Fire Emblem Fates has a lot of these moments, given its premise, to the point that Fire Emblem Feels might be a more accurate description.
- The Chapter 6 decision will hurt regardless of which side you choose. Either you side with Hoshido and get Xander lamenting the Avatar betraying their family, or side with Nohr and have Ryoma brutally rebuke them for supporting the country that murdered Mikoto and countless innocent people. Xander's is possibly sadder, as he's seeing the person he'd loved and cared for as a sibling all his life become his enemy, and unlike Ryoma, he's incredibly hesitant about fighting them, only doing it when he feels he has no choice. The Armor-Piercing Question the Avatar gives him: did Garon really care for them if he sent the Avatar into Hoshido with Ganglari, KNOWING the sword's explosion would most likely kill them? Them calling his father Garon a monster just twists the knife further. On the Hoshidan side, Ryoma, Hinoka, Takumi, and Sakura have just been reunited with their long-lost sibling, only for him/her to turn on them, which hits Hinoka especially hard since she's been searching for the Avatar all her life, and she even laments that all her life's training has been pointless. The Sad Battle Music does not help.
- You know what makes it worse? Fighting the siblings with the Avatar. Their reactions are all heartbreaking, ranging from angry accusations of betrayal to despairingly wondering why this is happening, and the Avatar is clearly wracked with guilt and horror. Going after the little sisters, who can't even fight back, is possibly the most gut-wrenching - and even worse, it's necessary to attack Sakura on Conquest, unless one wants to fight Ryoma.
- And if you thought picking neither side would spare you heartbreak, think again! You get the exact same reactions as above, but from both families this time. It's a painful double-whammy, especially when the chapter ends with both countries labeling the Avatar a traitor and ordering a hunt on their head, despite their desperate protestations that they aren't, they just can't bear to fight either of them.
- Seeing how much the lives of the siblings you don't side with change for the worse as you progress through the story. It really shows how much the Avatar was something of a Morality Chain for both families.
- On Birthright, Elise, who normally acts as a rare beacon of optimism on the Conquest route, falls into depression. Leo is first seen about to pull You Have Failed Me on a minor boss until the Avatar talks him out of it, and later claims he has always hated him/her. Team Mom Camilla cracks badly enough to go from My Beloved Smother to an outright Yandere. Finally, Xander goes from kind, protective older brother to a borderline Inspector Javert, only focused on hunting the Avatar down for their betrayal.
- On Conquest, Takumi leads an invasion of a peaceful Nohr port town in a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the Avatar's betrayal and Ryoma resorts to blackmail (i.e keeping the Avatar out of the only place with medicine to cure the dying Elise) to get them to go back to Hoshido, while Hinoka's Fantastic Racism towards Nohr gets worse. Even when Sakura does not hate the Avatar, she has to fight them and their group, and she's clearly not happy but still willing to do so.
- And in general, seeing the brothers become more villainous on their opposite routes after getting to know them before the route split really shows how war brings out the worst in people.
- Similarly, in whichever route you play second, all of the above is even worse for the opposite family, as the player would have spent the entire previous run getting even more attached to them. Having to fight, and even kill in some cases, the other siblings is so much more depressing after seeing how well things could have gone, if only you'd sided with them.
- The deaths of characters exclusive to the opposite route in general, especially if you got attached to them in another playthrough. Even worse is that some units are available on all routes, or can work together with opposing units on Revelation. In another life, on another path, that unit may have married the very character they're cutting down on this path. Mozu, being playable on both routes, is the most likely character to go through this, which itself is a Tear Jerker given how much suffering she's gone through already.
- One of the Avatar's maids, Felicia, will join their group no matter what path you take. Her older twin sister, Flora, will only join in Conquest, and later on in Revelation. This leads to a horrifying scene in Birthright where she's Driven to Suicide by Self-Immolation right in front of her sister. Even Jakob cries.
- Her boss dialogue with Jakob makes it way, way worse, and really twists the knife.Jakob: Flora! Stop this madness at once and return to your senses. You've embarrassed me more than enough for one lifetime.
Flora: Jakob... I wish it didn't have to be this way. I wish we could have just stayed in the fortress... Happily serving Lord/Lady Avatar until we were old and gray... We could have had a future together. Just know that I'll always regret this.
Jakob: What? I can't hear you over this ridiculous snowstorm.
Flora: That's just as well. It's fitting that my hopes and dreams should blow away in the wind...
- What's even worse is the voiced audio right before she dies. It's only three words: "I love you". It's the only time this audio for Flora is used.
- Her boss dialogue with Jakob makes it way, way worse, and really twists the knife.
- While Flora doesn't die in Conquest or Revelation, the fact the Avatar and either Felicia or Jakob are still forced to fight her in Chapter 8 and Chapter 12 of their respective routes is still pretty sad. Conquest actually has a few tear jerking boss dialogues between her, and Felicia or Jakob.(The Avatar vs Flora):
Flora: I'm sorry, Avatar. Not for my actions, but for this unfortunate circumstance. Milord/Milady, as your retainer, I know this is tantamount to treason. But my family... My tribe... We simply cannot bow down to Nohrian rule.
Avatar: Flora... No need to apologize. I am the last person ever to begrudge you your loyalties, my friend. Still, I shall do all I can to suppress this rebellion, albeit in my own way.
(Felicia vs Flora):
Flora: Felicia, my foolish sister. Did you really think this rebellion could be solved by a few pretty words?
Felicia: I'm no fool, Flora! You're the one who wants to fight without hearing us out! That in itself is a betrayal of pride and morality our tribe holds so dear!
Flora: You really don't understand, do you? This goes beyond words. Don't you realize, all of our time in that castle was... I mean, it was just...
Felicia: What are you saying, sister?
Flora: Forget it, there's no point telling you now, after all that's happened. Let's get on with it. You may be my sister, but I won't go easy on you!
(Jakob vs Flora):
Flora: Jakob... It's good to see you, though I wish it was under better circumstances.
Jakob: Flora... When I left you at the castle, I never dreamed I'd find you here. Here with your blade raised in anger against she who you swore to protect. I know the difficulty of your situation, but that doesn't excuse your actions. I'm afraid I have no choice to settle this matter with force.
Flora: Jakob... In the b-beginning, I never swore my allegiance. I refused. After all, we were little more than hostages. Taken as children... All to prevent this from happening, to stop the Ice Tribe from rebelling. I often thought of running away, but I never did. I stayed... because of you...
Flora: I don't want or need your pity, Jakob! Let's finish this!
- Queen Mikoto's Heroic Sacrifice before the route split is rather sad. It gets worse when the players find out about her past. She was involved with Anankos' Good Side and had a child, the Avatar. Eventually, she left her home country and fell in love with King Sumeragi, becoming a loving Parental Substitute to his children while he loved the Avatar as his own. Then he was killed and the Avatar was taken away for many years. Shortly after being reunited, she's killed protecting them, with her last words expressing relief that they're okay. To twist the knife further, in the Revelation path, it is revealed that her husband Sumeragi is the one who killed her, under the control of her former lover Anankos' completely maddened self.
- It's a Tear Jerker for Sumeragi too, since he was being controlled to kill the very child he'd died trying to protect. Ryoma actually cries after their fight in the third path.
- What's worse is that her death scene is the first time the Avatar calls her "Mother". They'd previously told Azura they were struggling to connect with her because they didn't remember her and didn't really feel anything; well, now they have, just in time to lose her.
- Mozu's backstory. Her Hoshidan hometown was wiped out by the Faceless. And, unlike Awakening's Donnel, whose village, while attacked, had left some survivors, including his mom, Mozu herself was the only survivor and saw her own mom being slain.
- Azura's death at the end of the Birthright and Conquest routes. It's bad enough that there's nothing you can do to prevent it from happening (except for choosing the Revelation route, where she never kicks the bucket, and is given a happy ending in that route), but when this is a character that the Avatar (a.k.a. you) has grown to trust throughout the entire game, it really feels like a loss, something akin to the loss of a precious family member.
- Building off of that last point, it's revealed that Azura and the Avatar are cousins, which means that if the Avatar chooses to side with Nohr or Hoshido, he or she is destined to lose the only blood relative they have left.
- It's arguably worse in Birthright, where Azura dies on-screen, compared to Conquest, where she dies offscreen after the screen fades to black. She's clearly in pain as she dissolves into water, but she still does her best to Go Out with a Smile for the Avatar's sake.
- On the other hand, as awful as it is for the Avatar and her family to watch her die on Birthright, they at least know what happened to her. On Conquest, she just up and vanishes without a trace. Imagine if one day your best friend/sister/wife/mother just disappeared. They likely spent the rest of their lives wondering what happened to her and never getting closure.
- It's even worse if she is married to a male Avatar. As mentioned in the Heartwarming page, the two pledge to shape a brighter future together in their S-Supports. Without her, that dream will never be realized and the Avatar will probably be grief-stricken for the rest of his life. And of course, there's the fact that Female Kana and Shigure are now motherless — which is made even worse when you remember that losing one of her parents in the war is exactly what Kana feared happening.
- And even worse? Have Azura marry Kaze on Birthright and do not have him achieve an A support with the Avatar. By the end of the game, Shigure (and Midori) will be orphaned and if you didn't clear her paralogue, Midori will simply not exist.
- Having them marry Keaton is another Player Punch, as Velouria's mother/daughter supports have her expressing extreme separation anxiety and begging her mother to never leave her again. With this being a Foregone Conclusion...
- Finish the support between her and Shigure, her son who inherits her singing capabilities. It gets very sad halfway through their A support when Shigure tells his mother to let him have the pendant because he doesn't want her to keep the burden or run the risk of her dying after finding out what happens if she uses the pendant's power too much.
- In the ending scene of Birthright, the Avatar wanders down to the lake where they first met Azura...and sees her singing there. They run up to her eagerly, briefly wondering if they're hallucinating before deciding they don't care, they're so happy to see her again. During this, Azura just stands there quietly. The Avatar looks away for a moment, and when they look back, she's gone. Sure, it gets a little heartwarming since it's implied Azura's spirit was visiting them from beyond the grave, but still a pretty big Yank the Dog's Chain. Doubly so for Male Avatars who married her.
- In Conquest, this happens again as well, but at one point Azura's spirit actually asks the Avatar to close their eyes. When they open their eyes, she's gone.
- Similarly, in the Birthright version, Azura is the one who tells the Avatar to look down at the lake. It's implied that she's trying to spare them from having to watch her disappear again, which is kind of heartwarming but definitely still in Tear Jerker territory.
- This line from Shigure's epilogue only makes all the above worse: "Records of his life are the only proof that Azura truly existed."
- Takumi himself has quite a few moments that could provoke tears. Even before the game begins, his insecurity issues not only make him feel neglected and unloved by his siblings, but also often causes him to push them and others away. He honestly believes that he is useless anywhere outside the battlefield, and even that is only because of his Fuujin Yumi. His free time is mostly devoted to trying to improve himself, even though he himself admits that it will likely never be enough in his own eyes.
- Then there are the moments were he breaks down about it. Special mentions go to his supports with Hinoka and Kiragi, where he openly proclaims how lowly he regards himself. The line "I am a weak, anxious fool who always worries about what others think of me." stands out in particular.
- The game never really focuses on it, but it is hinted at that Mikoto's death heavily traumatized him. In his S-support with Azura, he has a nightmare about it and starts screaming for her in his sleep.
- To make matters worse, on both Birthright and Conquest, his feelings of insecurity and envy towards the Avatar cause him to become possessed by Anankos. Thankfully, it gets resolved fairly quickly on Birthright, where Azura frees him, only flaring up once more in the endgame before being removed entirely. On Conquest, however, the possession takes over gradually, causing him immense pain, and slowly twists his resentment into homicidal hatred. Finally, Anankos makes him commit suicide by jumping off a high wall, and then proceeds to completely take over his corpse. The Final Chapter has the group facing him for the last time, and then witnessing his ghost begging to be put out of his misery. With his last words, he voices his regret at never truly having been family with the Avatar.
- To twist the knife further? Takumi in the same conversation wonders what it would have been like to fight side by side with the Avatar. If you have previously finished Birthright before Conquest, this line becomes more heartbreaking, as in that route, he does grow to accept the Avatar as family. Yet circumstances have ensured that will never be able to happen in Conquest.
- And, just to make Conquest Takumi even worse, Azura outright acknowledges that Takumi was never that bad. This is from someone who the player had seen Takumi be openly hostile to in the first few chapters. This implies that even with his distrust of Azura, he was still capable of being civil to her, and serves to back up his claims that he wishes he could've been closer to the Avatar. Even with all of Takumi's other issues, he probably regrets everything that he did in Conquest, not just his treatment of the Avatar.
- Here's another: Takumi's retainers, Oboro and Hinata, genuinely think he hangs the moon. Hinata tries to copy him and Oboro is madly in love with him. It is nearly impossible to complete Conquest without killing Oboro to get to Takumi. For all of his issues believing that no one cares about him, these two care about him tons and admire him not just as their liege lord, but as a great friend and someone they genuinely look up to. Even if you manage not to kill one or both of them, they're going to spend the rest of their lives mourning him.
- Lilith's death. She takes an attack meant for the Avatar and is changed back to her human form in both routes. She expresses how happy she was to have known them and how happy she was to be able to save them as they saved her and passes away peacefully while the Avatar is left in tears and is almost at the end of their rope after seeing so much death in Birthright, almost crossing the Despair Event Horizon. Now go back to her shrine in My Castle. Instead of seeing the dragon alive and well, you see Lilith's kerchief laid out on her spot. It's even worse if you know Lilith's origins, where she's revealed to be Dragon Anankos' madness personified, so she's, in a sense, the Avatar's true sister, and they have no idea.
- And just to twist the knife even further, the Avatar is rather quiet and somber the whole time should you in fact go to Lilith's temple afterwards. It just drives in how they are not taking her death very well at all.
- The near death experience in Conquest and Birthright features the Avatar's lost family members... but it seems weird that Lilith is included among this number, and even weirder in Birthright that Flora is also included... also that Kaze won't if he had died during Birthright. But then you realise that the Avatar has known Flora and Lilith for much longer and that s/he probably views them as family, but they were always separated by their social class. Just imagine how much Flora's actions and words hurt the poor Avatar on the route where they practically lost five family members.
- And as it turns out she is Anankos' daughter, which means she really is the Avatar's sibling.
- Xander and Takumi both have certain lines toward a Female Avatar if they've reached S-Support in the Japanese version that become downright painful in the other path, since both of them describe exactly what happens to them in the Birthright and Conquest paths, respectively. Worse yet, both of them die thanking you.Xander: I love you. If it were for your sake, I wouldn't care if I were to be killed, as long as I could see you in my final moments.
Takumi: I love you. If there were another world in which I raised a hand against you, at that time, kill me to stop me. Promise me that you will definitely do that.
- Similarly, one of Flora's lines towards a Male Avatar that she has an S-support with is downright ghastly when one considers what was already described above:"I'm happy that you're always minding after me. I'm honored to have a master like you. If I were to ever do something to betray you... I've sworn to atone for it with my death."
- The same for Azura — one of her skinship lines with a Male Avatar she's married to is quite gut-wrenching once you know of her ultimate fate in Birthright and Conquest."Even if one of us were to die, we'd have to keep going. We have a duty to save the world...but I don't want you to die. I'd rather die myself, if it meant the world still had you in it."
- Similarly, one of Flora's lines towards a Male Avatar that she has an S-support with is downright ghastly when one considers what was already described above:
- The Revelation lyrics for "Lost In Thoughts All Alone" and the song itself is actually kind of sad in hindsight."Within my ancient heart dwells madness and pride. Can no one hear my cry?"
- This also is pretty bad given that the Avatar will never understand the meaning behind those lyrics unless the Ylissean three or Lilith bring them up to speed. The Avatar has no way of knowing the truth behind the invisible history.
- The other renditions could also count as Foreshadowing because of Azura's dance, but then are Harsher in Hindsight when the lyrics are finally understood."A double-edged blade cuts your heart in two..." for Birthright, which is supposed to be the "moral" path.
"Gaze upon an empty white throne/A legacy of lies/A familiar disguise" from Conquest is about how the madman of a ruler, Garon, is really just a husk for Anankos, and that the entire war he started was futile.
- King Garon himself has a surprisingly dismal backstory for someone who's presented as such a ruthless, static tyrant throughout almost all of every storyline. Mostly because, as is revealed in Conquest, the Garon whom the player sees in every storyline is just an Empty Shell controlled by Anankos, retaining all of the original Garon's memories but apparently none of his positive traits that his children admired him for. The Garon genuinely loved all of his children, including Azura, and although he was still a stalwart ruler, his kids can easily recount how his personality used to be much less brutal. But because the Avatar and thus the player never even meet the real Garon, they're forced to spectate in ignorance as the once-loving relationship between the Nohrian siblings and their father is inevitably destroyed by the machinations of something who's just posing as the man they all know and love, never knowing why their brothers and sisters continue to have faith in such an obvious villain even though it eventually becomes clear that none of them want to accept that their father isn't who he used to be. In short, the King Garon that we see is the tragic result of a much better person falling victim to the will of the Greater-Scope Villain, and while Mikoto and even Sumeragi get enough development to show us that they're still good people once they get their minds back, we never really get to see firsthand just how much better of a person the original Garon really was.
- Worse yet, the only thing remaining of Garon is the slime monster, so unlike the Hoshido siblings, who get closure in Revelation by seeing Mikoto and Sumeragi, and Azura, who gets to see her mother, the Nohr siblings don't even get a chance to speak to their father or confront him. Instead, they get to watch Anankos eat Garon in order to regain his strength. All four siblings are appropriately horrified.
- And speaking of slime Garon, watching the Nohr siblings' reactions in the last chapter is painful. Xander, Camilla, and Leo still remember the man he used to be, even before the whole mess with the concubines happened, and even Elise comments that "he's still [their] father" despite being more familiar with the sterner version of him. They're all shocked and horrified when they see his true form, and, although they go along with the Avatar, Camilla, Leo, and Elise are very reluctant to do so.
- Even the characters who don't die depending on which choice you make can get awful endings. Both Leo and Hinoka have to deal with inheriting the crowns which should have belonged to their older brothers. So not only do they have to deal with losing two of their siblings under horrible circumstances, they also have to assume the throne of their respective country as king/queen. And both countries were just terribly damaged during a war (and already poor in Nohr's case). Neither was truly prepared for it, but they are left with no other options.
- Leo already lost multiple siblings during the concubine wars, and lived for years with a terribly abusive monster for a father. After the end of Birthright, Camilla lets herself be passed over, so he has to take the place of his now deceased father and brother and become King of Nohr. From what we can guess, judging by their epilogues in Conquest, Camilla is pretty eager to leave the Nohrian court entirely, so exactly how long she will stay around to help Leo rule is debatable. Moreover, while Leo's methods are good for Nohr in the long-term, his radical reforms do much to make him unpopular among the current populace. It is pretty likely that he will face much backlash from them, probably assassination attempts or even outright revolts. And finally, of his two retainers, Odin already plans to go back to Ylisse, so in the end Leo will be left with Niles as his only confidant and friend.
- With Hinoka after Conquest, it's much the same, if not worse. At least in Leo's case, he actually has some knowledge about ruling, and is proven to be quite efficient at it. Hinoka, on the other hand, never showed any interest in learning such things, being exclusively focused on her warrior training and rescuing the Avatar. She also never expected to inherit, being either third in line to the throne after her brothers (original), or fully intended to pass on the crown to the now deceased Takumi (localization). With the very young Sakura being the only other royal left, she finds herself in no position to refuse. As Hoshido was literally ravaged by the villains' armies, rebuilding will be no easy task, and many Hoshidans now hold a very strong grudge against Nohr. Although Hinoka ultimately manages to forgive Corrin and accept their reasons, having the younger sibling she tried rescuing all her life be the one to lead the invasion and cause the deaths of her other siblings must have been quite the blow.
- In the endgames of Birthright and Conquest, when the Final Boss sort of kills you, you get all of your current allies begging you to come back. Most of them sound hopeful or optimistic that you'll return. Kana?Kana: Mama/Papa, don't leave me! I promise I'll be a good boy/girl from now on!! Please! *sob*
- Fighting Sakura after choosing to side with Nohr is near guaranteed to make you feel guilty for your decision. When attacking her, you get this short dialogue:Sakura: Avatar! Are you r-really gonna fight me right now? What did I ever do to you? All I wanted was to l-love you!
Avatar: Sakura, I'm so sorry for all this. You didn't do anything wrong, I promise. It's difficult to explain, but I just need you to...um, take a little nap right now.
Sakura: Brother/Sister, no...
- It's heart-breaking enough to almost be forced to fight her. It's even worse when the game acknowledges that you are injuring her to the point of fainting.
- Not even Yukimura lets up on this. He appears on the map, too (probably for the sole sake of giving you an alternative to Ryoma), and, while he doesn't have much of a personal connection to the Avatar, his words still hurt. He laments that Mikoto would be disappointed, before wondering if she would actually accept it after all, and generally seems reluctant to be there despite claiming it's his duty. As if the sisters weren't enough of a Player Punch!
- The final invasion of Hoshido in the last few chapters is both intense and highly tragic. One by one, the Avatar has to fight through their Hoshidan siblings, who are all angry and depressed over having to face them again for the last time, but there's nothing they can do to stop them as their beloved homeland is ripped away by their long-lost sibling. The music that plays in the background only emphasizes the tragedy of it all. Even worse, the Avatar has a perfectly good reason for getting Garon to the throne of Hoshido, but by this point it's likely the Hoshidan royals would never believe them.
- In Chapter 25, despite fighting against the Avatar during Conquest, Ryoma shows that he still very much cared for them. Garon and Iago come along after Ryoma's down and order the Avatar to kill him; naturally, they refuse. Realizing that Garon could very well kill the Avatar for their defiance, Ryoma takes his own life in desperation, intending to ensure that that never happens. This scene, too, drives the Avatar to tears after they leave the room, while Garon sinisterly chuckles about his victory. The chapter ends with Azura gently asking if she can cry with the Avatar. It's a sad reminder that the situation isn't any easier on her.
- The build up to the fight isn't very easy, either. Iago forces the Avatar to tell Ryoma that they killed Hinoka, and Ryoma's first reaction is shock and grief, followed by rage. In a far cry from the man who was adamant that Nohr had brainwashed the Avatar and that it could be undone if they were taken back to Hoshido, he makes it very clear that he wants him/her dead now, and refuses to listen to any explanations.Ryoma: It's time, Avatar. Show me the power you used to slay our sister! Or does the Yato repel at your touch now that your heart and soul are dead?
- Takumi suffers from a similar fate. After apparently having been brainwashed enough to fight the Avatar and his group, upon finally being defeated for the last time, he laments how he never had a chance to really accept the Avatar as his family before he bites the dust.
- The build up to the fight isn't very easy, either. Iago forces the Avatar to tell Ryoma that they killed Hinoka, and Ryoma's first reaction is shock and grief, followed by rage. In a far cry from the man who was adamant that Nohr had brainwashed the Avatar and that it could be undone if they were taken back to Hoshido, he makes it very clear that he wants him/her dead now, and refuses to listen to any explanations.
- Hinata's and Oboro's deaths. Hinata's death can be avoided rather easily since he remains stationary, though you'll still have to go out of your way to not engage him. If you do kill him, for his dying words, he'll remark that his proudest moment was when Takumi gave him his sword, and hopes that Takumi knows that. Oboro's, on the other hand, is very difficult to avoid since she will go aggro as soon as you step in her range, and she's blocking the path leading straight to Takumi. In her final moments, she laments the fact that she never told Takumi her feelings and starts to confess them, but dies before she can finish.
- Heck, if the Avatar initiates battle against Hinata in Chapter 10 of Conquest, he of all people will call them a traitor to their face, and swears to show them their grave as revenge for them causing pain to Takumi with their betrayal of Hoshido. Hinata being one of the nicest characters of Birthright whom prefers to tie up his opponents rather than kill them, this very uncharacteristic threat is jarring coming from him and just goes to highlight how badly the Avatar's choices has effected others.
- The chapter where Sakura and Yukimura are fought deserves special mention. The Avatar and Xander promise them that they'll spare any of the Hoshidan soldiers who are still alive... only for Iago and Garon to show up and kill a few of them anyway. The shock and betrayal that Sakura and Yukimura express will make you feel bad, especially since Sakura was extremely reluctant to join the battle, and she feels like the whole thing is her fault.
- Sakura's battle dialogue with the AvatarSakura: Avatar!
Avatar: Sakura... I didn't expect you to be here. But if you insist on blocking our way, I won't back down.
Sakura: I know... And I know I probably can't w-win against you, either. But as a princess, I have to at least try to protect my kingdom! So r-ready your sword. It's time to battle!
Avatar: As you wish.
Sakura: This is the first time we'll really be fighting, A-Avatar. I wish... we were fighting side by side instead...
- Sakura's battle dialogue with Azura somehow manages to be even worse as two sisters who love each other are forced to battle.Sakura: Azura!
Azura: Sakura... I'm surprised to see you here. When did you learn to fight?
Sakura: After M-Mother died, I began training, so I could protect the ones I love. I won't let anyone get past me - not even you!
Azura: I see. I always knew you would grow into a strong woman. I'm happy to see you like this, Sakura. Whatever happens, I'm proud of you.
Sakura: Azura... *sniff... sniff...* My... sister...
Azura: Don't cry, Sakura. This is a battlefield, and we are at war. Ready your weapon, dear Sister. Show me how strong you've become.
Sakura: *sniff* OK! Let's b-begin!
- It's even worse if you've seen Sakura and Azura's supports in Birthright or Revelation. Azura seems to be the closest to Sakura out of all the Hoshidan siblings, so making the two fight is a huge Player Punch.
- Sakura's battle dialogue with the Avatar
- The aftermath of Chapter 22, where Sakura is taken hostage and separated from her retainers and Yukimura. After that, she completely holes herself up, refusing to talk and even eat, due to being traumatized by Hans and Iago executing some remaining Hoshidans after Sakura and Yukimura surrendered to the Avatar and Xander. The Avatar and Azura are understandably worried for their younger sibling and there's nothing they can do to stop it except press on with King Garon's plan to conquer Hoshido.
- Even worse is that Sakura's feelings of helplessness, refusal to speak, and loss of appetite are all common symptoms of clinical depression, but whereas the average person starts developing symptoms somewhere in their mid-20s, Sakura is not even in her late teens ("technically an adult" jokes aside), and the player is left to ponder how a preteen/teenage girl like her would be feeling having witnessed things only the most seasoned of war veterans have seen...
- In the same chapter, Hana's battle dialogue with the Avatar only makes things more painful:Hana: You're finally here, Lord/Lady Avatar! I am Hana, Lady Sakura's retainer. I'll have your head on a platter!
Hana: I could never, ever forgive you after what you did to Lady Mikoto! You tried to destroy Hoshido, and you made Lady Sakura sad... Do you have any idea how many nights she cried herself to sleep over you?! That's why I won't be satisfied... Not until I kill you myself!
Avatar: Um... are you crying?
Hana: Sh-shut up! Samurai don't cry! You're just trying to distract me! I won't cry, and I won't lose! You won't hurt my beloved Sakura ever again! You absolutely WILL NOT make it past me. You won't, you won't, you won't!!
- Subaki isn't as vitriolic as Hana is, but it's still very clear that he's just as angry as she is.Subaki: Lord/Lady Avatar, I presume? The sweet, wonderful, mysterious-yet-charming big brother/sister of Lady Sakura? It's an honor to finally make your acquaintance.
Avatar: Erm... Come again?
Subaki: Oh, Lady Sakura said those things about you after you two met. She wouldn't stop saying those things, as it were. Even after you left. As her retainer, I make it my business to remember such details.
Avatar: Sakura... She really said all that?
Subaki: Yes. She seems to have nothing but the highest opinion of you. She was devastated after you betrayed her.
Subaki: Worry not. All will be as it should once I send you to your grave. I cannot bear to ever see that sad look in her eyes again. The one YOU caused. So, shall we begin?
- If you send Kaze to attack Saizo in Conquest chapter 12, Saizo will tell him that he is truly ashamed of him and his actions. At the same time, in the cutscenes setting up chapter 17, Saizo and Kaze both admit that they don't want to fight each other, with Kaze saying it pains him to oppose Saizo and Saizo trying to get him to stand down because he's here to fight Kotaro, not Kaze. Kaze's voice clip in his response is a very forceful "No," probably the sternest the player has ever heard him sound, and very different from the gentle, helpful soul he usually is. He makes it clear that while he doesn't want to fight Saizo, he considers himself a Nohrian soldier and dutybound to protect Kotaro as a Nohrian ally. This is what finally breaks Saizo and gets him to tell Kaze that Kotaro is not only holding Kagero hostage, he murdered their father— information that Saizo has deliberately kept from Kaze. With a little context from Kaze's A support with the Avatar, and Kaze's support chains with Kagero and Saizo in Birthright, there's a lot of tragedy in this exchange: Kaze joins the Avatar on Conquest because he admires their dedication to peace, yes, but he also harbors intense guilt for not preventing their kidnapping, despite being only a child himself at the time. He does feel a need to make this up to them, especially once he realizes that they don't want to destroy Hoshido. Saizo, meanwhile, feels the same way about the death of their father. Despite being twin brothers who care for each other a great deal, they've never confided these torments to each other, because ninja professional etiquette discourages them from forming lasting bonds with each other. They are both trying to make right their past failures, and while it's a temporary win for the two of them when the Avatar takes Saizo at his word and allies with him against Kotaro, Kaze acknowledges at the end of the chapter that they both know they'll be enemies if they meet again— and if you want this relationship to entirely end in tragedy, you can indeed have Kaze kill Saizo.
- The invasion of Nohr is just as sad as invading Hoshido in Conquest as despite being on the lighter shade of grey side, many more sympathetic Nohrians end up dying either as collateral damage or due to Poor Communication Kills the further you go, and if you've played Conquest, you know the Garon who started the war isn't really Garon at all, just his corpse turned into a monster, so in many ways Nohr is just as much a victim in all this as Hoshido is.
- In Chapter 26, Xander prepares to kill the Avatar, but Elise jumps in the way and takes the hit in the latter's place, dying while asking the two to be at peace. Xander... doesn't take this well. He doesn't take it well at all. Not only that, but his earlier conversation with Peri and Laslow suggests that dying by the group's hand might have been his plan all along.
- When Laslow and Peri enter the scene, Peri's immediate response at seeing Elise's body is to shakily demand who killed her, so she can avenge her. On the one hand, it's touching to know that even Peri cared about Elise. On the other, her reaction probably just made Xander feel even worse.Peri: Which one of you did this to Lady Elise?! I'll gut you!
- When Xander is defeated in battle, he falls off his horse but still holds his weapon firmly in his hand (unlike other characters, who have their weapons knocked flying). However... the moment he realizes he has accidentally hit Elise, he immediately throws both his sword and his shield away and rushes to her side, cradling her in his arms.Xander: Very well. You will die fighting for your cause, I shall defend my homeland!
(Xander attempts to strike the Avatar down, but ends up unintentionally hitting Elise instead. Shocked, he runs over to her.)
Xander: Elise! Elise! Please speak to me!
Elise: Xander... Your sword... Lay it down for me...
Elise: Nohr needs more from you... Not just your strength... (groans in pain) What we need...is caring... and a warm hand... and tears.
Xander: -begins crying-
Elise: That's the way. Try to be at peace... (dies)
- And then, there's his final chat with his younger sibling.Xander: You have already prevailed, little prince(ss). Don't you see? I couldn't lead this world... or Nohr... into peace. But you... you can. And you will. You can do the things I couldn't. That's how you'll surpass me... In the end... I'm counting on you, Avatar.... Father.... Garon... he's.... he's... *cough* *cough* He's not what he used to be...
Avatar: Xander... I think I understand. I promise to stop him!
Xander: Thank you, Avatar. Now, it's time... to say good-bye... Please... don't cry...
Avatar: No.... Xander? XANDER! *sob*
- When Laslow and Peri enter the scene, Peri's immediate response at seeing Elise's body is to shakily demand who killed her, so she can avenge her. On the one hand, it's touching to know that even Peri cared about Elise. On the other, her reaction probably just made Xander feel even worse.
- In Chapter 14, Benny and Charlotte are defending the castle at Nohr's border, and there's no way to pass them without a fight.note You're forced to cut them down with as much dignity as you do ordinary Mooks. It's unlikely anyone in your army even paid them a second thought, but play the other route and you know they had histories, friendships, even possibly found love...
- Similarly, Effie and Arthur's potential deaths in Chapter 23 are also sad and undignified. Unlike the other retainers, you can actually clear up the misunderstanding to them both and easily get them to cooperate with you for that chapter... except that it's also incredibly difficult to keep them alive in an already difficult battle. Which means that they'll most likely be unceremoniously killed trying to protect Elise, whether they side with you or not. Their death quotes have them both lamenting how they failed to protect their princess.
- Laslow's death is also heart-wrenching, especially since most players have already grown attached to him since Awakening, in which Laslow, like every other second generation character in that game, was The Woobie. Like the other retainers who can die, it's fairly easy to avoid killing him, but if he does die, he'll lament that he won't be able to go back home with his friends to see everyone again.
- Peri's death, too, simply for the fact that this child-like, empathy-less Blood Knight refuses to abandon her liege, even knowing that she'll probably die. And if you do kill her, her final words are her thanking Xander for the opportunity to serve him.
- Kaze's death if you don't have an A support rank with him. At the end of chapter 15, the Avatar will fall off a cliff and Kaze catches him/her before throwing them up to safety. Hinoka catches the Avatar as the cliff begins to crumble and Kaze says the Avatar's name one last time before he plummets to his death.
- Getting A-Support with Kaze will prevent this... but it reveals another Tear Jerker: Kaze was present the day the Avatar was kidnapped by Nohr, but because he was still young, he didn't understand what was happening, and has spent most of his life blaming himself for it, even feeling guilty for speaking to them.
- To make his sacrifice even worse, as he's saying your Avatar's name one last time before letting go, his portrait is shown to be smiling.
- Oh yes, one more thing: In their S-Support conversation, Kaze tells the Avatar that he will protect her, even in exchange for his life. Now, if the player doesn't get that A-Support with him, no matter what gender the Avatar is... Yikes.
- And, if you feel like being cruel, marry him to Hinoka beforehand. She has to watch her husband sacrifice himself to save her sibling. Not only that, she just had to choose between saving either her sibling or husband.
- Imagine how his brother Saizo must feel. While their supports show that they weren't too close with one another due to their occupation, Saizo already lost his own father in the past, and now he has to lose his brother too, leaving him all alone.
- Alternatively, marry him to Felicia and don't get an A Support with him, and Felicia loses both her husband and sister on Birthright.
- Extra bonus points for any case where Kaze is married (regardless of who it's to), but did not reach A-Rank with the Avatar... This can cause Midori to become Permanently Missable, despite all the other children becoming available immediately. Kaze's poor wife won't even get Someone to Remember Him By.
- After Garon's dragon form is defeated, he transforms back into himself before he dies, and he gives a few lines that imply that he's regaining at least a little of his sanity. Even without playing Conquest, it can be depressing, since the Avatar picks up on it and wonders if there was something more to what Garon meant.
- Chapter 15, in which the party attempts to avoid Nohrian forces by passing through Mount Garou, where they're accosted by a group of Wolfskin who believe the army is there for their pelts. Unlike how the situation with the Kitsune in Conquest turns out, the Avatar manages to convince Keaton to let them pass...only for a magical attack (implied to be from Iago) to strike and kill one of the other Wolfskin. Keaton turns to his fallen companion, futilely asking them to wake up, telling them "This isn't funny" before breaking down in tears and begging them to get up. He then turns against the group, stating that they were tricking him the whole time and he looks forward to killing all of them.
- While the Revelation route spares all of the siblings from both the Hoshido and Nohr royal families, as well as most of the other playable characters from both sides, it has a couple of unavoidable playable character deaths.
- First off, at the end of Chapter 10, the Avatar and their group manage to save Izana and Takumi, but Izana ends up pulling a Heroic Sacrifice by using whatever was left of his life force to communicate with the gods and deliver a message for the Avatar that will help them in their adventure.
- At Chapter 18, Scarlet ends up having to sacrifice her life to protect the Avatar when they are attacked by an Anankos-possessed Gunther.
- As if that wasn't bad enough, the players end up having to kill her body (literally) in Chapter 23, after she Came Back Wrong.
- Seeing the 'Retired: Chapter 18' under her character ending in the credits in an otherwise completely perfect run will put a knife in your gut, especially as it will be between everyone else's happy endings.
- What really makes it a Player Punch is how Scarlet gets the generic death ending, despite having some slight plot relevance in earlier chapters and specifically giving her life for the main character. Seeing the "retired" message anywhere can be depressing, but using it for Scarlet makes her sacrifice feel like a waste.
- At the end of Chapter 8, Yukimura admits that he knows the Avatar has a just cause, but he just can't bring himself to believe in a man/woman who, in his eyes, so readily abandoned their family. This is immediately followed by Orochi breaking down in tears, outright begging the Avatar to bring Mikoto back.
- In Chapter 13, Xander, unlike Ryoma with Takumi and Sakura, has a unique pre-battle dialogue if he is fought by Camilla. The poor guy's already had one beloved sibling "betray" him, and now he's faced with another sibling "betraying" him. Needless to say, he's not exactly happy, and neither is Camilla, for that matter.
- In Chapter 21, despite having been Evil All Along, Anthony's transformation into a Faceless is hard to watch, starting with him begging Anankos to stop, his incoherent dialogue implying the process is a Painful Transformation. His boss dialogue is surprisingly sad for a character you'd expect to feel a major Catharsis Factor fighting, with him constantly repeating "Please...". There are multiple ways this can be interpreted, and all of them are sad. Is he in a state of And I Must Scream, begging for you to Mercy Kill him? Has he suffered a Loss of Identity and is only able to repreat his last thoughts? Doesn't help that he looks and pretty much sounds like a young child.
- In Chapter 23, Azura ends up being forced into fighting her own mother, Arete, who Came Back Wrong and has been memory-wiped into being one of Anankos's minions. After beating her, Arete's memories start coming back to her just as she dies in a similar manner to Azura at the end of Birthright. Azura, who normally is The Stoic, breaks down into tears and cries. You also have to fight the Came Back Wrong version of Scarlet here. Ryoma's dialogue with her really twists the knife, and a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration makes this even sadder: if you look at Scarlet's stats, you'll notice her personal skill is gone. Ryoma was right when he said she's no longer Scarlet anymore.
- In Chapter 24, the Avatar and their army, including their Hoshidan siblings, end up having to fight Queen Mikoto since her spirit became Brainwashed and Crazy courtesy of Anankos. And after that, she ends up dissolving into water and evaporating after killing her, where she says goodbye. Sakura, the youngest of the Hoshido siblings, ends up crying over this. Even Hinoka also cries during the scene.
- And finally, in Chapter 25, the army has to fight the resurrected King Sumeragi. At the end of the level, he laments that he never got to spend enough time with his family, including Mikoto and the Avatar, before he died. It's not helped by the fact that Corrin only gets to properly reunite with him right before he dies (again), much like what happened with Mikoto in Chapter 6. And, like the above example, the Hoshido siblings are all depressed over this.
- Just before Endgame, Garon appears for the last time, completely under the control of Anankos. However, he doesn't say a word to any of his children, likely due to Anankos making sure he wouldn't recognize them or any of the better times they had. Then, a power-drained Anankos eats him whole to regain his strength, much to the horror of the Nohrian siblings. Revelation may be the path with the happiest ending and the fewest playable character deaths, but it does not go easy on either royal family. At all.Xander: After all that we've suffered... We lose our father as well?
- On a related note, while it might feel unfair to many players that Garon is not properly fought in this route, there's actually some Fridge Brilliance (or perhaps Fridge Horror) that could be applied here. Garon is simply too far gone at this point due to Anankos's influence to care about his children anymore, and it's implied that he was still harsh and bitter in his last few "real" years on top of that. Even if he did get to have a final speech like the other royal parents, he probably wouldn't have much (good) to say to his kids.
- Odin (who is actually Owain) knows that he will one day have to choose whether to remain in the universe he's in or return to his old one. His A-Rank support with his daughter Ophelia has him expressing sadness at the thought that she might not go with him.
- Laslow and Soleil's support doesn't pull any punches either. Right when Inigo is about to tell Soleil the truth about where he's from, Soleil, sensing that the atmosphere is getting intense, changes the subject and says she'll always be his daughter, even if the day comes where they have to part ways.
- Laslow is the Awakening child that is most likely to die in the Birthright path, unless the player manages to kill Xander fast enough. If he does die, he notes that he won't be able to see his mother again.
- Similarly, Selena's death quote in Classic Mode has her lamenting that she will never get reunite with everyone in Ylisse again.
- What makes it worse is their dialogue in the Hidden Truths DLC, where the three friends promise each other that they'll all stay alive and return to Ylisse no matter what. Considering what's likely to happen to Laslow near the end of Birthright...
- Similarly, just the fact that Odin is the only one of the trio guaranteed to survive the game can be depressing. (Selena can die in Classic mode on Conquest and Revelation, while Laslow can be killed in Birthright if the player chooses to do so.)
- The three future kids in general having to choose between returning to their world or staying in a place they've grown used to, with the people they've grown close to. Especially if any of them get married and have a child with a Nohrian (Conquest) or a Hoshidan (Revelation). That can't be an easy choice to make.
- This might also be considered a bitter Heartwarming example, but the fact that Selena/Severa and Odin/Owain choose to stay in Nohr during Birthright even though they can always go back home. They're just that loyal to their lieges.
- Presumably, Laslow/Inigo stays in Nohr too if he survives... But considering Xander's dead regardless, the end of Birthright is a Tear Jerker for Laslow no matter what happens.
- Peri and Laslow's A-support has her telling him that her beloved mother was murdered right in front of her by a Yandere servant. She then starts crying as she describes how she started blaming all servants for her death, how she could only escape the memories by throwing herself into battle, and how much she misses her mom's cooking. Quickly followed by heartwarming when Laslow pulls her into a comforting hug and tells her that her mom will always be with her.
- The B support already had an inkling of this. When Laslow leaves at the end of their talk about killing, Peri throws a fit - and in the middle of said fit, she actually realizes what he was talking about: the pain of losing one's loved persons. Then she starts babbling "Were they sad when their loved ones died? ...I...um..."
- Mozu and Jakob's supports start with Mozu crying over her Doomed Hometown. Jakob urges her to get all of her crying done now because eventually she'll run out of tears. Their B-Support has Jakob reveal that he was essentially abandoned by his parents, and he doesn't have any happy memories of them or his hometown.
- Something similar happens in Jakob's supports with Azura, where he explains to her that he cannot remember his parents' faces, that since he was a nobleman until his abandonment he had a hard time keeping up with other servants, and only the Avatar's kindness allowed him to stay in the palace.
- The Avatar's Conquest supports with Azura show that they're much more depressed than they let on; they keep having nightmares about the Hoshidans who have been killed as a result of their choice, and they're experiencing a crisis of morality over how far the ends justify the means. Not only that, but Hoshido keeps sending ninja assassins after them, and they're so conflicted they legitimately wonder whether they shouldn't just let the assassins kill them as "justice". Oh, and they genuinely believe they're going to hell for what they've done. The supports for the male Avatar take a turn for the heartwarming later on, but damn.
- The Avatar's supports with Oboro, in which her Dark and Troubled Past is revealed and the deep trauma coming from her parents' murders. It turns out she's a workaholic during moonless nights... so she can work herself ragged and not think of how she lost her family during a Nohrian attack that took place in similar circumstances.
- There is also Oboro's death quote in the Nohr route, chapter 23: "Aw... But I wanted to protect you... My sweet Takumi... I should have told you how I felt... Lord Takumi... I have always... loved..." . What makes her death quote more sad is that she dies protecting Takumi, but Takumi is already lost and he still dies.
- Oboro's support with Beruka in the Revelation route has her learn that Beruka's foster father was the one who killed her parents because of their wealth and potentially powerful position in Hoshido... and Beruka has already killed him, making it impossible for Oboro to properly get revenge. The kicker comes when Beruka offers to let Oboro kill her, since she robbed her of the chance to punish her parents's killer — and having realised that this will just continue the Cycle of Revenge, she doesn't.
- One would never think that Arthur, of all people, would play this trope straight... but his supports with Azura reveal the really sad circumstances in which they met. When Arthur was a very young Nohrian squire, he found a child Azura in the streets and realized that she was in a borderline Heroic BSoD state after being mistreated by Garon's jealous concubines. So when the guards came in, he lied about having taken Azura away and withstood being lashed on the spot so Azura wouldn't be punished.
- It's even better/worse because this is one of the very few Arthur supports where his usually comical person is explored in a more or less serious manner. Almost all the others have at least one super funny moment, but this chain does not.
- Arthur's supports with Elise reveal that, for someone who acts like a Genki Girl most of the time, she's actually quite depressed deep down. The one thing she wants more than anything is to see her brother Xander smile again. Due to their father being, well, Garon, Xander was the closest thing to a father figure she had, but once he had to take over duties as the prince of Nohr, he had to put on a brave face for the nation, so he never smiled or played with her like he used to. Elise is surprisingly mature about the whole thing, but it's clear she misses their time together. Anyone who's drifted apart from a sibling in real life can probably relate. The worst part about this is how it gets brought up: she sees Arthur as something of an in-universe Memetic Badass, and genuinely believes that making Xander smile is the one thing he can't do. Ouch.
- It's not helped by the fact that Elise actually seems hopeful at first... only to get her hopes crushed when Arthur repeatedly tries and fails to get an actual, genuine smile out of Xander. Ouch.
- Leo's support with Niles has him note that he spared his life because, out of all the thieves that had been caught in the castle, he was the only one who didn't beg for his life and even told Leo to kill him. Niles admits that it was out of despair for having been abandoned by his comrades, who he had pretty much spent his whole life with.
- Similarly, Niles' supports with Beruka have them discussing their dark and troubled pasts... and then Beruka tells Niles that she has found out his Missing Mom is dead, and she's buried next to her also Missing Mom. Whooooooa.
- His support with his daughter Nina has him reveal that the reason he doesn't want her to be a thief is the fact that he doesn't want there to be even the slightest chance of her going through what he did. Given the details the player have about his past, however vague, it's easy to see why he's afraid.
- In Niles' B support with Camilla, you find out why he insults and puts down others and gets his kicks out of it: having grown up in hardship, he resents those who lived a life of luxury and never knew suffering, and wants them to feel the pain he did.
- His supports with Azura have Niles point out that they're Not So Different: his trolling and her aloofness are both due to their less-than-great childhoods. Azura seems surprised with his assessment at first, but then comes to agree in their B support. Of course, being Niles, he seems to play it off a bit, but it still goes to show just how hard the both of them have had it.
- When the Avatar first starts out with him in My Castle in the Japanese version, he's fairly calm and likes to tease them. He even expresses interest in making them cry. By the time the Avatar has S-Ranked him, he teases them even more... at first. His lines steadily get more emotional until he begs for them not to leave him. He also asks the Avatar to hold his hand even while he sleeps, as he still has nightmares about his childhood experiences.
- Silas's A support with Beruka, in which he sheds Tender Tears when he finally manages to get her to talk about her Dark and Troubled Past. And in their S support, when he proposes to her, she tears up in joy.
- Kaze and Saizo's supports delve in their shared Dark and Troubled Past, including Saizo's immense pain and desire for revenge after their father/the former Saizo's murder, which ultimately led him to attack the people from Fuuma who caused it... and losing his eye in the process. When Kaze learns this last detail, he's appalled and very depressed for his brother's sake.
- Making the two fight each other in Conquest. OUCH. To make things even worse, it's possible to have Kaze's daughter Midori fight Saizo on Conquest. Yes, he can end up having to fight his niece.
- There's also the fact that in Conquest, Saizo is completely and sincerely baffled by Kaze siding with the Avatar in Nohr, which suggests that just like Kaze had no idea of Saizo's enormous pain over their father's murder, Saizo has no idea how long Kaze has been suffering from his guilt over the Avatar's kidnapping.
- In a way, Saizo and Kaze's relationship in general is pretty sad. It's revealed in Kagero and Kaze's support chain that him and Saizo aren't really that close due to the nature of their jobs keeping them from forming any lasting bonds with one another.
- What little the audience learn of Nohr's Deadly Decadent Court from Camilla and Azura is this. It was apparently a place where Garon's concubines competed for his favor, using their own children as pawns in their games. They were downright cruel to the other concubines and their kids and encouraged theirs to do the same. And in case one thought it was just light bullying, it wasn't — Azura mentions that she nearly died from one such incident, and Camilla implies that she had to kill some of her own half-siblings to survive (and Xander also implies he had to do something similar). The environment there was downright brutal. No wonder both women are so broken.
- At the end of Kana's (The Avatar's kid) paralogue, the Avatar gives Kana their dragonstone to control their ability to transform into a dragon, and then decides to leave them in the Pocket Dimension they are in because the Avatar doesn't think that Kana is able to fight yet. While male Kana just begs (while somewhat tearfully) to join his mother, female Kana breaks down into tears and starts sobbing wildly (with a crying sound clip for her) about being left in the dimension all alone while begging to join her father.
- Gunter's story manages to get the tears out, too. He reveals early on in Revelation that he lost his wife and child, and it becomes pretty clear through his supports with the Avatar that he's the best parental influence they have in Nohr. Then it's revealed late in the game that not only was he the one who attacked the Avatar during their journey to Valla, but he's the one who killed Scarlet and that he's under the influence of Anankos. When the infestation is out of him, Gunter reveals that Garon was the one who not only killed his wife and child, but his entire hometown, then confesses that he wanted to use the Avatar to get his revenge on Garon and Nohr. Gunter even say's he'd understand if the Avatar didn't trust him any more, but they still trust him. And then finally, at the end of the game, Gunter watches the Avatar's coronation, in the shadows away from the group, and quietly leaves.
- Garon had given Gunter a whip to punish the female Avatar not because she did anything wrong, but because she was closed off, probably still traumatized from getting kidnapped. Gunter took one look at her and couldn't bring himself to strike her. It's probably that moment when he decided to give up on his revenge, and became the Avatar's true father figure. Her saying that in their supports makes him cry. That's really how much they mean to each other.
- The male Avatar's support has him wondering about when Gunter would take two meals for himself, or wander around the castle the Avatar was kept in. Turns out, Gunter had been giving him food and reading him bedtime stories because he was only seen as a prisoner to Garon. What's worse? Apparently, the Avatar forgot all this. A very dark implication that Garon had not only ordered for the Avatar to be brainwashed to forget their Hoshidan family, but also acts of kindness by a loyal Nohr soldier.
- The lyrics of Lost In Thoughts All Alone are melancholic and towards the end sound sad as the one who wrote them sings of how no one can hear their cry. The lyrics were written by Anankos to weaken himself and foretell his eventual death, all the while singing to his child the Avatar, their fate, about his own loneliness.A burdened heart sinks into the ground
A veil falls away without a sound
Not day nor night, wrong nor right
For truth and peace you fight
Sing with me a song of silence and blood
The rain falls, but can't wash away the mud
Within my ancient heart dwells madness and pride
Can no one hear my cry?
- The chorus becomes even more of a tearjerker with the aforementioned knowledge. While it's specifically about the Avatar's choice, it also can be taken as how, due to his madness, Anankos can never have a meaningful relationship with his child.You are the ocean's gray waves, destined to seek
Life beyond the shore, just out of reach
Yet the waters ever change, flowing like time
The path is yours to climb
- The original Japanese lyrics are just as melancholic and heart-wrenching (rough translation):No matter which path is chosen
They will all surely lead to smiles and grief, regrets and dreams
One will wander, worn out by indecision and uncertainty in their future
There will surely be roses that cut them along the way
Sinking into a ravine
The wandering heart will drift about
a childish wish
That the descendant bound by blood
With a lineage buried deep within the confusion
Reflects clearly upon the water's surface
So that someone is made aware of Our thoughts
Swaying, and being swayed
One's thoughts hang in the balance
Like ephemeral bubbles down the river stream
those hands will open up the way to tomorrow
- The chorus becomes even more of a tearjerker with the aforementioned knowledge. While it's specifically about the Avatar's choice, it also can be taken as how, due to his madness, Anankos can never have a meaningful relationship with his child.
- A lot of male Kana's S-supports in the localization have him getting shot down in flames, with a particularly-painful dose of Reality Subtext that makes players who've experienced similar situations wince. Of special note are Velouria, who tells him he's like a little brother, and Sophie, who says she just doesn't see him that way. Poor guy.
- In early March 2016, a bunch of new DLC stages were revealed. One of them sounds like a Tear Jerker in the making, since the few (current) info about it implied that it's Fates's own version of Awakening's infamous Future Past, featuring an Alternate Universe where the Player Character is dead, the parents have been killed in battle, and the now orphaned children are fighting hopeless wars. The available images◊ didn't help since they have a crying Female Kana lost in the mist and apparently wielding the Avatar's Yato, Shigure speaking to a ghastly version of his Missing Mom Azura, and a talk between a very distressed Siegbert and a just as troubled-looking Shiro.
- The dialogue for some of those scenes are quite depressing. Roughly translated, Female Kana is crying about how she was "unable to protect Papa", implying the male Avatar was killed right in front of her, like his own parents were, and Shiro is upset that Shigure is constantly being targeted, while he and Siegbert can do nothing to help him.
- It gets worse. You know how in Infinite Regalia it was implied that the Deadlords were the re-animated bodies of the parents, but not flat-out stated? In Failed Revelation, it's explicit that Anankos forces the second-gens to fight their resurrected fathers (along with the royal grandparents save Garon) in Revelation.
- The end of Shigure and Azura's supports can be this, if you're playing Birthright or Conquest. Although it starts out heartwarming, it takes a turn into Tear Jerker territory when Shigure and Azura talk about the drawback to Azura's pendant, which is overuse of the pendant's powers can cause death. And if you've played these two paths, you know what happens to Azura in the end...
- To add more salt to the wound, Failed Revelations Shigure is wearing Azura's pendant. Worse still, he has to wear it in order to save the worlds, the one thing Azura never wanted. And if he sings the fourth verse all alone? It might fix things, but he will suffer a Fate Worse than Death as payment.
- Silas and Camilla's localized support chain is an odd mixture of hilarity, sweetness, and this. For their support conversations, Silas is tasked with sending love messages to the Avatar from Camilla, with the Avatar seeming to react apathetically every time, much to the dismay of Camilla. In their A-Support, though, we learn that Silas was actually in love with Camilla (yes, he actually confessed his love to her in the A support) at one point and Camilla? She admits she used to have feelings for Silas, but didn't want to pursue them out of fear that the Avatar would think she didn't love them anymore. The supports ends with them dropping the subject.Silas: Camilla, you must understand. I am also extremely close with Avatar. And I know how much he/she cares about you and appreciates your words of love. I do, however, know of another person desperate to hear those words from you...
Camilla: Oh? I can't imagine who.
Silas: This person truly desires your love and admiration.
Camilla: Well, who could it be? Leo? Elise? You don't mean... Xander?
Silas: No, none of them. Camilla... I speak of myself.
- The entirety of Odin and Laslow's A Support, in which they discuss the Your Universe or Mine? issue. Laslow comments that while he does love all the friends he's made here, it'll just make it more painful to leave later, and Odin agrees. They also reminisce about some of their memories from Awakening, both good and bad, with Laslow worrying that he may end up forgetting all that if he becomes too attached to the world of Fates. It ultimately takes a turn for the heartwarming when they call each other by their real names and encourage each other, but it's still pretty heartbreaking.
- Hinoka and Azama's A-support has shades of this, where Hinoka orders Azama to heal a dying soldier despite Azama's protests that it would be better to let the soldier die peacefully. In the end, the soldier still dies after being healed — and worse, they died a painful death due to their serious wounds. All Azama did was prolong the soldier's suffering, and he's appropriately horrified by it.Azama: I was just following orders. Orders that I wish I had disobeyed, to be perfectly frank. You're a kind person, but I fear that one day your kindness will be your downfall.
Azama: I'm sorry. Of all the things I have said to you...and WILL say to you in the future... I believe that may have crossed a line. May you never lose your fragile innocence.
- It's softened a bit by the fact that Leo changes his attitude later, but his disapproval of his son's crossdressing is pretty depressing considering a line in their C Support. Forrest comments that most of the reason why he started doing it is because Leo said that he looked cute in a dress that he'd borrowed from Elise... and Leo barely remembers this until Forrest points it out to him. It's especially sad after hearing Leo outright call him a disgrace in the paralogue, but at least Elise calls him out on that and the support chain as a whole have him trying to genuinely approach and understand Forrest.
- In the Revelation route, Scarlet's A support with the female Avatar become this. To explain, Scarlet talks about how it's believed in Cheve that people whom die turn into stars, and she asks the Avatar what color star she would be when she died. The Avatar doesn't want to answer because it's bad luck, and Scarlet replies cheerfully that they all die, and war is no exception. Knowing what does end up happening to her in the route, this conversation becomes so much more heartbreaking. The support is also heartbreaking if you see it on Birthright after playing Conquest, because Scarlet not only dies on that route, you have a hand in it. (She's Chapter 13's boss.)
- On that note, Scarlet has a line in the Private Quarters if the Avatar is married to her that's equally harsh on Birthright, knowing she dies in every other alternate reality. Or, for even more pain, you can make this line Tempting Fate by marrying her on Revelation."Do you think there might be alternate realities? Other mes, other yous? [whispers] I love us in this one."
- On that note, Scarlet has a line in the Private Quarters if the Avatar is married to her that's equally harsh on Birthright, knowing she dies in every other alternate reality. Or, for even more pain, you can make this line Tempting Fate by marrying her on Revelation.
- Orochi's supports with the Avatar start off rather lighthearted, with her relating some of Mikoto's apparent Cloud Cuckoolander traits to them. The B & A ranks are a bit more serious, though; Orochi is clearly struggling with talking about Mikoto, and it's obvious that she was hit pretty hard by her death.
- Takumi's support with Subaki in the Nohrian Festival of Bonds hits once more on his feelings of insecurity. This time, it also shows just how much trouble Takumi has relaxing around others, creating another strong sign that he is also suffering from anxiety on top of all of his other complexes. He nearly ends up breaking down in front of Subaki over how much of a failure this makes him feel. Special mention goes to him lamenting his inability to trust others, which is especially haunting for those who played Conquest. It ends on a heartwarming note when Subaki reassures him and tells him he wants to become friends regardless of any of Takumi's flaws, perceived or otherwise.
- The Hidden Truths DLC is full of this, especially in regards to Anankos's backstory. You listen to him tell his story, about how he foresaw his own descent into insanity and how, no matter what he did, he couldn't stop it; how he was abandoned by nearly everyone he cared about as they grew more fearful of him; and how, in a fit of rage, he accidentally murdered the one person who stayed by him. He was so horrified by this he ripped out his own soul so he'd never have to deal with that kind of pain again. That soul is the Anankos seen in the DLC, and he eventually found his way to Mikoto. They fell in love and had a baby (the Avatar), after which all of Soul!Anankos's memories came back and he knew exactly what he was. He helped Mikoto, the baby Avatar, Arete, and Azura escape Valla, then set out to try and find more protection for them, only, at the end of this DLC, to be killed by his previously-unknown daughter, Lilith. The guy did not deserve what happened to him.
- Even worse is he thought he was such a monster, he told Mikoto to never tell the Avatar about him. When Severa, Inigo and Owain express shock over this, asking if he never once wanted his child to call him "Father", his response is very simple yet very heart-wrenching:Soul!Anankos: I want that more than anything.
- Lilith becomes a rather sad character after playing this DLC. It's clear she strives for familial love but her father, the dragon Anankos treats her like shit, and Lilith knows she's nothing more than a pawn to him. While he initially expressed disbelief over it, the soul of Anankos does give her that love to the point where Lilith can't bring herself to kill him. But he dies anyway to keep Lilith alive and whole time talks to her with the warmth of a kind father. So, in the end Lilith decides she'll keep her sibling, the Avatar safe while promising to keep the truth secret. From then on replaying any route but especially the ones where Lilith dies gives the player a dose of Dramatic Irony. The Avatar no doubt gives Lilith the familial love she wanted from Anankos but she keeps her distance and keeps the truth hidden from them.
- Even worse is he thought he was such a monster, he told Mikoto to never tell the Avatar about him. When Severa, Inigo and Owain express shock over this, asking if he never once wanted his child to call him "Father", his response is very simple yet very heart-wrenching:
- The in-universe reasoning for Shigure's hairstyle, as revealed in his supports with Sophie. Apparently, one of his old vassals, who Shigure was pretty close to, used to wear his hair like that. They suggested trading hairstyles one day... a few days before their village was attacked. Shigure decided to keep it that way to honor his friend.
- Those who have played Birthright will immediately realize that part 1 of the Heirs of Fate DLC takes place in the same map where you had to defeat Xander in Chapter 26, the same chapter he and Elise (and possibly Laslow and Peri, if you took too long with Xander) died in. The Vallite Siegbert is even in the same spot his father would be during said chapter...
- Take a good look at the Vallite Percy's inventory. He's carrying Arthur's Axe...
- Additionally, Soleil is in the same place where Laslow was during Chapter 26.
- Similarly, Heirs of Fate 2 takes place on the same map as Conquest Chapter 25. Shiro and Asugi are also standing in the same rooms as their fathers were, and Shiro has been reclassed into a Swordmaster so he can use Raijinto.
- Heirs of Fate 4 likewise takes place on the same map as Conquest Chapter 23. And, just like in the previous chapters, Kiragi and Hisame are in the same positions as their fathers.
- Heirs of Fate 5 is a Tear Jerker all the way through; the child characters are forced to fight the reanimated corpses of Sumeragi, Mikoto and Arete like their parents did, and their respective grandchildren will even have special dialogue with them. After their defeat, the three bosses let the children into Anankos's chamber. Shigure then freezes everyone in place and reveals that he'd planned to sacrifice himself to undo the damage Anankos had caused, and tells all of his friends to remember him as they plead for him to let them help.
- Even worse, the children had finally started working together, and it looked like they were all starting to become friends, despite the tensions they had before... And then Shigure drops The Reveal on them that they're all from separate timelines, they're all dead in his timeline, and he'd deliberately left stuff out of his explanations so they'd stick around long enough. Even after all that, the kids still insist that not only are they all friends, they consider Shigure a friend, too.
- Heirs of Fate 6 features a Tear Jerker for everyone; Anankos reanimates the fathers and forces them to fight their own children, with each portrait appearing as a ghostly silhouette of the character. The children's reactions can only be described as complete horror and sadness.
- To add more injury to insult, making a child fight their respective parent garners heartbreaking one-sided conversations—the kids try to plead to their parents to come to their senses, but to no avail.
- And worse still, the princes, Midori, and Asugi even get special dialogue with their uncles. They're not as sad as their father conversations, but none of them are very happy about fighting their uncles, anyway.
- As an added shot to the nuts for anyone who beat Conquest, Takumi is once again packing the special bow he wielded as the Final Boss of that route.
- The final boss theme is equal parts tear jerker and heart warming, once you hear whose singing. Initially it's Shigure singing solo as he attempts to reverse Anankos' curse, however partway through the song Azura slowly and subtly begins to add her voice to the song. After both of them sing seperately they join their voices for the final verse, and sing in unison. Despite Azura being dead her spirit lingers on, and while she can't help physically she's with Shigure in spirit.
- The fact that the Heirs of Fate counterparts of the children have different Famous Last Words than what they'd usually say if they were killed in the final map. All of their death quotes lament not being about to fight to the end; some of them encourage the others to keep fighting, while the Kanas and Shigure tearfully apologize that they've failed everyone for falling.
- The Heirs of Fate universe in general becomes depressing when Shigure reveals that he comes from a Revelation universe, unlike most of the other kids who hail from either Birthright or Conquest. Meaning that despite being the Golden Path, there exists at least one timeline where the first gen characters failed their mission despite how hard it was to get the two countries to fight together. It adds a bit of a Player Punch to Revelation's otherwise happy ending, even if that particular universe is fine.
- Speaking of Heirs of Fate Shigure, here's something a little extra-heartbreaking about The Reveal. All of the men that Azura can marry have kids of their own. Since all of the other kids from Shigure's timeline are dead, this means that he lost his sibling as well as his parents. While the main reason this doesn't come up is probably because they didn't want to deal with the sheer number of possibilities or pull a Cutting Off the Branches, it's still heartbreaking that Shigure technically sees whoever his sibling is again, but can't say anything to them about it. And considering they're all from different timelines, whoever HoF!Shigure's sibling is may not be related to him in their timeline. Damn. Someone give this guy a hug.
- Soleil and Ophelia's supports start out comical, with Soleil relentlessly stalking Ophelia and trying to goad her into having tea for a few hours. Ophelia eventually prepares a body-swap spell to try and force Soleil to leave her alone - this winds up backfiring, as a smitten Soleil realises she now has a much more intimate perspective on Ophelia's body. Mortified, Ophelia quickly undoes the spell, before lamenting that she just wanted the two of them to share their fathers' friendship without Soleil coming on like a lovesick puppy before running off in frustrated tears. Even the normally upbeat Soleil realises how badly she's screwed up.
- The S-Support between Orochi and Saizo has a rather unexpected turn, for a chain that until then had been comedic. Orochi, who once chased around a young Saizo because of a supposed disgrace that would befall him (and caused him to be terrified of her omens), realizes what that disgrace actually was... It was her foreseeing the death of Kaze and Saizo's *father*. She apologizes to Saizo and not only does Saizo forgive her, but he says that in his fear of Orochi's fortunetelling, he also couldn't do anything about it. Both of them conclude that even if they did get it right, they might not have been able to do anything to save him.
- Shigure and Rhajat's non-family Support focus on Rhajat's No Social Skills and how, unlike him, she couldn't bond with her caretakers in the Deeprealms. She claims she was okay with it and that's what she wanted anyway, but Shigure isn't convinced and tries to talk to her despite her mistaking his desire to help with mere pity... It turns out she drove them away because she used to suffer from Power Incontinence and didn't want them to be hurt, so she crafted a Jerk Ass Facade to deal with it.
- Selena gets some unique support dialogue with Caeldori if she's her mother, which definitely tugs at the heartstrings given that Caeldori is an Expy of Selena's own mother, Cordelia. As Selena sees her own daughter masterfully managing the army, in the same way her mother used to (and displaying the same effortless perfectionism which drove Selena's inferiority complex), she is clearly left grappling between the love for her daughter and the jealousy she feels towards her mother. However, to her credit, she quickly makes peace with it, albeit in a heartbreaking fashion: she comments to Caeldori that she inherited everything from her grandmother - her talent, her grace, and even her looks - and explains that she's happy for her, before mumbling that it must skip a generation and sadly walking out of the tent.
- Speaking of Caeldori, her supports with Subaki are rather sad in their own way. Caeldori makes several remarks hinting that her perfectionism is partly an attempt to please her father and follow in his footsteps. This prompts Subaki to feel guilty and tell her that driving herself into the ground in her attempts to be "perfect" will only tear her up inside, and that he'd never want her to feel that way. It implies that Subaki is something of a Stepford Smiler, and considering how his own parents treated him, it probably hit really close to home to realize how Caeldori felt.
- Although the Hoshidan Festival Scramble DLC is mostly smiles and giggles, there's also a few sad moments to go around.
- If Ryoma is Kana's father, the latter is utterly shocked when Ryoma asks if he would like to spend time together. Kana is hesitant to accept, which leads Ryoma to ask if Kana doesn't want to be around him. Kana denies this, but says that Ryoma should go talk to his siblings, because he clearly has more fun around them than with him. Ryoma tries to refute this, but Kana bitterly responds that it's blatantly clear and that he's not an idiot.Kana: I think it would be best if Papa and Mama spent time with your other siblings.
Ryoma: Hm? What would you think that?
Kana: Because. You look like you're having more fun with them instead of me.
Ryoma: It's not like that at all. Why would you say that?
Kana: It is like that. There's no common topic between us that we can talk about. But with Mama and all the other uncles and aunts, you have a lot of different conversations, right? I'm not an idiot. Even I can see that much.
- If Takumi is Kana's father, then Kana begs Takumi to give him archery lessons. When Takumi asks why, Kana admits that he feels as though it's the only way he'll get to spend time with him because Takumi doesn't seem to be interested in the festival.Takumi: Wait a minute. What's with that sad face?
Kana: ...Okay. I'll tell the truth. I don't just want for Papa to teach me how to use a bow.
Kana: Because if it's not about archery, then Papa and I wouldn't spend any time together.
- If Gunter is Kana's father, Kana is just excited to spend time with the former and even says how he wants Gunter to always be with him. And then Gunter falls silent, fully aware he can't give Kana what he's asking for.Kana: I love you a lot, Papa. Someday, I want to be a strong, great guy respected by everyone, just like you are. That's my dream! And I always want to be with you, Papa. Always!Gunter: ...
- If Ryoma is Kana's father, the latter is utterly shocked when Ryoma asks if he would like to spend time together. Kana is hesitant to accept, which leads Ryoma to ask if Kana doesn't want to be around him. Kana denies this, but says that Ryoma should go talk to his siblings, because he clearly has more fun around them than with him. Ryoma tries to refute this, but Kana bitterly responds that it's blatantly clear and that he's not an idiot.