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Heartwarming / Darkest Dungeon

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Circled in the dark, the battle may yet be won.

A moment of respite. A chance to steel oneself against the coming horrors..
The Ancestor

If one would think that Darkest Dungeon is a Crapsack World filled with nothing but cosmic horror and hopelessness, they'd be wrong.

  • The Houndmaster:
    • Basically anything involving the Houndmaster's dog is immensely touching - their ability, Lick Wounds? The Houndmaster hugs his dog. Know what his "getting hit" pose is? Using his body as a shield to protect his dog. His camping abilities? One of them is called "Therapy Dog", a positive case of Surprisingly Realistic Outcome as the dog nuzzles up all three companions and and relieves a decent amount of stress from them.
    • When he is being chosen as a target for the Heart of Darkness' One-Hit Kill, his potentially final action is him trying to comfort his dog.
      "Steady, girl. If we're called, we answer."
    • Even a Houndmaster afflicted with being Selfish will put his dog's needs before himself (and naturally his teammates are third in line).
      "The hound comes first. Then me, then you."
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    • A Houndmaster that is afflicted in general is no less caring about his dog, even when Selfish or Abusive, and his Heroic BSoD portrait shows him fearfully cuddling her.
  • Completing a few quests early in the game unlocks more of the Hamlet. After years of being on the verge of collapse and tended only by one lonely caretaker, the first victories of your adventurers help breathe life into the place again.
    • Collecting grain from the Warrens for the Hamlet's people will end with the Ancestor declaring that "The soldiers will feast tonight!" and the next week having the "Bumper Crop" modifier where the citizens are so grateful for the food stability you've guaranteed that they'll provide you with provisions free of charge.
  • Camping can be this depending on how well your party is doing. Seeing them huddled around the fire and trying to bolster morale/heal each other for the coming battle is strangely touching, and if none of them are doing poorly or overly stressed, their dialogue is filled with hope that their quest will be successful or gratefulness that they have such stalwart companions at their side. Of course, this could eventually devolve into a Tear Jerker moment if the mission goes south immediately afterwards— which is a definite possibility since many camps end in surprise attacks.
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  • If Fearful, the Man-At-Arms will plead with the enemy to spare the rest of the heroes.
  • The Abomination's Absolution skill, represented by a ray of light falling straight on him, both heals and reduces stress. Even if the rest of the world treats him as an outcast, it's clear there's still someone (possibly even the same "Light" who looks after the Crusader, the Vestal, the Leper, and the Flagellant, who all scorn him for being an unholy monstrosity) looking out for him.
  • With what the Crusader and Vestal are capable of, it's nice to know that in this den of suffering, with brutal pagan gods and at least two monstrosities going around, that there are powers that look out for humanity instead of wanting to destroy it.
    • Similarly, missions to purify altars will result in the Hamlet and your heroes being blessed by divine beings, making the next mission that much easier. There is definitely some higher power blessing your mission to cleanse the Estate.
  • When facing the Sadistic Choice of who to sacrifice for the final fight against the Heart of Darkness, the Leper stands resolute and asks the player to choose him to save the rest of the adventurers.note  While not as poignant as the Leper, several of the other adventurers are willing to forfeit their lives to end this nightmare once and for all.
  • Some of the town events show that not everything in and around the Hamlet is miserable.
  • One of the quirks your heroes can pick up or start with? "Love Interest". It's technically a negative quirk, in that it means the hero can only de-stress by checking into the Brothel, but it's still quite heartwarming for two reasons. Firstly, it shows that even in a Crapsack World like this, people can still fall in love. Secondly, in its way, it reaffirms The Power of Love; all the horrors that your hero undergoes in the depths below, and they can push past it all, because they have someone they're willing to do anything to protect. They just need the occasional reaffirmation of that special bond.
    Forget the dice and cards! I gambled on the love and won!
  • It's possible for a hero with a Guilty Conscience to forcibly interact with a confession booth. It's possible for the same curio to remove said Guilty Conscience. "The hero is absolved of a sin" indeed.
  • While the character trinket sets added in the Crimson Court are largely Tragic Keepsakes, one of the ones for the Arbalest is her stuffed toy from when she was a child before her father was killed, and the other is an arrow called "Bedtime Story".
    I remember my father's kindly eyes.
    • Crossing somewhere between this and Tear Jerker is one for the Highwayman — the "Shameful Locket", with a picture of the mother and child he killed by accident. On the more Heartwarming side, it gives him a +45% chance to gain a virtue.
  • As opposed to becoming afflicted and abusing or stressing out the rest of the group, any time that the heroes find themselves in supporting one another can be heartwarming. Any time that a virtuous class tries to have the others follow their example. The Jester opening up and saying that underneath his jokes, he feels blessed to be traveling with the other party members. The usually quiet, aloof, and cold Bounty Hunter saying that when they get back to the Hamlet, the tavern will be on him. Whenever retreating out of a Darkest Dungeon quest, that one party member stays behind so the others can escape. And, of course, when some heroes are more than willing to die or suffer a Fate Worse than Death at the hands of the Final Boss to spare the others from their fate. They might not always show it, but the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits are True Companions at their core.
  • Many of the quotes when certain heroes gain virtues. Not only are they committed and empowered to victory, but they show their care and devotion to their companions as well.
    Courageous Crusader: You will survive. I judge it so.
    Powerful Bounty Hunter: Win this, and the tavern's on me.
    Courageous Man-At-Arms: Lean on me, you need not ask.
    Courageous Occultist: We have survived thus far! We can survive so much more!
    Vigorous Man-At-Arms: Ah! My heart roars to serve alongside such stalwarts!
    Focused Highwayman: Look at you, all ready to knock some skulls!
    Stalwart Leper: The blackest night yields to brightest dawn.
    Vigorous Houndmaster: I cannot - I WILL not - falter in the pursuit of evil!
    Focused Graverobber: Look at you. All heroic. (wink)
    Powerful Highwayman: I'll give ten percent to all of you, if we survive.
    Courageous Hellion: Look at me...You are going to make it — ALL OF YOU!
    • When you consider his backstory and that he is haunted by the deaths of his men, the Man-At-Arms' quotes when Powerful are especially heartwarming.
      Powerful Man-At-Arms: Hear me brothers! I will redeem my debt!
      Powerful Man-At-Arms: I am forgiven! I am free!
  • While the Narrator is critical or chiding at mistakes that get party members hurt or killed, he has nothing but understanding if you have to flee from a battle.
    Ancestor: The sin is not in being outmatched, but in failing to recognize it.
  • It's kinda sweet how much the Swine King cares for Wilbur. Hurt or kill him, and the King will wreck you.
  • In the Color of Madness free patch, the Abomination can finally party up with religious heroes. He is excluded no longer.
  • In a patch released on August 15, 2018 (alongside the addition of Reflections, changes to Critsmas, and other fixes), defeating all seven Shieldbreaker nightmare encounters will mean every Shieldbreaker will get a free restful sleep buff each time they camp. In other words, you've essentially helped the Shieldbreaker conquer her fears.
  • The Light, the primary deity worshipped by religious characters. Wether it is real or not, or maybe just some imagined aspect of the Heart, it still means that the people of this crapsack world has something benevolent and loving they place their faith in.
    • The Vestal and the Crusader can truly perform miracles, so there may be something in the Light after all...
    • Word of God is that the Light is the manifestation of mankind's belief in good, justice, and the divine. Where there was no God, mankind made one, and it loves and protects them.
      • This is also arguably a Moment of Awesome for humanity in the DD universe: Humans were created by the Heart of Darkness, and not even intentionally; it's disgusted by humanity, and seeks to reabsorb it. But the Light is something humans made all by themselves. The Light is essentially a massive Shut Up, Hannibal! to the entire uncaring cosmos and all the eldritch abominations therein.
  • Despite having been turned into a monstrous Husk, the Miller is still searching for his wife Mildred and his children.
  • As you rebuild and upgrade the Hamlet, the Ancestor will alternate between bitter resignation and hints of genuine hope that life can become normal again.
    Upgrading the Abbey: A little hope, however desperate, is never without worth.
    Upgrading the Tavern: Strong drink, a game of chance, and companionship. The rush of life!
    Upgrading the Blacksmith: Fan the flames! Pump the bellows! We are raising an army!
    • In addition, as you upgrade the Hamlet, you will actually be able to hear life returning. At the start of the game, there will be mostly silence over the Hamlet, with only very rare noises, But as the Halmet's structures get upgraded, you'll start to hear the sounds of people in the background, dogs barking, and hammers pounding, showing that you are breathing new life into a place that has suffered so much at your Ancestor's hands.
  • The Brigand leader Vvulf has an enormous shield which he uses to guard his own men, even though it actually makes targetting him that much easier. A villain he may be, but he cares about his followers.
  • The Flagellant cares about everybody, just in a really weird way.
    he attack
    he can heal another party member if his health is low
    will bleed himself so another party member gets healing every round
    stuns enemies if he dies
    heals your whole party if he hits death’s door
    will de-stress someone in your party by stressing himself
    “only one can carry the burden” he’s willing to take all that shit so no one else has to
  • The achievement you get from getting Reynauld and Dismas through the final dungeon is sweet and simple:

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