- The text on the screen for the domination victory (capture the capital of all other factions) states that the Great Mistake wasn't that humanity destroyed their own homeworld. Instead it was the foolish belief that when faced with extinction, humanity will be able to put their differences behind them and work together as one people. Now that you have utterly wiped out everyone else and claimed the planet in the name of your faction and affinity, you have once and for all proven that whatever future humanity might have, it will be one in which it will walk alone. Instead of making you feel triumphant, it can be seen as a condemnation of what you have done, and puts a much darker ending in an otherwise optimistic setting.
- The opening cinematic, particuarly with the parting of an Indian family and even the somber religious blessing of a Slavic Federation colony ship just shows how poignant the entire Seeding programme is. Especially knowing that those undertaking the voyage will never see their loved ones and homes ever again.
- The passage from Samatar's log about the Last Orangutan."On Earth, we were witness to a great sight. An orangutan. The last of its kind. Her eyes were empty. Any spark they once held, drained by sadness. She knew. She knew that we were her last hope and that we had failed her. As we settle these new lands, we must not repeat the mistakes of our fathers. We must protect the gifts of nature. Only then will we prosper."
- Bit of a subtle one, but in Rising Tides, there is a new artifact called a Wrecked Colony Lander. You know. Just like the ones EVERYONE ELSE arrived in? Most of these are located at the bottom of the ocean as well. In game, they act pretty much like a re-skin of the derelict settlements giving you an additional population or a large boost to culture. Maybe the reason you don't see all the leaders in a game is because... they didn't make it.
Tear Jerker / Civilization: Beyond Earth