Just because this game lives on in infamy doesn't mean it can't make you cry. And not just from some of the levels.
- Elise's Image Song, My Destiny, has sad but hopeful lyrics.Stay close to me, my love
You've taught me that life can be revived
With this smiling face, the meaning of my destiny can be changed
For your love
- In Sonic's story, Elise apparently dies in the Egg Carrier's crash because Sonic couldn't reach her in time, which causes Sonic to have a moment of true despair, something we rarely see from him in his video games.
- Elise asking Sonic to remember Soleanna when he leaves is quite sad, given the game's reset button ending.
- The scene where Blaze seals herself in another world with Iblis inside of her is surprisingly moving, considering what many other scenes in the game are like.
- The scene with Team Dark on the beach. Despite Mephiles' attempts to turn Shadow against his friends, Shadow holds no ill will towards Omega, and Rouge comments that she'll always stand by his side. For a group of loners they really are tight knit.
- Shadow also seemed pretty upset when he first found out that the world would turn against him.
- Sonic leaving Elise.
- Sonic's murder by Mephiles. Sure, it may be Narm to some, but just the very fact our childhood hero was killed, and so easily...
- Elise: Oh... no... no... NOOOOOOOOO!!!!
- It's more depressing when the other characters see the deceased blue hedgehog in front of them. A sad theme-tuned version of "His World" starts playing as Sonic's friends and allies, even both Shadow and Dr. Eggman mourn.
Tails: No... Y-you don't think...?Knuckles: SONIC!
- Amy's reaction is a particular gut punch. Starts with her calling Sonic's name in disbelief (which cracks towards the end), after which she numbly falls to her knees, before burying her face in her hands. If she's crying or not is up in the air due to a lack of graphics and the absence of sound, so all you can see is her just shuddering violently. It's much more effective than screaming and blubbering; that's anguish right there. To make things even worse for her, she's the one who finds the blue Chaos Emerald during the last story... Ouch!
- Shadow, of all characters, refuses to look at Sonic's body and instead turns away and closes his eyes. He even unfolds his arms when no one is looking. Also, the bit when Silver says "So that's why, he [Mephiles] wanted me to kill Sonic before", all Shadow can do is turn away from Silver in guilt. He couldn't stop Mephiles in time before Sonic was killed, and it's like he's silently blaming himself for it... made even worse when you realise this isn't the first time he tried and failed to protect someone.
- Compared to the rest of the game, the voice acting in this final scene is quite good, almost to the point where it sounds like legitimate mourning.
- The way Knuckles' voice cracks when he shouts Sonic's name is surprisingly tear-jerking. Even as one of Sonic's biggest rivals, he's still been one of his best friends since the early days; he knows what has happened immediately, and he's clearly devastated.
- It's more than just them mourning. Throughout the series, Sonic's always been the one to inspire others to take action. He's always been the one to say "we can do this!" or "let's go get 'em!" when things looked the bleakest. With Sonic dead, there's no one to keep up a positive attitude, no one to say everything's gonna be fine...nothing. And with the exceptions of Silver and Elise, everyone else starts to cross the Despair Event Horizon at the sight of their leader, their ally, their friend having kicked it. Couple this with Solaris successfully forming and going on to destroy time itself, with seemingly no one left to stop it, and this genuinely feels like one of, if not the Darkest Hour of the entire franchise.
- End of the World plays music that reflects the mental state of each of the characters. While all are major tear jerkers in at least some way, the closest people to Sonic have especially painful implications all-round in the pace and instrumentation. They in particular are, fittingly, very reminiscent of the Five Stages of Grief:
- Tails' versionnote is extremely bleak and empty, lacking anything in the background other than a low, harsh buzzing hum. This, what he says (and how he does so) when starting the levelnote and obtaining the Emeraldnote , and the fact that his stage is Crisis City shows that Sonic dying has unhinged his long-time best friend massively. Even while trying to save him, it's left Tails feeling hopeless, frightened, and just completely lost without Sonic's usual kindness, support and encouragement even at the lowest of times.
- Although not as sad or creepy as Tails', Silver's themenote just feels... dead inside. Considering Solaris just, in one fell swoop, took away his ultimate victory over Iblis, killed his new friend who helped him successfully do it — and whom Solaris' previous form also nearly succeeded at tricking Silver into murdering — and rendered Blaze's sacrifice ultimately for nothing, it can be assumed that Silver's pretty furious to say the least about all this. The emptiness of his theme implies it may have gone even further.
- Knuckles' themenote has the least amount of revisions, though an eerie, funereal organ plays constantly alongside many, many drums. Knuckles has more at-stake here than everyone else. Not only are the Chaos Emeralds he's been charged with protecting in danger of being lost permanently to time itself, but one of the people Knuckles values most has been murdered. This is his last chance to right the wrongs that have been done. If he can't, then reality itself will end; and it will end because he couldn't live up to his duty as Guardian of the Emeralds. He's angry, sad and confused; the three worst traits to be approaching a problem with. But it's all he's got. And he'll dig to the depths of the Earth itself to save all of existence.... or die fighting back.
- Amy's themenote is especially strained and downbeat, mostly consisting of slow, hollow techno and heartbroken female singing in the background. Seeing her long-time crush's dead body and living with the knowledge that she couldn't protect him when she most needed to clearly hasn't helped her at all; especially not going by her searching for the blue Chaos Emerald in the cold, lonely wastes of White Acropolis.
- Shadow's Themenote is a chaotic mis-match of continuous, yet repetitive choir-backed beats that overlap. Shadow has spent the entire game fighting off Mephiles' machinations, while managing to survive the identity issues and angst that the creature's been tormenting him with. Now the world's greatest hero — someone whom Shadow still respects deep down despite their bitter rivalry — is dead, and time itself has reached the fringe of total collapse. The black hedgehog is running on a mixture of desperation and rage, especially since Sonic's death is not the first time Shadow has tried and failed to protect someone he cares about. His Chaos Emerald being the often anger-associated red doesn't help.
- It's quite clear that because of her royal duties Elise has had very few friends in her life — if any at all — so seeing her only friend die in front of her is a bit much, but then she realizes that the only way to set things right is to lose the one person who likes her for who she is, not what. And she's spent a better part of her life trying not to cry to uphold her father's last wish, and in that last scene she's crying and Lacy Chabert actually does a convincing job that any player will feel bad for her.
- The final scene of Silver's story. Silver and Blaze have defeated Iblis and Silver attempts to seal Iblis inside himself to prevent it from resurrecting itself once again. Unfortunately, he's rejected by Iblis. Blaze offers herself as a the vessel, since her soul is already filled with flames. As she does so she commands Silver to seal her in another dimension using Chaos Control. He refuses to, not wanting to lose her, and the two share a touching moment before Blaze floats into the sky, as her body disappears. Before she does a final blast blows away the volcanic soot-clouds allowing sunshine into the world for the first time in 200 years. Silver merely stares up at the sky as the credits begin rolling. Combine that with the awesome song that plays during the credits and you've got yourself a really sad ending. It's made even worse by the fact that Blaze is the only character who doesn't appear in the Final Story.
- Speaking of Silver, if his monologues are even close to reality, then he's basically a Child Soldier. He was born after the rise of Iblis, and all he's ever known is a world where fire fills the sky and people search desperately for food and water, and fight hopelessly against a monster that cannot be destroyed in a Forever War.
- Sonic '06 had a LOT of parallels between stories about friendship/abandonment. As stated above, there's Elise gaining a friend in Sonic, then having to lose him for the fate of the world. There's Silver, who has to watch Blaze, his only friend who he spent his entire journey die/disappear/travel-to-another-dimension for the good of the world, and then there's Shadow, who finds out the whole world will eventually turn against him, and the person responsible for his capture was none other than one of his only two friends, E-123 Omega. At least Rouge tells Shadow she'll never turn against him even if the world does... for all the good a deceased friend does in such a regard two-hundred years in the future, though.
- Watching Amy and Silver's new friendship nearly end up destroyed when Amy first learns Silver only wanted to find Sonic to assassinate him.
Let's Play examples:
- This moment when pokecapn simply gives up near the end. It's made even more of a gut-punch in how he doesn't even sound angry any more; just resigned and utterly defeated.pokecapn: (as he falls into a quicksand pit and loses his last life again with Silver) I'm done. I'm done. I can't play a game this fundamentally broken. This is completely done.
- And later, when pokecapn considers admitting defeat and ending their run entirely if they can't complete End Of The World in a certain number of tries. At that point, everyone else in the team simultaneously yells out "NO!" and urge him and themselves to carry on; which shows just how close-knit and determined they've become to win despite the sleep deprivation and despair from constantly being screwed over by the game.