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Tear Jerker / Homeworld

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  • Life on Kharak pre-Guidestone-discovery consists of the Kiithid (clans) beating the crap out of each other, fighting over already scarce resources or their own ideology and belief which turns out to be wrong. From a race punished for a great crime, now reduced to disillusioned people fighting one another for a past that they don't even remember anymore!
  • Mission 03 - Return to Kharak
    • The Mothership returns to Kharak, expecting a safe return for emergency repairs, only to discover that the scaffold, Kharak and its 300 million inhabitants that the manual told you all about, have been wiped away by fire. The initial camera viewing angle given to you is cleverly placed facing away from the burning planet to maximize the shock value towards the player when the player proactively turns the view from the wrecked scaffold to the burning world below. Cue Agnus Dei (the choral version of Barber's Adagio for Strings).
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    • Throughout the first few lines of dialog between Karan S'jet and Fleet Intelligence, both well-known for their unbreakable Danger Deadpan professionalism, tones of devastation, desolation and despair can be heard, showing that even the most disciplined are barely holding it together.
    Fleet Command: No one's left. Everything's gone. Kharak is burning...
    Fleet Intelligence: The scaffold has been destroyed. All orbital facilities destroyed. Significant debris ring in low Kharak orbit. Receiving no communication from anywhere in the system... not even beacons.
    • Moments later, a glimmer of hope shines through: the Cryo Trays are still intact but sustaining damage from a Taiidan mop-up group that stayed after the attack. The mood of the dialog from Fleet Command and Fleet Intelligence invests the task of saving the Trays - all that remain of your entire race - with the same importance and intensity as protecting your own loved ones.
    • There's another heartwrenching line in that level. You've loaded the remaining Cryo Trays on board, the ship is powering up to jump away and then you hear this:
      Fleet Intelligence: There's nothing left for us here. Let's go.
      • This fan comic does a pretty good job of summing up most people's thoughts on this mission.
  • The discovery at the end of the Kadeshi missions that you have very possibly committed genocide...upon your own kin.
    Fleet Intelligence: The hyperspace waveform of the enemy mothership was identical to our own. This raises interesting questions, considering our hyperspace technology was reverse-engineered from the Khar-Toba.
    • Made even more tragic by the fact that the Kushan tried at every turn to get the Kadeshi to back down and let them simply leave in peace, but the Kadeshi's paranoia that the Taiidan would destroy the Kushan and learn their location from them lead them to try and kill them all if they would not surrender and assimilate. The Kushan/Kadeshi conflict boils down to two desperate offshoots of the same diaspora locked in a struggle, with one having to commit genocide on the other to survive and having no other way out.
  • Mission 11 - Tenhauser Gate
    • After the Kushan save the Bentusi from the Taiidan Empire, the Bentusi see fit to share with them information that was forbidden from being shown throughout the entire galaxy. What information is so important and so illegal that it requires saving the lives of the most powerful alien race in the galaxy to be shown? The exile of your ancestors from Hiigara. The entire sequence is shown as an entire fleet of prison ships making an unplanned and perilous journey across the galaxy on slow, shoddy, unreliable conventional drives, resulting in generations after generations of Hiigarans living as nomads throughout space until they reached Kharak, lying on the edge of the galaxy. Some prison ships don't even make it that far, helplessly succumbing to poor engineering. Others would desert the convoy and decide to live elsewhere, resulting in the cultist Kadeshi. Like the Return to Kharak, this entire sequence goes by with the helping hand of Agnus Dei, which serves to emphasize the undeserving consequences who the Kushans, now innocent and unaware of their heinous past, face as punishment for the sins that their ancestors committed. The entire legacy and future of the Hiigarans and their Kushan descendants is just one big tragedy, which becomes all the more reason for you to help them see it through to the end.
  • The first victims of the Beast in Cataclysm are the crew members of the Kuun-Lan's lower deck. In the end the only option is to eject them from the ship and leave them to their fate, hearing their screams as they succumb to the infection.
    Crew member: Cut us loose!
    • What's worse is the fact that the crew member who calls for you to jettison the lower decks sounds so pained as he delivers that line. He knows there's no way to save anyone on the decks and given the Beast's signature corrupted segments start forming during the cutscene it's entirely possible that he and the entire crew trapped there are being melded into the ship as organic wiring as he cries out for the captain to save the rest of the Kuun-Lan.
  • The infection of the Caal-Shto in Cataclysm, after you spent two chapters protecting it.
  • The incredibly emotional What the Hell, Hero? delivered to the Bentusi by the Kuun-Lan Fleet Command in Cataclysm, where he claims they are no better than The Beast due to them massacring a force that prevented them from fleeing the galaxy instead of just helping.
  • Cataclysm's description of the Mimic-class pilots. They are assembled from "the lost"; people who woke up from cryosleep on Hiigara as the only survivors of their families or even their entire Kith. They have nothing left save vengeance against the Taidanii who took everything from them, explaining their willingness to sacrifice themselves in what are effectively suicide-bombings.
    • Later on if you use them against the Beast they are just as willing, making it likely that some of them are relatives of people you've lost to the Beast.
  • In Homeworld 2, when the last of the Bentusi blow themselves up to buy Hiigara fleet the time for escaping the Keeper. Out of nowhere for some, but it takes on a different meaning knowing that they were the ones who utterly beat ancient Hiigara into submission and forced them into generations of exile...
  • The end credits for Homeworld 1 in the remastered version contains a dedication to the late Campbell Lane, the voice actor for Bentusi, referring to him as "Forever Unbound".