength he has left on the earth is truly heart wrenching to say the least.
Snake and Raiden's relationship as mentor/student and later comrades takes a turn for the tragic when Raiden declares he has NOTHING left to live for except for following Snake and his vision for freedom for themselves. Snake, knowing he'll die soon tries to discourage Raiden from following him, but Raiden drags himself along the floor and desperately clutches Snake's leg, begging him not to leave him alone after having lost his parents, his innocence due to his child soldier days, his love and his child. After cursing his birth, Snake then tells Raiden, "You were the lightning in that rain." It hammered home that in many ways, Snake is the closest thing Raiden had to a real father. Manly tears were formed after that scene.
The end of MGS4, when Big Boss "sends Zero back to nothing." Yes the guy was the Big Bad, but in the end, he was just an oblivious old man in a wheelchair, completely unaware of all the things he had done, convulsing as his air supply was cut off, while flashbacks of the good man he used to be appear on the screen.
During Act 3, when Eva is talking about Big Boss's death at Zanzibar Land she talks about Zero's reaction to it. "For Zero, more than anyone else... your.... father.... was an irreplaceable icon." And then she comes right back and speaks the truth. "No... the truth is... for Zero.... he was an irreplaceable friend". And while this is happening, you can see a picture of Zero; it's hard to make it out, but he looks utterly distraught in sorrow.
"Let it go, my son. I'm not here to fight. Or should I call you, brother? It's over, time for you to put aside the gun, and live."
The microwave corridor. Raiden is being overpowered by FROGs, Meryl and Johnny are running out of ammunition and taking a few bullets, the Missouri is being overrun by Scarabs... and all the while Snake is slowly being cooked by radiation - he's literally dragging himself along as bits of his suit (along with the Solid Eye) explode, Rose and Campbell turn away from their screen, unable to watch, and Otacon is begging Snake not to give up. And if you die... Otacon's agonized scream of "SNAAAAKE!!".
Raiden's ending in MGS4, where he gets to meet his little boy.
Three words; You're pretty good.
What about Otacon, at the end of 4, stubbornly refusing to let Snake die alone? Snake points out that he'll be dead soon, and Otacon replies that this is exactly why he needs to be with him. Even if it's just a voiceover on a black screen, it's heartbreaking. The Power of Friendship, indeed.
After the AIs are destroyed in the end of MGS4, the soldiers from the Missouri pull the surviving FROGS out of the water, who are suffering mental breakdown without the nanomachines suppressing their fears and stress. In one of the boats an exhausted mercenary is holding her comrade, patting her head. You shot these bitches by the dozen, but they probably just got pulled into this entire mess like everyone else.
It's fairly subtle, but Snake makes it to the server room aboard Outer Haven and it seems to be filled with copies of The Boss's headstone, complete with flowers.
The backstories of the B&Bs...all of them. Under all that metal, sadness, anger, laughter and pain, they were innocent women, driven insane by the sheer horror of what life had thrown at them.
All the cutscenes with the Beauties. Seeing them struggling to get up and walk, powerless, insane and reduced to shadows of their formerly-powerful selves... Especially Crying Beauty, given that she's nearly-naked and spends a while trying to get up and walk, on a frozen island while it's snowing.
Speaking of Crying Beauty, while most of the audience considers the B&Bs' backstories to be full of Narm, hers really deserves the codename. After losing the rest of her family in a genocide, she accidentally smothered her baby brother while hiding from soldiers. Upon reaching a refugee camp, she was driven insane by the crying of children and murdered them, as well.
In the novelization, Snake says this before his abortive suicide attempt:
“I don’t believe in God, Otacon, so you’re the only one to whom I can pray. Give me the strength to do this now. Give me the resolve to protect the paths you and Sunny will take through life, and the world Meryl and the rest will build.”
Snake shouting out Otacon's name as he's overwhelmed by Scarabs. Given the series' reputation with Say My Name, you'd expect it to be Narm but it's a genuinely tense and heartstopping moment.
Ultimately Philanthropy fails miserably at its role of destroying the Metal Gear derivatives throughout the world. Why is this a tear jerker? because this was the task that gave Solid Snake back his reason to live, the reason why he stopped being the PTSD driven alcoholic mess that he became in the wake of Zanzibar, the reason why he still fights and goes as far in 2 as to claim that it is his legacy to future generations due to the fact that he can not have children of his own. And yet as we see in Revengeance he failed. Maybe he did succeed in finding another reason to live like he claimed at the end of 4; but it is still sad that the life's dream of one of history's greatest men went so unfulfilled.
"Love Theme" deserves proud mention here. Try listening to the OST or even during the opening first mission in the Middle East. Its hard not to try to contain your Manly Tears after hearing this piece. Heck, the extended version is even more Tear inducing. Have a listen.