- Call of Duty: Black Ops has the death of Dimitri Petrenko in Project Nova. Long story short, the antagonist, Soviet General Dragovich, decides to test his newly acquired Nova 6 gas on his own men. Unlike the aforementioned Shepherd, he doesn't even have the excuse of tying up loose ends - he just does it because he has something against Reznov. It's not even a quick death - you watch him suffocate and vomit as his skin burns, while he's banging uselessly on the glass door between your cells. The fact that the usually hamtastic Reznov is recounting this in a completely downbeat, despairing tone does not help.Reznov: Dimitri Petrenko was a hero. He deserved a hero's death. Instead of giving his life for the glory of the Motherland, he died for nothing... like an animal.
- Even sadder is that the whole thing, aside from Reznov's description, and the music, it is mostly completely soundless. But the look on Dimitri's face shows that he is screaming either for release, or for Reznov to save him. This is a man who stared down the horrors of Stalingrad completely calmly, and yet in his last moments, he is screaming for aid, all while his body begins to utterly disintegrate. Given that Petrenko is a nice friendly character in the level, the fact his last words are muted is truly gut wrenching.
- The achievement for Project Nova is "some wounds never heal", which is basically the game rubbing in the fact that Petrenko's death would haunt Reznov until the day he died.
- The ending of Vorkuta, when it becomes clear only Mason can make the jump onto the train.Mason: Step Eight, Reznov: Freedom!Reznov: For you, Mason! Not for me!Mason: REZNOV!!
- One of the sadder moments of the game comes in a bombed-out garage in the Hue City level. It's not even a cinematic, but if you glance around at the dead Vietnamese, you'll see a man kneeling by one of the corpses, attempting to perform CPR. After about ten seconds of this, he sits up and sobs hopelessly into his hands before trying desperately to revive his dead friend once more. And you can't even comfort the poor guy.
- When Mason is subdued after Hudson and Weaver witness him killing Steiner while believing himself to be Viktor Reznov, despite Hudson having every reason to be livid with him for killing the man who could tell them how to stop Nova 6, Hudson just looks at Mason, and asks solemnly "What did they do to you in Vorkuta, Mason?" in a tone that clearly indicates that as much as Hudson might be irate, there is the fact that Mason likely underwent psychological torture to the point that he believes he is someone else.
- Black Ops seems to end in a high note. Mason shrugs off the brainwashing, the attack on America was stopped, and the bad guys are all punished. Then you read the unlocked intel pages, only to find that Mason never fully recovered, and because of that he was finally considered a threat to national security by the CIA and marked for termination, along with Hudson and Weaver. They escape to South Africa, and the last thing we know is that joint operation between the CIA and MI6 is being prepared in order to assassinate the three heroes that saved America. This is extra sad considering Reznov's words on being betrayed by your own.Reznov: Mason, my friend. Tell me. What is left to believe in, when you are betrayed by your own? When all that you are, all that you have done, is buried beneath the lies and deceit of corrupt men?
- In the extras, it shows that Mason has a strained relationship with his parents, but his sister is more sympathetic, when his father informed him of his mother becoming ill, he didn't visit her in the hospital, and when she died his father told him that missing her funeral was unforgiveable and that he "should've stayed in Vorkuta."
- Although, in Black Ops 2, assuming you didn't shoot Mason, disguised as Menendez with a bag over his head, in the head, he survives to the age of 93, and even goes to the Vault to meet up with his old friend Woods. A dose of Heartwarming comes when the two even start bantering like old times.
- Woods' seeming Heroic Sacrifice to take down Kravchenko. It happens too fast for the player to even think of doing anything to stop it and Black Ops 2 reveals that it was almost pointless since it didn't even kill the bastard.
- We can't forget Bowman's death. When he, Woods, and Mason are captured by the Viet Cong and Spetsnaz, he completely breaks down, and what he says shortly before he's killed by the Russian soldier, while it very likely means that he's done fighting and just wants to go home, could also imply that he is suicidal from all the trauma he's experienced up to this point.Bowman: I'm tired.. I just wanna end this..
- There's also Mason's description of his friend's Heroic BSoD.Mason: All I could hear.. was Bowman sobbing. He'd given up.
- It cuts even deeper following Black Ops Cold War's viral marketing campaign "Pawn Takes Pawn" reveals that he had a son with his fiancée at home who grew up to be vengeful for his father's death.
- There's also Mason's description of his friend's Heroic BSoD.
Tear Jerker / Call of Duty: Black Ops