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Tear Jerker / Spider-Man (PS4)

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"Hey Uncle Ben, miss you. Doing my best to make you proud."
Because what is Spider-Man without tragedy?

WARNING: Per wiki policy, Spoilers Off applies to Tear Jerker pages. All spoilers will be unmarked.

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     Main game 
  • In the game, you are able to go to Uncle Ben's grave and pay respects. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment with how Peter keeps himself together and casually gives his comment.
    Peter: Hey Uncle Ben, miss you. Doing my best to make you proud.
  • The death of Miles' father, Jefferson Davis, when he was blown up in a terrorist attack led by the Demons.
    • During the same terrorist attack, upon taking control of Miles you see Peter knocked out and Mary Jane tearfully crying and begging him to squeeze her hand to show he's alive.
    • Following on from that, Peter attempts to comfort Miles at Jefferson's funeral a week later. But because he can't talk about Miles' dad and the partnership they had without revealing he's Spider-Man, all he can do is offer generic condolences so clichéd that Miles not only interprets them as insincere but finishes his sentences for him.
      Peter: Look, I know that you don't know me, but I just wanted to say—
      Miles: "I know what you're going through." That's what you were going to say, right? Or, "It all gets easier with time"? Or, "Don't worry... it's all part of God's plan."
      Peter: I'm sorry... I was just try—
      Miles: "—trying to help." I know. [walks away silently]
    • While Miles is in an understandable state of grief, it's impossible not to feel sorry for Peter, too. He feels immense guilt for Jefferson's death, knowing that if he didn't have to worry about protecting his own identity, he probably could've saved Jefferson. His attempt at consoling the man's only son was his first act of making it up to the late officer. Regardless of how common his expressions of sympathy (none of which he denies when Miles quotes them) were bound to be, his heart was in the right place and he was given the brush-off, making his guilt even worse.
    • Later on, Martin Li / Mr. Negative forces Spider-Man into a hallucination that tries to break his spirit so the Demon can control Peter. Except instead of simply some creepy arena battle or the like, like their final battle, he forces Spidey into a mental replication of the City Hall award ceremony that the bombing occurred at. He was waiting for Spider-Man, to kill these innocents before his eyes (which he technically did since Peter was in the crowds and nearly got killed in the collateral), and tries to guilt trip our hero while emphasizing the carnage and horrors he wrought. It really lays it low that while Spider-Man can react to crime as need be, Peter Parker is still only human and can't save everyone. A recurring problem that gets reiterated on below.
      • This line during the fight is especially heart-rending in how hurt Spider-Man sounds. You can just feel his guilt...
        Spider-Man: I can't... save everyone...!
  • Martin Li's status as Mr. Negative and Otto becoming Dr. Octopus is no surprise to most players, as the former wasn't hidden in advertising and the latter is an iconic Spider-Man rogue. What makes it tragic is the player knows this, but Peter does not. The end result is dreading when that inevitable occurrence will happen as both are given a fleshed out relationship with Peter before the Internal Reveal.
  • Dr. Delaney being shot and killed by Li during Back to School, with Spider-Man being just a few seconds too late to save him. Social Media in-game gets populated with comments from his students and co-workers grieving him, with one even noting that Delaney was going to be their mentor.
  • After Peter gets injected with Scorpion's neurotoxin, and frantically searches the city for an antidote, he is tormented by hallucinations of Otto calling him a failure who causes pain to everyone around him. Peter tries to reason with the doctor, telling him that he will save him, growing more desperate with each attempt to the point where he tearfully apologizes for letting Otto down. Yuri Lowenthal's voice acting during this sequence is heart-wrenching as he really makes Peter sound so small and like he's on the verge of breaking down crying behind the mask as he pleads with the hallucinatory Otto and by proxy his own guilt over not being able to save everyone.
  • The Darkest Hour just before the Final Battle. Almost everyone in New York is infected by the Devil's Breath. May is dying and MJ informed Peter that she has less than an hour to live, and Spider-Man is severely wounded to the point that he can barely stand, not to mention what's going through his mind psychologically. One of the worst moments, though, is Yuri's phone call to Spider-Man: she's infected by the virus as well and depressingly accepted that there's no hope left before telling him that she's going to spend whatever time she has left with her equally ill mother, all while Spider-Man tries in vain to convince her not to give up. To see the determined police officer who's been at your side through everything in the entire game giving in to despair is just so heartbreaking to watch. Poor Peter Parker has so much burden to carry during these last few hours of the game.
  • The entire Final Battle with Otto/Doc Ock.
    • Peter is still desperately trying to talk sense into him, but it doesn't take.
    • Otto reveals that he knew Peter was Spider-Man, and it never stopped him from trying his damnedest to kill Peter throughout the last third of the game. It takes Peter a moment to realize what this means, and once the gravity of it all hits him, he descends into Tranquil Fury and throws himself at Otto, ripping one of his tentacles off in the process before an absolutely gut-wrenching fistfight ensues.
      Otto: Such a disappoint... Parker.
      Peter: You... knew?
      Otto: I tried to warn you, Peter. But you didn't listen.
      Peter: [seething] ... you knew!
    • Peter positively breaks during the final beatdown, telling Otto that the doctor was his hero, and they were going to change the world together. It's made worse by the fact that the subtitles don't refer him as Spider-Man. They refer to him as Peter, making it very clear that this is coming from a very personal place.
      Otto: You should be on MY side!
      Peter: I WAS!
    • There's a moment as Otto is talking to Peter, and Peter is almost willing to believe the kindly scientist he knew might be back after all... and then Otto makes an implicit threat about revealing Peter's secret. The expression on Peter's face as he realizes Otto is playing him again is heartbreaking.
    • Peter accepts that Otto is beyond saving, and leaves him to the authorities. The animation and Yuri Lowenthal's voice acting show in tragic detail just how much pain he's in.
      Otto: Peter... I saw you as a son. I should've known you'd turn on me, just like all the others.
      Peter: [fighting back tears] Turn? Turn-? I worshipped you! Your mind, your conscience, wanting to help others, the way you never gave up!
      Otto: That's because men like us have a duty. A responsibility. To use our talents in the service of others. Even if they don't appreciate it... we have to do what's best for those beneath us. Whether they understand it or not!
      Peter: No, you're wrong! You were everything I wanted to be! And you just... you threw it away!
    • The worst thing with the above part of the conversation is how Otto both mixes in words Peter had wanted to probably hear for a while and a similar ideology that Spider-Man holds - only to twist them into cruel accusations and a sense of superiority over everyone else; a complete betrayal of everything Peter Parker fights and stands for. Had Octavius not willingly chosen to have his mind decay with corruption and vengeance, these words might just have come out differently were he still sane.
    • And at the end of it all, as Peter walks away, Otto just... can't understand anymore. He tried to give Peter the choice to come with him, and deal with Norman together, but Peter knew that the Otto that he held as almost a father-figure in his life was gone. And all the doctor can do is lie there, calling Peter's name repeatedly as he's left in a broken heap, unable to realize why the young man was walking away as he finally breaks down in a matter other than rage.
      Peter: You do what you think is best, Doc. It's all any of us can. Even when it hurts like hell.
      Otto: Peter? Where are you going? Peter! PEEETEEERRRR!
    • Before Ock screws it up, his pleading clearly has an affect on Peter, and you can see Peter considering helping him. The music in the background here is devastating.
      Otto: Please, Peter. That... wasn't me. You said you'd never abandon me, you promised, remember?
    • There's also Octavius having an emotional breakdown as he lays there, all too aware that if Peter leaves him there, the authorities will take his arms away. Without the neural interface, his body will continue to shut down, until he's stuck with a brilliant mind in a paralyzed body.
    • The vivid depiction of Otto's Sanity Slippage is heartbreaking. His final audio journal before undertaking his scheme as Doctor Octopus is apologizing to Peter, telling him that the loss of their friendship is the one thing he'll regret. Contrast that with his later journals after creating his arms, where he blames Peter for his prior failings and venomously accuses him of only sticking around to steal Otto's ideas. During the final battle he goes as far as demanding to know how much Osborn is paying Peter to fight him, despite knowing full well Peter would never do that for multiple reasons.
      • The whiteboard at the back of Otto's lab throughout most of the story shows Otto's brainstorming for logo and slogan ideas for Octavius Industries. After being inspired to create his arms, the tagline that stays there for most of the game is "Creating the future we deserve", with notes on how to outperform Oscorp. Returning to the lab after the Raft breakout reveals scrawled sketches of his weaponized tentacles, and his hopeful slogans replaced with pledges to destroy Oscorp and the slogan crossed out, replaced with "Creating the future I deserve."
  • The last shot we see of the man who was once Otto Octavius, clad in prison orange, dragged and tossed into a cell on the Raft. The camera pans to a close-up and there isn't a single trace of the kindly scientist and mentor anymore, just the seething fury of Doctor Octopus.
  • Notably, Peter did everything in his power, even in an all-out brawl, to try to convince Martin Li to return to the person he used to be, rejected but only because Li thought he didn't deserve to be anything but the Demon inside. He also did this for not only Shocker, but also Octavius. Especially Octavius. But while Shocker was a scientist turned into a well-equipped yet petty bank thief, Octavius killed hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people, outnumbering the several dozens that were harmed or killed in Li's acts of terrorism, and showed no regrets for it. Li was a troubled, hesitant, broken and ultimately betrayed individual that Peter believes can still be saved, but it's only once Octavius fully displayed that he intentionally abandoned all traits of sympathy and sanity, neural interface or not, that Peter abandoned all hope of trying to save Otto Octavius. He tried to see the good in everyone, and he was forced so hard to compromise on this belief for one of the closest figures in his whole life.
    • Shocker's portrayal in the game could also be considered something of a tragic display as well. As Peter points out, Shocker knew he was being watched by the police, and that re-donning his suit and going back to crime was a dead-end move. But as Peter also pointed out, and Shocker confirmed, he wasn't doing it for himself, he was being forced, a gun put to his head to force him to go back to crime. During the chase, Shocker's strangled "I've said enough..." really conveys just how trapped he feels, caught between a pounding by Spider-Man, or execution by the Demons.
  • The death of May Parker, arguably the most tragic scene in the game. Peter has the choice to cure May now and let thousands of people die from the Devil's Breath, or let the scientists use the entire antiserum to replicate a cure to give to everyone, allowing his aunt to die. Yuri Lowenthal's acting is heart-wrenching as you can see Peter grappling with the choice to be selfish for just this one time, but in the end, his strong morals won't let him do it. All he can do is hold May's hand and cry as his beloved aunt passes away.
    • While it isn't spoken, what may have been the last little thing to push Peter into not doing it was the fact that Yuri, arguably his best friend throughout the entirety of the game, was also infected. Not only would curing May leave thousands to die, but he'd also be dooming the only other person in the game that he could always rely on and confide to. It wasn't just potentially looking past the faceless people he couldn't save, but no matter what someone close to him would perish from this.
    • And the kicker is that May reveals she knew Peter was Spider-Man for quite some time already, and decided never to say anything so she wouldn't worry him.
    • Add on top of it the dark mirror the situation presents with Uncle Ben. With Ben, being selfish got Ben killed by his inaction. With May, being selfish would now save her by his action. So now, Peter has the chance to fix his inaction with Ben in order to save May. But he can not; he must be selfless and through inaction, he must allow May to die. He must make the same choice he made with Ben, but now must does so with full awareness of the consequences and of his inability to change those consequences.
    • Combining this with a Heartwarming Moment: May implicitly telling Peter to not be selfish and use the cure to save everyone else. She's willing to die so that her beloved nephew doesn't compromise his own morals and doom untold thousands for her own sake.
      Peter: [sobbing] I don't know what to do...
      May: [serenely] Yes, you do.
    • And to turn things meta, Stan Lee passed away only 2 months after the game's release. Since Steve Ditko already left us earlier the same year, both of Spidey's creators are gone. So Peter's parents, May and Ben, and the minds behind them all have passed away.
  • The theme of the entire game is basically about Peter losing his roles models and the people he looks up to as parents. Martin Li is a philanthropist who has risen from his tragic childhood to help people in a humbler, but more meaningful way than Spider-Man. Otto Octavius is a genius who serves as an example of Peter's full intellectual and altruistic potential. And Aunt May is the heart and soul of Peter's life, the person that Peter Parker and Spider-Man strive to make proud. And in the course of the game... Peter loses all of them, and all partially due to his own fault. If he had been fast or smart enough, he could have stopped Martin Li from initiating his plans; If he hadn't been so late so often, paid more attention to his work, he could have spotted, or at least not exacerbated Dr. Octavius' descent into madness. And if he had been less absentminded, learned to schedule better, he wouldn't have taken for granted what little time he had left with Aunt May.
  • The Reveal that Harry is dying of the same disease that took his mother's life. When MJ infiltrates Norman's office, she finds Harry's journal and a hypothetical letter addressed to her and Peter, where he explains everything in heartbreaking detail.
    I'm sick. Like, really sick. Doctors think it's the same thing Mom had. Neuro degeneration, rapid onset. I've known for a while but thought I could manage it. I didn't tell you cause... well cause I didn't tell you. I was worried how you'd react. And I wouldn't stand to see you go through what I did with my mom. Watching her suffer. Knowing I couldn't help. Watching her die was worse than the dying.
    • Then The Stinger reveals what really happened to Harry: Norman is keeping his dormant body in a secret tank (with a symbiote attached). Quivering with sorrow, he promises that he'll find a cure and save his son from the very disease that killed his wife.
      Norman: We were so close. But I'll keep trying. I will find a cure, I will... I love you, son. [he places his hand on the glass; the symbiote reaches out and does the same]
    • That tank by the way? In the same lab that MJ snuck into to find where the Devil's Breath Antiserum was being developed. She was so close to discovering what had become of her long absent friend, kept from discovering his true situation by a simple shutter no more than a few inches thick.
  • It's a small thing, but in the epilogue when Peter is considering new jobs he doesn't want to get into science again, because of what happened with his last big project. This may be understandable but it's sad to think that Peter limits his incredible gift to superhero gadgets.
  • SterlingGrape is one of the people who will comment on your feed when you check social media in the map menu, talking about how her parents were worried about her living on her own, later happily commenting that she's excited to attend to the award ceremony at City Hall and having a cheerful back-and-forth with her father MetalVineyard about it. After the bombing attacks in Norman's rally MetalVineyard will comment "Rest in peace, Starla (SterlingGrape). We love you and will keep you in our hearts forever. #NYCSTRONG"... Ouch.
  • It's worth noting that when the Sable Agents first arrive to New York, they start out strictly non-hostile to Spider-Man and it's even possible to have Spidey and a random Sable Agent to greet each other like Spidey would a regular bystander, implying (and confirmed by one rogue Sable Agent in the social feed) that there are some Sable Agents that actually like Spider-Man. Fast forward to the release of Devil's Breath where Silver Sable escalates to putting New York on martial law and Spider-Man becomes one of their targets, you'll have some of those same friendly agents forced to turn on a hero they like and respect and fight him in a battle they probably know they can't win, all because it's part of their job.
     The City that Never Sleeps 
  • Considering their relationship, Felicia yanks Peter's chain an awful lot in The Heist. Granted, some of that is just how it is with them, but pulling the old "my son who may be yours is kidnapped" con just for a big score, which adds a new (and very likely purposeful) strain on Pete's still fragile relationship with MJ, is a real low blow, even by those standards.
    • A subquest has you tracking down art stolen by Felicia's father for a cop who is revealed in the end to be said father, and conned Spidey into getting his loot back. As you find the art, he explains he was asked to work for the mob, but in his arrogance said no, earning their contempt. He faked his death to protect his family, and asks Spidey to do the same in his absence. When Spidey asks why he should bother, the father replies "because he's a nice guy."
    • Spidey and Felicia's final conversation at the end of the The Heist. She asks why he's trying to save her even after she conned him, saying that he's too nice. Spider-Man replies by saying that he isn't being nice, he's just doing the right thing. Before the end of the call, Felicia says "Love you." Despite everything, she genuinely loved Spidey, which makes her penthouse exploding all the more painful.
      • Between the main story and subquest, The Heist highlights just how toxic Spidey and Black Cat's relationship was. Yes, the Hardys recognize what kind of person Spider-Man is, but they have no problem manipulating him for their own ends.
    • If you visit the cemetery during The Heist, you'll see fresh flowers on May and Ben Parker's graves.
  • Continuing the Broken Pedestal theme from the main game, Turf War basically depicts the gradual destruction of Spider-Man and Yuri's friendship. After their sting operation goes sideways and leads to the deaths of nearly all the officers Yuri led in, she grows increasingly angry and hateful, resenting Spider-Man for not being able to handle Hammerhead like he promised he could. When Hammerhead launches a direct assault on her precinct to get the parts for Project Olympus (killing even more officers under her command), she snaps and uses Sable tech to shoot up the Bar With No Name and other criminal hideouts to find Hammerhead and take her revenge. It all culminates in her shooting Hammerhead in cold blood right as Spidey was about to arrest him. The story ends with her seeing Spider-Man and all the other cops staring at her in horror and disappointment, clearly realizing just how badly she's screwed up; she's going to lose her badge at the very least, and is likely facing prison.
    • What's especially tragic is how Turf Wars started. with an officer proudly showing off the Spider-Man watch he got as a birthday present from his child to the Webslinger himself, with Yuri jokingly stating it goes against regulation uniform but she'll allow it. After the botched storming of the Harlem Sanctum, Hammerhead starts killing the Police Officers one-by-one, but the aforementioned one spits in Hammerheads face, provoking him into making the officer his next victim when Spidey manages to kill the lights. Yuri takes the opportunity to grab one the mooks guns and starts firing into the dark causing the Maggia goons to fire back. At the end of the gunfire, Yuri pulls out a lighter to survey the damage, and finds the Maggia goons disposed of, and Spider-Man, crouched over the dead body of an officer with a cracked Spider-Man watch... Yuri's face says it all.
  • The tragedy of Yuri's story continues in Silver Lining, bringing her full circle into the role of a villain, just like Li and Octavius. At the start, she gets suspended from the force and disappears off the grid, with Spidey very concerned and wanting to find her. Partway through, he finds a mysterious set of recordings, which eventually detail a Maggia attempt on her life by bribing what seems to be her psychiatrist. He sets off to get more info, getting more and more desperate and worried with each new tape. But then you find that it was actually a last ditch plan by Yuri to trap the Maggia even after being suspended, having convinced a fellow cop to go cowboy with her. But without the support of the rest of the department, the cop is quickly found out and murdered. This leads Yuri to finally snap completely. The string ends with Spider-Man finding the hitman who did it... murdered, and gruesomely strung up, just for Spidey to find. At which point the two have their last conversation as Spidey—almost in tears—tries to convince Yuri to turn herself in before it's too late for her to come back. But unfortunately, it already is. Yuri leaves this story an unrepentant murderer intent on dispensing "true justice", and Spider-Man will be forced to find and stop her.
    • The saddest part about all of this is that Yuri attempted the sting without even contacting Spider-Man first. Keep in mind, during the main game and early parts of the DLC, he's her go-to in these kinds of situations where she needs to work outside the law to get probable cause. Not only would he have probably been able to get the evidence on the hitman without endangering anyone, the fact she isn't shows how strained their relationship ultimately became.
  • A small moment in the DLC: if you swing by Octavius Industries you'll find the lab inaccessible, the rooftop door boarded up and covered with police tape. The last vestiges of Otto Octavius and the dream of helping people with advanced prosthetics he shared with Peter... gone.

     Meta and other 
  • Otto's remarks to Peter at the game's end, the ones noted above that might have come out differently if Otto hadn't gone through with corrupting himself? It gets called back to in Spider-geddon's 0th issue, by the version of Superior Spider-Man (a younger Otto Octavius) who comes to recruit the game's version of Peter. And in its own way, it's a quiet twist of the knife when Superior!Otto comments on it: the words would have come out differently.
    Superior!Otto: I have no doubt that this world's Otto Octavius... If his mental faculties were intact... would be proud of you.

You do what you think is best, Doc.
It's all any of us can.
Even when it hurts like hell.

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