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Tear Jerker / LISA

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Bradley Baby...

It ain't called "The Painful RPG' for nothing, and the other games in the series are just as heart rending.

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     General/Entire Series 
  • Every male in Lisa's life has hurt her. Marty molested Lisa and kept her locked inside the house like an animal. Brad might've been forced to partake in or watched Lisa's abuse, and then abandoned her. Buzzo mutilates her with a buzzsaw, God only knows where.
    • On a more general level, the idea of Lisa being the catalyst for most of the events of the series is depressing as hell. Lisa is one of the few characters in all of gaming where we actually get to see her exhaust every option available to her before resorting to suicide. She tells at least one or two people about the abuse, but nothing comes of it. She tries to get her brother to help, and not only does it not work, he is forced by Marty to seemingly rape her himself and he abandons her to their abuser. She convinces her only friend to mutilate her in the hopes that she won't be attractive to her father anymore, and it doesn't work. She tries to run away, and Marty locks her in her room. She tries to escape into her own mind, and that fails too. Resilience and determination run thick in the Armstrong blood, but the thing they strive for hardest is their own destruction.
  • Worse, the main characters lived a harsh life without a loving parental figure to comfort them - let alone a mother surrogate. Brad and Lisa’s mother passed away, presumably after Lisa was born, Brad never gotten married since he believed he didn’t deserve a wife, and one of The Joyful epilogue revealed that Buddy’s biological mother was murdered by her father, Dr. Yado.

     LISA: The First 
  • After unsuccessfully trying to run from Marty's sexual abuse by escaping into her own mind, Lisa comes to the conclusion that Marty will never leave her physically or mentally. She than kills herself some time later, seeing it as the only way to ever truly escape Marty for good. For people who've suffered through mental abuse, physical abuse, or both, or for people who've known friends or loved ones who killed themselves because of similar abuse, Lisa's fate can hit uncomfortably close to home.

     LISA: The Painful RPG 
  • The very nature of the apocalypse itself. In most apocalyptic scenarios (nuclear war, zombie apocalypse or plague epidemic, among other things), humanity at least has a chance to survive via creating descendants that can either be immune to whatever killed everyone else off, or trained on how to survive in the post-apocalyptic world. Not so in the Lisaverse. With practically zero women left, the survivors of the Flash are the last generation of humanity, unless a miracle happens, which is highly unlikely in the Lisaverse.
  • The opening sequence of the game is a rather upsetting depiction of abusive home life, so much so that it may open up old wounds for those who grew up with terrible parents like Marty. Brad lives in a cluttered, garbage-filled house while enduring horrible violence from neighborhood bullies and his surly, hard-drinking father. Even as a young child, Brad had to deal with an unimaginable amount of stress and hardship, up to and including (as we discover in The Joyful) being forced to have sex with Lisa or watch Marty rape her.
    • It's doubly sad when we see that Brad as an adult is fighting a losing battle with addiction because of all the troubles he's seen. It's clear that he desperately wants to get clean so he can be a good father to Buddy, but the sheer mental anguish he lives with is too much for him to handle sober. As much as he wants to provide her with the love and intimacy he himself never received, his vices make him an irresponsible guardian at best. Perhaps the saddest, realest scene of all is when Buddy is quietly watching Brad while he's unconscious on the floor surrounded by pills and beer bottles. Brad was deeply affected by seeing his dad's alcoholism, and now Buddy is seeing the same thing happen with Brad doing hard drugs right in front of her. Kids are impressionable and seeing that kind of behavior from a parent is deeply upsetting to them. It creates a vicious cycle of people who are abused as kids growing up to (wittingly or not) subject their own kids to similar treatment.
      • Throughout the intro sequence, it's shown without dialogue that Brad is haunted by his past trauma. Without joy, Marty's abuse follows him wherever he goes. When Brad goes to retrieve the pills he chucked off the cliff, his downward glance indicates that what he's about to do fills him with shame. He wants very badly to be able to live without joy but fate (or Yado) has different plans in store for him.
  • Rick's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Brad:
    Rick: Jesus, Brad... Listen to you... You don't think we have bigger issues going on? There are way more important things going on than your little "family." We're sick of it. Just because you have some pent up guilt, doesn't mean you can screw us all. You can't be selfish anymore.
    Brad: You don't know me...
    Rick: Yeah. You're right Brad, I don't know you. The only thing we know is that you're a washed up druggie. And you're not fit to raise a God damn kid. Let alone the most important one in the world! You're no father... You're an addict...
  • The finale of the Salvation Rangers ends in a Sudden Downer Ending with Blue mutating into a Joy monster and killing his teammates. Green, however, survives and turns out to be alive in Joyful, and is one of the few NPCs Buddy doesn't fight.
  • Taking Bo back to see his brother Henry ( the mutant you got the record from) will result in him nearly collapsing in despair and leaving your party to grieve.
  • Terry coming back to kill you if you gave him up to Columbo is a huge Player Punch.
    Columbo!Terry You're the worst. We could've been best friends...
  • Speaking of fighting Terry as an enemy, his final words are utterly heartbreaking.
    Columbo!Terry ... I loved you man
  • The entire ending sequence. You kill your companions, all of Rando's army, Rando himself, and finally make it to Buddy only for her to say that Brad has hurt her far beyond what anyone else has. Brad collapses, and after a player choice to hug him or not, Brad dies, turning into a Joy mutant a few hours later.
    • The dialogue your party has when they fight you is painful to hear.
      Olan: ... Sorry... But you can't do this. She is our future. ...I'm going to miss drinking with you.
      Nern Guan: For the first time in my life I'm speechless. Brad my boy.... This is history... And it's for the best.
      Queen Roger: God Dammit... I hope we're not making a mistake...
      Bo: ... Your death won't be for nothing... I'll miss you.
      Ajeet: We have to protect our futures. And after this our children's futures... It should never be about one man. His people come first. This is the lesson you need to be taught.
      Harvey: It was nice working with you pal. But justice needs to be served.
      Birdie: Agh, this is it, isn't it? One last drink for the working man.
      • Birdie's is especially painful because he's completely sober.
      • Even more painfully, Shocklord flat out refuses to hurt you at all.
      Shocklord: I don't like this... Guys this ain't right. Brad I don't want to hurt you! Stand down! Please...
      • Some party members, in stark contrast, will finally let out their feelings and say that they don't care about you.
      Fly: I never liked you... Brad. Give her up.
      • The whole thing is especially painful if all the party members are only villainous from Brad's perspective and feel bad about fighting him, and will spend their turns crying or doing ineffectual hits.
      • Terry's speech is the longest of all the dialogues and is easily the most heart-breaking. Even though the two have become close friends during their travels together, Terry is reluctantly putting that bond aside because he wants to do the right thing. While Terry loves Brad like a brother, he recognizes that the fate of humanity has to come first.
      Terry: Brad... I've been a loser my whole life. Being around you has made me feel strong for once. Like a man... The first day we ever met was the best day of my life.... Even before the world changed. Maybe you don't feel the same way... But you're my best friend dude. It's just this... Brad, this is our future you're messing with... I'm sorry. We can't let you do this.
  • Brad begging Buddy to hug him before he dies. The worst part? He says he wants to know what it feels like. This poor man has never been hugged once!
  • The fact that, throughout the whole game, Brad's main mission is to overcome his abusive past by being a good father to Buddy, and he fails.
  • In his bio in the DLC art collection, it's revealed that the reason Birdie drinks is to numb the pain from the deaths of his children. He had two sons, Joey and Jimmy. Birdie couldn't afford medical treatment for Joey's illness on a dock worker's salary, and Jimmy committed suicide soon after Joey's passing.note 
    • This is made even more cruel if Birdie is one of the party members that Brad fights at the end. He attempts to keep another father from "saving" his child, something he had failed to do for his own sons.
    • His end dialogue implies that he knows his life is likely going to end by Brad's hands (or teeth, at this point in the game), though he sounds resigned rather than frightened.
  • According to Austin Jorgensen, Terry suffered from severe illness as a child. Despite his loneliness and depression, he maintained a cheerful demeanor even after surviving childhood illness and the Flash. Too bad Brad has to kill him, either through giving him to Columbo or fighting him at the end of the game.
  • Joy is described as "a drug that makes you feel nothing". As demonstrated by Brad and even Buzzo, people often use Joy to escape from immense psychological trauma. Seeing how many Joy addicts there are in-game (including some of your party members), it really drives home how much the people of Olathe are hurting after the Flash.
    • This implies that the more cheerful Joy addicts (i.e. Hawk Hollywood) might actually be Stepford Smilers.
  • Marty was by no means a saint, but he genuinely seems to feel awful for the things he did in the past. The fact that Brad cannot be reasoned out of killing him, he tries (and fails) to shield Buddy from his aggressive attitude, and his dying words has him beg Lisa for forgiveness. Doesn't help that Buddy attempted to protect him from Brad, and she has to take a lot of abuse in order for Brad to do the deed.

     LISA: The Joyful 
  • The fight with the memory of Brad/Dad/The Nobody at the end of the Joyful. The fight forces Buddy to remember all of Brad, not just his bad qualities. She remembers the good and bad of him, and he stays in her memories as a man who failed her, but very much loved her. This almost causes Buddy to have a breakdown, due to having to realize that she had been nothing but selfish and cruel to everyone she ever met, and caused all of their downfalls.
    Dad misses you.
    The Nobody is a failure.
    • Especially his last words.
    Brad: You have to know this, Buddy. I was completely lost before I found you. You made me feel something again... Things no one has ever made me feel. You showed me what love really is. And that's why when I look into your eyes, it's the scariest feeling in the world... It's why I buried myself so deep in the darkness. But, I promise you. I tried so hard to fight it. I tried. And no matter what, I really did love you with all my heart. I'm sorry I failed you, Buddy. I miss you so much. Good bye.
  • During the above fight, before Brad's name changes to Dad, he has a brief bit of dialogue where he tells Buddy "Not to call him that". It subtly implies he didn't want to be called "Dad" because of the lingering trauma caused by his own father and reinforces the idea that he wanted to be more to Buddy than his own father was to him.
  • Rando's death. He only ever tried to do the right thing, and the world never stopped punishing him for it.
  • Following right after the fight, you have Buzzo's Final Speech, followed by the final fight against his Joy-mutated form.
    Buzzo: You should know something. Brad was a good person. What's happened to you wasn't his fault. It's hers. She twisted me up so much inside...I loved her. When she died...I had to blame anyone but myself. Brad never deserved the pain I caused him. Neither did you.
    Buddy: That man...he said he was my father. Is it true? Is he my real dad?
    Buzzo: ...
    Buddy: Don't lie to me.
    Buzzo: No. I worked with him. He's just a crazy old man. I've followed Brad his whole life. You're the only one that gave him purpose. Not even Dusty could do that. Brad is your father...he loved you so much. The Joy...Me...I drove Brad insane. It was my fault...not his.
    Buddy: Why are you telling me this?
    Buzzo: I just remind me of her...
  • Terry Hintz' secret area. As charming and funny as it is, it's heavily implied that Terry has a Friendless Background and took up making hints as a way to cope with his depression. This of course makes the above sadder than it already is.
  • Tooley (better known as Salvation Green) is the friendliest person Buddy meets during her journey, as he does not attack her even if she approaches him without her mask. If Buddy returns to his house before facing Big Lincoln, she'll discover him hanging from a tree in an apparent suicide. The related achievement implies that he did so because all of his friends died in the previous game.
  • The fight against Mr. Beautiful, one of the warlords of Olathe. He clearly does not want to fight Buddy and Rando, and only starts attacking you once his mask has been broken (the 3rd phase of his battle). The fight isn't helped by the somber music playing. Also his final words:
    Mr. Beautiful: Rando... Why?
  • The ending if you choose to reject the vaccine and "join" Buddy's hallucinations of Rando and Brad. A melancholy tune with actual vocals plays over the credits, and continues to play into The Stinger. The camera slowly pans over the dry desolate plains of Olathe, eventually revealing the lower half of Joy Mutant!Brad's mutilated corpse. As the camera continues to pan, we finally see Buddy's massive, grotesque, fully mutated form -Rando's corpse beside her- staring longingly towards the upper half of Brad's corpse. She'll spend the rest of her existence alone in that post-apocalyptic wasteland, insane, horrifyingly disfigued, and surrounded by the corpses of the closest thing she ever had to a family.
    I feel darkness... darkness...
    • Hell, the end credits song, Voices, in general. It really hammers in how alone Buddy is in this Crapsack World. The singer, Marina Hova, actually made a music video that cranks up the song's melancholy nature.


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