Despite being a utopian, cheery game that is full of Visual Effects of Awesome, Overwatch is good at turning on the waterworks when you least expect it.
- Hanzo was a member of a powerful Yakuza-esque clan of assassins who was forced to kill his little brother Genji by the orders of his clan's elders, simply because said brother refused to participate in his family's criminal activities. This traumatized Hanzo so much that he rejected his clan and attempted to restore his personal honor by killing his enemies.
- And then it turned out his brother wasn't actually dead... but was found and saved at the cost of becoming a cyborg. The transformation caused Genji to be disgusted at himself for the longest time; even after some serious counseling with Zenyatta to accept his new form, he's still at a loss for what to do with himself. It's implied that he still resents Hanzo for his part in the situation, and in the gameplay trailer Hanzo didn't even seem to recognize him...
- ...Only to later find out in the animated short "Dragons" that he had forgiven Hanzo.
- Fridge Logic plays a role here. How must Hanzo have defeated Genji? Because if Genji did not want to be part of their illegal activities, it most likely meant he had refused to lethally defend himself against his own brother.
- Soldier: 76 was originally an idealistic man named Jack Morrison, who led Overwatch as its Strike Commanders in order help people across the world. But soon the organization he led fell to internal corruption, and people began blaming Overwatch for not stopping enough bad guys. By the time Overwatch fell completely, Jack became bitter, vengeful, and developed Well-Intentioned Extremist tendencies. He still fights the bad guys, but the fact that he uses morally ambiguous methods to do it shows just how far he's fallen from the person who started out as a Wide-Eyed Idealist. To quote the in-universe article about him:That Morrison was buried here six years ago. All that's left is the shadow of the hero we once knew.
- Morrison's disillusionment could have very well started in the immediate aftermath of Ana's "death". note Overwatch had lost one of its founding members, and Ana's death could very well be the reason why Reinhardt was forced to retire. It could even be that Morrison tried reaching out to Reyes after this, but Reyes, taking Ana's "death" as the absolute last straw, became set in his ways to eventually flip the proverbial table.
- One also has to consider that apart from Reaper, Ana, and even Winston to an extent, no one else seems knows about Soldier: 76's true identity. How badly would the others who served under him react to finding out that their old commander is now a wanted vigilante, the target of an international manhunt? Hell, with how the organization and its members are dedicated in the fight for justice, they might as well have Soldier: 76 on their hit list, assuming him to be just some nutjob without a cause.
- Symmetra was taken away from her family by the Vishkar Corporation as soon as she displayed marvelous talent as a light-bending architect, and placed under the company's care as a student of its architect academy, never allowed to go home again. And it's been hinted that Vishkar wanted to utilize Symmetra's talents for their own purposes and expand its corporate empire across India.
- Widowmaker was once known as Amélie Lacroix, who was Happily Married to Gérard Lacroix, a prominent member of Overwatch until Talon kidnapped her, tortured, brainwashed and experimented on her, and used her as a weapon to kill her own husband. Her actions add a Harsher in Hindsight to her codename "Widowmaker".
- Even worse, there are some bits and pieces that indicate her old self is still there. When resurrected by a Mercy in-game, she'll sometimes call out for her husband, or lament the fact that she's still alive. Should she ever break free, it's speculated just how much guilt she would feel over the countless atrocities she had committed — it would likely be extremely traumatic, to say the least.
- A hero interaction between Ana and Widowmaker:Ana: Gerard was a fool to love someone like you.Widowmaker: You don't know anything about him.
- By this, it implies that Ana was the first to discover that Amélie became Widowmaker, which was confirmed in Ana's comic. From Ana's POV, it's more or less getting some sort of reveal seeing that Amélie was a complete Bitch in Sheep's Clothing that killed Gerard For the Evulz, not knowing how Talon got their hands on her and brainwashed her. But as far as Ana is concerned, it's like she just got betrayed by a close friend, which cost her an eye AND being presumed dead. More or less, this might be real close to what happened between Soldier: 76 and Reaper
- This interaction also pretty much means that Amélie is still somewhere in there and is angered that Ana would even accuse her of intentionally murdering her husband and most likely still loves him. One can only imagine just how heartbroken and horrified Amélie is by her own actions.
- Based on the Château Guillard map, her family's ancestral home, there is even more evidence that either Amélie's brainwashing isn't as foolproof as previously thought. Despite being an assassin requiring a new base of operations unconnected to her old life, she still keeps that photo from her wedding day mentioned above. Additionally, there are a few hints that she's been around recently for preparing her Talon operations, but while most of the map seems to be abandoned and untouched for a while, there are a bunch of wine bottles strewn about, all suggested to have been recently taken from their cellar.
- Tracer was an ordinary test pilot until an accident regarding an experimental teleporting jet fighter plane left her unable to maintain physical form and also caused her to disappear for days. Even though Winston helped her by building a wearable device that made her "unstuck" (and gave her cool powers), Tracer's story is no different from someone getting into a debilitating accident that left them physically disabled and reliant on what is akin to life support in Real Life.
- She may be one of the game's most positive characters, but if you stop and think about what her life actually entails and how it must look from her perspective, even she can come across as pretty tragic. Her dream and chief goal in life is just to help people and make the world a better place, and she's worked and fought for years to achieve it, accomplishing much good in the process. Unfortunately, nothing good in this world ever seems to last, and most of what she's accomplished has been lost to time and bad fortune. Despite all her passion, work and enthusiasm, her home remains embroiled in chaos, Overwatch is still in shambles, and what good we've seen her introduce into the world has been violently undone by malicious forces, sometimes directly before her own eyes and at her own expense. Even her condition is the result of her taking the initiative to make a difference. She just wants to help, and life keeps punishing her for it. You have to wonder how her self-esteem holds up through all this. Sure, she's held onto her optimism and has a happy relationship with someone she loves, but she also likely needs those things just to stay afloat.
- Her unique Uprising spray of her boarding the Slipstream isn't overtly tragic like some of the others, but there's a bittersweet element to it. She's just so happy and excited to finally be able to help and make a difference, but you know none of it is going to end well for her.
- Winston was a very intelligent gorilla that was the product of an experiment concerning side-effects of living in space. He was Happily Adopted by a scientist named Dr. Harold Winston, but the other gorillas living in the space colony grew jealous of Winston and revolted, killing all of the scientists including Winston's adoptive father/mentor, the last one presumably to spite Winston. A troper made a WMG that was later confirmed about how Winston's glasses formerly belonged to Dr. Harold, which makes the moment where Reaper steps on them in the cinematic trailer's status as Funny much more debatable.
- Winston's Ultimate, Primal Rage, causes him to lose all sense of reason and turn into a berserk monster that doesn't stop until everything is destroyed or dead. Comments made by him once he returns to normal indicates that he really doesn't like doing this. At all. In fact, one line of dialogue is him struggling to regain composure and then state in a completely terrified tone "How embarrassing." His worst fear is giving in to his animal instincts and losing himself because he doesn't know if he'll end up killing his own friends.
- Both Roadhog and Junkrat were formerly decent men who lived in the Australian Outback. However, they were sold out by their government when, as part of a peace deal, the human governments agreed to hand over the Outback to the Omnics. Obviously, the people living in the Outback didn't agree with this and staged a guerrilla war. However, their efforts worked a little too well when they attacked the Omnic base, inadvertently detonating its reactor and turning the entire Outback into an irradiated wasteland. Roadhog, who led the guerrillas, went mad from a combination of guilt and the radiation, while the radiation also drove Junkrat to madness and caused his obsession with explosives.
- A comparison of the timeline seems to indicate that Junkrat was five when the Omnic base exploded. Which would mean that he grew up knowing only the wasteland.
- In addition, both Junkrat and Roadhog's experiences also left them with a bitter hatred towards Omnics, especially Roadhog, who sees Omnics as the ultimate reason why both his country and his neighbors are suffering in the first place.
- There's something tragic about the pair's wasted potential. On close observation, Junkrat and Roadhog are brilliant men. Junkrat's homemade explosives and transmission devices are a marvel and Roadhog was cunning and tenacious enough to lead a ragtag Outback Militia to victory against the Omnics, opponents that gave legitimate armies a hard time. If they had been born to better circumstances then people might have been able to read a paper on explosive compounds from Professor Jamison Fawkes before turning on the news and hearing about how South Korea's MEKA unit had finally destroyed the rogue Mega-Omnic with the aid of General Mako Rutledge and the Australian Army. Instead they squander their talents on wanton destruction and petty theft and the world is infinitely poorer for it. The events of "Going Legit" have probably ruined the chance that they'll ever try anything resembling honest work in the future, either.
- It's also implied with Junkrat's backstory that those children who grew up in the Outback after the Omnium reactor exploded either died at a young age or (in Junkrat's case) developed health problems and mental disorders that would slowly kill them due to the heavy radiation. One popular theory is that Roadhog, who was responsible for turning the Outback into a Crapsack World, became Junkrat's bodyguard out of guilt for accidentally making the guy's life a living hell. It's also entirely possible that Roadhog even knew Junkrat before the latter became an Ax-Crazy Mad Bomber, and deep down he regrets his part in Junkrat's descent into madness.
- Since the Australian Outback has been rendered irradiated, dangerous and full of criminals, enormous amounts of land sacred to the Indigenous Australians has been lost forever.
- Mercy lost her parents to war, and never did fully reconcile her calling as a doctor with Overwatch's increasingly militaristic approach to keeping global peace. One interpretation of her choice to become a doctor for Overwatch and use its technologies is so that people can receive the quick medical aid that her parents did not. Also, due to her experiences with war, she heavily opposed Overwatch's more unethical practices such as weaponizing healing technology (which led to creating Ana's biotic rifle), but her teammates didn't listen to her until Overwatch was outed to the public and blacklisted as a criminal organization. What made her case even more tragic was that while Reinhardt's retirement played a large part in Overwatch's downfall, Mercy's strong morals didn't stop Overwatch from doing terrible things behind its walls because it was for the greater good, and she only went along with them because she had no other choice. And as a doctor, she likely knew that if she left Overwatch, she would not have its medicine, technology, and other resources to save as many lives as she wanted to.
- If her Halloween photo with Torbjörn, which she sent to Winston, is any indication, she still held some familial love with the other members, despite their conflicting views.
- Mei's backstory counts, too. She and her research team were trapped by a freak winter storm, forcing everyone into cryogenic hibernation, waiting for a rescue team that never came. When Mei was discovered and woke up, all of her friends died with their cryogenic pods presumably broken down at some point, the world was now vastly different from the one she grew up in, and the research her team had worked so hard to gather was gone. One must wonder how she was able to remain so cheerful after going through all of that.
- Her personal motto: "Our world is worth fighting for".
- Even more sad is a note that can be found on Ecopoint Antarctica: "Happy Birthday Me(i)", presumably written after she woke up to find her friends frozen to death.
- Torbjörn foresaw the dangers of using AI-based technology, but no one paid heed to his warnings until it was too late, leading to the Omnic Crisis. If people had listened, then maybe a lot of casualties could've been avoided...
- The fallout from the Crisis made him so bitter that in the present day, he cannot envision humans and omnics ever co-existing peacefully.
- Reinhardt was one of the founders of Overwatch and believed in its cause wholeheartedly. He was the only one who could effectively keep Overwatch from falling apart. When his superiors decided he was too old to be of any use for Overwatch and forced him into retirement, Reinhardt was forced to watch the organization he helped create fall quickly to internal corruption until it disbanded in disgrace.
- It can be sad to hear his reply to Mercy advising him to retire due to his age (that he would fight to his last breath). You get the feeling that while he would like to retire, he can't, as the world still needs heroes, and he cannot retire in good conscience when he can still make a difference.
- The Eichenwalde map comes with even more history for Reinhardt, and with it more waterworks. Before joining Overwatch, Reinhardt served under the Crusaders, a legion of armored knights with energy shields and rocket hammers like himself who gave their lives to defend Germany from the Omnics. His leader and teacher, Balderich von Alder, along with a handful of his finest men, held off one of the worst Omnic offenses in history, and managed to allow Germany to push back the Omnics... at the cost of their lives. Eichenwalde still stands as a horrific war memorial. Everything is still in ruins, and the remains of Reinhardt's beloved master still lie at rest on the throne of the castle's main chamber. Sadder still is the fact that the update introducing the map gave Reinhardt the option to wear his master's armor in the form of two skins. One of them, obviously named Balderich, is the armor as it was in its prime and seen in "The Last Bastion" animated short. The second, named Greifhardt, is the version that appears in-game - rusted, tattered, and covered with flora and fauna in a similar manner to Bastion's Overgrown skin.
- Adding to that is his dialogue in the map. One has him swearing to retrieve his masters' armor if you're on the attacking team, which may strike a Player Punch if you fail. Another has him lamenting the lives lost in the battle for Eichenwalde. What makes this line particularly stand out is that Reinhardt doesn't say it in his usual boisterous tone, but in a low somber one. You could be forgiven for thinking it's another character speaking or that they had to hire a soundalike.
- His character short, Honor and Glory, paints an even sadder picture. Beneath the jovial, German giant we know and love lies a broken man whose impulsiveness in his youth resulted in one of the most traumatic forms of PTSD known to man: Survivor's Guilt. Because he abandoned his team, Reinhardt lost an eye and his commanding officer was mortally wounded saving him. Then he had to watch said commanding officer sacrifice himself before his eyes, with his last will and testament being to give Reinhardt his admission into Overwatch and leave him with the final words "Be their shield, and live with honor." Reinhardt felt so guilty over being the cause of Balderich's death that he couldn't bear to look him in the eyes as he bid a final farewell to him and returned to his team. Now, every day when he looks in the mirror and sees that scar over his blind eye, Reinhardt is forever reminded of the horrible day when his actions resulted in his master getting killed.
- Reaper was formally known as Gabriel Reyes, Soldier: 76's former best friend who helped found Overwatch and its sister covert ops branch, Blackwatch. Although the original Overwatch agents were lauded as heroes, Gabriel, who was one of said agents, was ignored in favor of Jack Morrison. Feeling jealous towards Jack and feeling that being a hero ain't cutting it for him, Gabriel assassinated Jack (who survived and became Soldier: 76), and destroyed Overwatch just to spite everything his friend stood for. To make his transition final, he turned into the dual gun-toting Reaper and started killing anyone associated with Overwatch. It's implied that before his FaceHeel Turn, his teammates (except maybe Jack himself and Ana) didn't care much for him and barely tolerated him.
Reaper (after respawning): This... is my curse...
- Reaper's powers are described as a unique condition that causes rapid cell degeneracy. One of the shorts and some lines in-game further indicates that his powers are not very pleasant. He can regenerate from a single cell yes but it's very much possible that he feels ridiculously high levels of pain from having his body constantly destroyed by his condition coupled with getting shot at regularly. Ever heard of ghost pain? Yeah, it's probably possible that he feels that over his entire body after he regenerates himself. No one, not even Reaper, should suffer from a condition that causes constant severe pain. Judging by that conversation with Mercy in-game however a miracle worker she be it's likely she can't fix the condition either. Something worth noting as well is that he works for Talon aka the organization that brainwashed and essentially tortured a fellow villain, Widowmaker, and turned her into the monster she is now (with her old personality still present deep within). Whose to say that Talon didn't do anything to Reaper to ensure he works with them? He very clearly states whenever he respawns that his power is a curse to him.
- Ana's introduction makes Reaper all the more tragic as a character. From her Origins trailer, it's made very clear that both he and Jack (Soldier) loved her very much. However, both of them were unaware of the stress she was under because of all the people she had to kill in order to maintain peace. Neither of them seem aware that Widowmaker was the one who resulted in her being presumed dead. There's now another potential reason as to why Reaper went mad and started enacting his betrayal of Overwatch. Having lost his notoriety, his place in the Overwatch hierarchy, his friend, and now someone he respected and clearly cared about, he was driven mad by grief and despair. If true, this makes Talon even more monstrous than ever, for they were not only the ones responsible for destroying Overwatch, but also manipulating and ruining the lives of almost every single member of the cast. And to rub salt on the wound, they now have two of some of the most influential people in Overwatch under their control: one of the founders who is a spec-ops master, and the wife of another one of Overwatch's members, now transformed into a psychopathic monster of a woman who gets off on ending people's lives because it's the only thing they will allow her to feel. Alternatively, it could be that Reyes actually understood what Ana was going through, as he knows how doing Dirty Business feels like, even if he's not a "people" person. Hell, he could even have tried warning Morrison about Ana, but got dismissed. Come the failed mission, and Reyes became set on flipping the table.
- Hearing Reyes on comms during the Uprising event mode makes things all the more tragic. As opposed to his current state, his past self sounds livelier and more concerned about the squad under his command. The contrast between Reyes then and now is saddening when you realize that, as Reaper, he speaks in a dead monotone devoid of emotion and also much more deliberately due to the constant pain he feels from the rapid cell degeneration and regeneration afflicting him.
- The Retribution event finally gives us a glimpse as to where Reyes started to lose it. Tired of his enemies stopping to new lows while Overwatch has to constantly uphold a false image of abiding by the law when he's specifically the head of a black ops organization, Reyes kills the target he's supposed to be apprehending, just because said target pissed him off by taunting him about how this will negatively impact Overwatch's image AND he'll get released within weeks due to Talon's immense control over the governments of the world. A leaked sound archive reveals that Reyes had absolutely zero regrets about what he did, rationalizing that it was just a part of the mission that didn't go as planned. While this shows that Reyes was someone who wore his heart on his sleeve, it's played extremely darkly because it got in the way of his mission, and caused him to slowly go down a path towards the Moral Event Horizon.
- Pharah is the daughter of Ana Amari, a famous member of the (now defunct) Overwatch organization. Her Goal in Life is to join Overwatch like her mother did. Sounds simple, right? Well, it turns out that Amari wasn't the best mother to Pharah even though they're related by blood, and her career presumably made their parent-child bond distant. With the release of the tie-in comic "Mission Statement", it has become clear that everything she did - pursuing a military career, wanting to join Overwatch, even getting an Egyptian-themed tattoo on one of her eyes - were desperate attempts to salvage some sort of connection to the person who was frequently absent (emotionally and physically) from her life. And then Overwatch was disbanded before Pharah could actually join, and suddenly her last chance to reconcile herself with her mother is gone.
- Some in-game dialogue suggest that Pharah has developed some bitter feelings towards the way she was raised, responding to the recollections and praise from Amari's old teammates such as Winston and Soldier: 76 that they knew her mother better than she did, as if she feels resentful for Overwatch taking away any time she could've spent bonding with her mother.
- As it turned out, she was resentful for the fact that being in Overwatch pushed her mother mentally to the brink, and no one except her knew about it. This makes her retort to Morrison more personal. "You're my mother's commanding officer, and you don't know that she had issues?" You didn't know her very well, indeed.
- There's also Ana's side of the story. Like any loving mother, she wanted what was best for Pharah, and the things that she went through are completely valid reasons to try and avert Pharah from the path of heroism. Ana was one of the greatest snipers in the world, and was brought on board to Overwatch. As the years rolled by, however, the weight of killing people grew heavier and heavier, until it finally came to a head one day when she was assigned to assassinate Widowmaker, who had taken hostages along with the Talon organization. It's heavily implied that Ana knew her back when she was Amelie Lacroix, and it led to her hesitating. Unfortunately, that single moment allowed Widowmaker to spot her and shoot out her right eye. As a result, all of the hostages that she was supposed to protect were killed by Talon, and she was presumed dead. Miraculously, Ana survived the fatal injury, but with Overwatch disbanded and the burden of her sins, she went into hiding. She eventually realized that the weight of killing was nothing compared to the weight of allowing innocents to suffer and die under evil. And so, like Reinhardt, she returned to the fight in her elder years and resumed her work as a bounty hunter.
- Ana's in-game dialogue with other senior members of Overwatch is also quite tragic to listen to. Reinhardt is shocked that she's alive. Mercy generously offers to heal her damaged eye, which Ana acknowledges but respectfully declines, saying that it serves as a reminder of who she is. The only person she seems to be on the same wavelength as is Jack Morrison (Soldier: 76), and they greet each other like nothing had ever happened. Her conversations with Gabriel Reyes (Reaper) are especially tragic, because he seems somewhat regretful that he has to add her to his hit list. All Ana can do is question what had happened to Reyes and why he's doing all of this, while it becomes obvious from the dialogue that Ana may have been another reason as to why Reyes betrayed Overwatch and became jealous of Jack. Hell, it could even be that Reyes saw Ana's "death" as the straw which broke the camel's back, and caused him to flip the proverbial table. Soldier's dialogue to Pharah also takes on potential new meaning, since he holds Ana in very high regard, as if he loved her very much.
- If you kill an enemy Reaper as Ana occasionally a voice line will play like with many other heroes when they kill certain enemy heroes. The voiceline? Ana says in a regretful and hurt tone I don't even know you anymore... It was implied very heavily that Ana considered Gabriel (Reaper) one of her best friends at one point (along with Jack) and it's quite clear by the dialogue between them alone that they both have regrets for what they feel that they have to do. One of her interactions with Widowmaker is pretty sad too. It's quite clear that she still feels betrayed by Widowmaker, and Widowmaker herself can't tell her why she killed her own husband, injured Ana, and killed many others including Mondatta even if she wanted to.
- Bastion was part of a mass-produced line of robots that were made as protectors for humanity. Then the Omnic Crisis happened. It and all of its "siblings" were forcibly brainwashed against their will into killing humans instead of protecting them. By the war's end, Bastion units had become iconic of the war itself, and all of them were destroyed...except for Unit E54, our Bastion. It somehow ended up deactivated while the rest of its kind died. Nature slowly claimed it until one day it suddenly reactivated 30 years later with no memory of who or what it was. Bastion eventually developed curiosity and started to explore the world around it, gaining a liking for nature. Unfortunately, it can't be among humans because of their hostility and fear towards Omnics and the fact that it latent combat protocols end up getting triggered. This has resulted in it shying away from populated areas and living a lonely existence with no one but its bird friend, Ganymede, to keep it company.
- His death animation is also the cruelest in the game. Unlike his fellow Omnic Zenyatta, Bastion just completely falls apart and shatters into pieces while making either robotic whimpering noises or screaming in agony.
- Zenyatta's backstory seems pretty straightforward, but after an apparent falling out with Tekhartha Mondatta he says he still misses him, and on the Nepal map says it's good to be home but wonders if he's still welcome there. Makes you wonder just what the circumstances of him leaving were.
- Sombra is a war orphan who lost her home and her family to the Omnic Crisis. The only way she could survive in the post-war world was by using her technological skills for hacking and gaining the upper hand via information. Despite becoming a hero to her people for exposing the corruption in the government, she stepped too far too fast and discovered a worldwide conspiracy, one that had their eyes on her. She was forced to abandon her very identity and leave the only group she could call a family, the Los Muertos gang. Now she's a member of Talon and using it as a means of security and survival while she figures out the rest of the conspiracy.
- Not many people think about this but Torbjörn and Reinhardt must have went through an emotional roller coaster because both Ana and Jack led them to believe they had died in battle and their former teammate Gabriel had presumed to have died but came back and started killing former Overwatch agents as well as getting involved with Talons criminal activities. They do appear to be happy about their return to Overwatch but deep down they might feel betrayed by their teammates for leading them to believe the worst.
- Uprising makes the "present" situation in King's Row even sadder, as the brawl's cinematic shows that, up until Null Sector attacked, it was a symbol of cooperation and trust between humans and Omnic, and was to be the site of a new joint district.
- As it turns out, even a Talon leader like Doomfist has a story that can make people draw sympathy. Before he was Doomfist, Akande Ogundimu was by all means a very promising man: He was a smart, charming businessman, martial arts enthusiast. Then the Omnic Crisis happened, and he lost an arm. This forced him into getting a cybernetic prosthesis from his family's company, but because of this he could no longer compete in martial arts tournaments, as the cybernetics would be cheating. Unable to rekindle his lost passion through his family's business, he turned to Talon since it provided him the only opportunity he would ever have at the time to fight again. The Omnic Crisis was so terrible it turned a promising business mogul into a Social Darwinist Blood Knight who is willing to commit acts of terrorism just to kickstart a new war that will turn the world into his own personal feeding ground, fighting and killing everything in sight.
- Ashe, the leader of the Deadlock Gang, has a sympathetic backstory as well. Through her origin story, we see how she grew up as a Lonely Rich Kid, not helped by Parental Neglect. Even though they tried to get her the best of education, she wasn't putting up with their treatment of her. She lashed out at them, her parents, and the world around her. The only friend she seemed to have growing up was her Omnic butler, B.O.B. Together with McCree, she formed the Deadlock Gang, to finally have a family of her own in a different way.
- Baptiste was one of several who were orphaned during the Omnic Crisis. Having to survive in a war-torn Haiti, he had to do whatever it took, even if it meant hurting innocent people. And when that wasn't enough, he joined Talon, knowing full well who they were, just to make ends meet. For years, he kept telling himself that he didn't have a choice in the matter, until he could no longer stomach Talon's actions and defected. Having realized that his choices did not sit well with his own conscience, Baptiste has now dedicated himself to utilizing his combat medic skills for the sake of a better world.
- What is sad about Overwatch as a whole is that despite achieving a technologically advanced, utopian society in almost every place in the world, people are still not happy. Even the player characters are not as clear-cut black and white as they appear - all of them come from different backgrounds, with some being less fortunate than others. The villains of the game are ultimately broken individuals affected negatively by time and circumstances beyond their control, while even the heroes are prone to vices such as Fantastic Racism (with one hero becoming a ruthless vigilante after Overwatch's destruction and an attempt on his life by a fellow hero and friend who betrayed him).
- This picture should be over at the Heartwarming page.◊ Why is it here? After looking at it, and knowing how most of the people in that photo are doing (and feeling) in the "present" day, you just ask yourself: "Where/When did it all go so horribly wrong?"
- "Retribution" reveals what drove McCree and Reyes apart. After Reyes disobeys the mission objective to extract Talon executive Antonio alive, McCree is shocked and angrily reprimands Reyes' decision. Throughout the rest of the mission, at least half of McCree's usual quips towards Reyes are filled with disdain and anger.
- Sigma used to be a renowned scientist who simply wanted to use gravity and black holes as new energy sources. His Freak Lab Accident in outer space essentially ruined his life and his career: his gravity powers seemingly took away his sanity, the government didn't even try to do something about his condition, apart from tying him to a bed and locking him up. According to his Bio, he doesn't even realize that Talon is currently using him and his research as a weapon.
- Worse yet, he shows subtle signs that part of him is aware, if only momentarily, of what he is doing or what has happened to him. If you stay on the Hero Select screen long enough, his eyes will suddenly snap open and his expression slowly changes to that of abject terror, as if remembering some horrific event. Whether this is him remembering the accident, or the terrible things he's been doing is unknown. Either way, he can't stay lucid long enough to do anything about it.
- The whole locking him away part gets even worse when you consider he was (at least partially) aware that someone was keeping him prisoner, but couldn't do anything about it because his accident left him in a vegetative state. In his origin video he is downright terrified of being locked up.
- In the Attack phase of Hanamura stage, if Genji came across the Rikimaru Ramen, he points out something he can no longer enjoy now that he's a cyborg. Even after coming to terms, he really misses those days of being a carefree young human.Genji: Ramen! (defeated sigh) It's just not the same anymore...
- Even though Genji has largely come to terms with his cyborg body, he still has some insecurities. In Numbani, a city where humans and Omnics co-exist as equals, he admits that even in this utopian city, he feels like an outcast.
- The Fantastic Racism-fueled disgust that some Heroes express over the city of Numbani:Torbjörn: No, no, no! N! O! NO!Zarya: The humans who live here are fools to trust the Omnics. They will see.Junkrat: This place is the worst. Let's turn it into one big scrap heap.
- And the saddest part? There's a likely chance that these heroes will feel pleased or even rejoice at being proven right about Omnics. On the other hand, there's also a tinge of sadness for Zarya and Torbjörn's side. They surely will not rejoice when the humans living there are caught in the crossfire should they be proven right that the Omnics will go berserk. Especially Torbjörn, if this happens, then it'll be a case of History Repeats that once again no one listens to him and then a second Omnic Crisis happens as a result.
- One of Soldier: 76's respawning lines, particularly if you are familiar with his backstory.Soldier: 76: I'm not a young man anymore...
- Watchpoint: Gibraltar makes it clear just how defeated and disillusioned with the world Soldier: 76 is. note Soldier: 76: "Bring back Overwatch"... what's the point...
- Likewise, his otherwise Heartwarming quote, "Lotta memories of this place... they weren't all bad" can take a Tear Jerker spin, as it shows that there's just probably one part of Jack that wants to go back to when everything is happy, but at this rate, it's impossible and his disillusionment overweigh those feelings. This inner conflict is really tearing him apart.
- In King's Row you can find a memorial shrine to Tekhartha Mondatta with lit candles and a photo of him. Considering the amount of anti-Omnic graffiti scattered throughout the rest of the stage, including some pretty nasty insults towards them, it's a real punch if you've seen "Alive."
- The graffiti itself is pretty tragic; one particular punch is seeing an "equal rights" poster being defaced with the phrase "NOT HUMAN".
- With the reveal of Pharah's mother Ana as a playable character, there's the tragic and very likely possibility that there will be either of them on one team and the other on the opposing team.
- And if you play as either character, you have the optional choice of killing your own mother (if you're Pharah) or daughter (if you're Ana). Try do either of the above and draw satisfaction from that.
- The goal of the Eichenwalde hybrid map is for the attacking team to make their way into a German castle where one of the worst battles of the Omnic crisis took place, and recover the remains of Balderich von Alder, leader of the Crusaders (which Reinhardt was a part of prior to becoming involved with Overwatch). Compared to other maps such as Hollywood and King's Row, this map has a much more somber atmosphere, which is showcased in its reveal trailer- ruined buildings, Omnic wrecks around the village, and Balderich's remains are on display at the final point. Reinhardt's voice lines specific to the map are heartbreaking:"We fought a terrible battle here. Many crusaders lost their lives.""Too much blood was spilled on my country during the war."
- Made worse by the two new skins for Reinhardt that were added with the update. The first is Balderich's armor in its prime, unsurprisingly called Balderich. The second is Balderich's armor as it appears in game, rusted and covered in moss. It's called Greifhardt.
- Even the normally-cheerful D.Va has a somber tone when talking about the area, stating that it reminds her of home.
- Zarya is pissed to see what's become of the place, knowing that similar tragedies befell her hometown growing up."I will not let the fate that befell this place happen to my country!"
- Released in the Halloween Terror 2016 update, all heroes were given unique victory poses displaying them buried beneath a grave. All heroes are depicted with some body part reaching out of the grave, displaying some desire to live. The only exception is Hanzo, who simply has his bow and quiver resting against the headstone, seemingly at peace with his death.
- If Pharah is killed and there's an Ana on her team, sometimes Ana will cry out 'Fareeha! My daughter!' in shock and desperation. Even though Pharah's death isn't canon and she will respawn in a few seconds, the very idea of Ana losing one of the few most precious people in her life, especially her own kin, is heartbreaking. Try kill Pharah now with her mother watching and try not feel a twinge of guilt when those words are uttered.
- Ecopoint: Antarctica is located in the abandoned base where Mei and her team were trapped in cryogenic hibernation, as mentioned above. Somewhere on the map, several chambers displaying the names and vital signs of Mei's teammates can be seen. Aside from Mei's, all of them are flatlining.
- Even more so, this image◊ shows a drawing with a birthday cake and a message stating "Happy Birthday (Me)i." This heavily implies that she went on to have an One-Person Birthday Party when she is in Antarctica.
- The cheery little notes scattered around the Ecopoint in general are like Mei's Apocalyptic Log. After learning about the events of Rise and Shine, they depict her as a heartbroken woman trying her best to stay optimistic, lest she fall into despair and die, alone, in a secret facility nobody seemed to remember.
- In the 2018 Anniversary, two new pre-game interactions serve as dark reminders of this: Moira prods Mei by inquiring her about her "colleagues' research into the long-term effects of cryogenic freezing," and she can barely speak out a sentence before crying. If she's paired with Winston in the Ecopoint: Antarctica map, he might ask her if that's where she was previously stationed, to which she says nothing.
- Even more so, this image◊ shows a drawing with a birthday cake and a message stating "Happy Birthday (Me)i." This heavily implies that she went on to have an One-Person Birthday Party when she is in Antarctica.
- For some, it can be a bit painful to hear the voice of Gabriel Reyes during the story version of Uprising. Compared to his low gravelly voice when he becomes Reaper, he just sounds so normal and friendly. It hammers in that before Reyes became a monster, he was a man.
- Soldier: 76 and Winston have a voice line that almost makes it sound like Winston might have lost some respect for Morrison having not come back to lead Overwatch after he survived destruction of the Switzerland HQ and Winston initiated the RecallSoldier: 76: Think you can do my job?Winston: *Almost bitterly* Someone has to.
- In the Uprising event, the heroes got exclusive sprays of them in previous lore events. Most of them are innocent, except for Widowmaker's spray, which is a photo of an unassuming and completely innocent pre-brainwashed Amélie and Gérard on their wedding.
- This is taken further in this series of images where a player-controlled Widow simply sat like this the entire preparation phase.
- Every single bit of Winston's dialogue when on Horizon Lunar Colony. Reinhardt reminiscing about Eichenwalde was mournful, but you could still tell it was him. Winston is scared shitless of the Colony he once called home, and acts completely unlike himself as he's forced to relive his childhood trauma of everyone he ever knew and loved die at the hands of rebellious, angry test subjects that he once called his kin. He sounds like he's on the verge of breaking down into tears."They say...you can never go home again..."
- The Assassin enemy in Retribution, an Ax-Crazy woman who dual-wields bladed wrist gauntlets. All of her dialogue consists of either insane giggling, angered rambling, or horrible moans of pain. The last of these only happens when she stops briefly and becomes vulnerable, as though she's struggling to stop herself. Looks like Widowmaker was definitely not the first time Talon tried to brainwash an innocent girl into doing their bidding. In fact, her death cry almost sounds as though she's happy to finally be released from her torment.
- Genji's state in Retribution, taking place a few years before he met Zenyatta and found his peace. His brooding attitude, silence, and implied blood-hungriness makes him seem like a fundamentally different person, one who's still angry about his brother for nearly killing him, Angsting about his state as a Cyborg, and enduring physical pain for it as well.McCree: Whats it like, Genji? You know... As a cyborg?
Genji: Pain and agony. And what am I? Man, or a machine...
McCree: Then why did you agree to it?
Genji: I wanted to be able to walk again.
The Cinematic Trailer
- Watching the cinematic trailer after Doomfists implementation into the game can be a bittersweet experience. Despite Winston and Tracer's valiant efforts to prevent the gauntlet from falling into Talon's hands, they only succeed in delaying the same result, which wound up coming about through completely unrelated means. Talon once again gets their way and Overwatch's first new hurrah in years is completely in vain. The in-story news article covering the event even points out the look of hope on the boy's face after Tracer departs and briefly ruminates on how perhaps this event might be a sign that the world's fortune is about to turn for the better. And it was all for nothing.
- It's revealed that anyone discovered to have ties to Overwatch will be automatically be blacklisted as a criminal or, even worse, hunted down and killed by Reaper. Winston wants to revive the organization so they can continue what Jack Morrison started and protect the world, but knows that in doing so, he will put his friends and former teammates at risk.
Winston: You're right. That's the way the world is. But I do miss the old days.
- Winston's interactions with Athena regarding the matter is this, too. Although Athena shares the same sentiments, she is bound by rules and has no choice but to uphold them. It could be that, being almost like a Parental Substitute for Winston, she also wants to protect him from prosecution by the law and/or Reaper.
- The ending is is very depressing. Tracer's badly injured, her Chronal Accelerator harness is badly damaged, and Widowmaker has successfully killed an influential Omnic monk in front of hundreds of civilians - and Tracer was forced to dodge the shot that killed said Omnic. Tracer must be feeling like crap right after that...Tracer: Why?! (Tearfully) Why would you do this?
- To rub salt on a wound, King's Row is in England, i.e. Tracer's home ground.
- Given Widowmaker's backstory and Tracer's reaction to Widowmaker's successful assassination, it's very likely that Tracer knew Widowmaker when she was still Amelie.
- Her desperation when she asks Widowmaker why she killed Mondatta is very similar to how someone would react to seeing an old friend who was once nice and sweet behave cruelly.
- Adding an extra layer of tragedy is that no one outside of Talon knows the actual reason for why Widowmaker seemingly turned traitor and became an assassin. One could only imagine how much everything would change if they did know about it.
- Another interpretation could be that Tracer, who is such a ball of optimism, literally cannot comprehend how someone could do something as cruel as murder a peaceful religious leader in cold blood.
- Up until this point, we have never seen Tracer as anything other than loving, hopeful and upbeat about everything. By the end, she's reached her emotional nadir, and the sheer contrast visible in her behavior is heartbreaking. Nothing has gone right for her, and ultimately all of her efforts were in vain. For someone who places such high value on the power of individual heroism, such an experience must have been devastating on a deeply personal level. Her face◊ at the end just says it all.
- And just to twist the knife, theres that last little flinch and gasp of pain she makes as she lies on the ground. Blizzard have never been ones to do a Downer Ending by half measure, and apparently they wanted to be extra sure we knew she was hurt. Alternatively, since giving up and lying down dont seem to be in her nature, perhaps it wasn't involuntary. Maybe she was trying to get up and just couldnt; her most strengthening quality failing her when she needed it most. The whole ending is more than just depressing; it's a refutation of everything she values and represents.
- The implications for the rest of the world are depressing, too, when you think about it. Since no one saw the killer, tensions are going to rise, and pretty soon it's going to explode into a global crisis again. And plus, it's clear that someone didn't want co-existence. Was it a prejudiced human who did it out of pettiness/because they still blamed Omnics for the destruction and killed Mondatta (the religious leader) to start a war that would possibly eliminate all Omnics? Or was it an Omnic who still has traces of its old Kill All Humans programming from the Omnic Crisis and saw Mondatta as a threat to this programming?
- There's another sad implication with this: England was a high-tension area between humans and Omnics. Thanks to Mondatta's death, any hopes of peace in that area was obliterated, and humans dominated the Omnics. In just one failure she had, Tracer saw her home country instantly turned into a hellhole where Fantastic Racism becomes the norm. Yep, she's got damn good reasons to be depressed.
- Everything in this short takes on a whole new level of sadness for history buffs: Mondatta is basically a robot Expy for Martin Luther King, Jr., but instead of just making a historic parallel and giving it a Bittersweet Ending, Blizzard decided to take it even further and go the What If? route by making it so that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination made things even worse than before when he started the movement, giving us a glimpse of how things would've turned out in our world if the circumstances were played differently. Way to punch us in the feels, Blizzard...
- Near the beginning of the animation, there's a happy couple prominently shown in the crowd: an Omnic and a female human embracing and smiling at Mondatta's speech. When Widowmaker's shot hits home and kills him, they both look on in horror, with the human giving out a Big "NO!". These two can also be seen in the ''We Are Overwatch'' trailer; the Omnic looks to have been beaten and somewhat ripped apart, and his lover is trying to fix him. 'NOT HUMAN' is spraypainted on the alley wall near them, but Reinhardt's there, defending them from the angry mob hurling a molotov cocktail with his shield. These two need a vacation.
- As if the Downer Ending wasn't bad enough, a couple of years after the short, this interaction was added, confirming that Tracer indeed still feels incredibly guilty for her failure to save Mondatta.Genji: Do not blame yourself for Mondatta's death. It was not your fault.
Tracer: You don't understand, Genji, I could have saved him! Maybe the world would have been better off if it was me instead of him...
- It's implied continuously in Overwatch's lore that the Omnic Crisis was devastating. Here, it's revealed that children were among those who died when the Omnics attacked.
Winston: ...Look, the people decided they were better off without us. The even called us criminals! They tore our family apart... But look around! Someone has to do something! We have to do something! We can make a difference again! The world needs us now! More than ever! ...Are you with me?
- Crossing over with Nightmare Fuel, in Winston's set of images involving the various current crisis around the world, we get some truly heartbreaking images, including a monorail being blown up with its passengers still inside, and terrified human school children at gunpoint, sobbing over the bullet-riddled body of an Omnic civilian, likely part of their family. It's also at this point that Winston's speechifying turns into a tragic plea.
- We learn that Overwatch's disbandment, the separation of its agents, and its blacklisting as a criminal organization was this for many who were a part of it, especially Winston. Given his backstory, he saw many of his former teammates as a second family and it aggrieved him greatly to have that family torn apart by circumstances beyond his control.
- The majority of the "Dragons" trailer is this. It shows that there is a very thin line between fiction and reality, as Genji and Hanzo's backstory is the mirror image of a story their father once told them about two dragon brothers. The very same dragons who serve as their spirit guardians. The legend states that the two dragons, one of the South Wind (Hanzo), the other of the North Wind (Genji), would often argue about how to keep the world in balance (Genji denying his heritage while Hanzo embraces it), and in both anger and a desire for power the dragon of the South Wind killed his brother, sending him plummeting to the earth and causing mass destruction (Hanzo is forced by his clan elders to kill Genji, which he does). As time passed, however, the dragon of the South Wind became deeply saddened and regretful over what he had done, plunging the world into further chaos (Hanzo leaves his clan and seeks a new purpose to redeem himself). One day, however, a stranger appeared and called up to him, telling him that he has torn his own soul apart and must heal lest the world fall into further disarray, suggesting that the dragon look upon the world from a human's eyes (Genji reuniting with Hanzo at Hanamura and both fighting and lecturing him on what honor truly means). And that's precisely what he did - the dragon descended to the earth and turned into a human, finally realizing their plight and discovering that the stranger was actually his long-lost brother, also transformed into a human (Genji sparing Hanzo and revealing his identity). However, that is where the stories separate. While in the legend, the two reunited dragon brothers begin walking the earth together to redeem themselves and help the world, Hanzo remains conflicted about what he should do, remaining separate from Genji who is still hopeful that Hanzo will make the right choice when the time comes.
- When Genji unmasks, the shock in Hanzo's eyes is obvious. It's clear he doesn't know what to think, especially since his very first question is to ask Genji what he's become.
- Hanzo's reaction to Genji calling him "Brother" is rather sad too when you think about it. Imagine what must have been going through Hanzo's head when he heard that.
Hanzo: Real life is not like the stories our father told us! You are a fool for believing it so!
- After Genji tells him that he believes there is still hope for him, Hanzo lowers his bow and his anger just shatters, replaced by a truly lost expression. He can't accept that Genji could have faith in him after what happened between them in the past, and all he can do afterwards is go back to burn incense as though nothing had changed.
- Genji's trust and optimism is kind of heartbreaking too. He truly, completely believes that his brother is a good man. His brother, who killed him. And he's not even remotely a Wide-Eyed Idealist. The way Hanzo acts makes it look like he's ready to crush Genji for giving him hope that he might redeem his honor, undo his past mistakes, only to stop when confronted. It almost looks like he's, as stated above, completely lost.
Genji: Perhaps I am a fool, to think there is still hope for you. ''But I do. Think on that, brother.
- The fact that Hanzo feels so guilty over his involvement in Genji becoming a cyborg that he wants his own brother to kill him, hoping that death will restore his lost honor. It becomes even sadder when you read Hanzo's interactions with Genji during gameplay after watching "Dragons" - you get the implication that Hanzo is trying to rile up his brother to the point where Genji will snap and kill him in a fit of rage like he wanted, but Genji is denying this privilege simply by forgiving him and hoping he'll change.
- There is this exchange just right after Soldier: 76 returned Alejandra's wallet, which ties in with his Fallen Hero backstory above:Alejandra: *76 begins to walk away* You're one of those heroes, aren't you?
Soldier: 76: *Stops, pauses, and looks back* ...Not anymore...
Alejandra: *Quietly as he leaves* I think you are.
- It's very sad to see the proud and heroic Jack Morrison who gently holds the hand of a child◊ devolve into the cynical and ruthless Soldier: 76 whose well-intentioned yet brutal tactics scare another child into thinking if she does something out of line, she'll be next. Blizzard has done a very good job portraying just how far The Face of Overwatch has fallen these days.
- Blizzard loves the Fallen Hero trope, but what makes Morrison so much more tragic than the likes of Kerrigan or Arthas is that he didn't need any sort of supernatural corruption or alien catalyst to turn into Soldier: 76. He was simply worn away by reality. This is thankfully softened with how Soldier: 76 is at worst an Anti-Villain, compared to the other two who happily Jump Off The Slippery Slope (though in the case of Kerrigan, it's much more complicated than that, and she eventually does redeem herself). But it doesn't make it any happier.
- In the beginning of the short, there's a group of thugs beating up a lone Omnic in a back alley near the girl Alejandra's home. The reason? They believe they're giving him "what he deserves", even though he did nothing against them personally - the poor Omnic was likely at the wrong place at the wrong time. When said thugs try to coerce Alejandra who happened to be passing by into joining in, the Omnic silently looks at the girl as if to plead for her help.
- It's great seeing Soldier: 76 being a hero and choosing to Always Save the Girl, but when she asks him why he saved her, the hesitation, the answer he gives, and the way he dismisses her (while at the same time giving her her money back), implies that he really wished he could be the guy that would have let her die to do his job.
The Last Bastion
- The short portrays Bastion as having the robot version of PTSD. When it hears the sound of a woodpecker, Bastion immediately equates it with gunfire and reflexively transforms into turret mode, indiscriminately shooting everything in sight and destroying Ganymede's nest. When Bastion reverts back to humanoid mode and regains its senses, it looks confused and terrified at what it had just done.
- This also creates a level of Fridge Horror when you really think about the game itself. The sound of a woodpecker sent Bastion into a Robo-PTSD induced frenzy. Imagine what actual in-game player combat does to the poor Omnic...
- Its terrified and despairing reaction when it sees Ganymede's feather lying on the ground with the remains of the bird's nest is heartbreaking. Poor thing just woke up after 30 years of inactivity and witnessed a beautiful new world, only to end up destroying it against its will. And then it sees something that makes it think it killed the first being it connected with.
- When Bastion leaves the forest, it is greeted with the sight of a wonderfully lush meadow... that is full of the destroyed, rusting bodies of its fellow units. Despite how beautiful the place looks, it's still a war zone, one that was abandoned by the victors and left to be overgrown in an attempt to forget about the horrors of the Omnic Crisis.
- What's worse is that when Bastion arrives at the field, it has what's more or less the Omnic version of a PTSD flashback. That lush meadow becomes a violent battlefield, with Omnics and humans fighting and the air red with flames and smoke. In the present time, its combat protocols seem to take over, suggesting it's trapped in the flashback and living it out in real time. Many players went from hating Bastion for its powerful turret-mode to just wanting to give the big guy a big, long hug.
- "In Memory of Yvain Gnabro". Gnabro was an animator who worked at Blizzard and produced many of their highest-quality cinematic trailers. With those 5 words at the end of the short, its name (The Last Bastion) takes on a double meaning: it was the last trailer Gnabro worked on. He died in a motorcycle accident on his way home from work in Summer 2016. Even worse? He started working at Blizzard in 2015. He was only employed for one year or less before his life was taken all too soon.
- The entire short is essentially Blizzard's love letter and homage to one of the most moving pieces of Western Animation known to man: The Iron Giant, with the Giant being Bastion in this case.
- Bastion spends the majority of the film in a forest with animals nearby, which is also where the Giant lives for most of his film.
- Bastion notices a deer while walking across a log bridge, which is a reference to the deer that is eventually killed by hunters.
- Hearing something that sounds like gunfire sets off Bastion's combat protocols, in much the same way the Giant's protocols get activated whenever he notices or hears something that looks or sounds like a weapon.
- Both of them end up completely terrified and shaken whenever they regain control of themselves.
- Both of them are put into a situation where they believe their Only Friend is dead (Ganymede for Bastion, Hogarth for the Giant).
- Both of them end up in a state where they view imagery of a war scenario. Bastion sees the memory of one of his fallen fellow units, while the Giant has a dream.
- Both of their combat protocols end up taking over them, and they both require their Only Friend, who is still alive, to snap them out of their dangerous state.
Doomfist Origin Story
- During the flashback to Doomfist's battle against Overwatch, he manages to grab Tracer by the back of her chronal accelerator and destroy it, causing her to glitch uncontrollably, and eventually fade away altogether in front of a horrified Winston. He doesn't take it well. Fortunately, as this takes place in the past, we already know that Winston is able to bring Tracer back again, but that doesn't make this moment any less heartbreaking. And whats the last thing she manages to do before her condition overtakes her? She wordlessly reaches out to her best friend in a desperate cry for help, all while Winston can only look on in horror. No wonder he went berserk.
Rise and Shine
- While we all ultimately knew it was going to happen, the first half of the short recounts Mei's confirmed history of her waking up from cryo-sleep. She wakes up, resumes her morning as usual... then she realizes she's been asleep for 9 years, the world at large has gotten worse with Overwatch itself disbanded, meaning nobody knows she and her team is there, and then realizing her entire team's cryochambers have malfunctioned, meaning she and Snowball are all alone in the middle of Antarctica. We see her reactions throughout all of it, and it's all as heartbreaking as you'd expect.
- While building her Endothermic Blaster in the hopes of using it to repair the base's satellite dish so she can receive a message from Overwatch, the power in the base goes out. With no power left, all hope seems lost. However, surprisingly, the power comes back. Mei turns happily to her Robot Buddy Snowball, only to find that he sacrificed himself, providing power from his battery for the base so Mei can finish her work. Thankfully, Snowball comes back to life after Mei disembarks from the base, thanks to her affixing solar panels to her makeshift backpack. On top of that, after discovering what Snowball did Mei almost shuts down completely since, to her knowledge, her last friend just died to give her a chance to survive. And then she presses on.
- When she finally makes it to the top of the communications tower and receives the transmission it picked up, she excitedly finds out it's Winston as seen in Are You With Us?... and he's in the middle of his desperate plea as stated above. Realizing the world still needs heroes, and she has nine years worth of data that could help save the world, she gives a solemn look to her data drive, then at the aurora-filled night skies.Winston: We can make a difference again! The world needs us now! More than ever! ...Are you with me?
Mei: (sniffs) Yes, Winston. I'm with you.
- Before she departs from the Ecopoint, Mei pours tea in her colleagues' respective mugs and leaves them at their cryo-chambers. Doubles as Heartwarming, too.
Honor and Glory
- The entire short is a flashback to Reinhardt's deepest regret as a Crusader and what motivates him to keep fighting injustice and answer Winston's recall. Reinhardt, when he was younger, ignored his duty as a crusader and treated the battle as a game. Not only were several of his unit's infantry wounded and killed as a result of him abandoning his position, Balderich, who was Overwatch's initial choice, was mortally wounded bailing him out of trouble he got himself into. Reinhardt joined Overwatch in his stead to make amends for his behavior.
- Reinhardt's regret becomes painfully clear in his final conversation with Balderich. Reinhardt can't bear to even look his friend in the eye when they part ways for the last time.
- To make matters more painful, this is also the battle where Reinhardt got his facial scar, a constant reminder of how his impulsiveness and Glory Seeker tendencies lead to his beloved friend and commander being killed. Imagine having to think of that every time you look in the mirror and you might understand why Reinhardt feels he has to keep fighting and protecting until he draws his final breath.
- This also casts a darker light on Reinhardt's forced retirement. The honor of joining Overwatch was meant to be Balderich's, so to be forced out of the position entrusted to him by his dying friend and watch the organization he fought for fall into corruption and eventually fall altogether must have been incredibly painful for the old crusader.
- What underscores the entire thing is the Meaningful Echo near the end. Near the beginning, Young Rein and Balderich share the apparent Crusader motto, "Live with Honor, Die with Glory", where Reinhardt clearly seeks glory for himself. After Balderich offers to Hold the Line, they repeat the motto, Rein's somber retort turning a boast to a farewell, knowing what his glory-seeking has cost.
- When they get back to the castle, Reinhardt is still his cheerful, boisterous self... right up until he sees the fatal wound Balderich has suffered. At that moment you can see his expression drop, and for the first time the full ramifications of what his glory-seeking has brought upon them comes crashing down on Reinhardt.
- Seeing Reinhardt in his prime can be hard when you see how he ended up later, especially when it comes to his armor. In the flashback, Reinhardt's Crusader Armor could practically glide across the battlefield, smash through buildings, and its shield could hold up against a dozen Bastion turrets for a few seconds before faltering. Now the Charge only lasts a few seconds, is hard to control, carries considerably less force and the shield is considerably weaker. Reinhardt wasn't kidding when he said his armor's gone through considerable wear and tear.
- Balderich's final piece of advice to Reinhardt; "Be their shield". Now you know when Reinhardt throws the barrier up and declares "I will be your shield!", he means it.
- At the end of the short, Reinhardt is standing in front of Balderich's corpse and leaves him the Overwatch medallion that he received from Balderich years ago. What he tells Brigitte after is a heartbreaking Call-Back to what Balderich told him that fateful day that truly cements him as a man who truly believes, with all of his heart and soul, that his fight to protect the world and give justice back to the innocent is a God-given duty. In a complete departure from the Reinhardt we know and love, he speaks the following eight words with a quiet, but powerful conviction.Reinhardt: I have been called. I must answer. Always.
- On top of that, Brigitte's worry for Reinhardt is clear as she tries to convince him not to go back to Overwatch after he gave them his all and they threw him out. Considering how close Reinhardt and Torbjörn seem to be, Brigitte could even consider Rein as an Honorary Uncle or even Grandfather and wants to keep him from doing something that could get him hurt or even killed.
- A very small, but notable detail; as Reinhardt's brawling through Bastion units, one of them actually flinches as their comrade gets smashed right next to them; a moment of hesitation that results in it getting smashed too. This presents all sorts of horrifying implications about Omnics and the nature of the Omnic Crisis, but at the very least, this moment shows even during the crisis, they were still sentient enough to care about each other, even if it costs them their life.
- This short shows what Hana is really like behind her D.Va persona. The whole stint of treating war like a game? It's all a propaganda front, possibly to ensure the public that they don't lose hope, and Hana simply plays along with it. The news sings praises about the MEKA squad and D.Va in particular, portraying her as a celebrity living a larger than life lifestyle. The reality, however, is that Hana clearly feels the weight of the world on her shoulders, feeling as if she's the only one who can stop the continuous Gwishin attacks.Hana: The rest of the squad...the country...they're all counting on me! If I make a mistake and the Gwishin get through us, we lose...everything.
- Early on, the news portrays the most recent Gwishin attack up to that point as no big deal, saying that the MEKA squad simply 'took a few hits' but ultimately pulled off a victory. However, when Hana has a brief flashback to the fight, it shows that the fight was a lot, lot more serious than the news made it out to be: pouring and thundering rain, dark and shaky atmosphere, and the look of horror on D.Va's face when she hears a teammate shouting that they had been hit.
- The fight between D.Va and the Gwishin bots really exemplifies how much she feels the need to bear the burden of protecting Korea all by herself. Even as the bots gradually wear down her mech, she still insists on fighting them herself when Dae-hyun tells her to wait for reinforcements, telling him that they won't get there in time. However, when the last one standing tears off both of her mech's guns when she tries to stop it from going to the city, that's when she finally asks Dae-hyun to help her out...and asks him to overload her mech's reactor. Unlike the game, where Hana can simply detonate her mech without any harm done to her, the look of pain and fear on Dae-hyun's face shows that this act could easily kill her. Yet, she tells him to do it anyway, on the grounds that thousands of people will die if they don't stop the Gwishin now. Hana was willing to die to save thousands of other people.
- In a blink and you'll miss it moment when D.Va aims her gun at her mech to make it detonate quicker after she forcibly ejects herself out of it, you can see tears welling up in her eyes. As far as she was concerned, she was going to die, and was scared beyond belief, but she did it anyway to save the people in the city.
- It also very nearly does kill her - another blink and you'll miss it shot in the montage afterwards quite clearly has one of the trauma doctors holding a pair of defibrillator paddles.
- Reinhardt's inner monologue where he compares himself to the aging set of (futuristic) armor he wears - like his armor, he's gone through a lot of wear and tear over the years since joining the military, and is bound to come apart one day. But until that day comes, he must press on to ensure that justice will be done, no matter what.
A Better World
- In the comic, Symmetra befriends a young girl after the latter helps her navigate the favela the Vishkar Corporation is planning to remodel. The girl is later burned in a fire that the Vishkar Corporation caused in order to force the people to accept its "improvements", and while Symmetra saves the girl in time, the girl's face ends up irreparably burned. She still convinces herself that all her company has done was For The Greater Good, but the incident is slowly causing her to show signs of Broken Pedestal towards the Vishkar Corporation. The look on her face in the very last panel, though slight, says it all.
- At the end of the comic, the girl whose face was burned in the fire is seen looking forlornly at Symmetra as the Vishkar Corporation reveals their newly constructed city center. The girl just realized that the nice lady who got lost was responsible for the destruction of her home, and now she's probably going to hate Symmetra for it.
- Earlier in the comic, Symmetra explains that she is somewhere in the autism spectrum. She has an inner monologue about how her autism set her apart from the others, with people constantly asking her where she fits on the spectrum. This can strike a cord in anyone born with autism, having to deal with both social stigma and so-called "experts" who constantly prod at them to see what makes them tic.
- Going out into the favela, Symmetra is overwhelmed with the noises, smells, and sounds of so many people packed together in unsanitary, poorly-serviced conditions, and is evidently quite close to being overcome when the little girl notices she looks lost and goes to greet her. Symmetra fixes on this little girl and her inner monologue describes her face, with evident wonder, as "beautiful". At the end of the comic, because of Vishkar's actions, this child's beautiful face is scarred horribly by fire, and from what we know of how Vishkar treated the denizens of the favela from Lucio's backstory, Vishkar would never care enough to give this poor kid, a victim of their callous corporate scheming, the medical attention she would need to live a life without painful disfigurement. Symmetra obviously makes the connection, but her sad questioning of her corporate superior is brushed off, and she clings to his platitudes about how they're building that 'better world' for people like this girl. Bonus points for Symmetra herself having been a little girl plucked out of the slums of Mumbai to serve Vishkar's interests. For additional tragic irony? It was after the little girl helped her that Symmetra resolved to do what was necessary to get the city's contract to improve not just the girl's life, but the lives of everyone in the favela. As a result, her mission seemed to genuinely have their best interests at heart, as she went out of her way to nonlethally incapacitate the guards when searching their rival, Calado, headquarters for proof of illegal action. Unfortunately, when Symmetra discovers that there isn't any information they can use, the Vishkar representative she reports to doesn't even let her finish proposing that they try to dig up usable information on the mayor before implementing Vishkar's backup plan: blowing up the Calado building, without any regard for the inevitable collateral damage from a skyscraper being toppled in such a poor and densely populated area. Even at the comic's end, when the girl who helped Symmetra is badly scarred and almost certainly homeless, all Symmetra can do is repeat to herself that what Vishkar is doing is for the greater good. Meanwhile, the other Vishkar representative is using such obvious euphemisms and double-speak regarding just how much Vishkar cares about the people of the favela...and it's not even clear if Symmetra can tell just how insincere he is.
- We finally get to see the full story behind the failed mission that led to Ana's "death", and boy is it heartbreaking. She kills a lot of Talon soldiers, but she's only doing so to save the hostages, and she knows that each of her enemies had a family at home waiting for them. Then suddenly almost her entire team, who all look up to her as their mother figure, is taken out by an enemy sniper, and Ana moves to shoot the sniper... only for the helmet to come off and reveal her old friend Amélie Lacroix, now the Talon assassin Widowmaker. With no knowledge of how Amélie turned traitor, Ana starts listing off the possibilities, but her shock proves to be her undoing as Widowmaker takes advantage of her distraction and does a Scope Snipe, injuring Ana's right eye.
- Soldier: 76, Reaper and Ana's reunion in Giza is an ugly one. The former comrades-in-arms have all been physically and mentally worn down, and their first actions are to fight each other after Reaper attacks Morrison. In their fight, Ana unmasks Reyes, horrified to see what he's become before he disappears. Ana and Morrison agree to work together, but when Ana asks Jack what he'll do when the fighting's over, he responds that the war will never be over for him. The last panel is a photo of the three in their earlier days at Overwatch, a reminder of a more hopeful time. Seeing the photo of a young Soldier: 76, Ana, and Reaper before Overwatch's demise is especially sobering. It makes you look back to the good old days when they were happier and wonder, "Where/When did it go so wrong?"
- Reaper's interaction with Ana is heartbreaking. He reunites with his old friend and former comrade-in-arms for the first time since Overwatch's destruction, except they're on opposite sides now. He expresses disappointment that Ana has sided with Jack/Soldier: 76 once again, and when Ana unmasks Reaper and sees Gabriel, now warped beyond recognition, he points to Jack as the sole reason why he's become so screwed up. Before leaving, he invokes Not So Different, reminding Ana that Overwatch screwed her over as much it did him by leaving her to die instead of helping her on her failed hostage retrieval mission, hoping it'll make Ana see his side of things and ally with him instead. Going from this, it's later revealed that Ana kept her survival a secret from even Gabriel. Gabriel, not knowing that Ana survived, assumed she really died and his anger towards his teammates, especially Jack, for not going back to rescue Ana and give her immediate medical aid contributed to his FaceHeel Turn.
- After the fight, Soldier: 76 says "This is my war, Ana. And you've given it up, or else you'd have told me you were still alive." Ana responds by saying that he doesn't know what she went through. It makes the in-game exchange between Pharah and 76 more saddening in hindsight. Ana was his second-in-command, and he, indeed, did not know her very well.
- We finally get to see a bit of Gabriel Reyes before his FaceHeel Turn. He walks in late to the Halloween party and when he accidentally scares Reinhardt, he lets out the nicest, warmest smile. He really was Not So Above It All. That, coupled with the reveal that he used to be really into clothing design, really shows how much of a Tragic Villain he is. The last part about how he was into clothing design and made his own Halloween costume becomes a lot more saddening when you consider that he most likely made his own Reaper outfit, using what was likely just a fun hobby of his to instead strike fear into his enemies and the public alike.
- While most of the comic is uplifting, we get a few that shots that show the lonelier members.
- McCree is passed out drunk at a nearly empty bar with only Sombra and the bartender in sight (though, him being who he is, this could be a Merry Christmas for him).
- Reaper looms in an alleyway, rain pouring on him as he watches a happy family walk down the street after buying a gift for their child. It's a grim reminder of what he could have been had he not pulled his FaceHeel Turn. It's made even worse when, in a later AMA with Michael Chu where he was asked to shed some clarity on that family in the comic, he said "It's not a random family."
- Another shows Soldier: 76 and Ana sitting silently in a dingy room, not even looking at each other, with the former looking sadly at an old photograph (revealed, in Bastet, to show a young Jack Morrison and his then-boyfriend, Vincent).
- The worst is Widowmaker, who, despite being brainwashed and emotionless and directly being the one who killed him, still retains enough of Amélie's memories to visit Gerard's grave to mourn him despite the snow. It's depressing enough to serve as the page's image.
- Winston looking forlornly at the dinner he set up for his intended friends and family, commenting how he's short on both and wondering how everyone's doing. It really makes you wonder how many Christmases he had to spend celebrating alone with just his supercomputer Athena for company. Thankfully, it later turns out that he won't have to spend another Christmas alone after all.
- The comic shows that the members of Overwatch were quite close together. Jack, Ana, and Gabriel are cooperating (not to mention Gabe looks to be a pretty funny guy), and the former even has a picture of the three of them in his room. All of which is gone now. Some of the quotes characters say in Watchpoint: Gibraltar can be even more saddening after reading. If there was anything that made fans ask "where did everything go wrong?" the most, it's definitely this comic.
- Tracer has likely spent several months recovering in isolation, therapy and tests from the Slipstream accident, all while apparently being kept out of the loop of current events. After a long and hard-fought struggle just to stay alive, she's finally cleared for duty, and what's the first thing she sees and hears? London, her home, is in chaos and Overwatch is barred from intervening. She maintains her composure when she makes her case for going against protocol and helping, but it's pretty clear that she's upset about the situation and from being thrust from one ordeal into another. When she makes her case to Commander Morrison, she's basically saying "Were better than this, please dont make me abandon my home."
- Uprising manages to retroactively make Alive even more depressing. Mondatta is constantly mentioned as being among the hostages held by hostile omnics in London. The conclusion implies he is to be rescued, and knowing that Tracer was part of the team that saved him means she probably got to personally meet and know him in the process, and the memory of saving him and her home on her first mission is likely one she dearly cherishes. Now, in the context of what came later, that memory is irreparably tarnished. She may not have lost "just" someone she admired, she may have lost a friend, and she saw some of her proudest work in safeguarding her home completely undone by the turmoil that engulfed London shortly afterward. Only Blizzard could make a sad ending worse with a comparatively happier one.
- One fan compared the slash and bloodstain in Hanamura temple's tapestry to Genji's exposed skin in his Blackwatch outfit and came to the conclusion that Hanzo's seemingly fatal attack on Genji was a surprise attack from behind. Considering Hanzo's fixation on Honor, no wonder he became a Death Seeker.
- Talon sabotages Overwatch's Venice HQ, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent people, including Gerard Lacroix. This leaves Reyes burning with the desire for vengeance, and already you can see the relationship between him and Jack getting strained, as Reyes angrily tells his friend that doing things by the book isn't working against people who are willing to stoop that low. Jack finally agrees to Reyes going in and capturing suspected Talon agent Antonio, but leaves him with a lingering question: "Will this be good for Overwatch in the long run?" The last portion of the comic shows Reyes declaring that Talon will never expect him to not play by any rules, and putting on a hood. The very same type of hood that identifies him as Reaper, signaling his Start of Darkness.
- During the buildup to Ana and Jack's mission to take down Hakim and his crime ring, Jack reminisces over a past lover named Vincent, with the two having a relationship but eventually lost contact, partially due to Jack's commitment to being a soldier, with Vincent eventually marrying someone else. This particular moment is both sad and sweet, but the conversation ends on this ominous reminder, riddled with all sorts of Fridge Horror to boot:"Relationships dont work out so well for us, do they? Ana said, unconsciously running her thumb over where her wedding ring used to be.
"At least you and Gabe managed to have families."
The pair lapsed back into silence.
- Ana is revealed to have written her daughter a letter, revealing that she was still alive. Fareeha never replied.
- A skilled Widowmaker player was unable to play online due to hundreds of players avoiding him for being too ''good'' for the game. Finding out matches took extremely long, so when he finally got one, he found himself pitted against low-level players. When the guy recounted this story to Blizzard, they looked into the problem and discovered that the game's "Avoid this Player" feature, originally created to identify trolls, was being abused to avoid players who people thought were playing too well. It got so bad that Blizzard opted to remove the feature, despite the risks it might bring.
- It can be a bit disheartening to see that, despite Blizzard's successful attempts at creating and maintaining a positive multiplayer environment, there's still discord and hostility, namely people who act butthurt towards those who have acquired a natural skill with a certain character (and these people don't cheat or use software like aimbots).
- A voice actor had fun making up taunts for characters. While almost all of them are hilarious, Torbjörn has two that are surprisingly sad. They are taunts toward former friends Gabriel and Jack, now Reaper and Soldier: 76.To Reaper: Even I can't repair your past.
To Soldier: 76: I mourned you, we all did. But you're not the man who inspired me to fight! Not anymore. Now I have to deal with you the same way we dealt with every other criminal.
To Mercy: Heroes do die, you're looking at one who did!
- Same guy also made a taunt compilation for Soldier: 76. His taunts towards Reinhardt and Mercy hit hard.
To Reinhardt: My glory days are over too, I'm just not in denial about it.
- A young Chinese Overwatch fan named Hongyu Wu died after an attempt to stop a thief from stealing a friend's motorbike resulted in a collision that left him severely injured. Even more heartbreaking was that Hongyu had been so excited to play Overwatch, only to die a day before Overwatch was released. However, thanks to Hongyu, the motorbike thief was arrested, and to honor his bravery, Blizzard turned the astronaut display at the Lijiang Tower map into a memorial dedicated to Hongyu, with Mercy's Ultimate phrase, "Heroes Never Die" hovering above his astronaut statue◊ note . A tragedy that ended on a very happy (and heartwarming) note.
- Geguri, one of the best Zarya players in the world, was reported to Blizzard for aimbotting, despite doing nothing of the sort. While she was quickly cleared of any cheating accusations, others quit the game rather than believe she could be that good, and continued to attack her behind the scenes. It got to the point that when she streamed for the first time, Geguri wore a mask so potential harassers couldn't identify her, having received death threats several times in the past.
- As these articles explain, despite Blizzard's best efforts, the Overwatch community's reputation has soured the longer the game stayed live, giving it infamy as a fanbase containing trolls and completely entitled players who complain about everything they perceive wrong with it instead of figuring out ways to work around a character supposedly labeled "overpowered". The introduction of "Competitive Mode" worsened things further as friendships broke apart and feelings were hurt for the sake of victory. The developers are clearly trying, but you get the feeling that it's not going to be enough
- In general the bile and hatred Mercy Mains face in general. It's not uncommon to hear many horror stories of Mercy players having to deal with abusive teammates blaming them for every loss under the sun (regardless of how much healing and rezzing they did), and in general are treated poorly for maining a "no skill/brainless" hero that they will ironically demand on their team. It's worse for higher level Mercy Mains, who are accused of being One-Tricks and "carried" to an rank they "don't belong in."
- The reworks to her kit and ultimate made things worse, as players made their hatred of Mercy known even more vocally, with her becoming a bizarre paradox of being a must pick players will demand on their team (but not play themselves) and still berated for being a "no skill" hero with anyone who is considered a "Mercy Main" to be a joke.
- People who play off-meta heroes in competitive in general. The frequent hatred off-meta picks (Torb, Symmetra, Bastion, Junkrat, etc.) can cause a lot of strife during games, with verbal abuse thrown around at anyone playing a non-meta character. If said character gets buffed (for example Junkrat or Bastion), then they're berated for playing an "unbalanced cheese hero." There's really no winning with this community.
- This fan-made comic◊ featuring Soldier: 76 and Mercy. Regardless of whether you ship them or not, it really spikes up the Woobieness of these two characters.
- Chris Metzen, creative director and "voice" of Bastion, left this message thanking all the fans before his retirement.
- Of all places, there's a tearjerking moment in JT Music's Junkrat and Roadhog Rap. The majority of the song is a Boastful Rap showcasing Junkrat and Roadhog's badass Ax-Crazy chops and their Vitriolic Best Buds status. Then a line about Bacon hits a little too close for Roadhog causing him to launch into a verse about how he remembers Australia before the Omnic crisis and how before he met Junkrat he just wandered about aimlessly plagued by Survivor Guilt and resigned to the idea of dying, helped by the music suddenly switching to a much more melancholic piece. For all the bile they spat at each other during the whole song, Junkrat confesses that he'll follow Roadhog wherever he goes. The song goes to lengths to show that as evil as the pair are, at the heart of things they're two people damaged immensely by the Omnic Crisis.Roadhog: I remember a field, where the piggies would graze. Till the Omnics came in, and all our nation was razed. Just thinking of bacon is heartache, a piece of me died on that dark day. Now I'm back on the road, with no family or friends, just ride my cycle alone, I guess this is how it ends.
- There's also one in their Bastion - A musical despite the song being otherwise extremly funny.
- JT Machinima's "Widowmaker Song", no question. The song purposefully explores Widowmaker's backstory, widely agreed to be the most heartbreaking of any character in the game. The dark and haunting lyrics that put into perspective both her current status as being a cold-blooded assassin, as well as her past where she was kidnapped, tortured, brainwashed, and reconditioned into murdering her husband, makes it very hard not to feel any emotional pain when listening. This, combined with the depressing tone and Andrea Storm Kaden's painfully sad-sounding singing, makes it the biggest Tear Jerker song they've ever made.
- Someone made a fan comic of Roadhog's reimagined backstory, good god it hits hard in this territory. This version of Roadhog actually had a daughter who loved pachimari and pigs, she even made him a pig mask which he wears happily. The pig badge on Roadhog's shotgun scabbard actually belonged to her and he's pinned it to his scabbard as a Tragic Keepsake after she died in the civil war for the Outback. Even worse Roadhog ends the comic by sitting with solemn silence at her makeshift grave, in the video it ends with Roadhog calling her by an Affectionate Nickname "little pig".
- There also exists another fan made graphic novel titled Ghost; the premise being that Widowmaker slowly dying from the neural re-programming procedures performed upon her by Talon when she was being turned into the emotionless, cold-blooded assassin she is now. Omahdon uploaded a fandub of the first issue, where a desperate Sombra suggests to a passive Reaper that they approach Mercy for help.