The full game hasn't even been released yet, and already the trailers and the prologue have had everyone become a sobbing mess.
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The simple fact that, from the beginning, it's apparent that Ground Zeroesis going to go extremely badly for Big Boss. Especially considering that the game builds up to a climactic sequence where he tries to exact vengeance on XOF... Only to fail miserably and fall into a coma for the greater part of a decade.
Thought you would never cry for a traitor? You will cry for Paz when you find her chained to the wall, half-dead, and non-responsive. It doesn't help that a Piano arrangement of "Love Deterrence" plays in the background during the scene.
Made even worse by the fact that she clearly very much regrets her actions in Peace Walker, and now wants to protect Big Boss.
Miller's reaction to the destruction of Mother Base.
Miller: Give it back! That wasn't right, that was ours! We built it, dammit!
Paz sacrificing herself, knowing that there is a second bomb inside of her, jumps out of the chopper so as to not kill everyone inside along with her.
Upon discovering Chico's cage Chico is so delirious with fear that he can't even stand the idea of Big Boss touching him and recoils when he motions to rescue him and starts whimpering. Big Boss is forced to knock him out in order to calm him down and prevent him from alerting anyone to his presence. It is made all the worse when Miller calls Big Boss to ask if Chico will be able to walk and Big Boss discovers screws dug all the way through Chico's heels, and responds simply "Not gonna happen." Big Boss is dealing with a new breed of evil, who won't even hesitate in torturing children, and the reality of this is illustrated graphically with the pathetic state of Chico.
Snake carrying Chico out of Camp Omega. The kid can't walk, and he's slung over Snake, bawling into Snake's shoulder, convinced he's sold out his friends and his love interest. The kid's been through God knows what in terms of torture, and you remember he's only 13, and he just wants to go home.
The other POWs can be saved, too - and they're all just as heartbreaking. One, for example, is confused as to whether you're a guard or not. Between his bouts of sobbing and struggling to breathe, he begs you to bring him to a phone, so he can tell his family he's alive.
The audio tapes are the darkest part of the game. The sound of Paz and Chico being tortured by Skull Face is absolutely horrifying. The worst part is the end of the tapes, where Paz thanks Chico for everything he has done for her and says that she will do whatever she can to get him out alive, as well as revealing that all her insults at him were attempts to protect him from being used by Skull Face. She ends it saying that he has given her hope that both of them will make it out alive. Knowing how Ground Zeroes ends, this is heartbreaking.
Another heart-breaking part is Paz kissing Chico and embracing him, and her telling him how much she's grateful to him. Complete opposite to how she was in Peace Walker.
Which also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming as Chico is in love with Paz and she potentially started to reciprocate his feelings. Which also makes an even bigger Tear Jerker since they never got a chance together after Snake rescued them.
Even worse? Technically the two did get to be intimate. Skullface forced that to happen. The psychological effect of something like that is unimaginable and absolutely horrifying. What the hell is this man?
Tying with the above comes an Easter Egg: If you rescue Chico and trigger the small cutscene, yet don't extract him, then go get Paz and lay her besides Chico. The two will cuddle together, with Chico whispering her name and whimpering apologies, and Paz, in spite of her catatonic state, actually remains conscious enough to start humming softly, seeking to comfort him. You can see in that small scene how utterly broken both youths are, and how they are now everything for each other. Which, just like everything stated above, will only make the end of Ground Zeroes hit you even harder.
The look of muted horror on Big Boss's face as he looks upon Mother Base burning and sinking into the depths of the ocean (even worse in the trailer, which showed a close-up of his face as the carnage transpires). And the aftermath where he's slumped over staring off distantly as Kaz tries to snap him out of it is equally horrible. It's like watching an old friend who you've known and loved for years suffering and giving up on all hope and you wish you could reach out to him and comfort him, but there's nothing you can do to make it all go away. Big Boss led a really hard life full of tragedy, and you wish it didn't have to be that way.
It's even worse than that - Kaz isn't trying to shake him out of it, he's losing it too, having a Freak Out (screaming for vengeance and accusing Paz with no evidence) while Big Boss has a Heroic BSOD (the aforementioned Thousand-Yard Stare and speechlessness.)
The tagline for the in-game trailer promising a continuation in Phantom Pain, which states simply "Deprived of all but pain." It's only one sentence but it's poignant in how much it gets across about Big Boss's situation, and how true that statement rings through when you stop to think about everything he's been through.
Even more tragic, this is just the same hell Big Boss has to endure over and over again. First by killing The Boss, then by witnessing the aforementioned Johnathan alongside half of his newly-formed FOXHOUND Unit perish due to Gene's Compelling Voice, the having to essentially kill the Boss AGAIN in Peace Walker, then this. And if it wasn't enough, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 will make Big Boss lose everything again at least two more times, by the hands of his OWN SON to boot! AND HE'S THE ONE WHO SENDS HIS SON IN DURING THE FIRST GAME!
After the destruction of Mother Base, Kaz immediately starts cursing out Paz. He blames her for what happened when the truth is that Paz did everything in her power and more to protect MSF. Also, considering how Kaz knew that Paz was a spy from the beginning and was doing business with Cipher without informing Big Boss, this is all partially his fault and makes him come off as a huge hypocrite.
The Phantom Pain
"Sins of the Father". That's all that needs to be said.
"Punished Snake: A Fallen Legend." Ow...
At the beginning of the GDC trailer, Big Boss and Kaz are in a hospital, bloody and bruised, while the doctors keep them from going into cardiac arrest.
Also from the GDC trailer, we see MSF being bombed. MSF, the organization you helped grow bigger and bigger in Peace Walker, now gets bombed. And the fact that the entire trailer is set to the beautifully-sung Not Your Kind of People doesn't help either.
In the E3 trailer, the scenes where Big Boss is helping walk and carry an injured Kaz who has had his entire right arm removed at the shoulder and his left foot removed around ankle level, with his character subtitle 'A visionary denied his future.'
Big Boss, upon discovering Kaz mutilated by torture in Afghanistan, reassures his friend that he's here to help him, and carefully places his trademark aviators over his scarred eyes. They may be scarred and beaten down men but they are far from broken, with his iconic shades situated where they belong some semblance of hope is finally creeping back in, they're finally back in action.
It's extremely moving to see two old warriors standing together against the world, their hearts once pure and idealistic now old and shattered, but despite all that they still have each other. You really get a feeling for how deep their friendship is when Kaz is literally leaning on Big Boss in order to stand, not feeling weak because of his scars but feeling all the stronger because he has someone watching out for him and who he knows would never let him fall and would be there for him if he did; who risked his life to save him and would do it again without a second thought because he knows Kaz would do the same for him if it was within his power. Band of Brothers hardly begins to describe it.
Quiet being tortured in the extended E3 trailer has pulled on the heart strings of many fans, most likely due to her being mute.
Huey getting tortured as well. The guy's already gone through his share of pain in Peace Walker, and it doesn't help that it looks like the people harming him are on his own side.
You can just hear the bitter anguish in Kaz's voice as he grieves for all that he's lost. Not at all hard to see how he and Big Boss got pushed over the edge.
Kaz: Why are we still here? Just to suffer? Every night, I can feel my leg... And my arm... even my fingers... The body I've lost... the comrades I've lost... won't stop hurting... It's like they're all still there. You feel it, too, don't you? I'm gonna make them give back our past!
From the 2014 E3 trailer, there's a rather poignant sequence where Big Boss holds a cremation for several fallen comrades. He holds one of the urns and rubs some of the ashes into his face, presumably showing his grief for whoever that was.
Not to mention Big Boss and Ocelot torturing Huey as he screams in pain, or the Diamond Dogs soldiers fighting amongst one another. The whole trailer in general could be summed up as one huge tearjerker.