Nandobot's entire existence. Think Nando had it bad? The other Midnights treat this version of him as though he really is a robot, rather than a person with thoughts and feelings. When he begins to "give in" to his programming and behave according to logic rather than emotion, his own friends and mentor, the people who love him, begin to doubt if he's genuinely sentient, which hurts him even worse.
Roark: The Dragon Riders are right. The Nando we know always put his teammates before the mission. That Nando is dead. You're just an empty shell.
- This comment ends up breaking Nandobot so hard that he completely gives up on trying to act like his former self and starts believing what everyone says, that he can never be anything but a robot because of what everyone thinks of him. Three words: "Just a machine."
- It's not hard to see that the ordeal is hurting all of the Earthshakers, too. They don't know how to accept Nandobot when he's so different from their friend, but they don't want to believe that Nando is gone for good. Even Roark, who's angry at what he thinks Nando has become, still misses him, and more than anything, wants him to go back to the way he was.
- It's worse than that. Byron was responsible for creating Nandobot, even if it wasn't in a way that would preserve Nando's "soul", so to speak. For him to wonder if he had technically "saved" Nando but stripped him of his personality, leaving him an unfeeling, uncaring machine, would be infinitely more devastating than if he had simply allowed him to die.
- Wait! It gets better! During a mission, Nandobot finally proves to the Earthshakers that he's sentient...by throwing himself into the path of an oncoming fireball aimed at Gardenia, which is enough to "kill" him, but not before he stays alive long enough to say goodbye to his friends and mentor. What follows next is absolutely soul-crushing.
Nandobot: I...followed mission?
Riley: (holding back tears) Yes, you did. You did good...Nando.
Gardenia: Yes, you are.
Nandobot: But you said...
Roark: And we were wrong.
Nandobot: I also wrong. Think friends not care. Think I not alive. But they do.
Cynthia: We do.
Nandobot: Friends safe. Mission accomplished. Good robot.
Byron: Good friend...good son. One of us. (choking up) Always.
- When Nandobot finally closes his eyes and dies, Byron cradles his metal body while openly sobbing into his chest. Byron.
- Just to hammer it in further: Roark is the one to say that they were all wrong about Nandobot not being alive. He's probably remembering that the last thing he ever said to Nandobot was that he wasn't the friend they loved, he was just a robot wearing Nando's face. What must he be thinking right now?
- Fortunately, it turns into a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when the people of the village they were protecting give them a magical salve (hinted to be Pokémon tears) that not only restores Nandobot's life, but makes him human again. Tears will flow, but for an entirely different reason this time.