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Tear Jerker / Fire Emblem Gaiden

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Unmarked spoilers below.

  • Alm and Celica reunite after so many years... and their reunion quickly goes south when their situations and viewpoints clash, ending on a very sour note. The two spent a better part of their lives looking forward to meeting again, only for their meeting to drive them further apart. Both Alm and Celica's friends can tell something is wrong after this, and both groups urge them to make up, but a landslide separates them before they get the chance.
  • Pictured in the former page image, Rinea is quite the source of these. Especially when Berkut sacrifices her in a Deal with the Devil, then she's "back" as a Flaming Witch and attacks Fernand while screaming and crying, and finally when her soul appears during Berkut's section in the Alas, Poor Villain demise.... What's truly Heartwarming as well as heartbreaking is the fact that Rinea is still willing to forgive Berkut for all of that, and Berkut is sincerely remorseful for what he did to her? Many fans agree that this is one of the saddest additions to Fire Emblem since Katarina.
  • Unlike other games, a character's death can affect another character's endings. For instance:
    • Gray: If Tobin dies? Gray crosses the Despair Event Horizon and and falls over to drunken depression, though thankfully lessened with the remake where if Clair lives, she supports Gray to enable him to get back up. If Clair dies? It doesn't matter if Tobin lived, Gray also goes over the Despair Event Horizon, then leaves and is never seen again. It's just utterly depressing all around.
    • Tobin: If Gray dies? He suffers a severe Heroic BSoD, disappears, and when he returns he's more mature, but has lost his will to smile.
    • Clair: If Gray dies? She remains in the military, but never marries and never fully gets over Gray either.
    • Mae: If Boey dies? She falls into a deep depression that's only healed through her surviving friends' encouragement. She spends the rest of her life helping others at the priory, but never marries.
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    • Boey: If Mae dies? He realizes he was actually deeply in love with her and becomes a workaholic out of regret. He eventually succeeds Nomah as the head of the priory and continues helping the poor, but remains single for the remainder of his life.
    • Leon: If Valbar dies in the remake? He also suffers a Heroic BSoD, leaves for a while, and at his returns, he dedicates himself solely to the military life. This is especially painful since this would be the second time he loses a guy he was in love with.
    • Tatiana: If Zeke dies? It takes her a long time and her Second Love's dedication to recover from it. The original was even worse: Tatiana never recovers, even after cutting her hair in grief, since that Second Love was not in the original.
    • Clive: If Mathilda dies? He dies some time later, fighting pirates.
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    • Python: If Forsyth dies? He will experience a personality change and die young, just like Clive above.
    • Forsyth: If Python dies? He lives through the war and even marries, but he leaves the capital forever to live with his lady in the borders.
    • Zeke: If Tatiana dies? He will go back to Archanea (surely to help out Marth's group and Nyna, like in his other ending)... but no one will ever learn where he went afterwards.
    • Mathilda: If Clive dies? Like in Clair's case above, she becomes a key player in the Valentian military, but never marries or falls in love again.
    • Though Saved by Canon since they will survive until the War of Heroes, if any of the Whitewings die, any surviving sisters will not take it well. If Est dies, poor Palla and Catria's attempt to save her, leaving Archanea along the way, will be all for naught. If either of those two die, poor Est will have to live with the fact that her sister died trying to save her.
  • The game's Death Quotes. They're animated, fully voiced, have many already sad tropes (like Go Out with a Smile, It Has Been an Honor, Sorry That I'm Dying, etc.) and all of them are heartbreaking in one way or another.
    • For those knowing the previous games, Palla's quote becomes even more depressing: being the Hopeless Suitor she is, the last thing she remembered was Abel, who already settled with Est. This is when the other Hopeless Suitor, Catria, didn't even mention her crush (Marth) on her death, instead saying that she wishes she could've seen her homeland again. And moreso, if the player lets Est die... congratulations, Abel has become a widower.
    • Plus, when Zeke is fatally wounded, after he quietly says goodbye to Tatiana... he talks about seeing someone's face. It's very likely that he's not only recovering all of his memories as Camus, but is having a vision of Nyna as he lays dying. note  Making this worse, if this happens, Nyna is doomed, since no one will be able to wake her up from Gharnef's hypnosis, becoming nourishment for Medeus, and it's because Zeke didn't make it. Yeah, technically speaking, Zeke/Sirius/Camus is Saved by Canon like the Whitewings, but the mere idea of him dying and poor Nyna not being saved (unlike Lena, Maria, or Elice, who can still be rescued by Julian, Minerva, and Merric respectively) is haunting.
    • Now that the Cipher DLC's have been released... The four Cipher characters also have their own death quotes. And they're no less heartbreaking.
      Shade: Emma... Take care... of yourself...
      Randal: Ugh... Ah well... It was fun... while it lasted.
      Emma: Goodbye, my friends... I adored every minute... I spent with you...
      Yuzu: Nay... How could I fall here...?
  • At first glance, Sonya's ending in Echoes looks like a very, very cruel case of Shoot the Shaggy Dog. She attempts to Find the Cure! for Witches, only for her tracks to vanish suddenly, before rumors of a new witch taking up residence in Nuibaba's Fear Mountain. However because Duma is dead at this point, it's impossible for Sonya to have lost her soul and turned into a Gaiden/Echoes-style Witch. Thus, if one looks closely, the ending either has her fate uncertain, or Sonya did indeed take residence there and is merely being 'called' a witch, presumably for her powers and/or experiments to cure Witches. Seeing as in later games, Witches do become a non-evil character class, it leans toward the latter somewhat. At the same time, Nuibaba's profile in Valentia Accordion mentions that she did not become a Witch by contracting with Duma but by her own means in pursuit of power and beauty, meaning that it is still possible for Sonya to become a Witch like Nuibaba by other means.
  • Any time a named enemy gets an Alas, Poor Villain final moment:
  • Celica's death in Act 5. When Alm reaches the vault where Mila's head is with the Falchion impaled in it, Celica, who is now possesed by Duma since she lost her soul to him, attack Alm, even going as far as demanding Alm to kill her. Alm is reluctant to do so, and Mila commands him to unbind Falchion and trust in it, and proceeds to stab Celica before she can do the same thing to him. The camera then shows that while she didn't stab Alm, Alm ended up impaling Celica, and makes a rather fearful expression before she collapses on her knees as she dies. Alm then tearfully shakes her and begs for her to wake her up to no avail, and screams Celica's name before crying over her dead body. Fortunately, Celica gets better, but the fact that Mila uses the last of her life force to do so doesn't make it any less sad.
  • The Game Over screens for this game are damn depressing. One of them not only features a graveyard, but the following quote from "A Conqueror":
  • Some of the sidequests are quite sad. One has you looking for a traveler's lost father, who was last seen at the Mountain Graveyard wearing a red tricorn hat. When you next go there, you find an enemy Revenant carrying a red tricorn. All you can do is put it out of its misery. And that's where the sidequest ends.
  • Another sidequest has you looking for a mother's lost son, who went to the Dragon Shrine to try and resurrect his father. Once you get there, you find A Son's Journal, which cuts off into blurred text at the end. Unlike the other, you do get closure to this one by returning the Journal to his mother, but it's still tragic that she's now lost her entire family. Afterwards, she curses Mila for it before vanishing.
  • If a character dies, then the quote on the post-battle screen will be a reaction to it. Most are generic expressions of grief, but if the one who died was close to the unit speaking, it will be a specific, in-character reaction, often including tropes like Big "NO!", Please Don't Leave Me, How Dare You Die on Me!, or Please Wake Up. Almost all of the voice actors do a terrific job of making it sound like their world was just shattered, and the effect is heartbreaking. Some of them are here:
    Boey: Mae? Mae, this isn't funny!
    Catria: No! No, it must be the three of us! Together!
    Clair: Clive... No. Oh brother, NO!
    Clive: Clair! Oh Gods, Clair! How could this happen...?!
    Clive: Mathilda, my love... How am I to go on?!
    Delthea: Get up, Lu, you big dummy! Get up!
    Est: No! I can't go on without the three of us!
    Forsyth: Sir Clive! What am I to do now?!
    Forsyth: For goodness sake, Python, get up! ... Python...?
    Gray: Tobin, you idiot! What were you thinking?!
    Leon: Don't leave me, old friend! What will I fight for?!
    Lukas: Clive. Know that none will ever take your place.
    Luthier: Delthea! Delthea, open your eyes!
    Mathilda: CLIVE?! No, my love! Stay with me!
    Mae: Oh, Boey... Please, not you!
    Python: Forsyth, you damned fool. How did you think this would end?
    Palla: No... Take me instead!
    Tobin: Come on Gray, quit messing around! Gray? Gray!
    Tatiana: Zeke...! ZEKE, NO!
    Zeke: Tatiana... the last light in my life, extinguished...
    • The normal reactions from a few of the characters are actually a bit more tear-jerky because they're so level-headed; for the Whitewings, some of the Knights of Zofia, and a few others, this clearly isn't their first rodeo and they're used to losing friends. For a few of them, this makes their freakouts especially rough because it's a loss so raw it breaks what is otherwise their mask of calm. Zeke is especially bad: "Death hurts, no matter how oft one sees it." Since he's Camus, he's seen a goddamn lot of it already, having been on the losing side of Shadow Dragon. Even worse, not even losing Tatiana makes him freak out — he's instead just so goddamn crushed by losing her on top of everything else that he just sounds even more downbeat than normal.
      • Deen's reaction may seem insensitive ("War is death. You can mourn later."), but it takes on a more heartbreaking light once you think about it more: just how much death and destruction did Deen witness to make him that way?
    • Luthier and Delthea's mourning quotes are even more depressing when you look at the context of their recruitment. Luthier left the village to help Alm save Delthea from Tatarrah. If she dies, then that means him trying to rescue her was ultimately pointless. If Luthier dies, then Delthea has to live with the fact that he died because he tried to help her.
    • Even Alm, Mycen, Saber, and Conrad's unused lines for Celica are painful:
      Alm: No... oh, Celica! NOT YOU!
      Conrad: Antheise! I only fought so you could be happy!
      Mycen: Celica... Your life had only just begun...
      Saber: I really hoped you'd find happiness, lass.
      • Saber's quote is also a subtle kick in the pants. He's another one who doesn't freak out over general deaths (noting that not every battle is "sunshine and rainbows"), and for this one he just sounds... deflated. The tone is one of "oh, of course this happened, because all the good people I know end up like this".
    • There's an unused line for Clive's prospective death that comes from a really unexpected source...
      Fernand: Clive... YOU FOOL! What were you thinking?!
    • For maximum heartbreak, first listen to a character's death quote and then immediately follow it up with a mourning quote from a close ally (Ex: Valbar's death quote followed by Leon's mourning quote for him.)
  • As Zeke/Camus/Sirius has fallen in love and decided to stay loyal to Tatiana for her sake, and probably to not keep his former love Nyna tied to him after all the shit she went through for him, if the implication that Nyna left Archanea to go find him is true and she does find him, her heart would be broken once again as the person she fell in love with is now out of reach once again. It wouldn't be much easier for Zeke and Tatiana either: the honorable yet broken Zeke would feel terrible and believe that he will never stop making Nyna unhappy, whereas the sweet and humble Tatiana (who has already talked to Alm and to Zeke himself about her Insecure Love Interest status) would probably compare herself to Nyna, or feel guilty and believe that she's "stealing" Zeke from her (which she isn't, since Zeke freely chose to love her).
  • More or less everything involving Fernand in the Rise of The Deliverance DLC maps. It's one thing to have heard about the type of man he was before his family was murdered by commoners, turning him from a noble knight into a hateful bigot, but it's another thing entirely to actually see it. Most of Fernand and Clive's time together have them joking around like the old friends they're supposed to be, and aside from possible jealousy on Fernand's part with his implied unrequited love for Mathilda, the two are clearly inseparable. He's shown to have a strong sense of justice, being obviously disgusted by Slayde's tactics for dealing with the merchant revolt and agrees to help Clive petition the king to be merciful to the rebels, even though he knows it probably won't amount to anything, simply because Clive wants to try. But come the final map, his family had been killed, and even so soon after the incident he is noticeably more hateful and bitter, starting his journey to become the man who would betray his friends and his once-held ideals out of spite.
  • The final stage will have the group fight two Witches... who turn out to be Marla and Hestia, Sonya's big sisters. While Marla is clearly embracing the power of Duma, Hestia has some resentment towards Sonya. But when the group finishes her off, she gives a heartbreaking quote as an Alas, Poor Villain, implying she was herself in her last moments:
    "Oh... It seems so...obvious now. I should have just I you..."
    • Plus, in a Base Talk, Sonya herself describes how Marla and Hestia used to be before becoming witches. Marla was "kind but dignified", whereas Hestia was a bit of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander but still calm and mature. And now they are... well.
    • This scene can be extra sad if you recruited Deen instead. Sonya ran away to avoid becoming a Witch, but still died anyway, and her sisters don't even get to see her one last time.
      • Her death quote as an enemy is also kind of sad, as is the fact that every other enemy on her map is a Witch. True, it's normally the only magic class available to female enemies, but it makes you wonder if either Sonya was uncomfortable being surrounded by them, or if she wanted to save them, too, but died before she could.
  • Similarly, Deen's backstory. Jesse claims that he's "boring" because he's never had any kinds of big tragedies like murdering anyone, and Deen immediately seems uncomfortable about this. Supplementary material reveals that the start of his mercenary life came when his home was attacked while he was away, and he was forced to kill his lover, who had been transformed. Considering the fact his life was great before said attack, and he also lost his eye that day... there's a reason he never talks about it in game.
  • Echoes reveals why Mila sealed away Falchion to begin with. She didn't want to see her brother die. The whole situation leading to the game's plot is sad in general, as both dragons had such good intentions and love for humanity that was corrupted by something beyond their control. Knowing that all dragons are fated to go mad eventually, Naga created Valentia's Falchion as a way to Mercy Kill Mila and Duma once their time was coming. The final battle is essentially the party answering Mila's plea to put down her brother.
    Mila: I loved my brother, even as we loved mankind. Where we strayed, I cannot remember.
  • The Gaiden manga may cover only a part of the story, but it doesn't lack of this.
  • As said above, the Death Quotes and mourning reactions are heartbreaking. But some deaths, when they take place in a certain context, can be even worse:
  • Witches are Tragic Monsters, mindlessly serving Duma with no will of their own. However, they seem to regain their souls briefly before dying, resulting in them experiencing something similar to a seizure while either screaming or begging for mercy in their death quotes. And to add salt to the wound, Alm clearly does not enjoy fighting them and attempts to reason with Marla when she engages his army in Fear Mountain, only to be bluntly told by Lukas that only death can release their souls from Duma's hold.
  • Throughout Act 4, Celica's allies can tell something is bothering her and keep asking her to let them know what's up. Celica, however, never talks about it and it isn't until they reach the top of Duma Tower that they find out Celica spoke to Jedah about selling her soul in order to save Valentia. When Mae, Boey, Saber, and Conrad all protest against this, Jedah promptly teleports them away. He assures Celica that he only sent them to the bottom of the tower, but the beginning of Act 5 reveals that they're in Duma Temple fighting for their lives against hordes of Terrors. If things didn't turn out the way they did, it could have been the last time they saw each other alive. Some of what Mae, Boey, and Conrad say during their last base conversations do NOT help when knowing all of this.
    Conrad: It's more like — Sometimes it's like you're running off ahead without us, and it's lonely.
    Mae: Hey Celica? You're not hiding something from us, are you?
    Boey: I hope you'll let me stay by your side to the bitter end.

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