Follow TV Tropes

This is based on opinion. Please don't list it on a work's trope example list.


Tear Jerker / Kingdom Hearts

Go To

Oh, Disney, Square-Enix. You've both got reputations to uphold, tugging on our heartstrings by twisting and destroying our childhood icons and building up characters only to tear them down. And they do their job.

Games with their own page of this trope


In general

  • Roxas, Axel, and Xion. Those three have one of the most depressing stories Disney ever allowed to put their name brand on. Going from sad themes, to very bittersweet scenes that become outright bitter by the end, to completely depressing Adult Fear stuff. A harsh Deconstruction that ultimately aims to show players how much value life truly has.
  • The endings of pretty much all the games.
    • I — Sora seals the Door to Darkness and saves the universe, but locks Mickey and Riku in, Riku calling out "take care of her". Then Sora runs to Kairi, but the shifting worlds being put back in order separate them before he gets to her, and he calls out that someday he'll come back.
    • Chain of Memories - Sora has to go to sleep to get his memories back, and Namine, the girl who risked her life to stop the Organization's plans because she knew it was wrong even though she never knew Sora, will be forgotten by him when he awakens again.
    • Advertisement:
    • II — After all that went down up to that point for Sora, Riku and Kairi, you'll cry tears of joy when the three of them are finally reunited and get to go home together.
      • On the other hand, Roxas and Namine are still dead (although they exist to a certain extent inside Sora and Kairi), as is Axel, who spent most of the game redeeming himself (and while he does get resurrected...sort of, this isn't revealed until 3D), and Ansem the Wise is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, possibly forever.
    • Birth By Sleep — Aqua is trapped in the Realm of Darkness, Ven is comatose, Terra is Xehanort's vessel, and while the worlds are happy and peaceful you know they're Doomed by Canon to be destroyed.
    • 358/2 Days — Roxas has to kill the girl who was one of his only friends, and with his memories of her already fading, he decides to fulfill her last request and heads to the World That Never Was to free the hearts inside Kingdom Hearts and destroy Xemnas, and he knows it's probably a suicide mission.
    • 3D — Sora reunites with his Dream Eater allies, and Ven's comatose body smiles as he senses his happiness.

    • 0.2 — "You'll know where I am...". You'll also know that 15 years strong this series can make you cry.
    • III — Sora brings back Kairi, but his heavy usage of the Power of Waking to save everyone causes him to vanish completely. Once again, despite being the hero, Sora is separated from Kairi and his friends again.
  • This isn't anything that actually happened in the game; rather, it's something that didn't. The fact that Kairi never returns to the restored Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden, thus never meeting her grandmother again. Then again, her grandmother might be dead by now, which is another tearjerker all together.
    • And when she is there for the short time at the end of the first game, she's home, but her home is in ruins and used as a fortress by the forces of darkness that destroyed it. Kairi may or may not even remember this is her home — either way, just makes it worse.
    • Not only that, what about Kairi's parents, possible siblings, her other relatives and friends in Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden? What happened to them? Are they dead before the invasion (the only member of Kairi's family in Radiant Garden/Hollow Bastion mentioned is her grandmother which can mean anything) or died during the Heartless invasion, or, worse, now a Heartless and possibly Nobody, doomed to the worlds until someone can restore them somehow or they survive the Heartless invasion but are now wondering what happened to Kairi, wondering if she is still alive or dead?
  • The thought of how callous the Nobodies are with life as a whole. They don't care that their two replicas are merely replacements, but if anything, it's merely showing that if one simply replaces a missing or dead person with an exact clone (or someone intended to be their replacement), that you can never replace them. They won't have the original's memories, and games like this and Persona 2 teach us exactly why a human life can never be truly replaced. (Also AI.)
    • It gets better. Consider that Naminé was able to convince the Riku Replica that it was the real Riku and make it fall in love with her. What happened to him? He went Ax-Crazy when he found out he was a clone. So even fully convincing the Replica that it is the person you are trying to replace isn't enough.
  • Think about Mickey. He starts off living, literally, as a king. Then he discovers the darkness waiting to destroy his world and, hero that he is, he goes off to try and stop it. Things get worse from there. Of the two friends he makes, one gets locked in the Realm of Darkness and the other loses his heart, leading to a short Heroic BSoD, which he is brought out of by Yen Sid. Then he spends a few years trying to hold off the darkness, but ends up leaving everything behind to enter the Realm of Darkness, finds the friend he lost there, and loses her just as quickly. The new friend he finds there and later escapes with nearly gets taken over by Ansem, again, and they end up separated. He bounces around the worlds some, trying to find anyone or anything that can help while keeping the Organization off of his tail, meaning that he is traveling all alone, not knowing what's happening to Riku or his home. After Sora wakes up, he gets a Hope Spot, safeguarding him as he travels from world to world. But then, at Hollow Bastion, his friend nearly dies. In the ensuing battle, everything goes to pieces and he has to go find Ansem the Wise, who (supposedly) dies at The World That Never Was. It's not until the end of KHII that he gets any respite at all, and then he finds out there's something else to worry about. In short, he watches as his entire world falls apart around him, with terrible things happening to those he picks as his friends, and all his plans to save everything being undone at every turn. And he still manages to be someone that so many people rely on. Wow.
  • Add a bit of Fridge thinking to the entire series, and you suddenly realize that the only way for everyone to meet up again and be happy is by killing all of them because you can't leave anyone behind. Short of that, the best ending anyone can get is bittersweet. Have something to cuddle or a heart of steel and some Kleenex.
    • It's either that or the Disney Death to end all Disney deaths, with everyone returning to life and their loved ones. Really, it looks like things could go either way.
      • I'm going with the mass resurrection theory, because it fits the Christian allegory that is laced throughout the plot. First comes Armageddon, and then comes the Resurrection.
  • The time Axel came to beg Roxas to come home is one for Organization XIII fans, as is Vexen's death. It was horrifying.
    • What makes it especially bad is how it is simultaneously deserved and unfair, seeing in Birth By Sleep how with their hearts they're nice people all 'round, and then seeing the apathetic and amoral stuff they did as Organization members that made killing them necessary. Not to mention the fact that they were literally kamikaze-ing and crossing the moral event horizon for a lie, that Kingdom Hearts would give them hearts, rather than the truth that it was to give Xemnas power and memory. You feel bad that they die, and at the same time also bad that you're not paying enough attention to the innocents who suffered, and also bad for the Organization for the fact that most of them were hurting innocents over a lie Xemnas and Xigbar were telling, and so on. No matter what perspective you take on them (and there are several dozen possible perspectives), it leaves the viewer depressed.
    • Putting it simple, everyone in Organization XIII deserves a huge, comforting hug. After they get their hearts back and/or are informed of having been deceived, obviously, if you did it before they'd just take it as an opening to knock your heart out and/or use you as a weapon against their enemies.
      • Except Xigbar, who deserves just as much of a kick to the 'nads then as he did twelve years before. And the size of the hug Xemnas deserves is directly proportional to how much of him is amnesiac hero Terra, and how much is amnesiac villain Xehanort.
      • Word of God has confirmed that most of Xemnas is indeed Xehanort, especially in KH3D.
    • Dream Drop Distance makes the Organization's situation even worse: Xemnas lied to them about the whole "no hearts" thing. While it's true that Nobodies have no hearts when they are born, they can develop replacements. And more From Bad to Worse: had Kingdom Hearts been completed, all of the members would have been infused with Xehanort's heart, essentially turning them all into clones of him. Oh Xemnas, you Manipulative Bastard, you. And just in case he wasn't enough of a Jerkass as it were, Xigbar was in on the plan all along as well.
  • You know what else is sad? The fact that King Mickey and Queen Minnie haven't seen each other from a little before the beginning of the first KH to the credits of KH2! If anyone has been told to wait for someone for a fraction of that time, then they would know the pain Minnie must of been going through. Talk about devotion, she's waited about 18 months for him to come home again!
    • What makes it worse is that you can, pretty much, see Minnie break between the games; she's disappointed that Mickey never said goodbye in person but upbeat that he'll be home soon and that he knows what he's doing in I, but in II she's sadder, forgetting where she put things and unable to properly defend the castle that her beloved husband left her in charge of.
      • Then, of course, the ending is so cute between them... that everyone cries over it.
  • This is both a tearjerker and rather terrifying: the origin of most of the Heartless... It's said that there is darkness in every heart, and that darkness can turn you into a Heartless. Think about it; whenever you slay a Heartless, you're probably very well likely KILLING SOMEONE'S BEST FRIEND OR EVEN THEIR LOVER!!! And UNLESS they have a Nobody counterpart, they're Killed Off for Real.
  • Xemnas's characterization in KHII is really, really depressing when you factor in BBS, some stuff in the ultimania guide, and basic logical extrapolation. Xemnas is basically an amnesiac Terra, whose only memories of emotion are of Xehanort's emotions. As a result, his faked emotions are... off- but by no fault of his own, and he probably knows it's not right, but the alternative is robot-like behavior. The reason he doesn't want to get his heart back like the others? He knows it's infected with the heart of another, and he's afraid that getting it back means Loss of Identity. His whole plan is about getting his memories back so he can become at least a facimile of what he was before BBS's ending- which he only has the vaguest recollection of - and we, the players, are fully aware that if he had gotten back the memories he did so much to obtain, he'd suddenly be hit by a "My God, What Have I Done?".
    • Birth by Sleep also takes one of Xemnas's lines to a new height of sympathy, in light of what happens to Terra.
      Xemnas: I need more rage. I need more hearts.
      Sora: Xemnas, there's more to a heart than just anger or hate, it's full of all kinds of feelings. Don't you remember?
      Xemnas: Unfortunately, I don't.
    • This also makes 358/2 Days even more depressing, in light of what's really in the Room of Awakening, and the most probable reason he's so desperate to find it... In all likelihood, he's trying, in his own futile partial-amnesia-addled, Xehanort's-darkness-clouded way, to save Ventus.
    • While this is all very sad for Terra, sympathy for Xemnas himself is minimized once one recalls that the Nobodies of Organization XIII are the shells left behind of people who've lost their hearts, and who act based upon recollection of what it was like when they had their hearts before the split occurred. Ansem's apprentice Xehanort was confirmed to be Master Xehanort's heart completely commandeering Terra' body at the time of the split. So Xemnas is technically Terra's Nobody, but he acts upon the memories of Xehanort, explaining why he's so pure evil. His plan was actually to absorb Kingdom Hearts' power and become a God before casting all the worlds into nothingness so that he can recreate it in his image "one heart at a time" - an Evil Plan in line with Master Xehanort's. He did not want to get his memories back, because the possibility of Terra's persona taking dominance of Xemnas was something he wanted to avoid. It's true that he's afraid to regain his heart because he knows it's infected by the heart of another, but in his Xehanort-based perspective, the one "infecting" it is Terra. Also, the others didn't want to "get their hearts back" either: they just wanted hearts of their own - hearts that could make their Nobody selves complete, existent beings.
  • During the recent 2.8 trailer, Aqua can be seen talking to herself about wanting to see her friends again. While trapped inside the realm of Darkness, in the remains of Cinderella's world. That alone is already heartbreaking. Then Terra shows up, but even then, his appearance might just be an indication of Aqua's broken mental state.
    • The TGS 2016 trailer follows up with Aqua seeing Ven lying in Snow White's coffin. That, combined with indications that this game is taking place during the first game, ten years after Birth by Sleep, means Aqua's been alone for ten years by this point, and the toll the Realm of Darkness is starting to weigh heavily on her psyche.
    • Aqua's encounter with a reflection of herself in the Magic Mirror indicates a part of herself thinks she's a terrible Keyblade Master, and to blame for everything that happened.
      Reflection!Aqua: "Only your heart is hollow enough to be a demon's."
  • When the illusion of Terra appears, Aqua's first thought is that she spent the last 9 years suffering from a senseless sacrifice, or worse, the the realm of light had fallen.
  • The concert canon backstory for Kingdom Hearts III where Kairi speaks to Sora, she mentions that sometimes Lea looks at her face and when she asks why, he says that he doesn't know, but it's something he needs to remember note .
    • The E3 trailer for KH3 has revealed that Aqua has succumbed to darkness.
    • Xion's concert speech is extremely sad as well. While it doesn't have new information the way Kairi's does, it's hard to not tear up at Xion thanking Axel and Roxas for everything they did for her. Especially if you actually went to a concert, where this speech is done while Vector to the Heavens is being played.
    • The Final Battle trailer shows Axel briefly seeing Xion in Kairi. Followed by a scene where he's being held at swordpoint by a hooded figure wielding a keyblade.
  • It's hard NOT to feel bad about the KHUX characters who were yanked into the present day. Master Xehanort took Ventus, ripped the darkness out of his heart, and left him for dead. Marluxia, Larxene, Demyx, and Luxord were Laser-Guided Amnesia'd and brought into Xehanort's ranks (double worse for Marluxia and Larxene who lost their memories of Strelitzia). And then there was Subject X who had amnesia and was being experimented on in the Hallow Bastion dungeon by Ansem the Wise. When she was finally able to find some happiness by making friends with Isa and Lea, she ends up disappearing which causes a chain of events that result in the duo's friendship fracturing.
  • Meta-example: The deaths of any actor affiliated with the series, including Wayne Allwine (Mickey).
  • The absolute travesty that is the life of Kairi. She loses her old home to darkness at a young age, but she manages to meet her two best friends, so it's not a total loss, right? Except that world is thrust into darkness thanks to one of them and her heart is separated from her body and protected by the other, who performs a Heroic Sacrifice to restore her, which she bares witness to. Sora comes back, but then they're separated yet again, and thanks to Castle Oblivion screwing with his memories of her, she's started to forget him as well. She's taken hostage yet again and meets Naminé, who gives up her own existence to become a part of Kairi after she's saved, but she's finally reunited with Sora and Riku and she'll get to train with a Keyblade, so all's finally good, right? Come the third game, and her training turns out to be a complete waste as she's easily incapacitated by Xemnas and subsequently killed by Xehanort as a means of "motivation" for Sora, who has to perform another Heroic Sacrifice to save her, leaving her without the boy she cares about the most after all everyone's been through together. At this point, Kairi's just the KH universe's Cosmic Plaything. It's amazing how she's even able to smile after all of this.


Example of: