- The Mobius Trailer shows just how damn bleak the world of the Metro is. Opening with a Ranger seemingly sealing a tunnel being swarmed with Nosalises off while a child reaches out desperately to him. The struggle of the people inside the tunnel is tragic as well. A man trying desperately to pull a Nosalis by it's tail to keep it away from his infant child. A man with a revolver to his head and a ruined cake at his side staring down at the obscured corpse of his child. A man surrounded by Nosalises with several pinless grenades clutched to his chest, the desperate fighting of the tunnel's militia, and the fact that The Ranger isn't sealing the people in the tunnel in, he's sealing himself out to save them from the massive horde of Nosalises outside.
- There's a bit of tearjerker in the Last Light Trailer too. The last officer stands inside the safety of the sealed Metro watching terrified desperate people pound on the outside, desperate to get in - and sees a woman with a baby. In a last act of kindness, the only thing he can possibly do for her, he takes the baby to safety. The combined joy and terror on her face is so clear - relief that her child will be saved, and terror that she still has to face oblivion alone.
- Imagine being that officer who has to abandon people outside because they need to close the doors now and the metro only has limited space and food. The trailer shows that despite his actions being necessary for anyone in the metro to survive, as an old man 20 years later he's treated with hatred, beaten and forced to live like an animal despite having had a honorable and respected career in the military.
- Artyom and Pavel stumble upon the remains of an airliner, Flight 76715, that crashed into Teatralnaya Station. Inside, a flashback shows it was filled with joyful people returning home from a tropical destination (Pavel states Majorca, Spain). When the missiles hit Moscow, the plane was nearby and lost power from the EMP. The pilots, unaware of the disaster, tried desperately to contact their destination airport, Domodedovo, instead only getting a pre-recorded response: "Atom. Atom. Atom. Atom". The plane began an unpowered glide into Moscow, and as it broke the cloud cover around the city, the flight crew saw the city in flames, with missiles launching and a mushroom cloud over the city center. Panicking, the pilots in desperation tried to land the plane, but the fly-by-wire controls were fried by the EMP, so there was no longer anything the pilots could do to steer the plane. The airliner followed its ballistic trajectory to the ground, smashing into a street and coming to rest half embedded in Teatralnaya Station, with everyone on board dying on impact or shortly afterwards from their injuries. Walking through the wreckage, it's hard not to feel sorrow at all the passengers who never made it home to their families and loved ones. It's true what is often said about nuclear war: no one wins, but everyone loses.
- It's subtly implied, but there are hints here and there that even after only twenty years, knowledge about the Pre-War world and the surface world is slipping away. One soldier during the middle of a conversation about storms, stops and wonders if his son even knows what a storm is. At the Theater station, an old man tries to put on a basic shadow puppet show for some children of animals such as birds, swans and elephants, but only one of the children recognizes them with all of the others thinking that they are mutants. Anna even flat out says that trains seem like magical things that their children will most likely not know how to use, and their grand children will probably think that they were built by the Gods. Pavel himself comments that he has never been to the sea or on a plane, and presumably that is common for all his generation who grew up in the metro. Humanity can't set foot on the surface safely until at least 2083, 70 years after the apocalypse. By then, there may not be any discernible traces of the old world left. All of civilization, its wonder, beauty and accomplishments, will be gone.
- A couple of the ghostly flashback sequences in The Dead City are quite sad, helping to break up the otherwise tense and frightening atmosphere. Standouts include the one of children watching in horror as the missiles come down around them and the man sitting and softly playing the piano for his wife.
- The Nazi mission in the Faction Pack DLC involves the Nazis just barely managing to beat down a Red Zerg Rush. After the mission you're treated to a good half minute pan as the camera shows the dozens if not hundreds of dead Reds. What a waste.
- At Bolshoi (Theatre), a young woman received the news about her husband's death from his comrade. Inside her cabin, on the table the candles are lit and a meal awaits to be served.
- The "Khan" chapter of the Chronicles Pack is especially deep in the tearjerking territory. Ulman runs into Khan (who had just dropped Artyom off on the train) and the two run into a haunted station. Ulman falls into a hallucination where Khan was forced to shut two men behind a safety door to save himself from a pack of nosalises.Khan: It was a hard choice I made that day. I pray you never have to make it.
- The Spider Lair mission in the Developer Pack DLC is mostly about the horror, but looking at the whole scenario after completing it is rather sad.
- After hearing about the amazing treasures of D6, a trio of stalkers tries to make it big by finding their own D6, eventually making their way to an abandoned missile silo some ways off the main map. However, they find nothing but a massive nest of Spiderbugs, with Simon and Petrovsky quickly being killed by them while the remaining stalker has to fight tooth and nail to survive long enough to escape the nest. And when he does... a Nosalis pounces on him right as the level fades to black. The three of them were so enthusiastic about embarking on their adventure, and all it got them was a violent death, over absolutely nothing at that. Shoot the Shaggy Dog at its finest.
- The more you learn about the Dark Ones and interact with one of their children, the more you'll come to regret the climax of Metro 2033.
- The Fate of the Scavenger (Stalker) is left unknown, assuming you still had some shells and flamer fuel its not unreasonable to think that he survived the encounter. He must be in the Moscow area since the normal fauna are around. It boggles the mind why after the moment they saw some webs that they didn't jury rig a suit with lots of lightbulbs.
- No matter which ending you get, Ulman will always die in the Red Line's attack on D-6.
- The Bad Ending itself can count.
- What D6 holds, hammered home by Artyom's journal entry in the last level. The entire Metro, desperate for hope, believed that D6 was a mythological treasure trove that held huge caches of medicine, food and resources enough for everyone. Every major faction began gearing up for war, intent on seizing D6's stockpiles for themselves. Instead, all D6 held was instruments of war: tanks, ballistic missiles, rocket launchers, biological weapons, small arms and hibernating Dark Ones. All things the Metro did not need more of.
- Doubling as Nightmare Fuel, right at the start of the game, as you exit the Metro-2/D-6 tunnels with Anna to head to the surface, you stumble upon a drainage sewer full of civilian skeletons, including parents clutching children, who tried to seek shelter there but ultimately died of radiation poisoning or starvation. There are a bunch of makeshift graves but most of the skeletons are unburied. Some have blown their brains out with AK rifles. It's chilling to be reminded of the human cost of the war and how pitifully these people died, in fear, pain, sorrow and misery without any dignity.
- It's implied by the pile of skeletons near the door to the Metro-2/D-6 tunnels that some of the civilians tried to seek refuge in there but either nobody inside D-6 knew they were seeking refuge, or they knew but didn't care.
Tear Jerker / Metro: Last Light