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- Mario falling out the window after being beaten by Bowser.
- Mario and Peach's Theme that plays at the very end.
- Peach's Lament, when she wonders how Mario is after sending Twink to find him.
- The citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom all wishing for the Princess to be alright as you ascend to the final level.
- Peach wishing for the Star Beam to gain power after Bowser cancels it out.
- The after credits scene of Mario and Peach standing in front of Mario's house, watching the fireworks going off at the castle can cause a different kind of tear to roll down your face It certainly gives off the feeling that yes, you finally did it, and now you can rest easy...Pop Diva's song being a part of the music playing certainly fits, here.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door
- Chapter 1: The Koopa skeleton holding a farewell note in Hooktail Castle. Koops believes it’s his father’s skeleton, though it turns out it’s not. It's Kolorado's father.
- After defeating Hooktail, she spits out Koops’ real father and they have a heartwarming reunion.
- A rather minor one, but still sad: after Chapter 1: Mayor Kroop of Petalburg puts in a trouble at the Trouble Center requesting that someone come talk to him (exact words: "Will someone please talk to me? Please?"). Considering it's already a Running Gag that Kroop is a crazy old senior who rambles for so long that those listening to him fall asleep, the trouble, of course, is Played for Laughs, but consider the predicament of many real life seniors who wind up friendless and lonely in their old age, and the event suddenly becomes much sadder. And leads to a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when Mario takes the trouble on.
- Chapter 3: Jolene reveals that she was the mysterious X person who helped you discover Grubba's evil secret. Her motivation for this was because her little brother, Mush (aka Prince Mush, the first champion of The Glitz Pit), went into fighting to provide money for his poor family. Then Grubba made him vanish. She just wanted revenge for her brother's disappearance.
- Chapter 4: Vivian pulls a Heel–Face Turn during the battle against Doopliss at the end of the chapter. She decides to help Mario because her sisters treat her like dirt and that he was one of the first people who was kind to her.
Flo: He studied so very hard, and we spent so very much.
- One of the Trouble Center missions has you acting as a runner between Eve, a woman in Twilight Town, and Podley, her former lover. He's changed a lot since then, and pretends not to know her. But just as you leave the bar, you hear him whisper, "Oh, my Eve..." When you tell Eve that he's forgotten her, she acts like she understands and gives you your reward. And then you leave, and through the door you hear one of her children ask, "Mommy, why are you crying?"
- Also found in Twilight Town, Mario can enter on of the homes to find a mother and her 3 children, all starving because their father has been turned into a pig due to the curse that plagues the town. After asking Mario for some food, the mother is interrupted by the ringing of a bell and gets turned into a pig herself. Two of the children seem quite upset about the situation, while one calmly asks Mario is pigs are a 'good eat', giving some frightening and sad implications.
- Pretty minor, but still a tear jerker nonetheless. When you use Vivian's field ability to eavesdrop on some of the Twilight Town birds, one bird states that her son is getting ready to take his SAT's. Come back later and she reveals the poor kid failed.
- Chapter 5: Perhaps the biggest one in the game is Bobbery’s letter from his dead wife, Scarlette.
- Each partner also has their own reactions to hearing that story. Ms. Mowz's in particular goes, "Why do most romances have to end in tragedy? Why?"
- After fighting off a group of ghosts by himself, an injured, presumably dying Bobbery asks Mario to fetch him his bottle of Chuckola Cola, the one he had been saving for him and Scarlette, so that he could savor one final drink before expiring. When you get it for him, the heartbreaking music kicks in as he takes his last drink, then utters how he'll finally be with Scarlette. With his final wish fulfilled, the sea captain dies peacefully... or at least, you think he does, until you realize that he just fell asleep.
- Chapter 6: Bub, son of the wealthy Goldbob and Sylvia, doesn't really care that much he's rich and just wants an autograph from the train conductor because that's the kind of job he wants, plus the train conductor's reaction that a kid actually looks up to him as well.
- Grodus ordering TEC be disconnected, and his farewell message to Princess Peach.
- When you get the Ultra Hammer and Toadette finishes her explanation, she starts feeling sad because that's the last time she'll see Mario, and she's clearly saddened about it. What really hits it is how she runs away as if she was trying not to cry...
- Chapter 7: TEC barely manages to survive on backup power and weakly tells Mario how to escape the X-Naut fortress.
- Chapter 8: Princess Peach is possessed by the Shadow Queen and Mario is forced to fight her.
- Also, all the people you have met along your adventure start to cheer you on during the battle. They're on the edge of despair and plunged in darkness, but seeing the Crystal Star show up in their area reminds them of Mario's impact on them in his adventure, and it revitalizes their hope. It definitely reflects on the player too— you've come so far, and seeing all these characters rooting for you and showing the progress you've made, is just amazing. It definitely counts as a Crowning Moment of Awesome and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming all at once.
- All of the party members saying their farewells to Mario. It really hits you how much they've grown through the course of the adventure, and how much this group of Ragtag Bunch of Misfits has become a sort of family.
Super Paper Mario
Can we just call this "Paper Mario: The Misty-Eyed Subpage" and get it over with? No? Okay...
- Chapter 1: Fracktail begging for forgiveness for attacking you just before he dies. Made all the more poignant that it was honestly not his fault, and he had been quite happy to let you pass up until Dimentio came along and cursed him to madness.
- Chapter 4: After defeating Mr. L and enduring a slightly annoying young alien named Squirps for the entirety of the level, you find out that Squirps is actually a prince who was in hibernation for 1,500 years in order to protect the blue Pure Heart. He shows you a statue of his mother, the Queen, and after explaining things, asks her statue, "Mommy...I did good, right? Are you...proud...of me?" and then lays down in front of it in a manner sort of reminiscent of death. Luckily he was just sleeping, but the rather vague way the game puts it honestly makes it sound like he might actually be dying for a bit.
- It's made even worse when you consider the final boss fight of the game, during which you witness a montage of several different dimensions being utterly destroyed. Thankfully, Chapter 4 wasn't among those shown, and they're all restored to existence in the end, but...To be a young child, having to experiencing cessation of existence alone, in the center of a monster-infested maze, all out of a refusal to leave all that you have left of your kingdom and your mother. It makes one wonder whether Squirpina considered this as a possibility when she put her plan into action or not...
- Chapter 5: Everything about the Whacka near Downtown Crag, if you decide to hurt him. He's a lovable, optimistic One-Scene Wonder... and if you hit him repeatedly to get a Whacka Bump, he downright vanishes. The game never downright states whether he simply fled or died, but the latter option is implied because of the Whacka's progressively nonsensical dialogue when you hit him, and a Cragnon girl depressed over the Whacka's departure after he leaves. The same thing happens in the previous two games, but this one especially drives the point home.
- Even though Chapter 5 was the epitome of That One Level, King Croacus' fate ends up becoming this. He was a king driven mad by the Cragons' polluted water, trying desperately to find a way to end his people's suffering. After his defeat, he withers into a shriveled-up head, and his loyal Floro Sapiens hurriedly gather around him and chew you out for your actions, leading the heroes to have a "My God, What Have I Done?" moment. Thankfully, his death is reversed at the end of the game, but still.
- Chapter 6: The entire Sammer Kingdom is destroyed with you in it, with Tippi saying something along the lines of "It can't end here...not like this..." You, of course, survive. And when you try to return to the world, there's almost literally nothing there. Just a white abyss with occasional debris from what used to be the world.
- Chapter 7: Bonechill had told Luvbi that she was actually the final Heart, which Grambi and Jaydes confirm is true. Luvbi angrily yells at them for pretending to be her parents. They eventually admit that, over time, they grew to love Luvbi as though she was their real daughter; Luvbi eventually admits that she loves them too. In the end, Luvbi ceases to exist, allowing the Pure Heart form to take over and be collected by Mario, and Grambi and Jaydes are in tears.
- Before you go off to defeat Count Bleck, travel around in Flipside and Flopside. Most of them realize their impending doom. For instance:
- There's an old woman and her granddaughter chatting together. The Flipside girl asks her grandmother what's going to happen, and the grandmother says that they should face it with hope. The Flopside grandmother tells her granddaughter that doom is certain, but to prepare for the worst, and to face the black hole not with sadness, but a cry of defiance.
- There's also the little boy you made the deal with to get the fishbowl earlier in the game. He knows what's going to happen and doesn't seem too scared. But he also wishes to see his goldfish one last time.
- There are also various characters that make comments along the lines of "See you on the other side, man!", "If I die, at least I'll die with you!", "I'm going to die happy!". Saving these fellows' world makes it all worthwhile.
- During the course of Chapter 8, Bowser, Peach, and Luigi split up to fight Count Bleck's cronies. And after their fights, something terrible happens, leaving them presumed dead. The heroes and the loveable minions are picked off one by one, leaving poor Mario alone with Timpani. Of course, during the final battle, everyone turns out to be okay, but it's still pretty depressing.
- Nastasia Taking the Bullet for Count Bleck in the final battle. Like the other minions, she thankfully turns out to be alive later on.
- The ultimate one would have to be the tragic tale of the antagonist Count Bleck. Bleck was once in love with a woman named Lady Timpani, but his father banished her to a far dimension, left to die. Heartbroken, the Count began to use the Dark Prognosticus to destroy all the worlds in the universe as well as every living thing, including himself, because he found no trace of his loved one.
- The ultimate fate of Bleck's father could also count as this; in the final memory, we hear him begging and pleading frantically for Blumiere to keep away from the Dark Prognosticus, as even he doesn't know what will happen if he opens it. There's no mistaking that the guy did some pretty awful things to Timpani, but this scene made it clear that he still loved his son, and never wanted things to be taken that far.
- At the end of everything, Bleck and Timpani are finally reunited and manage to exchange their vows and confess their love to one another, and the music which has accompanied their love plays over the montage of reality resurrecting... that scene is just too beautiful for words. What happens to them next is rather vague... some fans think the shot of them together at the end is them being shown in the afterlife (particularly since Timpani has her human body again, which is not supposed to be possible.) In that case, they are Together in Death. Talk about a Bittersweet Ending.
- However, Mimi, O'Chunks, and Nastasia sense that Bleck and Timpani are alive in a distant world.
- Nastasia's reaction to Count Bleck's supposed death. He was literally her whole reason for living, and one of Carson's stories heavily implies that that she used to be a bat that Count Bleck saved, and she became a human to serve him out of gratitude. And now she'll never get to see him again... Seeing the normally serious secretary break down in tears just makes you feel sorry for the girl.
- On that note, a lot of the music evokes this. Take Proof of Existence, which plays when Nastasia comes to and the group discuss Bleck and Timpani's fate. The feeling of hopefulness after tragedy given off by this song is remarkable.
- Use Tiptron on Francis.
“He constructed me...Constructed...me...N-no, no! I'm Tippi... I wasn't constructed by anyone.”
- You think that's bad? Try visiting Merlon with Tiptron in your party, and watch as he initially mistakes her for the real thing. It really hits home how much he cared for Tippi.
- The fact that Mario is forced to fight his own brother is heartbreaking. Sure, Mr. L. is comedy material but one can only wonder what Mario is thinking upon seeing Luigi brainwashed and turned into Count Bleck's minion, what with him being a Player Surrogate and all. The final battle only makes it worse, considering Mario has to beat his own brother to ensure the safety of the multiverse. Seriously, Dimentio's defeat and humiliation cannot come soon enough.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
- A easy to miss one since the dialogue is obscured, but Kersti's Ungrateful Bastard rant in Scuttlebug Burrow takes on a new light when you realize that she thought Mario had left her to suffer. She even admits that it was her fault the Royal Stickers were lost.
Kersti:You listen to me! When Mario shows up, AND HE WILL, he's going to tear all of you guys to pieces! Mario, you're really taking your time! Where ARE you? What are you doing? Damsel in distress over here! Hellooooooooooooooooooooooooooo?! Don't you think you've kept me waiting a little too long? You didn't go home, did you? Was it something I said? What am I going to do? Losing the Royal Stickers is all my fault. Aaaaaaaaah... I can't go back to the Sticker Star like this. Ooooooooh... Why me? Why this? Why now? Aaaah... Awwww... I want to cry... Wait, I am crying... Stupid crying... Sniffle...
- The truth behind the boss of World 4: Mizzter Blizzard, a snowman who made a wish on the Sticker Star so he wouldn't melt when spring came. He got his wish, but went insane from the Royal Sticker's power. When you defeat him, he apologises for attacking you and hopes that Mario comes back and rebuilds him next winter.
- The final battle, when Kersti sacrifices herself to help Mario. After spending the game yelling at Mario, yelling at Kamek, and yelling about the scenery, she gives everything up to help Mario stop Bowser, and even apologizes for more or less forcing him to begin the journey. Should Mario go through with his end of the situation, the player gets a half awesome/half sad Theme Music Power-Up to help the impact.
- Also Heartwarming in Hindsight when you take in the above Scuttlebug Burrow moment. Perhaps sacrificing herself was her way of making up for what happened?
Paper Mario: Color Splash
- In Cherry Lake Mario runs into a Shy Guy being bullied by other Shy Guys for not joining in with their stack. He's thrown into the waterwheel and becomes a Soggy Shy Guy, but is determined to be himself and stay a single-layer Shy Guy of awesomeness. He also thanks Mario for saving him from the waterwheel.
- The Piper sidequest has color-coded Toads reminiscing about their old friend Piper, with hopes to see him again once rainbow-colored flowers bloom around their favorite tree. Turns out Piper died, and not in a drained-color way. It's punctuated by the flowers falling off the tree and blowing away. It has a happy ending. though, when Piper reincarnates out of the seed that kicked off the sidequest.
- On the Sunset Express, a Shy Guy decides to speak with Mario. He laments that he dreamed of going to a far away place, but being in Bowser's army means he has to give up on his dreams. Towards the end of the conversation, he realizes the next time he and Mario meets, they're more likely gonna meet as enemies. And meet as enemies they do. Later in the game, after defeating a Shy Guy, this one says he's the one from the Sunset Express. He says "If it had to happen this way, I'm glad it was you..." before disappearing... Making matters sadder is enemies in Mario, especially in the Paper Mario series, rarely die but respawn, but the Shy Guy's dramatic lines combined with the fact that he never reappears implies he really did bite the bullet.
- Making it worse is that the second encounter is optional, as the Shy Guy is swinging from a trapeze in the forest and can't be attacked unless you wait for the right moment. If you hadn't attacked that Shy Guy, he would've been just fine.
- You can die after beating the final boss if you don't save Peach in time, or if you take too long getting out of the castle after rescuing her. Waiting too long will have the castle collapse completely, killing Peach, Mario, and Huey.
- The ending has Huey leaving to get rid of the black paint, having to lie to Mario and friends so they'll let him leave. Afterward, Peach reassures Mario that no matter where Huey is, she feels he's happy.
- The recurring Railfan NPC Toad is apparently depressed, as he always says something along the lines of "trainspotting is the only thing that fills up the emptiness in my life" whenever you talk to him.