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Tear Jerker / Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days

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"Think now for a moment, about your best friend. Someone, you couldn't bear to lose..."

All versions

  • Everything about Roxas and what happens to him in the end. He is lied and used to the point of desperation. He escapes, turns on every person he has known in life, including one of his best friends, and goes roaming in between worlds without any clear direction. Nowhere to start looking for answers. Before he finds Xion at the tower, his only fate was to keep roaming without destination until one day either DiZ or the Organization would inevitably find him, capture him, and either destroy him or turn him into their slave. Post Xion fight, he gains purposse and strength but he's still considered too weak to take on Xemnas. Proof of this is that he loses to Riku (although Riku still needed the power of darkness) and is captured anyways. In other words, Roxas was just as trapped as Xion and no matter what path he took, all would've lead to the same destination. His destruction.
    • All Roxas ever wanted was to spend his life with his best friends. In order to have this, he would've had to sacrifice the life of the person who brought him into this world. Everyone except him knew this, and everyone except him agreed it was wrong. And that's how he rejoined to Sora, alone and full of regrets.
  • Everything about Xion and what happens to her in the end. After suffering from bouts of weakness and confusing memory flashes, she borderline Goes Mad from the Revelation, finding out the reason is that she's a failed Replica, and was merely a tool. She spends the rest of her days feeling conflicted and anxiously trying to figure out what on earth to do with herself, while her increasingly unstable existence starts to not only give her an identity crisis but also endanger Roxas. Ultimately, she ends up pitted against her friends and dies by Roxas's hand, after which she fades while nobody remembers her as if she fell into a plothole. The last part was definitely the strongest one; not just because of what it represents (complete erasure), but also the way it's presented. At first, we see a heartwarming scene of Roxas, Axel, and Xion on their usual spot, laughing, joking, goofing around happily. Some minutes later, the same scene replays; but this time, Xion slowly fades, her interactions with her friends becoming more and more slim, until she vanishes completely with neither Roxas nor Axel noticing. It's not like Naminé who was just forgotten; Xion died completely and then was forgotten. All memories of her are erased from any who met her.
    • Xion loves Axel and Roxas. Xion learns she is sucking the life out of Roxas just by existing. She realizes that she is slowly killing him, and she can't do anything about it except die.
      • Honestly, it's very, very easy to interpret Xion attacking Roxas at the end of the game as her way of goading him into assisting with her suicide after she's absorbed all the memories she can, so as many as possible will go back to Sora when she dies. And these two are (mentally) teenagers. In a game with Mickey Mouse.
  • Everything about Axel and what happens to him in the end. He finds himself between wanting to save both his friends and being loyal to the Organization. Trying to play both sides eventually gets one friend to hate him and the other to run away. In the end both his friends end up leaving, later he loses all memories of one and is ordered to capture or destroy the other. By the time Kingdom Hearts II main story starts he's a broken man who has lost everything and has no choice but to betray the Organization anyways, not to save his friends like he so much wanted, but to help the group of people that took them away in the first place.
    • Axel did everything for the sake of keeping Roxas and Xion safe, only for his efforts to give them emotional turmoil and cause distrust to form between them all. And in the end he loses both of his best friends anyway.
  • Roxas's line "Who will I have ice cream with?" may seem like Narm until a Fridge Tear Jerker kicks in — he doesn't know any better, he associates his friendship with Xion with their moments on the clock tower eating ice cream together. He lacks the emotional capacity to fully realize what she means to him or him to her, that line is the only way he knows to express himself to her. In the Japanese version, Roxas says around the line of "We will eat ice cream again! In the usual place, right?". While in the English version the narm comes in because you can jokingly answer, " still have Axel!" (which, by the way, isn't true at this point of the story since Roxas had decided Axel wasn't his friend anymore), the Japanese version implies that Roxas wants them three to have the same routine again. He just wants to be with his closest friends!
  • The conversation a disturbingly and depressingly unstable Axel has with Xion when he is once again forced to fight her to bring her back to The World That Never Was. Axel is under orders, but he very quickly snaps from attempting to be calm to being extremely emotional. There is a split second of despair on his face when he realizes Xion has truly made up her mind about sacrificing herself, before he completely lashes out.
    Axel: WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?! You both... think you can do whatever you want... Well I'm sick of it. So go on, you just keep running! But I'll always be there to bring you back!"
    • The idea between this confrontation lies in the big emotional conflict both are suffering internally. Axel tells Xion that he agrees with her that her rejoining Sora is the 'right' thing to do, but the reality is he doesn't care if it's 'right', because he wants her to come back with him and keep on living. If this means he does things that end up furthering the Organization's goals, so be it. On the other side, Xion also knows going back to Sora is the right thing to do and she's ready for it, but she knows that what she really wants is to be with Axel and Roxas forever, so she pleads Axel to fight with all his strength because deep down, she wants him to beat her and bring her back, because even though she doesn't want the Organization to be successful, her desire to always be with her friends is much stronger than that.
      • Axel's line of thinking is the same one he had during the Roxas prologue in KHII. He knows the Organization is bad for Roxas and that Sora deserves to live, but will still help them to capture Roxas if it means he'll be back to be with him.
  • The ending:
    • Long story short, the last act of 358/2 Days is an exercise in disconsolate sobbing.
    • What makes the ending even more brutal is if you look at everything on a large scale: Since his outrage against the Organization (including Axel), the only thing Roxas can believe in is Xion. Who Roxas attacks. After that, he slowly starts to forget Xion, only remembering she was important to him, and that she wants Roxas to release Kingdom Hearts. This being the last thing to him that matters, he goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to The Castle That Never Was, but gets stopped by Riku, who tries to convince him that he is only Sora's Nobody. After that, Roxas gets strangled to near-death, after which DiZ looks over Roxas's unconscious body, saying that Nobodies have no feelings. Then he spends the rest of his life thinking it was all a dream before getting absorbed by Sora.
  • Whenever Roxas or Xion falls into what is essentially a 30+ day coma. The thought of waking up one day to find that your best friend or loved one has fallen into a coma, unmoving for days on end, and, despite being scared and concerned for them, you are ordered by someone higher up to continue with your daily life as though nothing has happened. Oh, god... *sniff*

The game

  • Roxas's confrontation with Riku is nothing if not unhinged and emotional.
    Roxas: I want Xion back! I want my life back!
    • When fighting Riku we're shown how he's also forgetting Xion. A cutscene plays showing Riku's memories of her blurring and disappearing. He even tells Roxas, "It's a struggle just to remember the name now, isn't it?"
  • The final part of the battle against Xion:
    Xion: Stop holding back!
    • It's even worse in the added cutscene to 1.5+2.5. While Xion doesn't speak, you get to see first hand how much Roxas hesitates when dealing the final blow and throughout the whole fight because he doesn't want to hurt his friend.
  • Axel confrontaiton with Xion happens while the music playing is "The Other Promise", the music that plays in KHII Final Mix when you fight Roxas. And it has a hard hitting piano add in as Axel starts shouting.
  • Almost all entries from both Roxas diary and Axel and Xion's secret reports become increasingly heart-wrenching as the plot draws near its end:
    • From Roxas' diary:
    "Me and Xion and Axel had ice cream. The sunset was beautiful. I don't have to write anything else down, because I'll never forget this day."
    • Powerful Dramatic Irony. Everyone who played Kingdom Hearts II already knew that Roxas would forget everything about his past.
      • That and the fact he loses all his memories of Xion before then as well.
    • Also from Roxas' diary: The thing that apparently frightened him most was the possibility of losing Axel or Xion; that anything could take away the time they'd spent together. Which is exactly what happened.
    • Roxas's final diary entry:
    "I am DONE WITH THIS."
    • From Xion's secret report:
    "I wish the three of us could stay together, just like this, forever. But I have to end this. I'll never forget today's sunset. Even if Roxas and Axel do, I won't forget."
    • From Axel's secret report:
    "There's no future where the three of us can sit around and eat ice cream. I know Roxas will never understand. I don't want to acknowledge it myself."
    • Axel's final Secret Report which is written after Xion's death and thus causing him to forget her:
    "I wish the three of us—three? No. That the two of us could share some ice cream again someday. That's what it is to be friends."
  • The scene where Naminé and Xion meet. Naminé tells her that she will be erased from existence and everyone's memories. Naminé's power is over memories, but she tells Xion, "I can't save you."
  • Xion's theme is an incredibly emotional piece of music and it nearly threatens you to cry again because it was played during her last moments.
  • The scene where Xion is curled up on her bed and says to herself, "I'm not a sham." She sounds so utterly depressed, alone, pitiful and broken. It is heartwrenching.
  • Roxas's final line about how maybe today they'll hit the beach... both because it harkens back to an early conversation and because you know that he never does.
    • Oh, it's worse than that. His real final line in that "hitting the beach" scene are "Only seven days to go... and then my summer vacation is over." Knowing how that last bit gets repeated at the end of KHII's Prolonged Prologue, it's very depressing.
      • That line, it's just like, all he went through, and all he lost, reduced to nothing. And yet at the same time, he went through so much and was so hurt and now he has a few happy, carefree moments before he is basically erased, which is basically all that he's destined to be. It's so sad...
      • Polished off agonizingly with the slowed down version of "Sanctuary" playing over the credits. It sounds like a requiem, and it is.
  • The last screen featuring a shot of Roxas and his friends eating ice cream, while on the bottom screen shows him alone, shedding those memories away (along with his Organization coat) was enough to set off the water works again.
  • While playing through Olympus Coliseum, Phil keeps saying he has great expectations for Roxas, and Roxas keeps thinking that means he isn't doing good enough at the training and games. It's like watching the kid who comes from a dysfunctional family try to interact with normal people and not knowing how.
    • There's also the way Phil so consistently believes in Roxas — the one who, from the moment he was created until the moment he "died", would always be viewed as Sora's Nobody. That Phil sees him entirely in his own light, tells him he has the makings of a champion in him, and treats his existence as having value is a Heartwarming Moment ...that he's one of the only people to do so (save Axel and Xion, sort of) is absolutely heartbreaking.
      • Even worse, after Roxas' last mission in the coliseum, Phil never sees him again. And he will never know why.
      • The last thing Phil says to Roxas?
        Phil: Don't be a stranger, kid.
      • Even more sad if you assume that after Ven's likely revival in Kingdom Hearts III might lead him to eventually visit the colosseum. The one who bears Roxas' face (which, to be fair, was originally Ven's) will actually be a stranger.
  • What is one of the last things Roxas and Axel do before Roxas leaves? They have an argument. It's clear that Axel is trying to cling to their friendship and make sure Roxas stays safe, but Roxas is so lost, confused, frustrated and fed up with the Organization he doesn't even trust his friend anymore.
    • Even worse in the voiced HD remix, with Kouki Uchiyama and Keiji Fujiwara at the top of their game. The English version with Jesse McCartney and Quinton Flynn is just as upsetting.
  • Oh, and something even better? There was a planned Pinocchio themed world, which, as Tetsuya Nomura himself said, "Would've been the saddest point in the story".
  • In a somewhat meta example, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days was Wayne Allwine's (the late voice actor of Mickey Mouse) final performance. When he died of hypertension as a complication of a diabetes, it was May 18th 2009. The game was released just twelve days after his death, on May 30th.
    • The credits of Days says: "In loving memory of Wayne Allwine."
  • A Meta one. Alyson Stoner, Xion's voice actress, had previously released a song called Lost and Found. The lyrics are so appropriate for Xion's character, you'd swear that song were written for the game. Here's an AMV demonstrating it:

The manga

  • Maybe the combination of the character models not being able to emote too well and a somewhat soft deliver (although still powerful) by Jesse, made the final scene with Xion feel like Narm. However, if you want to see a more detailed version of what it was like to be Roxas in this scene, look no further than the manga version. Not so Narm anymore right?
  • A scene that's notably in both the manga and the novelization, but not the game, features Riku intercepting Axel while he's trying to prevent Xion from finding out the truth of what she is at Castle Oblivion. The ensuing fight is emotionally charged, as Axel is clearly feeling desperate and helpless. In the meantime, Riku just calmly handles Axel's wild outbursts while trying to convince him that Xion deserves to know, which only serves to enrage an already panicking Axel even more. The fact Axel looks ready to kill Riku for allowing Xion to find out the truth is both painful and disturbing.
  • In the manga, the conversation where Axel, Roxas, and Xion decide to go to the beach happens much later than in the game. The manga also shows more of Axel and Xion's perspectives rather than focusing almost entirely on Roxas. By the time the suggestion is made, the audience sees that Axel and Xion both already suspect their time together is nearing its end, and so the promise for this simple day of fun comes off as them humoring Roxas, who is still largely unaware of what's to come. As a result, the idea of the three of them 'going to the beach together' hits emotionally harder as a symbol of a future they want, but likely will never be.
  • The famous scene where Axel confronts Xion at the Old Mansion to drag her back to the organization increases the tearjerking by having Xion visibly having tears in her eyes.
    • After collapsing from his injuries while carrying Xion back into The Castle That Never Was, Axel still retains enough strength to remain conscious to see Xemnas take Xion away; it’s then that Axel begins panicking for Xion’s safety, likely knowing what Xemnas intends to do with her, and is struggling to get back up upon realizing the danger he’s unknowingly put Xion in, exhibiting deep regret for his actions before he succumbs.
      • It doesn't help that a few chapters prior, when Xion confronted him about her being a puppet, Axel, placing his hand on Xion’s shoulder, assured her that no matter what she was, she would always be his and Roxas’ friend.
  • Xion’s death is arguably much, much worse in the manga, thanks in part to Xion coming more off as The Cutie, along with some expansion into the events surrounding and leading up to her death.
  • A side-story in the manga features a Dusk who's constantly bossed around by the others, but Xion shows him kindness and they become friends. Then Saïx orders him to "slow [the imposter] down". Cue Xion looking at the vase where the dusk had put flowers daily and finding a bouquet of Aster tataricus also known as Shion, which means "I'll never forget you".
  • The manga puts a stronger emphasis on Roxas, Axel, and Xion struggling with the idea that their friendship might be 'make-believe'. The worst offender is Saïx, who is even more spiteful than his game counterpart and repeatedly tries to drill this into their heads. His fight with Roxas in particular is way more personal than the version seen in the game, with him spending the entire time taunting Roxas about his supposed emotions. You can see all the doubt and anger flitting across Roxas's face and it's heartwrenching.
  • At the very end of the last chapter we see Roxas being prepared to be transported into the virtual Twilight Town by Riku and DiZ. Here, a new line of dialogue that wasn't present in the original KHII game turns this scene into the most heart-breaking scene ever. DiZ tells Riku that the virtual world is "A blissful dream that is more than (Roxas) deserves". Riku simply asks "Doomed to be erased from existence... What kind of dream could ever make up for that?". Next page we're presented a solitary page, with only four panels, without any dialogue, that answers that question.

The novel

  • The novel version of Xion talk with Axel at the mansion's gates shows more of the ensuing fight that follows, and during it has Axel admitting that, more than anything else, everything he did was because he wanted Roxas, Xion, and himself to stay together, and that he no longer cares about the Organization's objectives. The fact that "I wanted the three of us to be together" gets repeated and reiterated several times before the scene ends just drives the stake in the heart even further.