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- The historical back stories of the games tend to take a turn into the ridiculously depressing:
- In Secret of Shadow Ranch, outlaw Dirk and sheriff's daughter Frances are in love. The sheriff finds out, Dirk gets hanged, Frances leaves Arizona forever without knowing about Dirk's final letters to her, and the sheriff dies alone, full of regret for driving away his beloved daughter. In fact, the paper his final diary entry was written on has stains left behind by the sheriff's tears.
- In Danger by Design, Noisette Tornade, out of love for Paris and its art, employs the help of her German lover to steal and hide several pieces of beautiful stained glass so they won't be destroyed during World War II. When her countrymen discover her liaison with the German, they immediately accuse her of treason, and though she is acquitted and eventually becomes Director of Public Works in Paris, the suspicion against her never subsides and her lover is forced to leave her forever.
- Treasure in the Royal Tower centers around the good intentions of Marie Antoinette. Guess how that one worked out.
- Blackmoor Manor is sort of a Fridge Tear Jerker, when you recall how Jane's father talked about his father, and you realize that for roughly seven hundred years, the hidden rituals practiced by every other generation of the Penvellyn family have been causing its members to remain distanced from their own parents and children. All for a rock.
- In The Haunted Carousel, the side plot involves the late Daryl Trent's attempt to bring happiness to his repressed daughter Joy Trent, using a homemade robot called ''Miles the Magnificent Memory Machine." Through the game, Miles helps to purge Joy's anger against her late mother. This culminates in the discovery of the carousel horse Joy's mother bought for her as a child, along with the last remaining photo of her mother and a letter from Daryl telling Joy how much her parents loved her.
- The historical backstory of this game is pretty sad as well. Rolfe Kessler, the titular carousel's creator, was in love with and married a woman named Amelia, but his personality was so intense and moody that she could not live with him although she loved him in return. They separated, he wrote letters to her and never sent them, and she died of tuberculosis without ever having reunited with her husband.
- Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon has yet another tragic historical plot. The train's owner, Jake Hurley, was a rich man who wandered through the Old West in search of gold - until he met the beautiful Frenchwoman Camille Voulet. They married, he commissioned a custom train to serve as their home, and they spent their time in happy travels. Then Camille fell, hit her head, seemed to recover, and died unexpectedly.
- Not to mention Jake dying alone in the depths of a mine, and his train operator expiring from a heart attack while attempting to drive the train back to town, presumably seeking help because his boss hadn't come back.
- The backstory of Isis, the titular character of White Wolf of Icicle Creek, is absolutely heartbreaking. Her mother was shot by a hunter, and she was found by Julius Mc Quade, who got so tired of humans that he decided to live alone in the wilderness. He saved her life and discovered that she refused to leave him. He tamed (to some degree) and befriended her. Later he had to go to hospital and died there. Last words of his diary?
"The possibility that she would think I abandoned her just breaks my heart. She has come to mean the world to me..."
- She probably felt the same way about him, since she kept returning to his cabin in search of him. In fact, that's where Nancy finds her.
- Also the source of Fridge Tearjerker, when you realize that the reason why she sticks with Nancy is probably that she is looking for someone who could replace Julius, and Nancy is the only human who has been in his cabin since he died, so, maybe, Isis thought that she is somehow connected to Julius.
- Julius's own story is equally pitiable: disillusioned with people, living in isolation with only a barely-tamed animal just as lonely as himself for companionship, until he catches pneumonia and trudges for miles to a hospital where he dies on Christmas day. He had no one to mourn him except Isis, and his body was never claimed.
- Reading Alexei's old case diary in Alibi in Ashes. Watching what begins as a somewhat goofy and cheerful record of his cases suddenly switch to him detailing his downfall and how no one trusts him anymore is absolutely heartbreaking, particularly as he states he's writing in it again to try and find comfort in the youthful spirit he once had in his sleuthing.
- The overriding atmosphere of Thornton Hall isn't just fear- it's sadness. You never even meet Charlotte, but her death influences everything.
- The argument between Carson and Kate in one of the flashbacks from The Silent Spy is particularly heart-wrenching when you know it's very likely the last conversation they ever had before Kate's death.
- Nancy's letter to her mother.
- Not to mention the letter from her mother to her.
- Nancy's letter to her mother.
- Sea of Darkness has a massive tearjerker: Gunnar wound up losing everything when his wife and child died in a boat accident, so he's become a grumpy old man whose only possessions are literally the clothes and box he holds. It then turns out that his daughter looks like Nancy. You WILL need tissues here.
- The whole backstory of the Captain of the Heerlijkheid.
- In Ghost Dogs, William Akers' journal entries about how badly-off his family ended up after Mickey Malone's arrest are pretty pathetic.
- Nancy and Ned's breakup in Two Points To Murder, book #8 of the Files. It's quite wrenching in the first place, even more so if you've been reading the books since their first inception and all but grown up with this love story. Fortunately, they reconcile a few books later, but it's still hard to take.