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Heartwarming / XCOM 2

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  • The beginning of the game. After an explosive opening, and a tense surgery scene, the first thing the Commander sees after coming out of their surgery is Bradford, who expresses relief that they're ok.
  • At the start of the final level, as the Commander is about to be uploaded into the Avatar, they lean their head from the operating table to look at Bradford, as if to reassure him they'll be alright. Bradford's telling the Commander to "Give 'em hell." also counts.
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  • Bradford's relationship with the Commander in general, really. After 20 years apart keeping XCOM going from the shadows, his sheer joy and gratitude at getting the Commander back, a feat he put his life on the line to achieve, is just constantly reassuring. Later on, Bradford tries to veto having the Commander be the operator of XCOM's Avatar, because any risk to the Commander's life, no matter how small, is too great.
  • Just before the final mission, after the Commander's consciousness has been uploaded to the Avatar, you get a first person shot of a walk through a hallway, with your best soldiers standing on either side, saluting as you pass.
  • The second-to-last cutscene in the game: ADVENT is in full retreat, but still controls the city centers where a curfew is in effect. An XCOM operative cuts the ADVENT propaganda with a simple message.
    XCOM Operative: To all of you in the occupied zones - hold your ground, continue the fight. We promise you, help is on the way.
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  • In the Alien Hunters DLC, as soon as XCOM detects a signal that indicates Dr. Vahlen might still be alive, Bradford insists on personally joining the mission to bring her back safely. After all, that's what he did for the Commander.
  • The end of Shen's Last Gift has Dr. Shen's last message to Lily, left with the SPARK prototype.
    Dr. Shen: This prototype has been coded with one specific task. It will protect you, perhaps better than I ever could. For all I have seen and accomplished in my life Lily, there is one thing that I know for sure: You are my greatest gift to this world.
  • If an operative gets captured during a timed-extraction mission there's a chance to get a mission where a squad frees them from captivity.
    • And then there's the Spokesman's reaction:
    Council Spokesman: Commander, I admire the effort you and your team put into rescuing a fellow soldier. The resistance will see this as a sign of your dedication and loyalty. Congratulations on your success.
    • The Faction Leaders (Betos, Volk, Geist) in War of the Chosen each have their own variants as well.
  • The achievement name for finishing improving the Avenger? "Shen's Legacy."
  • Going to the memorial and seeing the message "No deceased soldiers." It's tricky to pull off (unless you resort to Save Scumming, cheater) but damn if it doesn't feel good. Bonus points if Bradford is in the bar, hanging out with the rest of the grunts. Even more bonus points if he's actually tending bar.
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  • Completing a mission without losing any of your operatives. Your operatives are tired and most likely wounded, but they smile at each other and are relieved that all of them are returning home.
  • If soldiers are wounded during a mission, they are put in beds in the Advanced Warfare Center/Infirmary. If you zoom in, you can often see them being visited by their colleagues, who try to cheer them up (if their wounds are light) or look at them with sadness, shaking their heads (if they are badly hurt).
  • Soldiers are shown socializing with one another on the Avenger. However, this isn't just window dressing; the game actually tracks the relationships between each soldier, based on factors like how many missions they've been on together, who has healed who, shooting enemies flanking them, and carrying unconscious soldiers out of battle. It then matches those soldiers up while on the Avenger. So when you see soldiers laughing and talking in the bar or exercising together in the guerilla warfare school, it's because those soldiers have actually become Fire-Forged Friends in battle.
    • The War of the Chosen expansion pack takes this even further, where soldiers with a high relationship value can become Bonded and unlock special abilities, like sacrificing an action to give their bondmate another move, or removing negative mental effects by being adjacent to one another. Whether you choose to interpret them as Bash Brothers or a full Battle Couple, there's something great about one soldier giving another the encouragement they need to dash into cover or land a killing blow, or shaking their partner out of a panic attack by rushing to their side.
      • Bonus points if the pairing is two Faction Heroes. The Factions all hate each other, but two of their operatives nonetheless worked together, and became friends, in order to defeat ADVENT. Rivals Team Up at its finest. (The game basically thrusts you into pairing Elena and Mox, since their first mission has them snapping at each other before praising each other and becoming friends by the end of the mission.)
  • Another War of the Chosen addition is the Photobooth, where you can take photos of your soldiers at the end of missions, when they get promoted, or when they become Bonded. (It does roll into Tearjerker territory when you make memorial posters for killed soldiers.) These appear in-game in the form of posters on the Avenger and in resistance havens, like you'd expect, but you can also find such posters on tucked-away walls in ADVENT-controlled city centers. Even where the alien regime is at its strongest, XCOM still has supporters cheering you on and urging others to join the fight.
  • War of the Chosen adds new scenes to the ending, illustrating what happened to the resistance factions:
    • The Reapers end their lonely existence in the wilds and rejoin humanity.
    • A group of ADVENT soldiers lay down their weapons and remove their helmets as Betos welcomes her newly liberated "brothers and sisters".
    • The Templars, however, subvert the trope, and merely give a Sequel Hook, opting for the Badass Boast instead.
  • Giving a SPARK Julian's voice is strangely heartwarming. During the entire "Shen's Last Gift" mission, he's ranting about how badly he wants to be the one who dons SPARK's body. Lily actually obliges. Yes, he's enforced into being loyal, but he did get what he wanted, and he's allowed to retain his snarky personality, so he's not brainwashed.
    • On top of this, it's Lily that suggests that the commander could install Julian in a SPARK. In a very roundabout way, she does care for her crazed A.I "brother".
  • Central's reforging of X-Com after it's defeat in the first war, as shown in Blast from the Past. Initially a group of survivors searching for a rumoured safe haven, Bradford's team causes a wave of destruction after discovering the said Haven had been destroyed by the aliens, culminating in the destruction of an alien portal on top of a dam. Said portal was protected with the best forces the aliens had at the time, including what may have been 3 precursor Avatars (it is somewhat unclear if actual Avatars were protecting the dam, but Bradford specifically mentions remembering their hairdo) After the battle and once the red mist clears, Central realises that his "team" can take the fight to the aliens, and sets out to search for other individuals and resistance cells.
  • The Resistance DJ started off his career by misusing alien technology, accidentally luring an entire Chrysalid swarm from the ocean and being an all around nuisance to Central. But at the end of the day all he wants is to brighten the day a little for those still evading Advent.
  • Lily remarks that she expected to have to run a mission on her own, especially because it's just a simple retrieval run and Bradford's off on his own mission. Except she had "more than enough volunteers" to join her before she even made it out the door. She thinks it's out of respect for the Commander, but she also mentions that they're not calling her Lily...they're calling her Chief. She's earning that title.
  • Each of the resistance factions certainly qualify as well. Even in the new much more brutal world people from all walks of life are still coming together fight the forces of tyranny.
    • The Reapers take those willing to learn and train them to survive. Even outside of resistance havens, in the lost infested cities, or in the most brutal alien overrun environments the Reapers are learning to survive and thrive.
    • Betos and the Skirmishers are not only fighting on the side of humanity but actively freeing their enslaved fellows. They have every reason to fear or hate xcom for the wanton slaughter of their dominated kin but choose to help them regardless.
    • The Templars even with their questionable methods are proving vital the survival of humanity. Geist and his compatriots are after all finding the psionic humans left before the Elders can kidnap them for experimentation.

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