A noteworthy case is when they depict sadism in an episode talking about it (Due to the game Hatred gaining a lot of attention at the time), the way that they draw how vulnerable the victims are in the picture and what happens to them can be upsetting, in fact they warn viewers beforehand about this.
Extra Credits does not shy away from how some people can ruin games and gaming for other people, and the effects are shown. The episodes on toxicity show the hurtful things said to other people without censorship. In the local multiplayer episode, a cartoon of a man is reduced to tears when his partner is raging.
The Lost Izalith episode is just a bummer all around. Dan first meets Solaire, when the latter is having an existential crisis over not finding his personal sun, and later Siegmeyer (aka. Onion Knight), who dies from exhaustion after fighting the Chaos Eaters, even though he arguably fared better then Dan against them. Dark Souls veterans may also note that Dan unknowingly passed the point-of-no-return to save Solaire, too, so he's not going to last much longer, either.
The start of the next episode really rubs it in. Dan is still mourning Siegmeyer and almost immediately finds Solaire who, as was already known, has gone insane, forcing Dan to kill him. These two deaths in quick succession really hit Dan hard and he begins to mournfully wonder who else is going to die before it's all over, while sad piano music plays.
Dan: Who is still around? Who is still alive? Who still likes me?
Extra History - World War 1: The Seminal Tragedy - Chapter 2: One Fateful Day in June. The last words of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It's Daniel's delivery that does it.
Daniel Floyd: The Archduke looks over, barely noticing the gendarmes wrestling the young man by the car to the ground. His only sight is for his wife, lying quietly on the floor of the car. He reaches out with a hand weak and heavy. Something is wrong with his neck. He can't quite think straight. He sees her and he utters one last wish "Sophie, Sophie, don't die! Live for our children." A man leans over and asks if he's badly hurt. He thinks he says "It's nothing, it's nothing..." He repeats the phrase, each time a little more quietly, and neither of them live through the hour.
The final flurry of messages between Kaiser Wilhelm and Tsar Nicholas II. These two men, ostensibly the leaders of two mighty nations, are talking to one another as nothing but men. More than that, they're speaking as family, trying to hold off a war that will topple empires. They do not write to each other as Kaiser and Tsar, they do not write to each other as Wilhelm and Nicholas. They write to one another as Willy and Nicky. And they fail.
There was a moment where Nicholas II was considering pulling back mobilization, only for a random aid to remark on how difficult the decision was for the Tsar, unwittingly wounding the tsar's pride, and pushing him to launch mobilization. The tsar destroyed himself and his nation over an accidental slight on his ability.
The ending montage in Extra History - World War 1: The Seminal Tragedy - Chapter 4: The Final Act. No narration—just "In Flanders Fields" and images of the scars left behind by the war.
The fact that the poor German ambassador was pretty much on his hands and knees begging his Russian counterpart to call off the mobilization. What did he get? Just one word, "No." And just like that, the very thing he was desperately trying to avoid happens. The only heartwarming moment to come from this is that his Russian counterpart did at least offer to help him pack his things to go back to Germany.
Again, it's Daniel's delivery.
Daniel Floyd: Then Pourtalés rises to his feet, and takes the piece of paper from his pocket, and says "In that case, sir, I have the honour to inform you that...we're at war." He's still struggling to collect himself, saying "*sighs* I never thought I'd be leaving Russia like this. I don't know how I'll be able to pack." *opening piano notes to In Flanders Fields start to play* Sazonov kindly offers to send somebody to help gather his things. And a month later, a million men are dead. The Seminal Catastrophe has begun.
For a bunch of cartoon characters with no arms and sticks for legs, they can get remarkably expressive.
The entire Seminal Tragedy series, as we all know what's going to happen. We keep seeing opportunities where maybe, just maybe the tragedy would be averted, but we know they won't, and the show misses no opportunities to remind us just how tragic the events are.
Anyone who knows of the full tale of Justinian's reign knows that his successful campaign to retake Rome wouldn't do much good in the long haul...should they return to his story, it won't end on a happy note.
Spare a penny for Belisarius.
Let's not forget the African campaign would also amount to little after the Arabs convinced the Berbers to help them conquer the region.
The way everything in the Byzantine Empire seems to fall apart following the Plague: a quarter of Constantinople's population is dead, with most buried in mass graves or stuffed into the city's walls, war resumes with Persia forcing Belisarius leave Italy to defend the homeland again, leading to Rome being lost to the Ostrogoths yet again; and compounding all this is Theodora dying to cancer which destroys Justinian emotionally.
What makes it somehow worse is that Justinian still worked hard to get his empire back in order. He never failed to remember his duty, to rule the empire that he worked hard to maintain. As Daniel says, most men would have given up and let the empire slide, but Justinian kept carried on even though he had lost some of his passion and joy for life.
Daniel's last words on Justinian's life, his death, his possible last thought and what might have been.
The way they portray Suleiman the Magnificent's later years, guilt ridden over his murder of his friend and two sons and the death of his wife and favorite son. The worst part is the final moments of his life, imagining that everybody is still alive and talking to him before his death.
His sympathy for the leader of The Knights of Rhodes, kicked out of his home and banished.
The death of the child king of Hungary.
How his life is paralleled with Justinian.
The First Crusade. The one that's considered the successful one no less. So. Many. Lives. Wasted. To think that this was only the first.
Apalled by the slaughter, Tancred gives his banner to a group of Muslims to show they are under his protection. It doesn't work and he comes back to find them all dead.
Perhaps it's worth saying that the First Crusade accomplished a much more noble goal beyond conquering the Holy Land: helping the Byzantines get back on their feet after being the bulkward of Europe against the Arabs and the Turks for centuries and being in the receiving end of Norman hostilities...all for it to amount to nothing after the infamous Fourth Crusade ravaged the Empire and left behind a husk of the guardian of Europe against the invaders of the East.
The sheer amount of bullshit Admiral Yi goes through to protect Korea despite the actions of corrupt and/or cowardly men who did just about everything to hamper him short of swearing loyalty to Toyotomi Hideyoshi. At one point busting him all the way down to Grunt after refusing to fall for an obvious trap, only to have an incompetent waste all the resources and technology he had built for the war on another trap.
Even better, that was the second time he'd been demoted to the rank of a common soldier, and the third time he'd been demoted overall due to corrupt officials being more interested in petty grudges than the good of the nation.
The end of Admiral Yi's life. He dies to a stray bullet trying to avenge his fallen countrymen, but immediately has his descendants take up his mantle to finish the battle. The Chinese Admiral who he'd repeatedly saved wanted to celebrate with him, but broke down when he realised what had happened.
Daniel Floyd: Korea was free, but Yi would never see it. Thousands turned out to see his body returned to his small home village. People lined the road and wailed at the passing of a man they may never have met. The Chinese Admiral wrote for him a eulogy, and even the court and the king tried to make their recompense. And so passed the man so ill-treated in life; so often demoted and accused. The man who would forever be known as the Martial Lord of Loyalty.
The "Lies" segment of Admiral Yi says that James was only able to find one critical work of Admiral Yi's life... Yi's own autobiography. In spite of everything he did, he still did not think himself worthy. Fortunately, history was a lot more forgiving.
The followup to the Odenathus episode, where James talks about one of the world's oldest heritage site being ripped apart. Goddammit, ISIL...
The death of Tiberus Gracchus and The Purge of his supporters. He had the best interests of Rome at heart, and tried to restore an old agrarian law that had gone unenforced and his reward for that is a shockingly brutal death. His famous speech quoted by Daniel is also quite sad in its eloquent observation about how the state exploits its citizens:
Tiberius Gracchus: "The savage beasts in Italy have their particular dens, they have their places of repose and refuge; but the men who bear arms, and expose their lives for the safety of their country, enjoy in the meantime nothing more in it but the air and the light.They fought indeed and were slain, but it was to maintain the luxury and wealth of other men. They were styled the masters of the world, but in the meantime had not one foot of ground which they could call their own."
The video montage for the Gracchi Brothers video is incredibly sad, the music is emotive and the images showing the rise and fall of the brothers is heartbreaking, including the awesome legendary statues at the end.
Despite how much he fought and try, Simon Bolivar's Gran Colombia dream of a United South America failed due to distrust, corruption, a lack of unity, bankruptcy between all of the former Spanish colonies and even his own prior actions. Simon died a sick man who saw his dream as a failure.
For all her successes, Catherine the Great failed to settle her succession. Her son Paul became similar to the husband she hated and he always felt distant from her. Despite his decent qualities being spotted on his tour of Europe, Catherine refused to let him get involved in government or give him any responsibility, effectively treating him as she had been treated as a child. It's hard not to feel sorry for Paul for always feeling insecure about himself and never getting to reveal his talents, just like Catherine when she was younger.
The tragedy of Ned Kelly. Tried to live an honest life after briefly tasting bushwacking. Forced into Evil after the law got on his case incorrectly, tried to be a noble gentleman thief in his work. Took up the outfit of a knight for his epic showdown, and then defeated, lead away to the gallows only saying, "Such is life."
The death of Robert Kennedy and his last words in the Cuban Missile Crisis video and in a way Daniels closing words as well.
The Bolivian Army Ending of "Saragarhi - The Last Stand". Most commenters admitted to being misty and finally tearing when the last man, the heliographic communication's officer Gurmukh Singh, requested permission to pick up his rifle, killing 12 men who gave up trying to invade his post and merely set it on fire. Singh repeatedly called out the Sikh battle cry "Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal!" ("One will be blessed eternally, who says that God is the ultimate truth!") before succumbing.
The 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak. The closest the Earth has ever come to a Doomsday Pandemic. It spread and slaughtered millions all over the world no matter what they did to cure or avoid it. In many places, they not only ran out of coffins to bury the dead, they ran out of wood to make any more!
One particularly harrowing story involved a Coast Guard group checking in on an isolated indigenous village in Alaska. Nobody comes to greet them. They enter. Still nothing. One Ensign looks into a house and immediately slams the door shut. He demands a rifle, breaks open a window, and fires into the house several times. Then has the entire house doused with kerosene and burned to the ground. What did he see in there? Three starving sled dogs fighting over the bones of their owners.
At an American military training camp for soldiers fighting in the First World War, the camp's doctor warns the commandant that he is violating health regulations to contain the flu by overcrowding the soldiers in the barracks and trains heading out of the camp. The commandant rebuffed the doctor's warnings, telling him that the overcrowding was necessary to ensure recruits could be sent to Europe as quickly as possible. Two weeks later, the doctor came back to report that 500 soldiers had died of the flu, the last troop train had turned into a plague train spreading the flu even further, more than a quarter of the recruits had to be hospitalized, and the camp had run out of coffins to bury the dead. Realizing what he had done, the commandant orders the doctor to leave his office before proceeding to draw his pistol...
The destruction of the Bismarck. It is the closest the British have ever gotten to the Bismarck. As the ship is destroyed, UK sailors are able to see the enemy flee for their lives. A British naval chaplain begs the Admiral to show mercy but is refused. After the ship is sunk, the British rescue as many German sailors as possible but the appearance of a U-boat forces them to flee, leaving the rest of the Bismarck's crew to die.
The first video setting the tone, pointing out the lives lost to hunger, disease and immigration.
That same video describing all the ways the system was against the Irish Catholics.
That video again, mentioning children being so desperate they ate grass until their mouths and teeth were green and mothers with infants going so hungry the breastmilk stopped and the babies died of hunger too.
The third video in the series on the covers "Black '47", a year in which the famine levels in Ireland got so bad that even slaves and Native Americans were sending donations to the Irish, and one particularly unnerving conversation had a pair of young women calmly debate how many more days they'd live while talking to a visiting American. The town of Skibbereen was particularly hard hit, to the point that the dead went unburied because the remaining residents literally didn't have the energy to bury them.
Pretty much the whole part of the video describing Trevelyan's deeds. He purposefully undercut and botched relief attempts, partly because he didn't believe the problem warranted anything extreme, partly because he was a firm believer of non-interference, and partly because he saw the famine as a chance to create an anglicized Ireland, free of the old, Catholic values and patterns.
The fourth video describes (with superb delivery) an "American wake", a goodbye party for two Irish sisters who have saved enough money to go to America, leaving behind the village they've lived in their whole lives. Their mother (who cradles them and cries, and is always drawn as if her mouth is quivering, seconds away from breaking out in sobs) will likely never see them again, which is especially painful since photography and telephones don't exist at this time. Accentuated by the drawing: the shadows of her daughters sitting next to the mother as the mother holds a lock of hair of one of them - the only thing she has left of her girls.
The fifth video starts with the funeral of Daniel O'Connell, champion of Catholic emancipation, and after describing the public grieving, it calls this reaction proof that the Irish have forgiven O'Connell - for, as much as he has done for their legal emancipation, his efforts or attempts to help the hunger crisis were left wanting.