When your partner quits the game, you see them sit down on the sand and slowly crumble into dust. The first time you see this, that sudden feeling of loneliness tugs at your heart-strings hard.
Even worse if you wound up leaving your partner behind accidentally, especially if it was the temple and the two of you had been together from the beginning. You watch your character sit down and may notice that your partner is chirping at you, which isn't normally possible at the end of a level, but it isn't until you see the end of the spirit's story do you realize what you just did because you see yourself face the harsh mountain winds by yourself and "wake up" to find yourself all alone. Then you realize that they were chirping because they were watching you turn to dust, leaving them to face the rest of their journey all by themselves, and now you have no way of getting back to them.
The Fifth Confluence. Your character communes with yet another white-robed Ancient, but this time, the Ancient seems... reluctant. It looks away for a long moment, clearly ashamed of what it's about to tell you, and then the tapestry record appears, and in the aftermath of the previously-shown war there is nothing but corpses. Sand covers their great works, souls trail off into the sky, and your character is born into a dying world. That is the Ancients' legacy.
The slow, agonizing trudge up the stormy mountain, surrounded by the freezing remains of the cloth creatures and with your (and your companions) chirps getting weaker, culminates in your character finally stumbling to a halt just below the summit, as the music stops and the mountain fades from view, then lying down in the snow and dying. Just like that. The worst part of it is that subtle icy click that your partner's frozen joints emit as their knees give way and they fall face first into the snow.
The Final Confluence. The Ancient spirit obviously knows what's coming, but also knows that you cannot avoid it, and that it cannot protect you.
The ending of the game, depending on interpretation, can be this, Tears of Joy, or both.
Your game practically changed my life. It was the most fun I had with him since he had been diagnosed. My father passed in the spring of 2012, only a few months after his diagnosis.
Weeks after his death, I could finally return myself to playing video games. I tried to play Journey, and I could barely get past the title screen without breaking down into tears. In my dad's and in my own experience with Journey, it was about him, and his journey to the ultimate end, and I believe we encountered your game at the most perfect time.
I want to thank you for the game that changed my life, the game whose beauty brings tears to my eyes. Journey is quite possibly the best game I have ever played. I continue to play it, always remembering what joy it brought, and the joy it continues to bring.
I am Sophia, I am 15, and your game changed my life for the better. 1/8/2013
"Separate Ways". If you interpret the lyrics of the song, you can tell that it's sung by someone who has been dumped because his/her partner has found someone new, and yet this someone sings that s/he will always be open to the partner's return, despite the thin chance of that happening. Try listening to it when you've just been dumped yourself, and chances are the waterworks will flow.
"Send Her My Love" covers a similarly bittersweet ground as "Faithfully" does (lovers separated by the singer's life on the road), but this leans far heavier on the bitter side. Where the latter has a hopeful tone because of how the lovers stay together in spite of the hardships keeping them apart, in this song they've been forced to break it off seemingly for good but neither ever stopped loving the other, driving home the longing and heartache in a very painful way.
About the song "Only the Young", the first individual outside the band to hear the song was sixteen-year-old Kenny Sykaluk of Rocky River, Ohio, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. His mother wrote a letter to the band telling them about her son's terminal condition, and how big a fan he was of Journey. The band flew to his hospital bedside in Cleveland, Ohio at the request of the Make a Wish Foundation. Along with a Walkman containing the new track, the band also brought Kenny a football helmet signed by the San Francisco 49ers and an autographed Journey platinum record award. The experience of playing the song for Kenny left Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain deeply affected. Perry said, "As soon as I walked out of the hospital room I lost it. Nurses had to take me to a room by myself." On the band's episode of VH1's Behind the Music, Cain broke down in tears recalling the event, remarking that "children should not have to live with that kind of pain". Kenny died the next day, with the Walkman still in his hand. The song brought life into perspective for the band and left them humbled. Neal Schon said that Kenny's death affected Journey by making them re-evaluate the issues that were causing friction inside the band itself. They used the song as their opener for the Raised on Radio Tour in Kenny's honor.
This becomes a majortear jerker once you find out/know that Jonathan Cain was one of the smallest survivors of the Our Lady of the Angels Catholic school fire, which killed 92 children and 3 nuns who were teachers at the school.