Warning: Spoilers Off applies to this page. Proceed at your own risk.
- The End of an Era cinematic, all near-six minutes of it.
- Sure, meteors are crashing into the planet, armies are going to war, the sun is about to explode... that's almost typical Final Fantasy fare. Then Bahamut wakes up and takes all of twenty seconds to completely ravage the surrounding landscape and unleash a Teraflare so powerful it just about terraforms Eorzea.
- To put it in context, up to that point, we've seen regular people (including children) out in the cities' streets, watching in terror as the fireballs streak through the sky, followed by Bahamut destroying those very cities in a single fireblast a few seconds later. And the player characters (our heroes) — who've been on the battlefield fighting enemy forces — freeze in fear and horror, visibly fighting back tears as they see their home and friends destroyed with no hope of survival, as the Scions pray desperately to the Twelve for help. Even if you've never played the game, the video is heartbreaking.
- The heroes lose. The world ends. In almost every case - be it movie, literature or game - the heroes somehow avoid the end of the world. The Power of Love or The Power of Friendship will save them, a Chekhov's Skill reveals to help, anything usually avoids doom. Here? The heroes get saved from death by the mage who then - with his friends - pray on the Twelve who answer by summoning a gigantic new barrier to lock Bahamut in. And he destroys it. The look on the face of every single character is nothing but pure hopelessness as they realize that there is nothing they can do to stop Eorzea from Bahamut's Wrath, where they're only option is to run and pray that they survive the fire that scorches the ground beneath them.
- Watching any video of the playerbase's last minutes of 1.x just highlights this. The Warriors of Light, though abundant in their efforts to stop The Empire and succeeding in slaying the one who was bringing the meteor down, are completely unable to stop its descent much like Final Fantasy VII. Square-Enix called the playerbase together for one final quest in the original game's closing hours, and all everyone could do was stand there, watching the moon in its descent in a solemn, hollow quietness and echoes of a woman's voice in the air before the end of the world. And then the screen went dark before world went down in flames. One such video can be viewed HERE.
- The music for the cinematic is also very somber, adding to the whole feeling of despair brought by Bahamuts rampage.
- The Imperial strike on the Waking Sands. You just defeated Titan, one of the most awesome bosses in the game. You've been congratulated, now you just need to return to the Waking Sands. So you do...and find rooms filled with corpses, and none of the main Scions are to be found. The only one left is the sylph who followed you from Gridania. She passes on a message from Minfilia, then dies. And you learn through the Echo that she could have survived; she was told to stay out of sight and pass on the message, but was unable to stop herself from trying to protect Minfilia. She is kicked into a wall so hard, she bounces off it.
- Just when you think it's over, a few missions later, you're required to help clean up the mess. This means piling up some corpses into a wagon. Including the sylph's. Hers takes less time to pick up because she's so light. And the local church insists that you take her home for her burial rites, so you have to break the news to the other sylphs...
- And when gathering the corpses up, the people you interact with make casual discussion about the bodies, having no idea they were your friends. The coachman remarking "Ain't like they're gonna complain if you're rough [putting them in the carriage]!" can make you wince, or even want to slug him.
- A first Tearjerker happens as early in the main story as in "Lord of the Inferno". The player fights desperately along the Flame Sergeant against the Amalj'aa, only to be confronted with their first primal, Ifrit, who enslaves both the loyal Flames as well as the traitors who sold you off to the Amalj'aa. The player defeats Ifrit, becomes a popular hero among both the Scion and Great Companies, all seems well...only for Thancred to reveal that the innocent Flame soldiers will be killed to keep Ifrit from coming back.
- The "Trusted" (Rank 4) Reputation mission for the Amal'jaa. Loonh Gah infiltrates the Flamefang encampment for revenge and in hopes of finding her mother, who was taken as a slave in the same incident that nearly killed Loonh. And you find her mom... in a cage, cradling a rock which she calls Loonh and wants to protect...so she can offer her own child to Ifrit.
- When you turn in "The Voyage of the Goobbue", an otherwise standard Mass Monster Slaughter Sidequest, Barryn tells you about how the goobbue had basically meandered everywhere after the Calamity drove it from its home, causing it to also pick up plant life from everywhere. He lists the places it'd been and the seeds it'd picked up, barely stopping short of a Tannhäuser Gate reference.Barryn: To wander is a dream and a nightmare.
- All you've seen Alisaie be is sharp-tongued and hot-headed from when you first meet her up to the Binding Coil quest line. That image is shattered at the end of the Second Coil where the aetherial shade of Louisoix appears, nearly kills her, then reveals that he's been tempered by Bahamut. Before he disappears from your sight, he threatens to kill her and you if you two try to go in there again to disable the rest of the coils. All of that within a matter of minutes. Alisaie has to accept the fact that her quest to go avenge her beloved grandfather is being stopped by the man himself and that the only way she could save him is to kill him. For the first time, you see Alisaie break out in tears, heartbroken.
- It only gets worse in the Final Coil of Bahamut when Louisoix is revealed to have become a primal himself. His boss theme is a rearrangement of Answers played on the organ with an ethereal choir to really drive home the tragedy of the series of events that has forced the players to turn their blades on the man who saved Eorzea when all hope was otherwise completely and utterly lost. And if that wasn't sad enough, you remember that Alisaie is absolutely powerless to help and can do nothing but watch you and your friends slay her grandfather, the very reason she even started exploring the Binding Coil of Bahamut in the first place, before her very eyes. When you win, you and your party don't cheer...you sadly close your eyes.
- The story involving the quest "Corpse Groom", and the Tam-Tara Deepcrofts (Normal and Hard). Way back when you were a newbie (Or returning back to Eorzea after getting flung into the future by Louisoix), you met another adventuring party, that actually was looking up to you due to your early exploits in the realm. A bit later, the party's gladiator, Avere dies in Tam-Tara trying to clear it due to party miscommunication. Said tank was the lover to conjurer in the party named Edda, who was blamed for his death by her fellow party members. One of the party members, Liavinne, went on to join the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, and sadly was killed in Livia's assault on the Waking Sands during the main story. Flash forward to Patch 2.3, and Edda resurfaces, claiming that she's getting married to her dead lover Avere, and invited Liavinne and Paiyo Reiyo of her former party. The Torn Folios you can read in the dungeon make it clear Edda's hit the Despair Event Horizon like a freight train and ploughed straight into Crazytown, and worse, a Moral Event Horizon. At the end of Tam-Tara Deepcroft (Hard), she ends up falling off the platform the battle takes place on into a very deep pit, her clothing igniting by passing too close to some candles she walked through.
- To top it off, not a single one of your party member cheers at the end of completing it, as normally happens after clearing a dungeon. Instead, your character just looks on solemnly and closes their eyes in regret that it ended that way.
- Cut to several years on, in one of the twilight patches of Heavensward, we find out that Edda's not done, and is now the evil force running the Palace of the Dead. When you finally put her down, she explodes into dark energy like most bosses...Only to reform as her uncorrupted self. She has zero recollection of what has happened, happily saying to the Warrior of Light that she's started anew as an adventurer...before fading away into the ether, leaving behind only her engagement ring. This, however, ultimately results in a long, long overdue happy ending, though, as taking the ring to Paiyo (her old teammate) kicks off a short quest where you find her beloved's ring and give the rings a burial overlooking Limsa, where their love first blossomed, letting them finally be at rest. A disembodied voice whispering "...Thank you..." after doing so seals the deal and finally brings some closure to the years-long tragedy.
- A sidequest in the Coerthan highlands comes from an elezen man asking you to find his wife's body after she was killed in an avalanche. The man himself says that going to do it himself is too much to bear, but it only gets worse once the player finds the body and retrieves the wedding ring. He tells a story of how they, along with the rest of their village, were coming through the pass to safety, when a sudden snowfall buried half the people - his wife included. He still bears the guilt of letting go of her hand - not that he could have done much in the circumstance - and he goes on to explain that once the living take back a wedding ring from their deceased beloved, said beloved is free to marry again in the afterlife. It's a small moment, but it serves as a reminder of how harsh Eorzea, for all of its wonder, can be.
- Towards the end of the 2.3 storyline, Sultana Nanamo and General Raubahn discuss recent events including Teledji Adeledji's uprising and plan to claim Omega. Raubhan notes that thanks to insufficient evidence and rampant Loophole Abuse, nothing can be done to convict Teledji of any crime. Railing against the corruption of the rule of law and her own powerlessness to do anything about it despite supposedly being head of state, Nanamo breaks down and runs into Raubhan's arms crying. All he can do is reassure her that it's not over yet, but it's doubtful how much even he believes it.
- The special cutscene for "The Rising" event during ARR's anniversary is tear-jerking in the heartwarming kind of way: it's basically Yoshida tapping on the fourth wall to say thank you to you, the player, for sticking with XIV through all the ridiculousness. It's very sweet and heartfelt and you can tell Yoshida and the entire team mean it and went through all this trouble just to thank the players. And they even throw in a little teasing of what the expansion will be about in there!
- In the Gladiator storyline, Aldis' life can be considered as this. Once a famous champion in the Coliseum, he was to face his friend Leavold. The latter begged for Aldis to throw the match, apparently resulting in a lot of money for the both of them, but he refused and defeated him. This lead to Malicious Slander from Leavold accusing Aldis of rigging his duels, resulting his records becoming null, his disgrace from both the coliseum and the gladiator guild, and the alienation of his friends. Seven years later he's on the run from the Alcran, led by Leavold in an attempt to kill him. And when that didn't work, Leavold, with the help of the Corpse Brigade, had Aldis framed for a murderous plot against the Sultana leading to his execution. After their eventual rematch, Leavold leaps to his death with a smile, taunting Aldis about how his life was ruined beyond repair.
- In patch 2.4: Dreams of Ice Nanamo Ul Nanamo announces her plan to be the last in the line of Ul and the last Sultana, Sacrificing her own position to bring down the entire government in all its corruption in hopes that her people can form a better one through democracy. The Sultana then apologizes to the then absent Raubahn for all he has ever done to protect her position, which she is about to ruin.
- An example that crosses over to Real Life: Many players held a vigil in memory of Codex Vahlda, a level 50 bard on the Gilgamesh server, whose player behind the character passed away in December 2014 from renal failure.
- The Heavensturn 2014 event has a Brass Blade that is greatly drunk and demands more booze. You find a pair of glasses inside the saloon and the bartender says to show it to the drunkard so that he can remember about his wife and go home. However, the sight of the glasses causes the Brass Blade to burst into tears and cry uncontrollably because said glasses belonged to his late wife; the two of them planned to see the new year together, but she passed away before it could happen. The man then admits he had been drinking to forget the pain of his wife dying and asks you to help him get to sleep so that he can dream about his wife once more.
- The end of the 2.5 quest chain: to permanently kill Nabriales, an already fatally wounded Moenbryda allows herself to be turned into aether to reinforce the blade of the light. This new hits everyone hard, but nobody harder than Urianger, who says that she lived her life feeling like Louisoix turned his back on Sharlaya by leaving for Eorzea. As he speaks about their past together, how she felt, you can hear his voice slipping. When you tell him that as she died, she finally understood why Louisoix sacrificed himself, he finally cracks. For a man who never, ever showed emotion, it's heartbreaking to hear him trying and failing to keep from bursting into tears. And this is only part one of 2.5's two-part story. If the trailer was any indication things are only going to get much worse before the launch of Heavensward.
- Part 2 is just as heavy with the tear jerking, if not, worse. The player character is branded as Nanamo Ul Namo's murderer, which effectively makes them a fugitive in Ul'dah (even though a good portion of the people don't believe the rumors, and according to people in Limsa Lominsa and Gridania the Admiral of Limsa Lominsa and Seedseers of Gridania are convinced of your innocence) and everything they done to serve Eorzea is now wasted. Minfilia, Yda, Thancred, Papalymo, and Y'shtola pull a Bolivian Army Ending just to help the player character escape from the soldiers that are hunting the player down and it's implied they might not have survived. Raubahn loses his arm to Ilberd in battle after the latter admitted to killing Nanamo, which gets Raubahn branded as a traitor and tossed in jail. Alphinaud realizes all of his endeavors to get all of Eoreza united might have made things worse due to him wanting to claim glory and the Crystal Braves and the Monetarists were using him like a puppet so that they could gain control of Ul'dah and Mor Dhona; Alphinaud's realization puts him into a Heroic BSoD and he almost gives up until Tataru tries to cheer him up with some encouraging words. By the end of the entire scenario, it's amazing how the surviving characters aren't a blubbering mess.
- The final nail in this emotional coffin is that when you've cleared the last story quest (before Heavensward) the game's credits roll, playing the song Answers. It truly cements that, if only on a personal scale, everything that had just transpired is as emotionally devastating as the Calamity itself.
- The game opens by reminding the player of all the tragedy in Before the Dawn. The new fully rendered movie includes flashbacks of the Sultana's death and the Warrior of Light fleeing Ul'dah.
- The Warrior of Light gets a moment that, despite their Heroic Mime status, shows how personal things can get with them on an emotional level. Haurchefant dies protecting the Warrior of Light from an attack aimed at them. The Warrior of Light looks on in complete disbelief, followed by sadness and despair that their close friend is going to die. Haurchefant smiles weakly and tells the Warrior of Light to smile since smiling suits a hero more than being sad, and then he quietly dies. You can see the Warrior of Light silently grieve for a brief moment before returning to the mission at hand. Later on, you can even have the Warrior of Light tell Aymeric that they'll make sure the bastards who killed Haurechenfant will pay for what they done and Aymeric sympathizes by saying he knew how close Haurchenfant was to the Warrior of Light. Just to drive the point home, if your character is wearing any headgear, it will automatically be removed during Haurchefant's dying speech so that you can see the Warrior of Light's reaction to their friend's death.
- This is made all the more tragic when you return to the Fortemps Manor and the news is broken to his brothers as well as Count Fortemps, his father. He effectively breaks down right before the Warrior of Light, being told to leave him alone before starting to sob, loudly, at the realization that one of his own sons is now dead. Much later on, Count Fortemps gives Haurchenfant's broken shield to the Warrior of Light as a reminder of the hope that was instilled within him when the Warrior of Light helped out.
- Speaking to Haurchefant's brothers between quests reveals how they're grieving as well. Antoiriel laments lost opportunities and the things he'll never have the chance to tell Haurchefant and Emmanellain says that it doesn't feel real, like some kind of cosmic joke only it's not funny.
- Though a few, like Alphinaud, and the Warrior of Light try to put on a brave face (though the Warrior's one is quite weak, as well as easily crushed, and then shows how much they've been broken by Haurchefant's demise) , everyone who knew Harchefant is utterly crushed. His father, Count Edmont de Fortemps keeps mentioning the knight's oath that his son swore before his death to find some meaning in his son's death. Many of theNPCs in Camp Dragonhead are hurt, and choke up trying to talk to you. Even Francel of House Hallienarte, who you helped on behalf of Haurchefant way back in the original Main story Quest for 2.0 A Realm Reborn, is absolutely devastated at the news, barely able to ask if his death was as painless and quick as possible.
- In 3.1, if you go to Haurchefaunt's grave a mini event will trigger where Haurchefaunt's friend, Lord Francel, walks up to his grave and kneel down, he says "Hello, old friend." Then he turns to look at you and responds sadly, "It never gets any easier, does it?"
- While still trying to maintain a stoic face it's shown in the following patches, including 3.2, that the Warrior of Light suffers from severe depression because of Haurchefant's death. While a lot of terrible things happened to them, the game manages to show that Haurchefant's tragic fate was the driving point of it. One can wonder if the Warrior will ever recover. It's safe to confirm that Haurchefant has become The Lost Lenore for the Warrior of light at this point.
- The player gets the option to chose a particular answer during a conversation with Thancred that reveals that the Warrior of Light is helping Ishgard, despite being suffering a lot from recent events, mostly because of their deep bond with Haurchefant. Thancred even notes that they must be thinking about someone in particular, but as he didn't get to know Haurchefant he doesn't get to learn of it.
- This is made all the more tragic when you return to the Fortemps Manor and the news is broken to his brothers as well as Count Fortemps, his father. He effectively breaks down right before the Warrior of Light, being told to leave him alone before starting to sob, loudly, at the realization that one of his own sons is now dead. Much later on, Count Fortemps gives Haurchenfant's broken shield to the Warrior of Light as a reminder of the hope that was instilled within him when the Warrior of Light helped out.
- In Azys Lla, you get to meet one of Midgarsromr's children and it's truly heartbreaking. You get to see Midgarsormr's first child, Tiamat, who is bound by Allagan chains and is surprised to see her father after several thousand years. Tiamat tells the story of how her children and her brother, Bahamut, were slain by the Allagan Empire and, in a moment of weakness, agreed to let the Ascians bring her brother back to life. However, the Bahamut that came out was not the one she knew and loved and was a twisted mockery of the real deal. To further rub salt in the wound, the Ascians also taught the Allagans how to capture and control Bahamut (which would pave the way to controlling primals in general) and thus would start the events that drove the dragon into madness and bloodthirsty chaos in between the stories of 1.23 and 2.0. Tiamat is so full of guilt that she chooses to stay bound by the chains as her punishment until the world ends. Even Midgarsormr, a dragon who mocked you every step of the way while showing almost no remorse for others, is saddened by this and he shows that side once more when Nidhogg overtakes Enstinein, wondering how Nidhogg's fury and hatred changed him so much.
- In the final quest mission for the Dark Knight job, you find out that Fray is actually a part of you that is angry at constantly having to be the hero to everyone in Eorzea, at great personal cost. You've lost friends, are never given a moment to live for yourself, and often times your efforts are met with no more than a Thank You, or sometimes less. At one point, Fray even mentions the events of 2.5 as a major influence in their existence. Fray's dialog and behaviour is heartbreaking when you consider that all the scenes where they lash out, or become too tired and sad to deal with things, it's actually your character. The story is finally catching up to them, and they're not able to fully keep their negative feelings in check anymore.
- The latter half of the Dark Knight Quests (Levels 50-60) don't let up with the tearjerkers either. Like how Sid had to watch both his parents be killed by Ishgardian Knights after they fled there looking for refuge; only to be accused of being heretical dragon-spawn. And then there's pretty much everything about Rielle. Her life was utterly torn apart after her father was outed as a zealous heretic; driving her mother insane to the point that she refers to her own daughter as "It", spending the entire questline calling for her death in the name of Halone. And in the end, when Sid is forced to kill the woman as she rants about how she'll never stop her "Holy Crusade" against her own daughter, as his blade swings right at her head, she sheds a single tear, looking almost happy; giving the impression that she wished to die, unable to reconcile her husband's betrayal, her daughter's nature, and her own life-long beliefs.
- The level 58 Dragoon quest is a complete Wham Episode. Heustienne, who had gone missing after a dragon carried her away, is found near Tailfeather and had slain a group of heretics. Even though she found the spear that was stolen from her, she refuses to return to Ishgard because when she was captured by the heretics, they forced her to drink dragon blood and it could have easily turned her into a dragon due to having traces of said blood passed down to all native Ishgardians for many generations. Heustienne knows that she'd be executed on the spot if she were to return home and her father would be stripped of his title while the Dragoons in Heustienne's fold would also be met with suspicion for aiding a heretic. While she does accept what has happened and decides to dedicate her life in helping others by being an adventurer, Heustienne has to live with the fact that she can never return home and see her father ever again in order to protect him.
- The Unfulfilled Dreams sidequest in Ishgard has you meeting again with Osaulie, the little brat that keeps stealing things to everyone in the city. Except this time, she froze to death in her sleep. When you look into her bag, you see that she was saving money to become a soldier and protect her country, despite being an orphan having lived an absolutely crappy life so far. And saving money is why she did not have enough left to buy some wood to keep herself warm. You then get the option of leaving a small memorial to her in Abalathia. Upon setting up the memorial to her near Camp Cloudtop so that she can forever help guard it in spirit, an in-game message pops up, saying that as you finish setting up, you hear what sounds like a young girl's joyous laughter being carried on the winds.
- Throughout the storyline, the Warrior of Light has sacrificed time and again for their friends, and thanks to their strength hasn't suffered much for it. In Heavensward, many sacrifice for him/her, but they're not quite as lucky. Haurchefaunt above is the most known, but a subtler one comes with the final cutscene in Matoya's Cave. The party has left, and the newly-revived Y'shtola is about to walk out with them, when her teacher Matoya stops her with a curt word, and delivers the impact line of the century:
- Ysayle's sacrifice. She becomes Shiva for the last time in order for the Warrior of Light to escape fire from a Garlean airship, but she is overpowered and killed. Before she fades away, she thanks the Warrior of Light for what they did for her, which cuts to a brief shot at your character looking devastated at her death. This shows that, despite initially being enemies, the two eventually grew to consider each other friends. Even Estinien, who acted hostile towards Ysayle throughout the storyline, bids her farewell, even referring to her as "my lady". And where does she gain enough aether to transform, given that she's summoning Shiva in freefall? From her own Crystal of Light bestowed to her by Hydaelyn.Ysayle: The time is come to use Hydaelyn's gift. Much blood has been spilled in my name. And for what? For a false cause that I created for want of the warmth of companionship. Saint Shiva... Hraesvelgr... Pray forgive this fool. But even now, I cannot let go of my dream - my dream of a tomorrow in which no child need freeze alone in the snow. Thank you, Hraesvelgr...Alphinaud: Is that... Ysayle? What does she mean to do!?Ysayle: O goddess borne of mine own hopes and dreams. For the last time I beseech You! Fill this vessel with Your light! Still the hatred within our hearts and bless us with eternal grace! [...] Farewell, Warrior of Light. And thank you - for showing me the way.
- A minor one in the Weaver questline. At first the story seems to be about a typical young noblewoman rebelling against her mother, refusing to become a weaver as per her mother's wishes, instead wishing to be a conjurer that fights on the battlefield. She goes so far as to make the player character craft her clothes that are both practical for conjurers as well as fashionable, to hide the fact that she was a healer from her mother. When her mother starts catching on and sentences her to work that she should be unable to do as an amateur weaver, the sheer determination of the girl is enough to make her work all night long to deliver a dress that even her mother can't complain about. ...Eventually you find out that the girl is planning to become a conjurer to be at her beloved's side on the battlefield, who happens to be an Ishgardian knight. She eventually asks you to make her a healing doublet, determined to run away from her home and become a conjurer in the ishgardian ranks. Just as she is about to leave the city, the adventurer and the lovers are confronted by the mother, who simply says that she knew all along what her daughter was up to. The reason she knew? She has done the same when she was young, becoming a conjurer to be at her beloved's side. Only did she eventually become pregnant, and the pregnancy made her lose focus in battle, which cost the girl's father his life. So she vowed to herself that she would not let her daughter go through the same pain, but the sheer stubbornness and determination of the girl has reminded her of the love she once felt and she lets the pair go with their blessing, as long as they promise her to take care of each other.
- There is something sad, if not pitiful about Laurentius, given his life choices. First he decided to become a crooked Wood Wailer to the XIV Imperial Legion, only to be caught and disgraced. When he's given a chance at redemption as a Crystal Brave, he soon places his lot with Ilberd's coup and joining the Monetarists. Upon encoutering him in Halatali, he even says that he's not a hero, that he never was and that he never will be. By the time he's seen on Baelsar's Wall the man looks as though he's having a realization of just how far he's fallen.
- Buscarron, the owner of a small trader's outpost and alehouse, and former Wood Wailer, was a quest giver involved in the story quests that dealt with Laurentius. After dealing with the Ul'dah portion of 3.0. if you go back to Buscarron's Druthers in the South Shroud, Buscarron reveals he was keeping a bottle of his best stock under the bar, specifically for Laurentius to honor him for joining the Crystal Braves and turning his life around. Upon him learning that Laurentius was one of the key conspirators in the Crystal Brave's betrayal, and likely a few of the murders of loyal members, Buscarron makes it clear he's put the word out to his regulars to keep an eye out for Laurentius and is absolutely angry that Laurentius threw away his second chance. He also vows to break open that bottle he was saving, over Laurentius's head.
- The way all your achievements and progress fall apart in 3.2. Estinien/Nidhogg brutalizes Vidofnir, sabotaging the good faith Ishgardians and Dragons were gaining.
- Which is all the more heartbreaking since Estinien's one moment of weakness was at the end of 3.0, when he feels relief that he can finally set aside his driving need for vengeance—only for that to be the opening for Nidhogg to take over his body.
- There's also watching Aymeric draw his bow and aim at Estinien, who according to the canon short story "Through Fire and Blood", was his friend. Worse, later on in 3.3, he actually describes Estinien as his "dearest friend."
- Nidhogg in general; a testament to what happens when vengeance consumes you. Not even family is excluded.
- Through 3.2, you get the feeling that even the Warrior of Light has had more than they can take. When both asked to join a peace conference and later the Grand Melee, the Warrior shuts their eyes with a grimace before giving their answer both times. It's like they're thinking about similar events and how terribly they ended, it's a sad reminder of just what the Warrior has really been living through. They're also shown to still suffer a lot from Haurchefant's death.
- Gets acknowledged again in 3.4, when the WoL takes Aymeric up on his dinner invitation. When Aymeric's servant goes to prepare drinks, you can see the Warrior watching him with a very concerned expression, presumably remembering what happened the last time they let their guard down (and at this point, the player is likely to be waiting for the other shoe to drop as well).
- Also in 3.2, Minfilia is revealed to have become the Word of the Mother, which is simply a vessel for Hydaelyn to speak through. She uses the last of her strength to explain the history of Hydaelyn and Zodiark, and is dispersed into aether shortly after. It remains to be seen if she is truly dead or not, but all the characters think so. Thancred's relationship with her has been built up throughout this patch, showing he has been hit hard by it in particular, since he throws himself into his work shortly after and pretty much became The Stoic. Y'shtola more or less does the same, and even seems to be acting as if she will be taking Minfilia's place as leader of the Scions, agreeing with Matoya about the sacrifices of war - even knowing she doesn't have much time left, either. Alphinaud, too, needs some time to digest what happened to Minfilia, and Krile is another close friend of hers who was affected by it.
- In the end-game village of Idyllshire, you can often find a pink-haired Miqo'te Kitten hanging about, watching people milling around. As of Patch 3.3 you can find her sitting by an isolated fountain at night, sobbing, crying over how her parents still haven't come back... One of the F.A.T.E.s in Hinterlands offers a sad clue to their fate, noting that two Miqo'te lovers went missing and were possibly killed by Sun Bears.
- In Patch 3.4, you're alerted to a possible summoning of Titan by a young Kobold child. He's utterly desperate because a group of Kobolds opposed to the summoning, his parents among them, have been taken to the Navel to serve as "coke for the fire", and haven't been seen since. Though Alphinaud and Alisaie try to reassure him, there is the lingering feeling of encroaching dread. And so, it's utterly heart-wrenching when the tiny beastman arrives in the Navel with you, and soon discovers the twisted, lifeless corpses of his parents...
- Worse yet, this then results in him summoning Titan himself as he cries out in grief, desperately begging his parents to wake up. The Titan that he summons is nigh mindless and extremely violent, and you're prompted to use the Titan (Hard) trial to put him down. All the while as you fight him, Titan will be repeating the desperate cries of the Kobold boy who summoned him.Titan: I said I'd come! I said I'd come! I'm here... I'm here... Mother... Father...I can't...I can't find you... *unleashes Earthen Fury* WAKE UUUUUPPPP!!!
- Worse yet, this then results in him summoning Titan himself as he cries out in grief, desperately begging his parents to wake up. The Titan that he summons is nigh mindless and extremely violent, and you're prompted to use the Titan (Hard) trial to put him down. All the while as you fight him, Titan will be repeating the desperate cries of the Kobold boy who summoned him.
- The full story of the Warriors of Darkness. They were simple adventurers-turned heroes, the same as the Warrior of Light. They fought to save their world time and again, to the point of banishing all the darkness from their world, only to find that in doing so, they had upset the balance. The power of light, unbound by darkness, is consuming the world from which they came, and the dark path they walk is the only way they can think to save a world for which they had already given everything. Arbert's anger and hopelessness as he recounts what happened, and the reactions of his allies, is heartbreaking.
- Warrior of Darkness: At long last, you see. To save our world, we gave up our lives. We were just adventurers trying to make our way. An odd job here, a favor there - we never aspired to be Warriors of Light. But word of our deeds spread, and soon people were calling us heroes. They placed their hopes and dreams on our shoulders and bid us fight for all that was good and right. We fought and we fought and we fought... until there was no one left to fight. We WON... and now our world is being erased from existence. We did everything RIGHT, everything that was asked of us, and still - STILL it came to this!
- His entry in the lorebook makes it even worse: the Warrior of Darkness had to kill his beloved companions, and then himself, in order to make the journey to Eorzea. No wonder he was so determined to succeed at any cost. If he failed, not only would his world be lost, but he would have killed his companions for nothing.Before leaving the First, Arbert was forced to end the lives of those he loved best, and it is with deep despair in his heart, that he wanders our realm seeking salvation.
- While the song itself is tragic, having the full context of Dragonsong's lyrics make it utterly heartrending, just like Answers before it. The song seems to be sung from the viewpoint of an unnamed female dragon, possibly Vedofnir given the similarity in their voices. It starts off describing Shiva and Hraesvelgr's love despite man and dragon's hatred for one another, speaking softly and sadly of her sacrifice to her lover to create peace... and then emotions start as the song crescendos, describing mankind's betrayal of that final sacrifice. From there, more or less the entire song is a heartbroken plight and desperation to under why someone would do something so wicked and evil out of reasons a dragon's morality can't understand, the final lyrics implying that rationalizing humanity's betrayal and murder of Ratataskr will forever remain something dragons will never reconcile, even if some want to give mankind another chance. And given what Vidofnir says when you speak to her after Nidhogg's final death, dragons keep their far-flung history alive in their minds via song, instead of self-reflection and writing in history books, meaning this song almost definitely exists in-universe as something that dragons sing of to make sure they never forget. Fittingly, the song plays in the first phase of the final battle with Nidhogg (and the area before it when you first unlock it), as everyone who was affected by the sad story of Dragon and Man are in one place, putting into perspective that everyone there, Isghardian, Dragon, Nidhogg's brood or Hraesvelgr's, were all carrying the wounds of that tragedy.
- Word of God actually confirmed that Dragonsong was sung from Hydaelyn's perspective just like Answers was. Hydaelyn made a pact with Midgardsormr when he first came to the star (planet) as Omega was chasing him, and in exchange for a place to hatch his brood, he became the guardian of both Silvertear as well as the planet on the whole. The song is about the mothercrystal's dismay at her children (the spoken races, specifically Ishgardians) waging war against the children of Midgardsormr.
- There's one part at the end of the new Palace of the Dead Floors that is subtle, but there. As he dies, Nybleth Obdilord pleads to the Warrior of Light to empathize with his twisted goal and release those they lost from the coils of death. While they don't buy it, after Nybleth's death throes finish the Warrior of Light just solemnly closes their eyes. Even though necromancy isn't the solution, they probably do wish they could undo the deaths they've suffered through their journey.
- The end of 3.5 part 1 is gut wrenching moment for nearly everyone involved in the scene. After Illberd completes the ritual to summon a primal far more dangerous than Bahamut, the primal starts to take shape. Papalymo, seeing that no other option is available, decides to perform a Heroic Sacrifice by using Tipsumati to seal the yet born primal in the same fashion Louisoix did with Bahamut. Yda knows that Papalymo won't survive casting the spell and tries to convince him to stop. Papalymo, determined to stop the primal, orders Thancred to take Yda away to safety on the airship all while she screams at Thancred to let her go so she can be by Papalymo's side. You're also given the choice of either believing in Papalymo and escaping or refuse to leave to stand by him. If you choose to flee, the Warrior of Light looks down and has a very anguished look on their face as they run to the airship. If you stay, Papalymo uses a spell to throw the Warrior of Light onto the airship anyway. Yda and the rest of the Scions can only look on helplessly as Papalymo uses the sealing spell while extinguishing his own life.Yda: Don't you dare, Papalymo! I know how that spell works!
Yugiri: It is time to leave!
Papalymo: Quite right! Quickly, now! Off you go! The further away the better!
Yda: No! If you're staying, then so am I!
Papalymo: No, Yda! There is a path only you can walk, and it must not end here─not like this!
Papalymo: Take her! Please, you have to take her!
[Thancred throws Yda over his shoulder and makes for the airship.]
Yda: Wha─ No! Damn it, Thancred! Put me down! Thancred!
Papalymo: *to the Warrior of Light* This is one battle you cannot fight. Away with you. Go!
[The Warrior of Light can only look down in frustration and sadness before fleeing with the others.]
Thancred: Hilda! I think he means now!
Papalymo: I bid thee farewell again, my dear Yda...
Papalymo: Now, let us see how good a student I truly was...
- Part 2 of 3.5, while not as tragic as part 1, is still pretty gut wrenching for the most part. Yda takes off her mask for the first time and reveals that she was actually impersonating her dead sister, who was the real Yda all along. She reveals that her actual name is Lyse and her sister died 6 years ago after she was caught aiding Ala Mhigo refugees by the empire. Lyse wanted to follow in her sister's path to honor her legacy, so Papalymo made a fake tattoo via magic on Lyse's neck in the same style as Yda had. After the reveal, Lyse's tattoo vanishes, signifying both that Papalymo is truly gone and Lyse forging a new path for her own self.
- It's all the more heartrending for how comedic the storyline generally is, but the Hildibrand tale of Gigi is a pretty sad one, even if it ends happily after all.
- Every village you come across in Garlean occupied territory is completely and utterly broken. The people live in destitution and suffer under Imperial taxation, conscriptions, and general and brazen cruelty. The people have lived like this for twenty five years and have come to accept it as their lot in life. So long as they keep their heads down and obey, nothing worse will happen. Every time the Scions arrive to offer aid and a chance at fighting back, and every time they're met with fear and hatred for it. Everyone knows what they have is awful, but to take any action would mean they'd be butchered by the Empire and want nothing to do with the hope the Warrior of Light is offering. Lyse and Yugiri are especially heartbroken by such consistent displays coming from their people.
- The Dark Knight storyline continues the trend of trudging up the more heartbreaking side of the Warrior of Light's accolades. You meet a relative of a Heaven's Ward knight (whom you killed), the woman who poisoned you at the peace conference in 3.2, an Ala Mhigan freedom fighter who you both saved personally and fought for the Griffon (Ilberd), and even Sidurgu's old master who proceeds to put both you and he through the wringer. All the while having it hammered into you that, with the exception of Sidurgu's master, all of these people are in their positions because of YOU.
"and you are still a good person, apparently. That's nice.""[the shade of Houdart] laments his fate, wishing he could go back and convince his former self not to place his trust in the Griffin... but if such things were possible, you wouldn't have a broken shield, now would you?"
- It even goes deeper than that. The entire questline is essentially the Warrior of Light trying to make sense of everything they've done, bargaining with your own doubt and guilt. Desperately reasoning that, despite all of the hardship, the losses and constant anguish at seeing people die, both loved ones, friends and enemies alike that you're still fighting the good fight. That all the effort is worth it. The Journal entries are similarly desperate, whereas the 30-50 quests had the Warrior making stabs at everyone that relied on him, the 60-70 quests show near constant second-guessing, doubt and shame at being faced with just how much you've destroyed the above peoples' lives.
- A sidequest has you speaking to a mother in Coldhearth whose son is missing. She sends you on a few quests speaking to soldiers of the resistance to find out what happened to him. You eventually find out that he acted as a double agent for The Empire to understand their battle plans and how the resistance can counter them while he ultimately was found out and killed for it. You're then tasked with giving the soldier's mother his final letter to her and she asks you to read it for her because she fears she'd wind up crying too much to even reach the end of the page. In his letter, he states that he has a gift waiting for her with a friend of his. Said gift is date palm seeds, which have Garlemald origins and thus can grow nearly anywhere. This puts the soldier's mother at ease knowing that their village will now have more food to eat. Not a moment later, a man appears before you, who states he is the woman's son. He tells you that he had to kill his own friends and comrades for the good of resistance as their spy and feels that his people can't forgive him for killing his own kind. Ergo, he decides to leave his home behind, as well as his name, in order to start a new life and continue to help people fight against the Garleans. It really hits home for people who lost a loved one in a war.
- Late in the story, you get a sidequest in Rhalgr's Reach called "Dearest Daughter" of an elderly man looking for his daughter. It's after going to Castrum Oriens that you learn that the woman you're looking for died on Baelsar's Wall during the Griffin's raid and the old man hasn't had it sunk in yet that his daughter is dead.
- One sidequest has you escorting a girl across The Fringes that wants to see her brother. She talks about how they fled from Ala Migho when The Empire took over and moved to Gridania, but her brother joined the Resistance to fight back. The girl asks you what you believe home means and if you have a home to go back to, which can be quite personal to some players. The girl then talks about how her brother would send her letters telling her that he would pray at the temple in the Fringes after every battle until he was sound of body and mind. She finally reaches Rhaglr's Reach where her brother is waiting; a makeshift grave with his mask resting on top of some stone. The girl's next few lines are truly heartbreaking:Somber Sibling: Oh, Brother... I meant to come sooner. When they told me the news I couldn't believe it. I constantly ask myself how we could have grown so far apart? Why would he refuse to accept Gridania as our home? I hoped he would be a brother to my husband, an uncle to my son. Instead he chose Ala Mhigo. And now...
- In 4.1 Fordola is finally confronted after the war in jail and you peer into her past via the Echo, turns out her parents were those who chose to bend the knee willingly to Imperial rule and look up to the Garleans instead of brooding with discontent. This ended up getting her father killed as he protected her from a mob throwing rocks at her for her parents choice, with the local Garlean soldiers simply choosing to let them tire themselves out than control the violence. She grew up bitter and angry, wanting to honor her father and serve Gaius whom he had admired (Gaius being the BETTER of the ruling Garleans). In the end she enlisted to become strong and dominate those who scorned her wearing her father's face marking in his memory. To make it even worse she spots that you have witnessed her past with the echo and snaps at them only for her own artificial echo to see all the events of the Warrior of Light's story: The slaughter at the Waking Sands, fighting Gaius, the Ultima Weapon, the betrayal of the Crystal Braves, Haurchefant's sacrifice, facing down Thordan, Nidhogg, Zenos, and everything else. It breaks her to see the truth behind the person that fought her. Someone that suffered and continues to suffer tragedy after tragedy. She cannot understand how they can stand and not break from holding such power, having experienced such pain and strife. The response you give leaves her utterly defeated.
- Later it transpires that Fordola has little control over her Echo, she cannot help but relive the experiences of those around her and the emotion she feels from them is impressioned on her deeply. Given in prison she is surrounded by those who lost family most likely due to her command, it is little wonder why she desires death so much. Then to top that all off she experienced the WoL's emotions: someone who wasn't broken by all the pain others did to them. What she could have been.
- The simple fact that, after all this time, the Warrior of Light is still heavily affected by Haurchefant's death, as shown in Fordola's visions. Of course, they'll never emotionally recover, but the fact that their pain is still that deep is heartbreaking, especially if you've done the Stormblood Dark Knight quests.
- Ba'gaman is shown to be a ruthless bounty hunter in the Ivalice raid storyline, but his past is quite tragic. He used to be a Captain for Prince Rassler in the Dalmascan army and his crew were a part of his unit. He failed to protect Rassler and Ashe and the only thing he has to remember them by is a necklace Rassler wanted to give to Ashe. Ba'gamnan and his crew lived for the next thirty years with the tragedy still fresh in their hearts. Ba'gamnan aims to use an auracite to undo his mistakes, but its power consumes him and makes him think everyone is a Garlean coming back to finish the job. The bangaa then goes through a quite painful partial transformation when his right arm massively grows in muscle mass before fleeing. Ba'gamnan's friends are all torn over what happened; one hopes that he'll fight the Lucavi from within and return while another believes Ba'gamnan is dead since the light in his eyes are gone. By the time you catch up to him, he transforms into a dragon and has to be put down.
- In 4.3 the end of Yotsuyu's story. After repeated tormenting by her adoptive brother to regain her memories, to which Hien struggles to restrain himself from showing anger at, Yotsuyu finally returns...and the weight of her extensive ammount of sins and what she feels is undue kindness causes her to very nearly commit Jigai (Suicide), only for her story to get even worse when her adoptive parents show up at the Enclave and damn her existance wishing she had died (thinking she is still "Tsuyu" and harmless) with the father contemplating selling her to a whorehouse openly, along with visions of her past showing just how battered and broken she was as a child, melding her into the heartless monster she was. This causes her to revert back to her old cruel and twisted self before she promptly stabs both of her parents dead. Her pain and suffering even extends to the primal fight against her where her memories of her parents, her stepbrother, the empire, and Zenos take physical form and attack her to cause even more misery and suffering, only for her memory of Gosetsu's kindness to manifest and and hold Zenos off. She sadly rejects the kindness, feeling she is too far gone to be saved. Even after she is defeated and lying on the ground dying, Asahi cruely shoots and kicks her several times, angry at how Zenos picked her to be Doma's viceroy instead of him. Yotsuyu does get her revenge by using the last of power to impale her stepbrother with several blades while the Warrior of Light can only look on in sadness, which prompts her to say something to the effect of "Why are you sad? The witch of Doma is dead." She then closes her eyes and smiles peacefully, wondering if Gosetsu liked the fruit she had given him before she fades away. This scene alone had a lot of players show a lot of tears for her with some even relating to her with the abuse they suffered in their lives.
- A moment later, Gosetsu arrives, sees Yotsuyu's dead body, and drops to his knees wailing like he lost his daughter. There is no satisfaction in the witch of Doma's death, only sorrow.
- 4.4 gives us Alisaie. It's stressed all through the patch that she isn't taking her separation from her brother well at all. In so much that Lyse takes notice and asks the Warrior of Light to be there for her. And then thanks to a voice "calling" Thancred, Y'sthola, and Urianger, they are all knocked unconscious and in a sleep. And it's just her and the Warrior of Light now. And she still is determined to save her friends.
- And then there's The finale of Omega - first revealing its long, horribly lonely journey across the starts trying to follow Midgardsormr, then trying to emulate you, only to lose, and in its dying moments does it truly begin to understand the strength of mortal hearts. Perhaps, with that, it thinks, it could have had the chance to return home. Cid reveals that the very soulless nature of it, devoid of a spirit to break, was the only reason it even made it across all the stars to Hydaelyn. It's final words before being banished for good: "I think... I understand..."
- In Patch 4.4 we get Suzaku one of the Four Lords who is the 3rd to be fought. As one of Tenzen's companions, she grew to love him but was unable to profess her feelings due to her fears of being a bird. During Tenzen's final encounter with Kohryu she and her fellow Four Lords were helpless as Tenzen died protecting them and sealing Kohryu, this event emotionally scarred her severely and she wished with all her might that she could really become the Phoenix of legend. It was only later that she did grow to become an actual Phoenix but by then it was too late and this sad irony isn't lost on her. Her battle theme Sunrise explores the depths of her despair at losing Tenzen, and her desire to see him once more knowing it's impossible.
- By the end of 4.5 Part One, the Warrior of Light is the last major Scion standing, with Alphinaud and Alisaie both having succumbed to the invasive voice and fallen into a coma like the others. It's made even worse that Alisaie's last words before falling victim seemed to indicate that she knew it was about to happen. To make matters worse, Elidibus has arrived on the frontline in Zenos' body. It may not be their darkest hour, but with the combat capable Scions comatose and even with both Matoya and Krile looking for answers, the Warrior of Light has never been as alone as they are now, with one of their greatest enemies walking around in the body of another one.
- In one of the earliest scenes of Shadowbringers, you encounter a travelling merchant who's the spitting image of Brennan, Bremondt, and Brendt, the three brothers whom you can encounter at the beginning of A Realm Reborn. He directs you to the nearby Crystarium, but unlike his predecessors, does not make the rest of the journey there with you. Later, just as you're entering the Crystarium, you're attacked by a Sin Eater, who is quickly dispatched by the gatekeeper. The Sin Eater fades, and drops a ring, which it apparently had swallowed in a recent meal... which you immediately recognize as having been worn on the merchant's hand when you met him only moments before.
- During the cutscene where Urianger first explains the Eight Umbral Calamity to the WoL, we get a scene where we're shown the fallen Scions. As the shot pans, we see one after another until we finally see the WoL themself, with Alisiae and Alphinaud beside them. Alphinaud and Alisiae are holding hands.
- After retrieving Seto's medallion, he is completely overjoyed seeing it again because it reminded him of his partner. He reminisces over the adventures they had together and while he couldn't speak back then (since he was an Amaro that didn't gain the gift of intelligence yet), his heart was filled with joy by being at his side and helping people with him. When his partner inadvertently caused the Flood, everyone blamed him and only a handful of people stood up for him. Seto couldn't bear to hear people talk so negatively about his friend, so he left men behind to live alone. He wishes he could have told his friend how much he meant to him. Said friend is Ardbert, the leader of the Warriors of Darkness you fought back in Heavensward. Ardbert's ghost appears and listens to Seto telling of his memories, unable to do anything but seemingly shed a tear at the story before fading away. Whatever response you give to Seto, he mentions that you remind him a lot of his friend with the same amount of kindness.
- Upon entering Rak'Tika forest you and the party are beset by the Night's Blessed, an organization that worships the darkness and who are currently working for Y'shtola. She warns them that a powerful Lightwarden is approaching the forest and they need to be ready to drive it off. Since the Lifestream incident at the end of A Realm Reborn Y'shtola has been working with functional sight, only able to recognize people, places and things by their Aether. When meeting with the group she recognizes Urianger and Thancred and is even able to deduce who the young girl traveling with them is. However when it comes to the Warrior of Light/Darkness, one of the few people she openly respects, all she can see is a monster. It takes you talking to her, with one of the dialoge options being accompanied with your character on the verge of tears themselves, for her to finally recognize you. She then quivers in disbelief and sadness as she understands what the Lightwarden's corruption is doing to you before you do yourself.
- This is doubly heartbreaking for players who started in Limsa and had Y'sthola be the one to bring them into the Scions. The one person who started it all by recruiting you into the scions cannot recognize you and sees you as a threat.
- To really drive it home when Y'shtola finally has Urianger alone, even if she keeps her tone even, she's very clearly upset. When the Warrior of Light accidentally ends up overhearing them she immediately calls Urianger out for pretending to not realize what's happening as they continue to absorb the light of the Wardens. Understanding that he likely has good intentions she's clearly upset that Urianger is keeping secrets yet again before asking the big question: Did he or did he not truly see the Eighth Umbral Calamity as he claimed to. He doesn't get to answer before they're interrupted. Take a moment to remember that the Scions decided to stay in The First for so long specifically to avert the Eigth Umbral Calamity to save Eorzea and the Warrior of Light. Now because she can only see the world in aether Y'sthola sees a close friend thrown into a whole different kind of danger simply because Uriangier likely isn't being entirely honest.
- Lyna gets a heartbreaking moment after the attack on Lakeland. After initially brushing off the WoL's words of concern, she nonetheless seems tired and weak after all that happened. When she turns to leave, she suddenly stumbles and falls... before finally letting her mask slip:Lyna: I am fine... Completely, and utterly fine! BETTER than fine! Hale and hearty and still alive to mourn those who are not. Who I failed to protect when they needed me most.Lyna: We've come so far, so godsdamned far! I could have sworn the end was in sight. And now...Lyna: Now they will never see it.
- And then, as if to rub salt in the wound, Vauthry chooses that moment to begin his pontificating, fully intent on grinding the soldiers sacrifices into the dirt. Asshole.
- After the battle of Lakeland, Ardbert watches as a Crystarium soldier begs his friend to hang on for reinforcements and medical aid to arrive. Distracted as he is the soldier does not notice the sin eater approaching them and Ardbert screams at the soldier to run. When that inevitably fails Ardbert readies Bravura, charges the sin eater, and essentially begs his axe to work just this one time... and of course it fails as well leaving Ardbert to do little but stand there despondent as the sin eater catches the soldier by surprise and he screams in agony and dies begging for help. Ardbert is left teetering on the edge of a despair event horizon until he sees a group of Crystarium soldiers rallying behind the Warrior of Light to continue fighting in spite of how hopeless it seems.
- After defeating Innocence and absorbing their corrupted light aether, Norvrandt is plunged into its Darkest Hour as all of the aether from the fallen lightwardens begins to overwhelm the Warrior of Light. To make things worse, the Crystal Exarch steps in to steal the light from them and use it to conquer the other parallel worlds...or so he would like people to think: as Urianger knows too well, and Y'shtola quickly realizes, the Exarch's true plan was to take the light with him into the rift, sacrificing his life to save The First. As the Exarch puts this plan into motion, a gust of wind blows back his hood, revealing his identity: G'raha Tia, a miqo'te from the Source and (provided the player completed the Crystal Tower raids) an old and cherished friend. The player is also given the option to call out his name, which moves him to tears, granting him solace.
- Thank you for fighting for this world. For believing. Fare you well, my friend — my inspiration.
- Specifically, the options are:>Remain silent.>Call him by his name.
- Just before entering the final dungeon, the Warrior of Light has a word with their allies, reflecting on the journey they had so far, leading up to the confrontation. Once they get to Ryne, however, she expresses concern with the light within ready to overtake them at any moment. One of the responses to assure her? "Fate can be cruel, but a smile better suits a hero." Even after all this time, Haurchefant still lives on in their memories.
- The vision of Amaurot that Emet-Selch creates is one very sad memory for him. Instead of being race of Eldritch monsters or some other kind of cruel regime, the Ascians were part of a group of a highly advanced civilization. This civilization thrived thanks to their creation magic and were living in what was essentially a Utopia. No one went hungry and everyone had extremely long lifespans, and their Aether stores were vast enough to create things as a hobby or even as a base reflex that allowed even babies would create things unconsiously. From what Emet-Selch showed the ancients celebrated learning and would allow even children to participate in scholastic endeavours, not only that but they debated as a hobby. After witnessing a debate between two Amaurotines, instead of vehemently disagreeing with each other they used the opportunity to learn and never once disrespected their opponents. Open sharing of ideas was encouraged and would spread from creating entirely new lifeforms to even mundane things like children's toys. Seeing this firsthand and it's not at all impossible to think that half of their civilization would sacrifice themselves to save the other half without a second thought. All of this makes the final dungeon more tragic seeing their civilization collapse firsthand and realizing they didn't deserve any of it.
- Of all people, Emet-Selch and the Ascians as a whole get this in the finale. It turns out that they are not simply Zodiark's disciples. They're the last remnants of a world that was completely and utterly annihilated by Hydaelyn during her war against Zodiark. Everything the Ascians have done, every manipulation, every murder, every Calamity, has all been carried out so that they can reclaim their home. During the final battle, Emet-Selch rants at length in fury about all the pain and suffering he and his people have endured, about how much he has sacrificed for the sake of his people's survival, about how Hydaelyn stole everything from them, and about the injustice of how everyone else labels them as pure evil when all he and the other Ascians truly want is to just go home.
- To top this off, once the he is struck with a fatal blow, all he can do is look at the player, knowing full well he is defeated, and only asks for them to remember his people and that they existed, before disappearing for good. The player's calm expression seems an indication that the request will be honored. To make it even more signifiant and tragic, the Warrior of Light being originally an Ascian makes it even more important, as they're now basically bearing the legacy of their people. Emet-Selch's expression seems to mean he also finally accepts the fact that the Warrior of Light is indeed the one he loved as his closest friend, which adds a lot of meaning to that legacy.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon before this, a deadly, yet illusory recreation of Amaurot as it was taken by the calamity that nearly ended the world and precipitated the creation of Zodiark, deserves special mention. Tear Jerker is essentially the defining characteristic of the entire dungeon; the once-beautiful city full of innocent people who barely even understand what's causing this apocalypse is being torn apart by horrific creatures spawned of their own minds and powers running amok. Meteors fall from the blood-red sky as all is awash in a sea of blood and flame. You even get to see the people being mercilessly slaughtered up close and personal, and no matter what you do you can't stop it. It's already happened, long, long ago. There's not even proper area names on the map, merely Emet-Selch's descriptions of what is happening ('So did the final doom undo us' for example), all while he provides fully-voiced running commentary. It's all a perfect rendering of an entire universe crossing the Despair Event Horizon. And the incredibly moving BGM, Mortal Instant, sells the feeling of complete despair all the more. It's all perfect lead-in material to hype up the final battle with Emet-Selch himself, and will leave no doubt of the festering, ever-growing pain the Big Bad Duumvirate that is the Overlords have been stewing in for all these thousands of years. To top the whole thing off, checking the weather during the instance shows "Termination". The worst part is when you remember the Warrior of Light was once an Ascian it means that they were likey there when this all happened, and they were just as powerless to stop it then as they are in the present.
- Just before the final battle, the Scions give Emet-Selch their "World of Cardboard" Speech, declaring why they fight so hard to prevent Calamaties and Rejoinings. The WoL? It's all they can do to barely stay upright and slowly stagger towards Emet-Selch as the Primordial Light overwhelms them and shatters their soul from the strain.
- At the final healer role quest, Lamitt's shade appears from the crystal and her memory explains how much she sacrificed to save her friends and travel with Ardbert to make the world a better place while also still hurting from the fact that she was basically exiled from her hometown for breaking traditions. Giott, who was bad mouthing Lamitt for the whole quest chain, now completely regrets all the things she said about her and attempts to hug Lamitt, only for her shade to fade away. After a while, Giott smiles and promises to honor her memory by saying "Rest well, Lamitt. You were the best of us.
- The Tales from the Shadows side story "A World Forsaken", detailing the aftermath of the Eighth Umbral Calamity from the perspective of the surviving Garlond Ironworks. The entire story is very heartbreaking, especially when Wedge's death is described. After being mauled by a carnivorous beast beyond recovery, Wedge tells Biggs to produce children so their offspring can continue the Ironworks legacy.Biggs: "Its high time you started a family yourself."
- From the fourth Tales of the Shadows, we get "Through His Eyes", While in his original body of Emperor Solus zos Galvus, Emet-Selch is asked by his grandson why he hates him. Emet-Selch responds he hates his body. Turns out despite everything, Emet-Selch had some pride in his son, Varis' father, only for him to die young due to illness. This embittered Emet-Selch, reinforcing his belief that all the lives on the shards were small, weak creatures. He particularly loathes his Varis because he reminds him of his son and his momentary lack of judgement.
- Another sad detail is the fact that it's also the origin of Emet-Selch's current persona. Emet-Selch based his outer personality on Hythlodaeus who was an irreverent trickster who did not care much for boundaries. Realizing this, it's easy to see how much Emet-Selch actually misses his old friend and how much his friend's persona probably carried him emotionally throughout the ages. Beneath that he was always a somber person.
- The YoRHa: Dark Apocalypse raid starts on an uplifting note for anyone who's played NieR: Automata, giving them a good dose of nostalgia to the gut right up to where the player is reunited with 9S at the end of the Copied Factory raid... were it not for one tiny, teensy problem: he arrives at the end of the raid as the boss. The nostalgia promptly morphs into a Gut Punch as you realize that this is Post-Sanity Slippage 9S, evidenced by the lengths he goes to to see 2P dead and a hidden room in the raid dungeon littered with dead 2B bodies. It's not clear which (if any) Automata ending Dark Apocalypse is set after, but even if it's the Golden Ending, it's obvious that 9S has not reconciled with 2B or A2 in the slightest, and until evidence is found to the contrary, he may have slid into full-on villainy with whatever plans he has for the Copied Factory.
- After wrapping up the 5.1 MSQ, Tataru suggests you check up on F'lhaminn, considering she knows what happened to Minfilia. Turns out she's lost in memories about her adoptive daughter, having yet to give her a final goodbye after all that she's done for Eorzea and Norvrandt. With your company, she manages to get help from a pair of miners of Amajina & Sons Mineral Concern, unearthing the only thing left behind in the waterway used to escape the events of 2.55, Before the Fall: a cat's-eye jewel. Not just any one, however, the same one Minfilia herself unearthed and gave to F'lhaminn, which made its way back to her when she led the Scions. The gem then made its way back to F'lhaminn as a Tragic Keepsake, believing its return was purposeful. She then decides to bury the gem with Minfilia's father, giving her daughter rest with her family, as well as bringing closure, knowing her daughter lived a life of purpose and left a lasting legacy.
- It's a small moment, but Runar in 5.2 accidentally eavesdrops on "Master Matoya" talking with the Warror of Light/Darkness, and learns that she is going to have to leave Rak'tika. He stops dead for a few seconds before interrupting the two, and later on Y'shtola herself notices how he's acting oddly around her. Whether or not you want to pair the two of them romantically it's very clear that she means a lot to him, and that while he does want what's best for her, he will very much miss her.
- After defeating the Ruby Weapon, the player and Gaius are confronted by three Au Ra. Turns out they're three of five orphans Gaius adopted when they were children and see him as their father. The only girl of the three begs Gaius to return, thinking he's just doing this because he was wrongly convicted of killing Emperor Varis. When Gaius makes it clear that he will not be returning, the taller white haired one practically gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech and swears to kill the Warrior of Light. Why? Because the pilot of the Ruby Weapon was also one of the five Au Ra, meaning you directly are responsible for killing them, at least to them. Cid's conversation after makes it clear that Gaius must be feeling nearly broken by everything he's had to do.
- During the second Eden Raid wing, Gaia eventually gets so peeved with the situation she walks off mid conversation as the rest are discussing how to proceed. Ryne cannot hide from the others that she has something on her mind regarding Gaia. Eventually she spills out that besides Alphinaud and Alisaie, she has nobody her own age that she can call a friend. Bear in mind that the twins are not only slightly older than her still, but are also from the source, and it becomes clear that Ryne is suffering a deep lonliness that only becomes worse as she is distinctly aware that everyone will eventually leave her. She is desperate to make friends with this girl that is not only similar to her in age, but in burden of power. Thankfully, it pays off, but it is really sad to know what is going through her mind.
- After you finish both the Eden's Verse and the 5.2 storylines, a new quest becomes available and is pretty much just a discussion about the future of Eden with Thancred, Urianger, and Ryne and Gaia. Urianger explains that because he and Thancred will be returning to the Source soon, they are going to step back and leave Eden and the restoration of the Empty to Ryne and the player character. Thancred, on the other hand, just looks away and doesn't say a word, only speaking up when Ryne becomes upset. It's painfully obvious that he doesn't want to leave her behind, but feels that he has no choice.
- The Blades of Gunnhildr quest line (Shadowbringers' relic weapon quests) delves deep into Cid's memories when he was with the empire during the Bozja Incident, and we learn why he views the Meteor Project as a personal demon of his. The landscape is all fragmented and warped, and as you get closer to the heart of the incident, monsters spawn from Cid's subconscious to try and try to eject you out, showing how much he doesn't want to remember. When you encounter his younger self and his father, you learn that his father, reason be damned, planned to use Dalamud to raze the capital to the ground, despite being so powerful it would cause a calamity. Why? He's been tempered by Bahamut. Tried as he might, Cid couldn't stop him, as his father was already already gone. Having to relieve such painful memories that he's suppressed for years, topped with an even harsher truth, it's a wonder how he hasn't completely shut down after that.
- The theme for the Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Exhibition has been revealed to be farewells, or more accurately "The tales of Separations". Previews of it are featuring famous dying or farewell lines from all entries. The one for XIV ? It's one of Haurchefant's last lines to the Warrior of Light, as he lays dying in their arms. All of it is accompanied by the mark of a tear falling on the words, probably meant to be the Warrior of Light's.
- The 2018 Little Ladies' Day event starts off cheerful like usual, but a second quest after the main performance takes on a somewhat more serious tone. A little girl wants to attend the show, but she lost her parents' jewelry and can't go back to find them due to the wilderness being dangerous. You agree to help her and return moments later with the jewelry. The girl then tells you a story on how seneschals would be at their lady's side and go on adventures with them like a knight and princess. The Warrior of Light kneels down as if to say they choose her, making her quite happy. The girl then asks you to take the jewelry to a man she knows and she calls you her seneschals before suddenly vanishing. When you meet the man and show him the accessories, he reveals that they belonged to his late aunt. He then explains how back in the day, men that attended the Little Ladies' Day event lured young girls into back alleys, kidnapped them, and sold them off to the highest bidder. The man's aunt really wanted to see the show and be a princess for a day and you granted her wish, allowing her spirit to move on.