- Pre-1.0, almost every PC's reason for leaving their home and race behind was somber. The Human because Earth is destroyed, the Floran and Avian because they're outcasts, Hylotl because of the Floran wars, the Apex is escaping the torture and constant surveillance, and the Glitch would likely be executed for self-awareness.
- Just listen to some of the more sad tracks like "Mira" and "Tranquility Base". Doesn't make it any less awesome though.
- You can find an Avian temple. At the top are two Avians who were supposed to jump off the edge. Talk to them and they say the following; "I can't do it. I... I just can't."
- The beginning of the game, doubling as Nightmare Fuel. You are attending your graduation from the Protector's Academy, to be part of the Space Police and acquire your Matter Manipulator. The sun is shining, everything is at peace... and then, during the ceremony, the Ruin emerges without warning and starts destroying the entire planet, killing untold millions in the process. You barely have time to take the Matter Manipulator and escape to a damaged shuttle, as you dash through corridors filled with tentacles, debris and the corpses of your friends and comrades. And after all of that, when you've escaped from the dying Earth, you're left stranded in orbit of some alien world in the darkness of space, completely alone.
- Almost every Protectorate-related speech - including the Codex entry on your duties as a Protector - includes a single phrase that sounds significantly Harsher in Hindsight: "Wherever you may go, whatever you may find, you will always have Earth to come home to."
- It's hard to not feel some form of pity towards Big Ape, at least prior to his lore being revamped into him always having been a machine. Specifically, the original Big Ape, before he got Brain Uploaded and his uploaded mind rewritten by Apex scientists into the 24-hour full Sinister Surveillance dictator that he is now. Most of his original personality is pretty much dead and gone, and he may not even have been a harsh dictator before he was rewritten. It's kind of a Mercy Kill when you have to destroy him in the Apex mission.
- The backstory of Asra Nox, the leader of Occasus: As a little girl, her home colony was attacked and burned to the ground by alien marauders. She was adopted and raised by Esther Bright, and allowed to join the Protectors. However, her deep-rooted hate of non-humans caused her to be influenced by the Ruin, leading her to betray her mentor and adoptive mother in order to bring about the end of the galaxy as we know it.
"I tried to reason with her, but she WOULD NOT see sense. Her excitement became rage, incensed by my 'ignorance'. I reached out to her but she pushed me away. I pleaded with her but to no avail. She left. My Asra, my little girl, is gone."
- We learn this through Esther Bright's journal, which contains a first-person account of Esther's reaction to Asra's rise and fall; adding the tragic Adult Fear of seeing your adopted daughter grow up into a genocidal villain.
- After the player destroys The Ruin's heart, it explodes with the player inside, actually killing them. The reactions of your companions is just tragic as they all hang their heads down in sadness. Thank goodness the final bit of The Cultivator manages to save you, but sacrifices itself in the process.
- In the first mission, right before The Ruin attacks and destroys the Earth, the player passes by a old tree. In front of the tree is a large flower that the PC muses about taking with them as a memento of their graduation. If taken, the flower immediately is put in the player's head slot, so the item's description will likely be overlooked until the player gets off-planet and decides to take it off to replace it with armor.
Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.
- The Lunar Base Bunk bed will, when observed, cause several of the PC's to somberly recall sleeping in such a bed at the Protectorate Academy. It shows just how much the Protectorate meant to all of them for a Doomed Hometown. Even the normally Ax-Crazy Floran seems comforted by its presence.
Glitch PC: "Sentimental. A bunk bed, not dissimilar from those at the Protectorate Academy."Floran PC: "Floran would like to sssleep in bunk bed."
- The destruction of Earth at the hands of The Ruin is bad enough for a Human PC, but consider that most other race's pre-1.0 origin stories have been rolled into the new unified beginning, meaning it's just the capstone for a Trauma Conga Line for several alien PC's. Fugitives from all manner of nightmares, finding security and stability in the Protectorate, only to have it all destroyed before their very eyes.
- Apex characters are probably the worst, having suffered unimaginable torture and fear at the hands of the Miniknog, only to seize a rare chance and flee their oppressive home. Somehow, they ended up in the Protectorate, a place of unimaginable freedom and found a new life in that sanctuary. They enrolled in the Academy, finding a purpose in life that could be beneficial to so many, and right on the cusp of beginning that new life of promise, of finally shedding that last vestige of their past nightmares, that new home is ripped away from them forever.
- The description of the Imagination Memorial, a tribute from a Kickstarter backer to their departed father.
- The Earth's Emergency Broadcast, imagine how the few humans off planet must have reacted to hearing it.
IF YOU ARE A HUMAN RECEIVING THIS BROADCAST, WE ARE NOW AN ENDANGERED SPECIES