- The ending, when Delta is dying, and it takes every last bit of energy for him to crawl to the top of the craft to be with Eleanor. Oh, god...
- If you played as a gray area character, you get to choose at the end to either let Eleanor save you, turning her completely evil, or to sacrifice yourself and let her choose her own path. If you go with the latter, The game ends with the sad violins fading out and the screen going to black as a tearful Eleanor's voice says "But Father, wherever you are... I miss you." Cue waterworks.
- The worst part was the look Eleanor got after Delta pushed the needle away. How it dawned on her that after all that happened, he would rather die than stay with her. And that everyone else she even knew is dead.
- The moment When Delta turns to look at her before he dies and she begins to cry in earnest. For the last portion of the game she is a badass, nigh gamebreaker of a character, but at that moment... At that moment she's just a scared little girl who doesn't want her father to die.
- For the entire game, you can't quite get a clear answer to if Delta is simply fulfilling some protection programming in saving her or if he truly does care. That simple gesture, using the last of your strength to get one final look at your daughter before you die, gives you your answer.
- In the Good ending, a few of the Little Sisters are crying.
- Everything involving Mark Meltzer in BioShock 2, namely his tragic end.
- You don't necessarily have to kill him, though, but it's hard to say what's sadder - stumbling upon Mark Meltzer's lifeless body, which moments before was just another Big Daddy, or letting him roam around that crumbling nightmare for the rest of his life, alone (since you are probably just going to save "Cindy" in the next level - saving every little sister).
- There's another tearjerker part in here that not a lot of gamers would have caught, but there's a Mills Brother's song in the game called "Daddy's Little Girl", a peaceful song about a man talking proudly how much his daughter means to him. That's right, read all the lyrics, remember Mark's struggle and possible end and all are complete tearjerkers with a heavy dose of Fridge Brilliance and Horror.
- Ignoring Cindy's fate, the actual experience of walking into that lab room, seeing what is probably your last Big Daddy getting attacked by splicers, and triumphantly grenading him or what-have-you, only to pan the camera down to his now dim face port to see the caption 'Mark Meltzer', and pan over to sobbing Cindy? If you followed Something in the Sea, and got emotionally involved in his story - following his desperate search for his daughter, reading his scrawls and notes, solving Lutwidge's insane riddles and puzzles, discovering the message hidden on the record, getting Cindy's pleas for help, waking up on a ship, the list goes on - it's all the more heartbreaking.
- The Alpha Series who lost their little sisters and have become highly unstable.Gil Alexander: "Today I saw one kneeling near a Gatherer's Garden and... and crying."
- Sinclair's description the life of an Alpha Series Big Daddy is absolutely heartbreaking.Sinclair: "Poor things...what a life. Marchin' around playin' Daddy until some splicer manages to kill off their Sister...and then if the coma doesn't take'em they turn maniac...nothin' left to do but scream."
- At Ryan Amusements, you find some audio diaries from a woman named Nina Carnegie. She chaperoned a children's sleepover at the park on New Year's, 1959, when the Rapture civil war broke out. Her last tape is next to her corpse. She helped the children hide from the Splicers for weeks until she starved to death because she gave the children all the food. You don't know what happened to the boys and girls she was watching, but you get a hint from the fact that her body is carefully hidden on a ledge, laid out on a rug and surrounded by decorations and chalk drawings of smiling little girls.
- When you realize that there really was no way to save Delta after his link with Eleanor was severed, and the entire reason she had him collect the Big Sister suit was so she could extract the ADAM from his body to preserve his memories and, in a way, his mind.
- The "Big Sisters" are actually Little Sisters far too mentally broken due to their high exposure to ADAM in base form, too far gone to readjust to a normal lifestyle. As if the concept of being turned into a Little Sister wasn't bad enough.
- It's also implied that the Big Sisters' insanity may not be entirely the result of ADAM exposure, but rather the result of their mental conditioning failing over time. Seeing the world you thought was a bright, peaceful paradise decay into a hellhole like Rapture would likely drive anyone insane.
- Living in a city without morals, it's possible that the girls that became Big Sisters, if the conversation between Elizabeth/Anna and Dewitt/Comstock from Burial at Sea Episode-1 is anything to go by, suffered further psychological damage after Sander Cohen sold them to pedophiles.
- The "morals" of BioShock 2 only affect the ending, right? Wrong. Eleanor will be affected by your actions. Kill a few characters or harvest a few little sisters and she'll adopt a similar do-whatever-it-takes-to-survive attitude. That's not the tear jerker. After looking through the eyes of a Little Sister, seeing how they view the world— golden and beautiful, the splicers as pretty costumed people, blood as rose petals, debris as pillows— is saddening on its own. (The music, "My Heart Belongs to Daddy", does not help.) But after giving Eleanor her Big Sister suit, she talks to you, explaining the previously mentioned attitude.
- Eleanor: (as she picks up the Little Sister) That means that what I'm about to do is completely natural...
- Yes, the little girl you've been playing as is harvested and it's still through her point-of-view!
- BioShock 2's opening cutscene. Aside from the hauntingly sad violin music, and when we realize this is from the view of a Big Daddy, which carries its own brand of sadness, when Sofia Lamb shows up, and uses mind control to make the player character shoot himself, all while her own daughter whom she doesn't even love and who is bonded to the player character, is forced to watch. Eleanor's look of horror and the sheer helplessness of the situation is just utterly heartbreaking.
- The very beginning is pretty sad in itself. You walk towards a Vent as a lumbering Big Daddy and pull out your Little Sister. Only instead of the demonic children you remember from the first game, you see only a cheerful young girl. As she pulls you along the hallway, you glance at your reflection in the window... it's an incredibly moving moment considering Big Daddies are creatures the player views as emotionless fodder in the first game. For the first time, they are shown to be sentient beings who truly care for the girls they're bound to protect. Even more heart-wrenching is watching the scene after having beaten the game. This is not just a Little Sister... this is Eleanor. Your daughter.
- Imagine all of it from Eleanor's perspective. She and her father were off on another mission to gather some ADAM from the Angels, but she ran too far ahead of him and was ambushed by a group of Splicers who wanted her to come with them. Her father arrives just in time to beat two of them, but the last one hits him with some kind of green blob that causes him to freeze. She tries to reach out to him, but she's pulled away by some woman who claims that Eleanor is "hers." Then she's forced to watch as the woman commands her father to kneel and take off his helmet, then the woman hands him a pistol and tells him to commit suicide right in front of his daughter. And there's nothing she can do about it.
- And there's "Minerva's Den", a new single-player story mode, available as DLC. After the twist revealing that Subject Sigma is Porter, and that it was The Thinker impersonating Porter's personality in order to guide you, it gets even sadder; Sigma/Porter, optionally, finds an Audio Diary where Porter has put his recently-deceased wife's personality into the machine so she can still be with him... but he realizes that he can't live with a fake wife. In the end, Porter follows Tenenbaum to the surface, where not only is his human self restored, but he visits his wife's grave one last time to leave a letter saying he's ready to "let her go her way" on her tombstone, accepting the fact that she's gone.
- The story of Charles Milton Porter. He was a happily married man, a gifted mathematician, and was chosen by Alan Turing to assist in codebreaking during World War II. Tragically, during the London Blitz, his wife, Pearl, was killed. With nothing left for him on the surface, he accepted Ryan's invitation to Rapture. He worked on an advanced AI known as the Thinker, which he sought to humanize, getting it to think and act like a living being. Still grieving over Pearl's death, he fed it audio recordings and tried to get it to replicate her personality, but ultimately couldn't accept this fake Pearl. Meanwhile, Reed Wahl, one of Porter's deranged co-workers, was frustrated by Porter's actions and saw him as wasting the Thinker's potential. He used the Thinker to replicate Porter's voice pledging alliance to Fontaine, which got him arrested and Wahl was granted free reign to use the machine for himself. Porter was then transformed into Subject Sigma.
- When the Thinker first attempts to replicate Pearl's personality, Porter seems overjoyed to hear her voice again, but immediately starts having second thoughts about the test and orders it to stop. The Thinker, still imitating Pearl, then asks "Don't you still love me?" Damn.
- The pre-Little Sister Eleanor audio diaries you find, knowing what happened to her between then and now. Especially the last one, "My Name Is Eleanor":Eleanor: I'm all alone here. Mr. Diary. You're my whispering friend. A doctor keeps coming to see me. He says Rapture needs me, and tomorrow I'll be leaving with him. I ask why... and he just smiles. I'm not an orphan. Mum's alive somewhere. And Aunt Gracie is still probably looking for me. But I can't wait for them. I'm going to escape and find Amir, and we'll steal a submarine. Before it's tomorrow, I'll know what sunshine feels like...
- "Life after sisterhood." The bright, cheerful girl with dreams of escaping to the surface now just sounds...empty.
- If you forget to go into Sinclair Spirits the first time around, you won't trigger "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window", meaning that the first time you could hear that song in the game would be in the Little Wonders facility. Turns out, in this context and with the full orchestral backing, it's less Soundtrack Dissonance as Lyrical Dissonance.
- Oh, and if said lyrics happen to remind you of Suchong's mind control test all over again...
- If there's any doubt there's a heart of gold under that amoral exterior, dying to Sinclair will clear it right up. It's clearly evident that Sinclair truly cared about Delta.
- "*horrible choking cough* So long, kid *cough* ... an' thank you." Then Lamb starts in, saying how you didn't care about Sinclair anyway...
- The tragedy is compounded by the reaction of Eleanor, who solemnly expresses her condolences and allows Delta to take a moment to mourn before moving on. If one had even an ounce of liking for the Southern-fried scoundrel, they'll need a few moments.
- Harvesting Little Sisters. In the first one it's pretty sad. In the second one it is absolutely heartbreaking, with the girl screaming "Daddy, no!" the entire time.
"Daddy...y-you're never gonna hurt me, right?"Daddy's home. I've been good, promise!"*gasp* "A-are you gonna....?""Daddy isn't angry, is he?""I'll be extra quiet. I won't make you upset.""W-where are we going? Daddy?"
- Should you choose to harvest most or all of them, then the Little Sisters will spend the rest of the game utterly terrified of you. It's bad enough that they recoil whenever you approach them, but the things they say are heart-shattering.
- Even the Little Sisters idle lines can be heart wrenching, especially when their mental programming randomly cracks."Angels remember... mommy. Who is that?""I know a bad word, Mr. B, and you spell it M O M M E.""Too many shadows! Sticky! Sticky!""Why am I smiling? I don't wanna smile!""Why can't I go home? I wanna go home!"""I'm nobody, nobody, NOBODY!"
- When the Lady Smith splicer isn't being hilarious she dips into Tearjerker territory, believing herself to have been evicted from her estate, rambling about how it was inherited from her parents and how she raised her children there. It's Mood Whiplash to hear her go from insulting Rapture's interior decoration to wondering if her three little angels miss their mommy. They're all gone. Adds another level to Lady Smiths going after Little Sisters, since they think they're "saving" the girls and say things like "Let go of that poor child, she's helpless!" or "Unhand that child, you monster!" Did her own children just grow up, or... ?
My mother's pearls..! You bastard!You can't take my furs! Never!My heirlooms! Leave them at least!
- The rest of the time she believes she's being evicted, seeing you as ruffians from "the bank" who are invading her house, smashing her family's heirlooms, and stealing her mother's pearls. For a second or two she's just an aging society-lady forced to watch heartless thugs destroy everything she has left.
Sometimes I drift away and feel I'm back on the old estate...(sigh) but then I open my eyes.True friends stick by you through thick and thin... I suppose that now I know who my true friends were!The times may be unkind, but did you have to take our home? I raised my children there! Bastards!Hmm, will Eternity be hot or cold? I wonder...I'll bring my shawl.Mending my own clothes. Who'd of thought, me of all people!?Picking through the trash for scraps to eat. I'm just grateful Mother doesn't have to see me this way.My home. Oh my home. How I long for one night in a warm, clean bed. Is that too much to ask?
- Her establishing character moment is when you see her and another Splicer in front of a Big Daddy corpse, and her out-of-place comment shows that this woman was in the High-Society of the East Coast not long ago, but is now down to cutting apart genetical abominations for food.You call that tenderloin? If you serve that in any respectable hotel in New York, they'd laugh you out of town.
- Her idle lines, goddammit. These will tug at your heartstrings-
Sunshine...Well it was a fun night...Goodbye everybody...Thank you for coming...Turn off the lights...
- And when she dies...
- Gilbert Alexander's fate: doomed to transform into a hideous monster living inside a giant fishtank in the basement of Fontaine Futuristics; even if you let him live, even if he escapes the building, even if he does manage to somehow recover his sanity, he'll be spending the rest of his life alone in the open ocean. And there's no way of telling how long that's going to be. It only gets worse when you listen to his audio logs and realize that he's lost virtually everything. He's trapped in a particularly hellish part of Rapture; he's going completely insane- and he knows it; he's been abandoned as a failure by Sofia Lamb (the woman he's implied to be in love with); and worst of all, he knows that all his attempts to make amends for turning Eleanor into a Little Sister were all for nothing, because the process that was used on him is now going to used on her. And just listening to his voice during the logs, he doesn't even sound vaguely upset or angry over what's happened to him: if anything, he sounds resigned to his fate.Perhaps, after my death, you can do more...
- Poor, poor, Sammy Fletcher. He and his girlfriend managed to get a bathysphere and get out of Rapture......then Lamb shot a torpedo and destroyed it. It's bad when you find their bodies in the water next to the Bathysphere... they were so close...
- One of the loading-screen quotations in the multiplayer mode of the sequel is from a man who tried to protect his home with Geyser Traps. Someone close to him named "Ditty" apparently tried to mop them up, thinking they were puddles, and the quote is of the man holding the dying woman and begging her not to leave him...
- In Dionysus Park, near the theatre, you can encounter a pair of Houdini Splicers dancing to the music. If you killed one, the other will run to the dead splicer's corpse and begin weeping.
- Delta can occasionally find corpses around what looks like small hideouts (such as in the first railway station). They just sit around the fire or next to their makeshift tent where they either got ambushed or slowly died of starvation or illness.
- Most of them don't look too spliced up either, meaning they might have been the few sane people left in the insanity that is Rapture.
- The failure of what Sofia Lamb promised the people of Rapture is pretty miserable in it's own way. After Andrew Ryan's promised Utopia where everyone could accomplish their own dreams and pursue their own Enlightened Self-Interest fell apart into unrestrained greed, selfishness and chaos; Sofia Lamb promised the opposite sort of Utopia to the survivors of Rapture. She promised a world where everyone cared about each other and helped each other, a world where everyone would have love and friends, a world where people were all bred to be compassionate to everyone. In the end, Rapture just turned into the opposite Dystopia from what it was before. Instead of people hurting each other to get ahead, they made no decisions for themselves and relied on others to influence their decisions, especially that of Sofia Lamb, who hypocritically took on a leader role in her world of supposed kindness and equality. Even worse, many grew to hate and repress their own "selfishness" and independence to the point they could no longer take care of themselves or were even happy to kill themselves for Lamb's twisted religion. Making this all even worse is that it is heavily implied that Sofia Lamb didn't even believe in her own vision of genuinely helping people like Andrew Ryan originally did with his own ideals, and was merely conning the survivors of Rapture to get the resources to force her ideals on the surface world and would leave them to die, despite their belief in her.
Tear Jerker / BioShock 2