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Tear Jerker / Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War

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With this easily being one of the darkest Fire Emblem games ever, it's only natural that things would get soul-crushingly depressing at times.

  • Edain lost her sister at sea and spent years searching for her. She finally finds her, and Brigid joins Sigurd's army. By the time the army reaches Grannvale, their brother Andrey is working with Arvis, so any meeting between him and his sisters will go badly. Meanwhile, their father, Ring, has been killed by his own son, and never got to see Brigid again.
  • The Wham Episode. Have fun watching that list of names of your now dead army roll, knowing that everything they'd done up until that point was meaningless!
    • It was bad enough being blindsided halfway through the game when Ethlyn and Quan are killed and their daughter Altena taken captive, but that very same chapter ends with your ally Arvis betraying you and murdering nearly every available playable character, including the main character Sigurd.
    • Ironically, Arvis himself becomes tearjerker material in the second half. He's lost the woman he loved, his son's been turned evil, his empire and all his plans for world peace were ruined by Manfroy, Azelle's long dead by this point...all that's left for him is death.
      • Not to mention the heavy (as in, all but explicitly stated) implication that Arvis commits Suicide by Cop. Or rather, Suicide-By-Half-Nephew-That-You-Helped-Orphan.
    • And for some extra "fun", read the manga. For starters, there's the entire subplot about Eldigan and Lachesis, especially her total emotional breakdown after he died... In general, that thing is excellent at capturing the characters' emotions and personalities and all, which makes the entire thing extra depressing if you see something good happen to them for once, while knowing of the great plot twist of Chapter 5. This creates a constant air of uncomfortable dread.
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    • Seliph's conversation with the ghost of his parents after killing Arvis, especially with the remixed version of Seliph's theme.
  • Try to pair Lewyn with Tailtiu. Then get him to talk with Tine in Chapter 10 (through Seliph). Tine will then reveal Tailtiu's downward spiral from a Genki Girl into a very depressed Broken Bird thanks to that bitch of a sister-in-law Hilda. It even makes Lewyn, who is all aloof to the deaths of his other potential wives, actually BAWL. He dismisses it as sweat in his eyes, though.
    • If you pair him with Silvia and then get him to talk to Lene, the results are also pretty sad. Leen will tell him about herself and her lonely years at the Darna orphanage, and how she wonders what she did to deserve abandonment. Lewyn will try to cheer her up by saying her parents had good reasons to leave her there but they'll come back to her some day... then Leen mentions that she's often felt watched over by someone else, and she wants to know who and where her Mysterious Protector is. And Lewyn can't tell her that he is her dad, maybe because after being revived/possessed by Forseti, he can't remember everything clearly...
  • Leif and Seliph's conversation in chapter 7.
    Seliph: Prince Leif, I can't begin to express my sorrows to you.
    • Remember, Seliph and Leif are cousins. Their dads were best friends. They should have been able to grow up seeing each other (along with Ares) on a regular basis, but because of how the war turned out, they only meet for the first time as teenagers.
  • Erinys' Heroic BSoD when she learns that Annand, her beloved older sister, was killed by the Face Heel Turned Pamela.
    Erinys: Please! Somebody tell me it's not true!
    • And in the second part, when Altena thanks Finn for raising her brother Leif and then mentions how she vaguely remembers playing and spending time with him before things went downhill... and Finn starts crying.
  • The part where Deirdre is subjected to Hypnotize the Princess by Manfroy was already sad in the game. The Oosawa manga, though? Made it far worse, since not only is she captured while trying to fight against Manfroy to protect Augusty castle and the three children with her (baby!Seliph, Oifey and Shannan), but we get to see her train of thoughts when she's being brainwashed and how she tearfully attempts to fight back, but in the end she can't do anything. Holy crap...
    • Don't forget Oosawa's rendition of Eldigan's death and Lachesis almost crossing the Despair Event Horizon afterwards, barely avoiding it thanks to Finn. Those were damn well-done and sad too.
      • It's bad enough just hearing that Eldigan has been executed by decapitation, but in the manga? Chagall actually sends the head to Sigurd and his troops.
  • Also, Oosawa's version of Silvia's challenge to Erinys. Aw Silvia, you poor baby. Made worse because Erinys later cries in Annand's arms too.
  • In the Oosawa manga, Erinys ends up meeting Sigurd when one the Agustrian soldiers impales a child after the boy's mother pleaded to be allowed to flee. Erinys and her team take the boy to the castle to have him healed, and she catches a glimpse of Lewyn as she does. She wonders if it's an illusion, but stays focused on getting the child medical help. The kid doesn't make it.
  • Despite being Lighter and Softer, the Nuts Fujimori manga has a surprising tear jerker in the last chapter. Sigurd meets with his father and receives the Tyrfing Sword. He looks into the sword's reflection and sees the future Seliph, Oifey and Shanan. Sigurd gestures for Oifey to bring Seliph to him so Vylon can see his grandson. It ends up being the last thing Vylon sees, and Sigurd weeps as he holds his dead father in his arms. And the very last scene? It's about Sigurd recalling his, Eldigan and Quan's promise to grow strong and be friends forever.
  • The Nea Fuyuki manga expands on Ares's confrontation with Seliph. The guy lost both of his parents at a very early age, and grew up believing that Sigurd had killed his father (which, depending on your actions, might be the case), and used that hatred as fuel for living. For him, the happiest moment of his life is being able to fight Seliph, Sigurd's son. Even Seliph seems upset by the story.
    • This gets even worse if recall the conversation Lachesis can have with Naoise in Chapter 5 (assuming you paired them up): Sigurd is actually looking for Ares despite the fact that Eldigan is long dead. That Ares ended up growing up hating Sigurd and Seliph by proxy is a horrible tragedy.
  • The entire premise of Gen 2. Aside from the very grim environment that everyone lives in, seeing the effects that the war and conflict have had on the characters will tug on the heartstrings.
    • Most of the children were too young to remember their parents' faces, and some like Faval and Patty know next to nothing (needing Lewyn to tell them basic info such as Brigid having been nobility and not just a pirate). Then, some, like Larcei, hold onto the quite likely futile hope that their parents are still alive somewhere.
    • On the flip side, being able to remember their parents/having had some time with them is still tearjerking in most cases. Arthur and Tine's mother met a miserable fate after the Battle of Belhalla and neither has taken it well, while Ced and Fee, if Lewyn is their father (as he canonically is) get to have him essentially disown them to their faces (for however understandable reasons in hindsight, which they never learn) after they spent years trying to find him. The only exception seems to be Lester and Lana, considering Edain survived the battle, became an abbess that raised them along with Seliph and the others, so they did spend good quality time with their mother... but still without a father (but as much as they hide it, they probably felt bad with the others who were parentless compared to them). Deimne and Muirne? Not so much...
      • In terms of the horrific fate of Tailtiu, just to break it down: She was already on the way of breaking when she thought she was unwelcome in Sigurd's army just by being Reptor's daughter. Then if they face each other in battle, he disowns her for the house's reputation. Then the Battle of Belhalla happens, she gets separated from Arthur, and withstands years of abuse from Hilda to protect Tine to the point she died miserably where she never had a day without crying. It was that horrible that if he's Arthur/Tine's father and hearing it, Lewyn, usually dismissive to his default children, was on the verge of bawling. Yes, her fate was bad enough that a Dragon God possessing his body cracked a bit to get him to show some sorrow.
      • Years of abuse have turned Tine into a Shrinking Violet and it's implied that she even blocked off some memories of the past, not remembering clearly what Tailtiu was really like but just as a 'woman who never smiled', otherwise she'd just remember her painful past. Her lover talk with Seliph and epilogue conversation with Jamke's son have her express fear that she and her lover will end up like Sigurd and Deirdre.
    • Similarly, a good amount of children have no idea, until the game events, that they have siblings/cousins (e.g. Nanna doesn't know about Diarmuid, Tine about Arthur, Ares about Nanna, etc.). It's especially depressing for Lene and Coirpre, as unlike most cases, it's clear in their conversation that they don't realize their relation to each other.
    • Seliph, despite being the son of Lord of Chalphy, has never set foot in his homeland until the events of the game (having been born elsewhere during Gen 1 due to the war and then raised in Isaach).
    • And then the adults, most of whom were survivors of the Gen 1 group, don't have it easy either. Lewyn's become heavily jaded (not helped by his mother having died shortly after the Battle of Belhalla), Oifey's suffering from a case of Survivor Guilt, Shannan's still blaming himself years later for failing to protect Deirdre and thus robbing Seliph of his mother, and Finn's a mess after losing Quan and Ethlyn and failing to protect Altena.
  • When Seliph enters the ruins of Yied shrine and learns about the tragic origins of the dark cult of Loptous, specifically that they were persecuted and put through witch hunts until living in hiding and seclusion eventually drove them insane, Seliph is absolutely horrified to see what appears to be the handwriting of a child from the cult praying for the dark lord's revival. All Seliph can say is "...Is Loptous the only god they have?"
    • This also gets expanded on in the Oosawa manga, where there are still some survivors living in the shrine. After the situation with recruiting Shannan is dealt with, the people in the nearby town drag them out in the open in order to lynch them. Seliph is barely able to rescue the children from being stoned to death.
  • You can rescue Shannan even if you've killed Ayra (and considering how tricky it can be to recruit her, it might even be tempting to), in which case horror dawns on Sigurd as he has to explain this. Congrats, you just killed a little kid's beloved aunt and only remaining family.
  • Quan and Ethlyn's deaths. You're close enough that it almost feels like you can save them, but nope, you have to watch them die. It's especially bad if Quan's still alive when Ethlyn is killed, as Travant holds the infant Altena hostage against him.
  • Julia can (and, being the only one suited for it, likely will) kill her twin brother, whom she once loved dearly. Depending on how you look at it, it makes it better or worse that as far as Julia's concerned, Julius has been as good as dead for years now, ever since Loptous possessed him and, in her words, deprived her of both her brother and mother.
  • Eldigan's ultimate situation.
    • If you choose to go the hard route and fight him, have fun knowing that Sigurd, who made it clear at every possible moment that he really did not want to fight Eldigan, just killed one of his best friends. On the flip side, if you attack Eldigan with Lachesis, he's the one who desperately doesn't want to have to fight and potentially kill his sister.
    • If you want to save him instead, you can talk to him with Lachesis... except then, uh. Eldigan is a rare case in Fire Emblem where despite having multiple options as to what to do with him, he can't saved no matter what (plot-wise, at leastnote ).
    • Then the Oosawa manga really ups the tragedy:
      • Eldigan mentioning that he's been away for so long that Ares probably doesn't even remember him anymore.
      • Eldigan nearly accidentally kills Lachesis when she pulls a Go Through Me to save Quan. She flat-out asks him, "Is it a knight's honour to betray his friends?" and tells him that if so, then instead of having to see this side of her brother, she'd rather he just kill her right then and there.
      • Then, there's Zyne, who's made an Anti-Villain who pinned so much hope on the idea of Eldigan becoming king of Agustria (being by far and away the most ideal candidate) to the point of him and all of his men sacrificing themselves for it, but it never comes to pass. Eldigan feels utterly unworthy of the throne and is killed, with the realization that Agustria, once a noble country, has fallen to corruption.
        "Unfortunately, it looks like this is the end for Agustria."
        No, it may have already met its end, ever since the king of the land of "knights"... had lost all his "knights".
      • And to wrap it up, this pushes Lachesis to the edge of the Despair Event Horizon for quite some time, only getting better in a tearjerking scene where Finn has her stab him with the Earth Sword to replenish her life, which (among other things) finally convinces her to begin recovering.
  • If Claud didn't marry anyone, then when you reach Edda, Lewyn and Seliph will have a conversation on how his bloodline has come to an end. Suffice to say it'll make you regret not having married him to someone.
  • The Oosawa manga makes Deirdre an Ascended Extra, giving her and Sigurd's relationship more development. It's sweet to see how much they love each other and how Deirdre views Sigurd as her Knight in Shining Armor... making it ten times worse when she's abducted and brainwashed into forgetting him, with her screaming and unsuccessfully fighting it, with Manfroy then tossing her wedding ring to the side. Unlike most cases of Hypnotize the Princess, this one never gets better.
  • The epilogue of Genealogy changes based on whether significant characters (i.e. heirs) died or whether a spouse/sibling died. The relevant surviving characters' dialogue regarding this tends to veer anywhere from bittersweet to heartbreaking. Special mentions go to:
    • If Shannan died and Ulster/Roddlevan is married, he'll mention that Shannan was like a father to him, meaning that he's basically been orphaned twice over.
    • If Ulster/Roddlevan died, Larcei/Radney — who, bless her, is doing her best to stay strong — mentions how proud she is of her brother.
    • If Leif, whom Finn has spent the entire timeskip looking after, dies... well, after similarly losing Quan and Ethlyn seventeen years ago, one can imagine how he feels about that.
    • Patty/Daisy is so broken up from her husband's death that she admits that she doesn't know where to go from there, and asks Seliph for a hug.
    • If Lene isn't married (whether because the player didn't pair her off or because her husband died), she'll talk about how she's been alone all her life anyway, so "staying alone for the rest of it won’t be that bad." Ouch.
    • If Fee is unmarried/her husband's alive, then her conversation with Seliph will have them talk about how she's always a Genki Girl. This makes her conversation if her husband is dead all the worse, as she breaks down, unable to remain upbeat.
  • The Oosawa manga actually manages to make some otherwise unsympathetic characters turn out sympathetic:
    • Pamela gets a good dose of Adaptational Heroism, and her rivalry with Annand took a sharp turn in terms of sadness, and she's extremely conflicted in what she has to do.
    • Duke Daccar as well. The moment he saw Lewyn play a music for him, he realized what an ass he has been and then as an act of penance, took his life.
    • Andrey, rather than being a misogynist bastard like at the start, turned out to be someone too crushed by the pressure of inheriting Jungby after the disappearance of Brigid and Edain. All his jerkish ways, including killing Annand, was all an act to finally get Brigid to hate him and then kill him. When he died, one of the things he felt was that he was so glad that the burden was gone.
    • In the past, Lombard turned out to be at least a decent father. But he couldn't get past his jealousy of how the Crusaders' descendants suddenly began playing favorites, resulting in antagonism between him and Lex.
    • Reptor wanted power, yes, but mostly just to use them to protect Granvalle, and on the realization of how his bid for power failed and his daughter accusing him of only using her as a pawn for his agenda, he... actually has a Heel Realization... and just in time as the House Velthomer betrays him and ordered a manhunt on him and his family. While he runs away with a wounded Tailtiu, he keeps praying to Thrud to give him a chance to redeem himself by taking just his life instead of Tailtiu's. And the chance comes when Azelle arrives, and for the first time, he trusts someone else and shows himself to the Velthomer soldiers, allowing them to just kill him, but his daughter lives and his prayers are answered. For the first time, Reptor shows that he did have Thrud's heroism within his blood.
      • And after all of that, fate still decides to piss on him by having Azelle and Tailtiu get pursued by Velthomer soldiers and end up on a cliff, and Azelle eventually throws the two of them to the sea, regretting that he couldn't inform Sigurd of Arvis' plan. And from Sigurd's POV, Azelle is MIA while Tailtiu is considered KIA. They actually survived because Arthur and Tine would appear in the 2nd generation.
    • Much to everyone's shock, Manfroy gets a moment like this in the manga. MAN-FUCKING-FROY. The game implied that he was bitter and angry after the sect was all but wiped out in his past. Here, there's a flashback during Manfroy and Lewyn's fight in Belhalla: it begins with a pre-teen Manfroy and his best friend as innocent kids from the sect, unaware of why they have to live underground... then it has them trying to see the world, being captured, and then being burned at the stake alongside Manfroy's parents. Then the flasback finishes and the now completely embittered Manfroy angrily finishes telling his backstory to the clearly stunned Lewyn and Erinys (with Lewyn getting the shock of his life), attacking them in rage and confirming his anger at the world, and he's even briefly seen crying. Oh dear.
  • In the game, the only way to see the replacement children in Gen 2 is to let the Gen 1 women die or go unpaired. In the Oosawa manga, Larcei and Ulster's replacements, Dalvin and Creidne are shown together with them. Dalvin was Made a Slave and only barely survived while Creidne is a Posthumous Character, having sacrificed herself to save Seliph and the other children in a flashback. And it was enough to make Dalvin pull a Face–Heel Turn and then gladly let himself get executed, his last thoughts being of his sister and of how Seliph, despite Dalvin's ultimate lack of faith, has promised to make the world better. For those who usually dismiss substitute characters, this is actually a scene that can make the readers care and shed a tear for them.
  • Great news! The Oosawa manga manages to spare both Iuchar and Iucharba rather than have one killed off. Bad news, however: despite both being sympathetically portrayed, their father Danann was such a cruel bastard to the Isaachsians that the angry and hurt people who are aiding Seliph and co. mistreat the two when they're prisoners, which causes quite the conflict. And to twist the knife more, Iucharba explains to Larcei and Ulster one of the worst episodes of his past... how, as children, he and Iuchar witnessed Danann's betrayal and murder of Ayra and Lex, the twins' parents.
  • Great news again! In the Oosawa manga, Dew apparently survived Belhalla and became Patty's hunky dad! Bad news: just as he met Shannan who retrieved Balmung, Dew had to cover for Patty and got himself killed... right in front of her. Poor Patty... and this is definitely not the kind of reunion Shannan was looking for...
  • Ishtar in general. Actually a decent girl despite having a dastardly father and mother. Has the major Thrud bloodline to use Mjolnnir and eventually redeem the Thrud bloodline. Loved Julius for real. Said love was not enough to redeem him from Loptous' influence and she was completely torn as she kept following Julius' atrocities that went against her own sense of morals. One by one, her family, sympathetic or not, left her or got killed in action. In the end, she decided that she's too far gone and decided that she'd rather die on the battlefield, taking one final stand against Seliph's army.
    • Taken further is if you managed to suddenly pit Tine/Linda against her during the final stand. Ishtar was one of the few Friege people that was actually nice on them, so they tried their best to convince her to defect. But then Ishtar admits that there's no turning back for her, despite how wrong the path she has taken. Ishtar just pretty much gave up and thought that there's only death for her.


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