Warning: Spoilers Off applies to these pages. Proceed at your own risk.
- Prior to the game's release, some of the trailers have shown some potentially heart-wrenching scenes.
- Kara: Alice making Kara promise to never leave her. The next scene shown has the two of them being held captive and forcefully separated, with Alice crying out for Kara and Kara begging the captors to leave Alice alone.
- Connor: Aggressively interrogating a deviant to admit to killing someone, with the deviant having an emotional breakdown.
- Markus: Carl's son, Leo, ridicules his father for seeing Markus as a son, callously calling Markus a "fucking machine" before giving Markus a malicious shove.
- The world hasn't gotten much better since the present. The U.S. and Russia are on the verge of World War III, and the Arctic ice cap is still melting.
- There is an advertisement for a zoo full of robotic animals because the real ones had gone extinct.
- In "On the Run", if Kara fails the highway run by either failing to move from each lane in time or failing to struggle out of Connor's grip in time, she gets run over. Alice calls out for her and runs to her body, only to get run over as well. Hank reacts in shock and Connor closes his eyes in failure. Why Connor reacts that way is up to your interpretation.
- If Connor didn't deviate and Markus chose the violent path, they will end up fighting each other and one of them will end up dead, and you have to choose which one to play as to kill the other. Good job, player, you could have avoided this plot.
- If you refuse to let Chloe leave the main menu, she will be disappointed and will say that she will stay, but she will wipe her memory to forget the pain, so the next time you see her, it'll be like you just met for the first time.
- According to KARA, the battery in androids is built to last for 173 years. Connor will outlive Hank and Alice is forever stuck as a child.
- In the main menu, if you meet certain criteria (reportedly, if you sacrifice someone), Chloe may sing "Hold On Just A Little Bit Longer".
- A meta-example: in Bryan Dechart's playthrough, he makes the wrong choice in "Crossroads" and unintentionally gets Kara and Alice killed. Both his and Amelia's reactions are somber, with Amelia breaking down in tears and Bryan lowering his face in shame before hugging his fiance for comfort. Bryan even contemplates resetting the chapter, but decides against it because he planned to play the game completely blind. Then when the chapter ends, the couple still hasn't completely regained their composure.
- Another meta-example, during their Red Connor playthrough, when they reach the part where Hank commits suicide, Amelia jumps when the gunshot is heard.
- The entire PGW Trailer; Kara is sent to a household where a father abuses his daughter and severely damaged Kara some time prior to the events of the game. The music only intensifies the emotion.
- As terrible as he is to Alice and Kara there is a moment during one of Todds fits of rage where he has a moment of self-awareness. You can still see bits and pieces of the fairly decent person he used to be shining through the drugs, rage, and anger every so often as he tries to apologize to Alice. It makes the point that Todd is not a monster, he is a human being who is terrible for reasons that could affect any one of us.
- Bad endings have Todd killing his daughter Alice and then Cradling Your Kill. This would happen if Kara does as she is told and stay still, but when she comes across Todd putting Alice's corpse on her bed at the end, Todd would blame Kara and kill her anyway.
- However, if you did confront Todd but fail too many quick time events, you'll get a drawn-out scene of Todd brutally beating Kara to death. In either case, at the end, you would see Kara's body lying in the corridor, the kitchen, or even outside in the rain, and then Chloe with barely-restrained emotion berates you for letting them die. The version in the kitchen would even have Kara struggling to get up to protect Alice but then she turns stiff and shuts down.
- As scary as he is, Ralph's situation is pretty heartbreaking. At some point before Kara and Alice run into him, Ralph was heavily injured by humans, with permanent scars and burns on his face. Not only is he physically injured, but the damage has left him mentally scarred as well, constantly referring to himself in the third person with violent, unpredictable mood swings which has lead him to kill at least one human, if the body in the house he's squatting at is any indication. He doesn't want to hurt Kara and Alice but they are clearly not safe around him.
- Zlatko lies to Kara and traps her in a machine to reset her as she desperately cry out for Alice, being restrained by Luther, while he belittles her for her attempts to be like a mother to Alice. While wiping Kara's mind, Alice breaks free and holds Kara helplessly, while Zlatko mockingly tell her that Mommy has forgotten all about her.
- If Kara and Alice try to run while being shot at by the FBI, Kara tries to get up after being wounded the first time, and continues to crawl along after being shot a second time, Alice gets shot and killed while trying to carry Kara along. For a few agonizing seconds, we get to see Kara's tear-soaked face helplessly staring up at the FBI agent who killed Alice before she, too, is executed with a shot through the chest.
- If Kara and Alice play dead, but Kara blows her cover by trying to take down the FBI agents when they approach, they both get shot in the chest. Rather than dying instantly, they're left for dead, letting Kara pick up Alice and futilely try to carry her out. They don't get far, and they both bleed out in each others' arms in a manner similar to the famous "Pietà" statue.Kara: We did it, Alice...Alice: Are we free?...Kara: Yes. Yes, we're free...Alice: I love you, Kara...Kara: I love you, too...
Battle for Detroit - Bus Station
- Kara sacrificing herself to get Alice across the border in an ending where the androids' uprising is violent. Not only is her goodbye to Alice as heartwrenching as possible, but the guards execute Kara right in front of Alice. Luckily, if Kara asked Rose to look after Alice in her stead, Rose will turn Alice's face away, but Kara and Alice still share one last look before the trigger's pulled.
- If Kara refuses to sacrifice anyone and the uprising is violent, the border guard will out Kara, Alice, and Luther as androids, resulting in them all being executed by Border Patrol mere steps from freedom.
- If you have Kara, Alice (and potentially Luther) take the bus, if Todd wasn't killed in "Stormy Night" he'll appear and confront them. With the right choice, Kara can calm Todd down, leading him to realize the error of his ways — all of which is played in a scene that will make you feel sorry for the guy:Kara: When your wife walked out... she took your daughter away. You couldn't live without her, so you bought yourself an android... a substitute little girl. You thought you could love her, that she would make you forget... but nothing could replace your child.
Todd: I just wanted to prove to myself that I was a good father, that she was wrong... But I fucked it all up all over again. She was right in the end, I didn't deserve them... I miss my little girl... [close to sobbing] You don't know how much I miss my little girl.
- Kara realizes that they need tickets — which they can get from a couple who dropped it by accident. And if you want everyone in Kara's group to survive, you'll need to keep the tickets — which would then doom the family to a night of brutal cold. Watching the couple panic and almost go in tears about losing the tickets and whether they can find a safe place to stay is already hard enough. What makes it even worse is that neither Kara, Alice, nor Luther are happy about it, with Alice worrying about what will happen to them.
- If Kara, Alice and company make it to the border, they find out that temperature checks are being performed to spot any androids. Kara then heads into the restroom and breaks down in tears out of fear that while they're so close, they'll ultimately never make it.
Battle for Detroit - River
- In the alternative scene to the above, Kara and Alice try to cross a river. Things happen (the border guard unloads on their boat) and if Luther is still alive, he dies no matter what you do, but depending on your choice, one or both of Alice and Kara can die as well; the massive tearjerker comes from Alice's Famous Last Words if she got shot. Kara can then give up on living right after the below line, too.Alice: I love you, Mom...
- If Kara fails to reduce the boat's weight after the boat is damaged, it will sink, and Kara and Alice will be forced to swim for shore. While they make it to the Canadian side of the river, both Kara and Alice die as a result of exposure to the frigid water after only a few steps, dying in each other's arms similar to the Crossroads example above.
Battle for Detroit - Recall Center
- At the recycling plant, Kara has to drag away an android corpse to a dump truck and has to be temporarily separated from Alice to do so, so she promises Alice that she'll be right back. You can escape the plant on the dump truck, and when it's Alice's turn to get decommissioned, she whispers to herself for Kara to come save her. If Markus's revolution succeeded, in a Time Skip later, Kara walks the streets of Detroit and stops dead in her tracks when she sees a pamphlet for a YK500 android model, the same one Alice was. As popular YouTube consensus puts it, "you have no soul if you chose this route".
- There is the reveal of Hank Andersons Dark and Troubled Past over the course of Connors story.
- Hank graduated as the Valedictorian of his police academy class and joined the Detroit City Police Department. As a member of the Red Ice Task Force, he was promoted and became the youngest lieutenant in DPD history. According to the news articles near his desk, he made many high-profile arrests and was an integral part of the task force. A month after he became a lieutenant, Hanks son Cole Anderson was born. Unfortunately, a month after Coles sixth birthday, Cole got hurt in a car accident and needed emergency surgery. He was operated on by an android because the human surgeon on call was high on Red Ice. Cole did not survive, and his death served as a Cynicism Catalyst for Hank. Nowadays, this Broken Ace and Jaded Washout has become The Alcoholic to cope with his loss and is a Death Seeker through his unhealthy lifestyle.
- And according to Connor, a truck skidded on a sheet of ice and Hanks car rolled over while Cole was a passenger in the car. Since Connor also states, It wasnt your fault, Lieutenant, it strongly indicates Hank had been the driver at the time.
- Throughout the game, it becomes apparent that Hank gets distressed every time Connor dies. Regardless of the ending you choose for both Connor and Hank, at some point Hank will bring up how Connor's deaths reminded him of his own son's death, with the words being slightly rephrased depending on said ending. It's best phrased in the ending where he and Connor potentially fight each other in the plaza:Hank: Every time you died and came back... I thought about Cole. I'd have done anything to bring him back too, to hold him in my arms just one more time. But humans don't come back, do they?
- If Connor manages to get a confession of Carlos Ortiz's android, the android will tell him the story.Carlos' android: He tortured me everyday, I did whatever he told me but there was always something wrong.
- Hank grills Connor about killing the deviants at the brothel and tries to provoke some sort of human reaction from his partner. If Connor coldly insists that he's a machine, Hank gets upset and shoots him, not even getting any satisfaction from it. The somber tone when Connor doubts there's such a thing as android heaven is especially haunting.
- One scenario at the Stratford Tower can have Connor be badly injured by a deviant he's interrogating. If you fail to fix him before the timer runs out, Connor will crawl on the floor and even yell for Hank to help him, which is already painful to listen to. When Hank finds him, he's visibly distraught to see the dying Connor, putting him on his lap and laying a hand over his head when Connor dies.
- In yet another scenario at the Stratford Tower, Connor may use his body to shield Hank from gunfire from the same deviant mentioned above. This also causes Connor to die, and Hank is similarly saddened by this as Connor died to save him, with Hank giving a Little "No" at this.
- The part where Connor connects with a deviant who then shoots himself has Connor in shock. It's the first major sign that Connor may also become a deviant, and the way he's so visibly distraught at this part just makes you want to give him a hug.Connor: [shakily] I was connected to its memory. When it fired, I felt it die... like I was dying. I was scared...
- If Connor and Hank have a good relationship, but Connor chooses to shoot Chloe, this hurts Hank very much, and the following exchange happens:Hank: You're a lowlife. You don't feel a thing, do you? A machine, that's what you are! You're just a FUCKING MACHINE!Connor: Of course I'm a machine, Lieutenant. What did you think I was?Hank: [looking like he's on the verge of tears] I thought you... I thou.... Fuck...
- He then gets in his car and leaves, and the look Connor gives after him can be interpreted as him regretting what he did, and/or considering Hank's reaction.
Last Chance, Connor
- If Connor failed to find Jericho, Amanda will tell you that your mission is over and tells you to return to CyberLife to be decommissioned. In the mental garden, the snow has taken over and Connor is frozen, lifeless.
Night of the Soul
- If Connor becomes a deviant and joins Markus' team, he'll be seen alone in a corner of the church, obviously stewing in guilt and remorse over leading the humans to Jericho and getting hundreds of androids killed.Connor: It's my fault the humans managed to locate Jericho. I was stupid... I should've guessed they were using me.
- If Connor was destroyed multiple times throughout the game and stays loyal to Cyberlife, Hank will commit suicide at the end of the game, but not before giving you "The Reason You Suck" Speech, that you are Not So Similar to Cole, and coldly telling you to Get Out! of his house. As Connor walks back to his taxi, you hear a gunshot and Sumo, who had been whimpering ever since the cutscene started, giving off a Howl of Sorrow.
- Even worse is that every dialogue option you have with Connor when he talks to Hank is always either cordial, sympathetic or remorseful. This — despite being played as someone who's ultimately devoted to seeing his missions through, and regardless of how nice or cruel he is played — establishes that some part of Connor does care for Hank. It's only a shame that their relationship sank to rock bottom in this route.Connor: [PHOTO] You should stop looking at that photo, Lieutenant. Nothing can change the past, but you can learn to live again, for yourself... and for Cole.Hank: For a while I believed in you Connor. I thought you might restore my faith in the world... But you just showed me that androids... Are our creation... Creation in our own image. Selfish, ruthless, and brutal... You opened my eyes Connor, made me realize it's hopeless...
- Even worse is that every dialogue option you have with Connor when he talks to Hank is always either cordial, sympathetic or remorseful. This — despite being played as someone who's ultimately devoted to seeing his missions through, and regardless of how nice or cruel he is played — establishes that some part of Connor does care for Hank. It's only a shame that their relationship sank to rock bottom in this route.
Battle for Detroit - Deviant Path
- In Connor's deviant path, if he gets Hank shot by the impostor Connor at CyberLife, Hank will die in the real Connor's arms, and as he does so, Hank tells Connor that he will miss him.
- Before that he will also say to Connor that he's going to see his son again, and he's been looking forward to that for a long time.
- Alternatively, if you have Connor choose to save Hank but then let the timer run out before doing anything, impostor!Connor shoots Connor dead with several bullets. Hank gives a Little "No" and impostor!Connor tells him, "He really liked you, Lieutenant. That's what killed him."
- When Hank asks Connor and impostor!Connor what his son's name is, if the player answers correctly and tells him it's Cole, Connor will follow with what happened.Hank: My son, what's his name?Connor: Cole! His name was Cole, and he just turned six at the time of the accident, it wasn't your fault Lieutenant. A truck skidded on a sheet of ice and your car rolled over, Cole needed emergency surgery but no human was available to do it... so an android had to take care of him. Cole didn't make it. That's why you hate androids. You think one of us is responsible for your son's death.Hank: Cole died because a human surgeon was too high on red ice to operate, he was the one who took my son from me, him and this world where the only way people can find comfort is with a fist full of powder...
Battle for Detroit - Machine Path
- If Connor and Hank have a decent relationship but Connor remains loyal to CyberLife, it will end with Connor fighting and then coldly dropping Hank off a roof when the latter tries to stop him from assassinating Markus, destroying whatever friendship created between Connor and Hank. If you've witnessed the other, more ideal route their relationship can go, watching this scenario afterwards can be pretty painful.Connor: [PLEAD] After all we've been through... I respected you, Hank. I thought we were friends!
Hank: Oh, yeah? I was just starting to like you too! But then I realized you'll never change! You don't feel emotions, Connor, you fake 'em! You pretended to be my friend, when you don't even know the meaning of the word!
- There's a more bittersweet option in the same scenario, where you can have Connor retain some of his humanity by dropping the rifle and walk away since as he states, "killing [Hank] is not part of [his] mission". While no one dies in this scene, it still reflects the damage done to Connor and Hank's relationship and how they've ultimately parted on bad terms.
- Plus, if you choose the option [HANK'S SON], the conversation is a little different from the deviant path.Connor: I know what happened to your son Hank. It wasn't your fault, a truck skidded on a sheet of ice and your car rolled over... Little Cole had just turned six.
Hank: Shut up! Don't you talk about my son!
Connor: [HANK'S SON (INSIST)] He needed emergency surgery, but no human was available to do it, so an android had to take care of him. Poor Cole didn't make it. An android killed your son Hank, and now you want to save them?
Hank: No, Cole died because a human surgeon was too high on red ice to operate! All this time I blamed androids for what happened, but it was a human's fault! Him and this fucked up world where the only way people can find comfort is with a fist full of powder!
- A subtle, but poignant tearjerker comes from the interface here. If your relationship with Hank is good enough to walk away, the game will say "Hank: Friend - Path Unlocked" as usual for a choice of this nature, but if you choose to fight, you get to watch the game plummet Hank's relationship value all the way down to Hostile.
- There is still the fact that Hank still cares about Connor even though Connor is doing what he is doing such as when Connor chooses to save Hank instead of killing him, if Connor fails the QTE after Hank charges him, Hank will push Connor off the roof. But he will say he didn't want to do it.Hank: I didn't want to do that Connor, you gave me no choice.
- These are all so much worse if Connor did deviate but died at Jericho. There is nothing left of his own personality in the replacement machine.
- Have Connor stay with CyberLife and succeed at killing Markus, which results in the resistance failing and Connor killing Hank. When you meet with Amanda, she will reveal to you that you're obsolete and you're being replaced by a newer model. Hey, I mean, you just wanted to complete the mission, right? You've done your part, and the mission goes on without you. What did you expect, a pat on the back?
- The end of the Markus trailer has him revert to his android colors, the expression on his face clearly distraught.
- If Markus died at the freedom march, North will take his place as leader. Even though she follows the beats as Markus would've done, ultimately, the revolution will always fail. The revolution cannot go on without you.
- If Carl dies during the confrontation with Leo, Markus becomes so emotional he says this:Markus: Dad!
- Just before, when Leo keeps pushing Markus around, the goal prompts change from "DON'T FIGHT BACK" to "THIS ISN'T FAIR" as Markus begins to reach the end of his patience not out of anger, but out of desperation to save his father.
From the Dead
- Markus is severely damaged, stuck in a dump filled with still conscious androids. While scavenging for parts, he can take a part from a female android who will tearfully beg him not to. Another android asks Markus to kill him. And the entire time, half torn apart androids are attempting to climb out, only to fail.
- When Markus first arrives in Jericho, one of the androids he can meet is a dying android.Android: I've heard humans are afraid of death, too... Do you know what happens after death?
Markus: No... no, I don't.
Android: Well, I'm about to find out... What's your name?
Android: [holds his hands] I was glad to meet you, Markus... [shuts down]
- If Markus refuses to take John along, John has a meltdown before sounding the alarm and forcing the group to flee.John: I helped you... It's not fair. I helped you and now you're just gonna leave without me? You're no better than humans. YOU'RE NO BETTER THAN HUMANS!
- If Markus let John from the heist level join Jericho, he will take the bullet for Markus if Markus chooses to sacrifice himself at the beginning of the freedom march.
- If John isn't there, it will be Simon who takes his place.
- If neither John nor Simon are there and Markus chooses "Sacrifice" he will be killed.
Night of the Soul
- If Carl lives, Markus has the opportunity to reunite with him. However, if Markus chooses violence and openly expresses his hatred of humans, Carl becomes utterly broken and disappointed at Markus' downward spiral and dies from the stress. Markus' horrified expression shows his regret that their last moments together ended on such a bad note.
Battle for Detroit
- After you choose to have Markus lead Jericho in a peaceful march, when the military corners you and the others, you have the option to use the dirty bomb. The military and presumably every human in Detroit will die as the President and the news report on it. In the end, Markus removes his human skin in acknowledgment that his fight for android freedom has come at a cost greater than just fighting the military and leaving their human owners, but killing innocent people and leaving Detroit and its surrounding areas uninhabitable for many years to come.
- An alternate option is to Sacrifice Markus to save his companions. The sacrifice itself involves Markus setting himself ablaze after saying that they are alive and want to be free. North is visibly tearing up seeing their leader give their life for their cause. What really makes this moment a tear-jerker, though, is that the soldiers lower their weapons, but still shoot the remaining members of Jericho dead. Rendering Markus' act a Senseless Sacrifice.
- In the Revolution ending, Josh, one of Markus' friends at Jericho, will be killed in the battle (if he hadn't died during the prior attack on Jericho). His final words will tear your heartstrings.Josh: You won't save me this time Markus... [grabs Markus' arm] The blood we spill, will be on our hands.