- The big one that anyone who's played the game remembers firmly and has ascended to a legendary It Was His Sled: Crono's death. While Crono himself doesn't have a lot of character, he was essentially the player's avatar in a time and era where doing this sort of death mid-game was unheard of. And even worse, the entire party is severely affected by this, to the point that even Magus has a rather hollow attempt of a Kick the Dog mockery at his death and yet refuses to tell Crono's mother the truth of what happened; the ending where you don't revive him by the end of the game has Marle and Lucca dedicate themselves to saving him even. And all because he refused to back down to Lavos when it was on the cusp of killing everyone.
- The way it happens doesn't help either, as the party, Magus and Schala had been defeated thoroughly by Lavos. Crono gets back up with his sword in hand, only for Lavos to release the largest amount yet of direct, destructive power on him alone, not even giving him the chance to fight back as he's completely obliterated; He's dosed with such a potent amount of energy that not even ash is left behind. The protagonist the player's directly leveled, saved people and made friends with, and tried to stop Lavos via, is utterly erased in an instant out of pure destructive hatred - and the party is Forced to Watch due to being too wounded to get out of there.
- Lucca's side quest to save her mother from the accident that ruined her legs. An uplifting moment follows if you get it right, but if you get it wrong...Oy.
- *Shudder* That...Sound...when you fail is.....*shudder*
- Seeing Robo in such a dilapidated state, surrounded by the fruit of centuries' worth of work makes for a session of happy tears.
- The fate of Schala, probably the kindest character in the game. She disappears after the fall of the Ocean Palace, and despite thousands of rumors to the contrary, is never seen in the game again, having sacrificed herself to save the others from Lavos' wrath.
- It turns From Bad to Worse in the DS version. You find Schala fusing with Lavos, her consciousness slowly being absorbed into the space parasite, and furthermore, she's become an Omnicidal Maniac as a result! And even after fighting against the new form of Lavos with all your might, all it does is piss him off and briefly snap Schala out of it long enough for her to make a really vague statement of how you can save her in Chrono Cross before teleporting you and Magus away.
- What is even sadder? Schala acknowledges Magus as Janus, her little brother now an adult, for the first, only and final time by name. It's absolutely heart wrenching seeing Schala so broken that Magus cannot save her despite all the grit and will even she can see, a brother's love that is. You really feel for him.
- But possibly the absolute worst? It's arguable that the person responsible for all of this is you. In the original timeline, free of the Crono gang's meddling, they weren't present at the Ocean Palace, meaning that Schala would have used the last of her power to save herself and (possibly) Queen Zeal. Instead, since you were there, she had to use it to rescue you instead. Schala is dead or worse, the Black Omen exists and Queen Zeal is infinitely more dangerous because of you.
- Which ultimately gives players the bitter pill to swallow: you just cannot save everybody. No matter what course of action you take, no matter when you beat Lavos, someone had to suffer on the way. Be it one person, a whole race, or anywhere in between, saving the world from Lavos doesn't come without a price.
- If all this isn't bad enough, Schala is definitely Magus's Morality Pet. She's the one person he loves and cares about and you get a glimpse of his better nature in the scene, where he begs her to fight Lavos's influence and tries to save her. He is so angry and disillusioned by his failure that he wipes out his own memory so he can start over free of power and try to save her.
- The worst part? He's never reunited with her or receives any form of closure in Chrono Cross.
- Somewhat mitigated in Radical Dreamers when Kid turns out to be Schala herself, regains her memory, and runs off into the night with Magus. Unfortunately, since Serge doesn't follow after them, we don't see the ensuing reunion.
- Try talking to her, with Magus in your party, just before reviving Crono.
- The sheer and utter hopelessness projected by Belthasar's theme, and the final (for the rest of time) "shutdown" of the robot he uploaded his brain to. Though you feel so sorry for not doing it for him...
This creature sleeps beyond the flow of time.
- The song Sealed Door will have you shedding tears even if you hear only the FIRST THREE NOTES.
- The bit where Robo has to kill his own sister in an "I Know You're In There Somewhere" battle. Granted, in the default good ending, the future in which that happened never came to pass and she's still alive, but still...
"Please stop. Pl...ease..."
- Don't forget that before that, Robo gets the snot kicked out of him by his old family members who he still considers his friends.
- In the Good Ending, Lucca doesn't want to say goodbye to Robo because she knows that, by defeating Lavos, they changed the future that Robo was born in. Therefore, Robo may cease to exist in the future. Robo tells everyone that there'll be a place for him in the future and Lucca bursts into tears.
- And indeed there was a place for him. As they zip through the timestream, you see Robo and Atropos sitting on a cliff. This in itself is a tearjerker in the heartwarming way.
- Marle or Lucca's scene at the top of Death Peak when you resurrect Crono.
- Some part of this goes to the Crono's resurrection quest when most of the party except Magus (who can't bring himself to say anything, really) had to lie to Crono's mom that he's okay when the fact is that Lavos vaporized him.
- In the future, you find a small group of people clinging to life, with one woman still waiting for her husband to come back from his mission to get them some help. You soon find his rotting corpse, but with a seed that offers the slightest glimpse of hope for the rest.
- Her child will constantly say funny euphemisms about her dad, which just makes it all the more sadder since the little girl will never grasp the reality of the situation until much later. The woman's own determination on raising both the plant and the child is even more tearjerking, since they both the legacies her husband left for her.
- An early quest sees Frog lose his confidence, blaming himself for the kidnapping of Queen Leene. After giving Crono some kind words, he leaves the kingdom seemingly for good, and a stunned Lucca, who hates frogs, can only say "...Maybe frogs aren't so bad after all."
- The infamous Wham Episode where Crono, Marle, and Lucca travel to a dilapidated wasteland... and discover that it's their home, centuries in the future. It's horrifying, sure. But also incredibly sad at the same time.
- The songs "Epilogue To Good Friends" and "To Far Away Times" are this in musical form, or at least they bring Tears of Joy once you have gotten to know the characters so well. The first, a restating of Marle's Theme, takes the epic yet deceptively simple tune to a whole new level, since it plays when everyone is going their separate ways and may never see each other again, while the latter is a triumphant and hopeful piece that plays over either (depending on your actions) shots of Crono and Marle floating on balloons through the night sky or of Crono, Marle, and Lucca riding the Wings of Time in pursuit of his mother and cat—and seeing all their friends in every time period, showing them happy and at peace or at least doing all right. Basically, showing everything you've been fighting for the whole game, and what has now been preserved thanks to the defeat of Lavos. The last shot of the game is even an overview of the world map to emphasize what you've saved.
- The DS version decides to add one more tear jerking song after the animated cutscene that immediately plays following the SNES portion of the credits, a song called "Time to Rest". This new piece is so emotionally empowering and beautiful that its by far the most saddest, and ironically most forgotten song in the entire OST. Its lullaby-inspired melody will make you gush out tears due to the fact that its one last song, a lullaby, that closes the entire game. One could even say that this is a song that Lucca would sing to her new adopted child that she found in the ending. And the last part of the song repeats like time itself, before it fades away as a clock ticks, gradually slowing down until...it stops.
- The scene where Lavos is falling. The song playing in the background, titled either "At The Bottom Of Night" (SNES) or "Depths Of The Night" (DS), really emphasizes how sad this really is: you know what's falling, you know it's bad for you and the rest of life on Earth, you've seen what it will do, and there's nothing you can do about it, all you can do is retreat into a time gate.
- Once you return to Ayla's village after Lavos crashes into the Earth, the sheer tragedy of what has happened is just starting to set in; while Ayla's people are left unscathed for now, one of them will comment that there aren't nearly as many animals before, and that hunting is becoming more difficult; considering that the ensuing ice age lasts literally millions of years, the immediate future isn't looking great for them.
- Marle's subplot involving hers and her father's strained relationship, no thanks to the impostor chancellor.
- After Lavos destroys the Zeal Kingdom, you can find a child in the village area, unconscious. A nearby woman tells you that the child likely cried himself to sleep after what just happened. Ouch.
- The mayor of Porre's wife just can't win. She's either sad that her children are slipping away from her and her husband because of the latter's greed, or irritated because her husband is a little too generous and wishes he'd keep some money for them to use as well as others. That second bit was only in the DS version, and serves to make her wish that he be a bit more greedy less of a red flag.
Tear Jerker / Chrono Trigger