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Tear Jerker / Super Smash Bros.

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Wow, several of our favorite Nintendo characters competing against one another in pitched combat! What's sad about that…?


The Subspace Emissary
  • When Diddy was forced to watch as Donkey Kong got turned into a trophy. He covers his eyes and lets out a cry as Bowser blasts Donkey.
  • During the Ancient Minister's Heel–Face Turn. It involves him being set on fire by his Mecha-Mooks while a somber version of the main theme plays in the background and Ganondorf laughs menacingly.
    • Gets even worse when you think about it: HIS OWN KIND HAS TURNED ON HIM.
    • Though the following Crowning Moment of Awesome makes up for it.
    • It'll probably fly over your head the first time, but during the cutscene after you battle various enemies summoned by Ganondorf after the Ancient Minister's Heel–Face Turn, the camera shows that the R.O.B.s eyes are turning blue before they close their eyes for the final time. Also, before the next playable section, while the rest of the characters are running, Donkey Kong has to carry the playable R.O.B., who also has blue eyes at this point. Throughout the game, it's seen that their eyes turn appropriate colors depending on what's happening, such as going red when Ganondorf takes control of them. So when they go blue… they're pretty much crying.
    • Watching one of the R.O.B.s wave goodbye to the Ancient Minster right before getting blown to smithereens.
      • To put that scene into more detail, the Ancient Minister is attacked by Mario and Link, with Pit, Yoshi and Kirby not far behind. A group of R.O.Bs come in to help their master and hold the heroes back. As the Minister prepares to leave, he looks down and notices another R.O.B clinging onto him, attempting to drag the Subspace Bomb down to the ground. He succeeds, then he falls with the bomb but his head breaks off. As two of the remaining R.O.Bs activate it, a third turns to the fleeing Minister, doing the aforementioned wave. The bomb then explodes, showing in full detail the R.O.Bs being pulled in and torn apart. …Wow.
  • Everybody trying in vain to stop the Island of the Ancients exploding, and combined with the aforementioned Heel–Face Turn.
  • All of the characters you obtained after the Meta Ridley battle travel to Subspace where they meet The Man Behind the Man. Tabuu unleashes an attack that instantly turns everyone into trophies. The scene plays in slow motion as each character is floating from the attack, with shock and fear in their eyes, and are turned back into trophies one by one. You then see all the characters in trophy form lying on the ground as Tabuu begins to absorb the Smash Bros world. After that, you see Luigi, Ness, and King Dedede who are also trophies and it seems all is lost until Dedede's badges revive Luigi and Ness. Ness then revives King Dedede and he hugs him and Luigi as thanks before they go and rescue everyone. OK, so death doesn't totally exist in the Smash Bros world for the main characters, but this comes close for me to welling up.
  • The Ancient Minister has a horrible story, really. His best friend forces him to use his people (the R.O.B.s) to drag the world into Subspace, sacrificing many of them in the process. When the heroes and the bombs have destroyed most of the R.O.B.s, Ganondorf orders the remaining ones to blow up the Island of Ancients. When the Minister tries to stop them, Ganondorf provokes them to attack their true master with the press of a button. As the heroes left the island, they brought with them the Ancient Minister, the very last sane R.O.B., and just managed to escape the complete and permanent obliteration of the Island of Ancients, with every last one of the Minister's people and comrades destroyed. And, finally, close to the end, the Minister's best friend is mortally wounded when he attempts to attack The Man Behind the Man, with the Minister himself being turned into a trophy immediately afterwards.
  • In the Subspace Emissary, when Lucas is running away from the Porky Statue. The moment he trips and looks at the statue… You can almost see him thinking: "Crap, not again!"
    • The worst scene with Lucas is when Ness gets turned into a trophy. Wario's Evil Laugh makes it worse.
    • When Lucas and the Pokémon Trainer finally catch up with Wario and defeat him. Lucas happily looks around the area for a moment, probably excepting Wario to be in possession of the captured Ness. Sadly, Lucas doesn't see Ness anywhere.
    • Lucas trying the shield the Pokémon Trainer as the pair fall to their seemingly inevitable deaths. Thankfully Meta Knight swoops in at the last moment to save them both.
  • In it's own right, the "Kirby Revived by Hunger" cutscene can invoke. Sure, it starts out fairly funny, with Kirby spitting out a King Dedede badge. But seeing the adorable little puffball, completely alone and lost can invoke a feeling of hopelessness in the player. Thankfully, King Dedede finds him shortly afterwards.
Other games
  • The ending to the original game. After you defeat Master Hand, the character you played as is dropped on a table in what appears to be a kids room, where they lay motionless for the rest of the cutscene. All the while, emotional music plays in the background while the camera zooms out and the screen fades to white. The screen then cuts to black to the sound of a door closing before cutting to the credits. One of the most tissue-reaching endings is Pikachu's, who sits there staring at the camera with an honest-to-Arceus smile on his face.
  • Arguably mild, but in Melee and Brawl, after you and your character struggle through one of the single-player modes together, he or she becomes nothing more than a lifeless trophy while a sad music box tune plays in the background.
  • In Melee's intro, the scene where Sheik looks up at the sky, with a ghostly image of Zelda's head following her movement, implying that Sheik is not just a transformation. It is no coincidence that this is the point where the music slows down.
    • It also counts as Fridge Brilliance, as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's manga adaptation (released before Melee) depicted Zelda as deliberately sealing her memories so she could stay in hiding for longer, leading to Sheik being a completely different entity altogether. In that sense, Zelda and Sheik really can be considered separate.
    • In the same opening, a collage of Link's adventures as a child is presented during his Establishing Character Moment. One of the scenes shown is when he had to say goodbye to his childhood friend, Saria.
    • Late into the opening, Donkey Kong can be seen getting hit by one of Mewtwo's Shadow Balls. The ape looks like he's crying out in pain...
  • Ocarina of Time players will recognize the sound Young Link makes when he's put to sleep by whatever means. It's the sound he makes when he's suffering from a nightmarish premonition of being attacked by Ganondorf. Every time Young Link goes to sleep in Melee, he has nightmares.
  • Do you remember the betrayal of the entire R.O.B. race against the Ancient Minister? It's canon. In Super Smash Brothers 4, there is a Boxing Ring stage for Little Mac, the Punch Out!! Representative. Affectionately, each playable character was given a boxing name. While most are fitting, and sometimes funny, R.O.B.'s is "The Last of His Kind." So the Subspace Emissary not only is canon in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, but this R.O.B. is the Ancient Minister; the same Ancient Minister that witnessed the genocide of his entire race, and has been carrying the weight of his own sins as well as knowing that it is all his fault that the R.O.B.s are dead. This is the same R.O.B. that has emotions. And now he lives with the utter trauma of his entire species turning on him and setting him on fire, just before their destruction. That was the moment where his world comes crashing down (Quite literally once the island is destroyed). And to top it all off, after the Subspace Emissary ends, he's all alone until Super Smash Brothers 4. Feel horrible yet? It gets worse. While it is also a Crowning Moment of Awesome, when R.O.B. blasts down a bunch of enemies, he looks absolutely heartbroken.
    • The cutscene that depicts this event deserves mention, too. Ganondorf appears and issues the apparent order to detonate all of the subspace bombs. The Ancient Minister is rightly horrified by this and steps between them, causing the other R.O.B.s to stop and look at each other questioningly, clearly hesitant to go against the Minister. Then, with the push of a button, Ganondorf takes control of them, making them all Brainwashed and Crazy as they get ready to use the bombs. The Minister tries to stop them, but that just results in Ganondorf turning them on him and setting him on fire. All of this to a sad rendition of the game's main theme. Worse, the next cutscene shows them, now out of Ganondorf's control but unable to remove themselves from the bombs. Heck of a way for any one person to go out, much less a whole race...
  • The codecs, while drop dead hilarious, had one line that was particularly emotional:
    Mei Ling: Marth was betrayed by his most trusted friend. I can't imagine what that feels like...
    Snake: ...I can. note 
    • On the topic of Marth, one of his win quotes can be translated as "Today, I was able to survive again." It is quite possible that this is referencing the Perma-death system in his own series. And when one looks into them, despite them often being misinterpreted differently, it's also possible to interpret his other quotes, (a relieved and somewhat childish "It seems I have won for today", a determined "I cannot afford to lose!", and "Everyone, please watch me!", said with a rather pleading tone), as well as the fact that in one of his idle animations he puts his hand over his chest and seemingly breaths to regain composure, as further evidence that the war never ended for him. Even in a friendly competition like Smash, the poor guy still can't get the battlefield and its constant threat of death out of his mind. On a similar note, Roy describes the battle he just fought as "painful" in one of his victory quotes.
  • Hearing the Codec with Solid Snake describing Lucas is filled with this. The fact that Snake himself understands the hardships Lucas has gone through is heartbreaking. But this line is enough to make anyone bawl:
    • Oh Mei Ling, you must not have finished MOTHER 3, have you? Of course, if this is post-Mother 3 Lucas, this wraps around to heartwarming. Even a character not from his own world is wishing him luck.
  • The Mushroomy Kingdom stage is a little sad, considering the opening stage that many gamers know and love has since turned into a barren wasteland.
  • Reading the translations text to the game's main theme after beating the Subspace Emissary will surely make anyone who has a heart cry. Especially if you know what influenced the music and text.
  • This news from Sakurai in regards to making a character for Smash Bros. It shows he has a heart for his fans. Sure, he may add unexpected characters like the Wii Fit Trainer, but that doesn't mean that he tries to ruin the franchise for his fans, even the ones that constantly ask him for a character in the next installment.
  • At the end of the Super Smash Bros. Direct, we see Masahiro Sakurai painfully struggling to preform the Iwata Salute.note 
  • Towards the end of the Robin and Lucina trailer, a beaten-up Chrom gives a very disheartening quip: "I suppose I'll get my chance... another day...", as he watches Robin and Lucina fight Captain Falcon before going unconscious. It's alleviated a bit with the reveal that he's in as Robin's Final Smash, but you can't help but feel bad for the guy not being able to actually fight with/against Marth, Ike, or the other Nintendo stars.
    • It seems the devs knew he was a popular request, but since the roster had been finalized well before, they wanted to make it up to the fanbase. They really do care!
  • Lucas's Japanese Trophy description in Smash Bros. 3DS isn't actually about the character. Instead, it goes on to say how Lucas may well have made a family and have lived a happy life… then says how he and Ness may well be kids forever to MOTHER fans. Not bad at first, until you realize it's referring to how we'll probably never see another MOTHER game, and never see how their lives went… although the localized Trophies are slightly more upbeat about it.
    "Lucas used to be weak-willed, and cry all the time. However, he overcame unimaginable hardships, and must surely be out adventuring somewhere right now. Or perhaps, he's found a partner and made a family of his own... No, no, that feels too soon. To fans of the MOTHER series, both Lucas and Ness might be young boys for all eternity."
  • On the Magicant stage, one of the Flying Men from MOTHER 1 and EarthBound shows up on the top right corner. If you approach him, he'll assist you until he falls off the stage somehow. However, after he passes, a grave marker will note his defeat (implying that he died for you), just like in their native game. Eventually, another Flying Man will come to that same spot, rinse repeat until you have all five Flying Men graves on that corner. And what's more- once they're gone, they're not coming back. Ever.
    • The hauntingly beautiful Magicant theme playing in the background makes it that much worse.
    • The other song for that stage, Smiles and Tears. Really, the title of the song should say it all. If you're a fan of EarthBound Beginnings, hearing the Eight Melodies of that game in their original 8-bit form throughout the song will bring a tear to your eye.
  • Duck Hunt's Star KO has him yelping in pain like a real dog. Even after it's caused so many problems for gamers, you're reminded that it's still a regular dog. It's especially bad if you're an animal lover.
    • Likewise, Luigi can be heard sobbing in his Star KO. Mario of all people also cries in his Star KO as of Brawl, though it is cartoonier.
    • In general, most Star KO screams made by cute characters sounding terrified (Lucas and Bowser Jr., for instance) will make you feel bad if you're the one who landed the finishing attack on them or if you're playing as them when you get KO'd.
  • When female Robin suffers a fall from the stage, her cry sounds very painful (probably because it is more realistic than other over-the-top female deathcries, such as Zelda or Palutena) and it makes you feel bad if you are using her.
    • When male Robin suffers a fall, he'll occasionally say "Reckless fool…"
    • One of Lucina's two K.O. screams is a lot like female Robin's aforementioned scream in that both sound like they're really hurting upon their falls, but Lucina's is also short and rather abrupt, which may indicate how much more painful it is for the heir to the exalted blade to fall in battle. It really may not help matters at all if you're playing as Lucina against a Captain Falcon player…
    • Both Male and Female Corrin have a KO quote much like Male Robin's... and Just as depressing...
    Corrin (Both Male and Female): How... Can this... ?
  • Zapdos' trophy description may bring a tear to your eye (and a fuzzy feeling in your heart) from nostalgia:
    "Gazing up at dark storm clouds gathering in the sky, many children must have once wondered if the Pokémon they saw in the second movie was in the clouds. An innocent and children dream, perhaps… but even today as adults, the sound of thunder might just bring back memories of this Legendary bird Pokémon."
  • Sure, it's just a game, but if you had a favorite character in a previous installment who didn't return in the following one, or had a character you really wanted to become playable but didn't make the cut, then it's natural to feel disappointed. The Broken Base for some characters (Ice Climbers, Ridley, and Mewtwonote  come to mind) only makes it worse, with many detractors mocking character supporters.
    • In general, just how willing people are to viciously mock characters who didn't make it in the game because they know it upsets their fans. It makes the Smash fandom seem very mean spirited and unwelcoming.
  • On the other side, though, finding out a beloved character is making a debut or unexpectedly returning can bring tears of joy to your eyes. Especially watching reaction videos on YouTube and seeing people literally scream in joy. One Lets Player literally did cry after a moment of stunned silence when he found out Mewtwo was going to be in Smash Bros. 4.
  • Every previously playable Smash Bros character is commemorated in the 3DS version's trophies. There's Mewtwonote , and Pichu, and the Ice Climbers, and Wolf, and Lucas, and Pokémon Trainer, and Ivysaur, and Squirtle, and… and… where are Young Link, Roy, and Snake? (Dr. Mario also lacked a trophy in Brawl, but the blow is lessened a lot by him returning in the next installment.)
    • This had been alleviated by the confirmation of DLC characters being made available for Wii U/3DS, with Mewtwo confirmed on October 2014 (for release in April 2015), Lucas announced in April 2015 (for release in June 2015), and Roy announced in June 2015. Hope sprang eternal.
  • If you are a fan of Pikmin and main Olimar (or Alph) losing Pikmin can become this, especially when he is knocked out from the stage, as this cause all Pikmin to die. This can also be applied when they are killed by other players (or even Olimar himself, in order, for example, to block projectiles). Try to pintpoint it, they are putting their lives in peril just for letting Olimar win matches and even if he uses them as a Human Shield, they will keep on helping him.
    • On top of that, their new up special in Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U encourages throwing away Pikmin to lighten the load.
    • Similarly, when playing as Rosalina, losing your Luma can qualify as this, especially considering the fact that Rosalina considers the Lumas to be her surrogate children. The cry that they make upon being knocked out doesn't help matters. The sting is lessened somewhat by the fact that they become stars afterward, however.
  • The ending picture for Peach in All-Star mode in Wii U. It shows Pit and Sheik lying around an unconscious Peach, making it look like she's dead.
  • In Lucas' reveal trailer, just before the ending shot, it shows Lucas approaching one of his alternate colors on the Onett stage. The recolor is of his twin brother, Claus. It just zooms in on both of them staring at one another before cutting to the final shot. No fighting, no taunting, nothing funny. Just two brothers seeing each other once again.
    • Perhaps even more emotional is a scene earlier in the trailer, showing Lucas fall on the ground in front of another alternate color. This time, it's the new costume based on the Masked Man, aka brainwashed Claus, who also is holding a Beam Sword, and Lucas is equipped with a Franklin Badge. Basically, the final battle of MOTHER 3.
    • Also in the trailer, watching Ness get repeatedly smacked around by the other fighters can be quite sad to watch. Whether he's suffering from homesickness like he does in Earthbound or he misses Lucas is anyone's guess.
  • Though Ganondorf's "hurt" sound is pretty humorous if you don't really listen for it (It sounds like "Ooooohh"), putting on headphones/earbuds (or listening very hard) reveals a very pained breathing noise after the mentioned "oh", almost wheezing. It's very jarring to hear and rather out of place. He may be the king of evil, but…
  • Many of the remixed songs sound absolutely epic. Destroyed Skyworld on the other hand, has a chorus added to it that only makes Pit seeing everything he ever stood for fall apart in Chapter 20 when Palutena attempts to kill him under the Chaos Kin's control even more heartbreaking.
  • Another stage included is the Pyrosphere, where many Metroid fans witnessed Samus' infamous breakdown in front of Ridley's clone. Just Samus being back on the BOTTLE SHIP is bad enough, considering it's where Adam Malkovich sacrificed himself and her whole objective there turned into a "Shaggy Dog" Story, but then she has to relive the location where she confronted her arch-nemesis, lost contact with Adam, and almost lost her federation buddy, Anthony Higgs, in that order. And sure enough, to add insult to mental injury, the Ridley clone is alive and kicking as well. It's a cruel reminder to Samus of her greatest failure, and it's a testament to her stoicism that she doesn't immediately break down crying after the match is over.
  • The fact that the DLC fighters don't have individual Palutena-Pit conversations is pretty heartbreaking if you think about it, since Pit apparently doesn't remember Lucas despite them both being in Brawl and fighting in the Subspace Emissary. What the heck happened?
    • A consolation in Bayonetta's trailer implied that we'd get more Palutena's Guidance conversations, seeing as they spend time talking about Bayonetta's powers.
      • But no, Bayonetta & Corrin came out and they didn't get such in-game conversations.
      • And since the patches are officially over... we can say Pit did forget Lucas.
      • Similarly, Pit also doesn't recognize King Dedede, despite the fact that he saved the world.
    • There is No Fourth Wall in Kid Icarus. Pit, who is very well aware that you're watching these conversations to get a laugh, is most likely putting on a show and pretending he doesn't recognize the other fighters.
  • The final two variants of Cloud's Advent Children outfit removes the sleeve covering his Geostigma infection to reveal the ribbon he wears in memory of Aerith.
  • Depending on who you ask, certain characters not making it into Smash after the ballot can be kind of heartbreaking. Sure, there's always next game and some characters did make it as costumes, but it's only so much of a fix.
    • Snake's exclusion in particular can be hard to take, because of Konami's recent dealings with the gaming market. His 3rd-party status doesn't help, either. 1st-party Nintendo characters like Wolf and the Ice Climbers have a reasonable chance to return in a future Smash installment, but Hideo Kojima has left Konami and he was the one that vouched for Snake since Melee. Only time will tell if he'll be seen in this series again.
  • Ridley's reveal trailer shows him literally murdering Mega Man and Mario. It's kind of hard to watch when you see many peoples' childhood heroes unceremoniously impaled brutally. Granted, Mega Man could easily be repaired given he's a robot, but Mario? If it weren't for the fact that the characters are all alive and playable, everyone would have to assume the worst.
    • On top of that, Samus' fear of the monster, though not as crippling as it was in Metroid: Other M, is still apparent. Once you get over Ridley's reveal and the on-screen deaths of two of gaming's biggest heroes, what we're left with afterward is a girl who just came face-to-face with the monster responsible for her parents' deaths and is desperately trying not to lose it at the mere sight of her childhood terror. Thankfully, she's still willing to take him down, even without the Power Suit.
    • Also consider what must be going on through the mind of not just Samus after having lost both Mega Man and Mario to this monster in a heartbeat, but one other person who's also there. Cappy—Mario's trusty cap companion—is undoubtedly paralyzed in fear and anguish after what happened to his new friend and from being unfortunate enough to get caught up in the sadistic claws of said friend's murderer…
  • A meta example: People have been harassing Sakurai for not adding Waluigi to the roster, making him an assist trophy once again. It's gotten to the point that he started blocking users. To see someone harass a man who puts so much love into the characters and games that he creates... it's just cruel.
  • Another meta example: Even though some reactions to characters getting in as mere Assist Trophies are a bit overboard (see the first meta example on that note), it's understandable on paper. A character someone desperately wanted to be playable getting relegated to a minor role, whether it's due to lack of recognition, potential moveset, or just because they didn't think to make them a fighter, can dishearten even the most diehard Smash Bros. fanatics. Bomberman probably got the most genuinely heartbroken reactions out of everyone when they learned he was made an Assist Trophy, though the returning Lyn and Waluigi are close contenders.


Alternative Title(s): The Subspace Emissary

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