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Tear Jerker / Dragon Quest

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As a long-running RPG series, Dragon Quest has a rich legacy of Tear Jerkers:

Games with their own Pages:

Dragon Quest II

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Dragon Quest III

  • Dragon Quest III has a major one shortly before the game's climax: After following in Ortega's footsteps throughout the entire quest, you finally catch up to him in the final castle... just in time to witness The Dragon striking him down. Made all the worse by the Fridge Logic that he survived in the Dark World for years, and must have been training and preparing all that time for this final assault... only to fail and die in front of his only child.
    • Even worse, in at least the GBC version? He had forgotten his past life, including his wife and child. When he's defeated (after being hit with three firebreath blasts in a row, mind you), he regains his memories, but is blind and deaf, and not even sure someone's speaking to him when the player character talks to him. He talks about his child, apologizing for failing to bring peace to the world and calling himself a wretched person. He asks this person to relay this message to his child as he expires, never realizing he's been addressing said kid the whole time. Sure, one of the wishes Divinegon can grant is reviving him, which in itself can be a tearjerker for some, but that's not even known until you've already beaten the final boss and then fought and defeated Divinegon.
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Dragon Quest IV

  • Dragon Quest IV has one that doubles as an unexpected Player Punch: the end of Alena's Chapter. Right as you're riding high on the thrill of winning the Tournament, you're summoned back to Zamoksva... and when you arrive, there's no sign of anyone. At all. Instead of the triumphant return home Alena, Kiryl and Borya were expecting, they find their home abandoned, their friends and loved ones having vanished without a trace... and the chapter ends abruptly, without answers.
  • When you go to Mamon, you can find the skeleton of a man in a puddle of poison. He's holding a letter from his daughter, Jill, telling him to come home soon. Later, you can find Jill, who tells you how she came to visit her father, but now that he's dead, he doesn't want her brother, Jack, to know, because it would break his heart.
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  • The fourth chapter is designed to draw tears; after all, Maya and Meena's whole motivation is to take revenge on the man who betrayed and murdered their father. After hooking up with Oojam, who used to be apprenticed under their father and is also seeking vengeance, they track Balzack down, find a way to confront him... and upon defeating him, are promptly attacked by his boss, who trounces the trio in a Hopeless Boss Fight and throws them into the dungeon. While they manage to escape, Oojam pulls a Heroic Sacrifice protecting the sisters from the guards, and the chapter ends with the pair forced into exile, escaping on a ship and left wondering "what do we do now?"
  • And Chapter Five opens with one, as your Doomed Hometown is discovered and promptly wiped out by the monsters, and your best friend Elisa transforms into your doppleganger just so the monsters will kill her and not you, mistaking her as The Chosen One.
  • Later on in Chapter Five, you meet Rose, who has a rather heartwrenching Backstory: her tears turn into rubies, so she was hunted by Greedy humans who would do anything to make her cry. Talking to others makes this much worse, as it's implied elves can will their tears to crumble away when touched... good in that it means they didn't actually profit from their actions, but horrifying when you realize this didn't stop them. And she's eventually killed by human thugs when one fatally wounds her just to make her cry.
  • Throughout the fifth chapter, you can find references to the story of the angel and the woodcutter. Upon reaching Zenithia, you can finally hear the full tale: An angel fell in love with a woodcutter and descended to earth to be with him. This angered the Zenith Dragon, who struck him dead and forced the angel to abandon their infant child, as the baby was half-human and therefore considered unworthy to enter the heavens. For an extra punch, the angel who relates this story to you is all but stated outright to be your mother, as she chokes back tears talking about how difficult it would be for the angel to face her lost child now.
  • And then there's the ending... One by one, the chosen return to their homes, including a cheerful reunion between Torneko and his young son Tipper. Right after that reunion, however, Maya and Meena return to their village just long enough to visit their father's grave, before heading on to Laissez Faire. Solo/Sofia then returns to their Doomed Hometown, which is still a burned-out shell of its former self. Standing in the middle of the village — where the flower field they and Eliza used to play once grew — they finally drop their sword and shield before slumping over in complete exhaustion. Then the sky glows, Eliza comes back to life, and the hero embraces their lost childhood friend...

Dragon Quest V

  • Pankraz's death. He's killed by Ladja after being forced to fight his mooks to avoid your character being killed. On the other hand, when Mada sacrifices herself to try and stop Nimzo, and she and Pankraz go off...to wherever together, it is both this and a crowning moment of heartwarming. And awesome, due to Mada putting up with being Nimzo's pawn for over twenty years.
    • Related to that, there's a small easily missable gutpunch in one of the random responses you get to looking in a mirror when the hero is a teenager: "He tries to picture his dad's face by looking at his own reflection." The Hero can't even clearly remember what Pankraz looked like by the time he's sixteen.
  • Saber's time being forced back into the wilderness after The Hero is forced into slavery. His time with his friend has made him very gentle when not on the battlefield, but due to being a monster known for usually being untameable (according to an old man in Faerie Lea), he has no way to take care of himself. Thus his only option is to take food from a village where his actions are assumed to an attempt to attack the villagers.
  • Added for the remakes is Harry (after marrying Maria), wants to present his friend, the visiting Hero with a Martial organ, but he claims it's in a chest in his old bedroom. The Hero discovers it's not the case, but finds a message carved on the bottom of it. The message states how Harry's motivation to survive when the two were slaves was atoning for the fact that Pankraz died to protect the two of them and that he hopes that he is helping both father and son by making sure his own kingdom is kept at peace.
  • The scene where the character is petrified and sees the kid get stolen away by a monster in his front yard...then the dad takes it out on the petrified character and knocks him on his face.
    • And the fact that the character is - possibly - watching the baby grow up into a small child, while he is unable to do the same for his own children. And even if he isn't aware of what's going on, it's not much easier on the player.
  • Remember Maria's brother? The nice guy who deeply cared about his sister and helped you escape a life of slavery? Well, when you further advance through the game and head back to the temple where you were first started off in the second generation... You come across his skeleton inside the temple. If you examine his skeleton, you'll find a letter that he wrote to his "dear little sister Maria", telling her that his days are ending and his final wish is for her to be happy forever. Poor guy.
    Joshua: To my little sister Maria, I'm afraid my days are numbered. All I can hope now...my only hope...is that you alone will be happy.
  • Just chatting with your hero's kids can bring the tears. Particularly with his daughter, who tends to act Wise Beyond Her Years whenever her father comes face to face with his own personal emotional gutpunches. Seeing her respond by trying to comfort him, almost acting like a surrogate mother despite being eight (and going without her own mother for so long) just makes it worse, somehow.

Dragon Quest VI

  • There's a subtle one in the town of Clearvale. In the dream world, you see a man standing in front of a grave of a young boy, and he tells you that he misses his master and hopes he's happy wherever he is; the player's inclined to think that he was a servant of some kind. If you head to the real world, you see that he was actually the kid's dog, who misses his master and wanted to say it properly in the dream world. Talking to him as a dog gets a message of "(sniff) Arf, arf!"

Dragon Quest IX

  • Dragon Quest IX is practically overflowing with Tear Jerkers and Bittersweet Endings. First mention has to go to your hero's entire situation, though. Knocked from your home in the Observatory after the opening incident, you awaken without your wings or halo and only a few scraps of your Celestrian powers left, retaining your ability to see ghosts, faeries and other Celestrials. And in the end, you have to give all of that up and become fully mortal in order to stand a chance against the villain. This is really driven home at the start of the post-credits gameplay, the first time you open up the Battle Records and can't see Stella.
    • The ending when you realize the Hero has gone from being the person to complete the entire race of Angels' quest (to grow the tree and bear fruit) to a crippled angel without a halo or wings, to finding out that you must give up your immortality to kill the Big Bad, to losing your home. How are you rewarded? All the other Angels get the Heaven they were promised while you are told the last part of your immortality will drain out of you within hours. Your home is vaporized because no one will live there and you are abandoned in the town you watched over. Even worse is the fact that your town no longer recognizes you as the Guardian who watched over them. Indeed, even your name was wiped off your statue.
      • Really has a Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! moment when in the Bonus Game you get the Fruit of the Gods and can wish for anything. Even to go to Heaven with all the rest of the Angels. Or to get people to remember that you were their Guardian. Or that you just SAVED THE WORLD. But NO! All the Hero wishes for is that he can see everything he saw before when he was an Angel. He doesn't even get his wings or halo back!
      • The final task for the Hero is for them to spend the rest of his/her life doing the job of an Angel FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD (watch over a group of people, usually a town, and keep them safe from monsters, lost keepsakes, and their own laziness) and still being burdened with Mortality where they will still die alone.
  • The secret history of the Wight Knight, and his last dance with Princess Mona. Or Simona, really, but...
  • In Coffinwell, you meet Doctor Phlegming and his lovely wife, Catarrhina. Phlegming doesn't get along with his father-in-law — or anyone else, for that matter — and Catarrhina is the only one who can draw him out of his shell. He agrees to help you save the town from a plague mostly so he can impress Mayor Laria and have an excuse to explore the local ruins; with your help, he succeeds, and sends you back to announce his triumph... Only for you to discover Catarrhina died literally seconds before you stopped the plague. Phlegming lapses into a Heroic BSoD so severe he doesn't even attend her funeral, which his father-in-law reams him out over.
  • The Heights of Loneliness. At least that gives you an idea what you're in for when you go looking for Mason. He left his hometown Zere to hone his skills as a stonecutter for five years or so, only to return and discover his beloved Petra had married someone else. He then goes into self-exile and spends the last years of his life meticulously carving out a perfect replica of his hometown. Of course, Stella doesn't understand it herself, and says as much.
  • Marionette. Just........ Marionette. Marionette is a life sized doll based off a real girl by the name of Marion, with the only difference being that Marion wears blue and Marionette wears red. Marion was slowly dying of a fatal disease, and was fed a Fygg in hopes it would heal her. Marion wished for a friend....... which gave Marionette life. Marion died shortly after, leaving Marionette all alone. Then, after an entire year of loneliness, the hero appears, rescues her, and then watches as Maronette turns back into a doll. The kicker in all of this? Only Marion's parents known she's dead. Everyone else was told she just went on a trip. What really makes it sad is that not soon after, a servent in the mansion picks up Marionette and puts her on the bed, because he knew Marion enjoyed playing with the girl. Only the ending of the story holds some hope for her....
  • Pretty much all of Corvus' backstory. Fell from the Observatory and was badly wounded, but made a close friend in the girl Serena, only for The Empire to come and try to take over the village he was charged with protecting. He manages to scare them off with his power, but his ferocity scares all of the villagers except Serena away from him. Later, he gives Serena an enchanted necklace as a symbol of her love...only for The Empire to come back with reinforcements, intent on capturing him for their own use. Corvus wants to go and fight them despite his wounds, so Serena tricks him into drinking a sleeping potion to protect him. Unfortunately, this turns out to have been a very bad idea, as the village turns out to have sold out Corvus' location in order to save themselves, capturing him and murdering Serena. He then proceeds to spend the next 300 years being horrifically tortured and experimented on. In summary, he was betrayed by his own flock, his lover was murdered in cold blood, and he was made into a guinea pig for The Empire for centuries. Is it any wonder he snapped?
  • Greygnarl's Heroic Sacrifice.

Dragon Quest X

  • The climax of the Prologue: Etene gets torched by monsters, and your sibling's nearly killed before your eyes — but a mysterious barrier surroundings them at the last moment. Time Stands Still long enough for them to realize you're not protected, and they can't escape the barrier or do anything more than scream before it whisks them away. Then you die.

Dragon Quest Builders

  • For fans of the first game, Builders' premise—that the hero took the Dragonlord's offer to rule half the world—is one. It gets even worse in chapter 4, where you find the hero has lived countless years alone in a tiny castle. By the time you meet him he's a raving loon who actually believes that he rules over Alefgard.
  • Rimuldar, once a pristine place surrounded by a lake, has became a poison-infested Death World. You spend the majority of your time there caring for ailing people, aided by the nun Elle. She severely berates herself for failing to save three patients who turn into zombies, then falls ill herself and asks you to Mercy Kill her before she can cause anyone harm.

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