- Angeal's death and giving Zack the Buster Sword, Zack is so distraught that he ends up crying in Aerith's church and she has to comfort him.
- The infamous ending sequence, which is actually represented in gameplay for the most part, and is a shining example of gameplay/cutscene integration. Zack charges into battle with the entire Shinra army and starts fighting for his life. As he slowly gets whittled down by the constant barrage, he starts to flag physically and mentally; after a while he's covered in blood (unfortunately his own) and is so weak he can barely swing his blade. As this is happening, the Digital Mind Wave is breaking down along with his body, and starts showing him flashbacks of the moments he's shared with the friends he's made and lost until eventually, both Zack and the DMW completely give out. And as Zack is lying almost dead, the malfunctioning DMW focuses one last time... on Aerith, and the last memory it shows is of her, before it completely shuts off. Cloud, of course, crawls to his side and hears his final words, takes the Buster Sword and continues his legacy, while back in Midgar, Aerith senses Zack's passing and silently lowers her head in prayer.
Zack: Those wings... I want them too.
- Just the fact that you the player, who's spent the entire game growing attached to Zack, has to play this section of the game. And no matter how strong you are, no matter how many elixirs you've collected, no matter how good your Materia setup is; Zack IS going to die and there's nothing you can do to stop it.
- Then there's "The Price of Freedom" playing in the background during the battle, only amplifying the disbelief of Zack's mind slowly breaking down as shown through the DMW.
- Angeal appearing to Zack and helping start his journey back to the planet. Very poetic as earlier in the game, Zack told Angeal that he has angel wings and now, at the end of his former pupil's life, Angeal appears to Zack as one and brings him into heaven.
- Then what about "If you see Aerith, say hi for me... Hey, would you say I became a hero?" Made worse by the fact that since Cloud pretends to be Zack to cope with his death, and Aerith dies before he's healed, he never got the chance to tell her Zack's dying words.
- Cloud screaming in despair when the first thing he sees after breaking out of his catatonia is his first real friend dying. He then says, "Goodnight, Zack." and walks away in misery. The ending is depressing as hell.
- Especially if you consider what he says before that, "I won't forget," when you consider that he did. Even worse, by the time he gets to Midgar, the Mako poisoning, mind-control, and sheer emotional and physical trauma has almost completely shattered his mind and, in order to cope, he does forget everything about Zack and steals his identity. He took Zack's last words too literally and no one, no one can help, truly help him at that point. Not even Tifa. The illusion continues for most of Final Fantasy VII.
- A retroactive one once the Nibelheim Incident is all well and done with: Sephiroth, who has been Zack's friend and ally, and friend of other characters, finally goes insane. It makes Zack's anguished declaration of betrayal that much more poignant.
- Really, the state of the FFVII world falls into this over the course of the game. SOLDIER is slowly destroyed, reduced to a shell of its former self as Genesis, Angeal, Lazard, Sephiroth, and finally Zack all leave. They go from the heroes of the Wutai War to glorified grunts as a result. Banora, Modeoheim, and Nibelheim are all destroyed.
- Sephiroth's descent into madness, which this game covers in greater detail, was far more complicated and somewhat more sympathetic than the original FFVII showed. It wasn't just Nibelheim and learning of his origins that broke Sephiroth; before then, he was relatively friendless, with only Angeal and Genesis for support (being fellow experiments themselves). After his unintentional injuring of Genesis (that started Genesis's degradation), it all unravels from there; Genesis goes missing and Angeal goes rogue, leaving him completely alone and torn between his loyalties to SOLDIER and those he considered friends. Eventually he considers retirement... and then Nibelheim happens, and nobody is there for him except his newfound 'Mother'. Nibelheim wasn't the start of his lunacy, it was only the tipping point.
- In Banora, when you find Gillian Hewley's body. After that, Angeal just leaves, the clincher being the sad look on Genesis's face before he states, "We are monsters. We have neither dreams nor honor."
Tear Jerker / Crisis Core