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Tear Jerker / The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

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Grandma, I'm back! How are you...o-oh...

  • The point where Tetra is revealed to have really been Princess Zelda all along. Just... that music and her parting words.
  • Everything the King says just before and after the final battle. Making the player not want to save Hyrule is quite something, especially when you think it was a potential final game in the series.
    "I have scattered the seeds of the future."
    • Ganondorf's speech just before said final battle. While he was doing it all wrong, all he really wanted was for his people to stop dying…
      • At least, prior to getting a taste for godhood.
      • An alternate interpretation of his death quote can make him feel kind of sympathetic in light of his goals; almost as though, in his dying moments, much like the King, he's realized Link as a hero of a magnitude similar to the Hero of Time. From there, he realizes that in some way, shape, or form, he will bring Hyrule back to life — and ultimately, he did.
        "The wind... it is... blowing."
      • The above quote can be viewed as a tear-jerker or Fridge Horror, depending on which "wind" you think he's referring to. The tear jerker option is the wind that blew through Hyrule — the one he was referring to in saying "I coveted that wind, I suppose" — and it's kind of nice to think that, regardless of what he did, he got to experience it one last time before his death. On the other hand, he could be referring to the wind that blew through the Gerudo Valley — the destructive wind. Either is an entirely feasible option since Hyrule has been restored for some small amount of time while Link's been fighting through the castle... but it's also true that Hyrule is pretty much screwed at this point. Or for an even more profound option, one can consider Ganondorf's acknowledgment of the wind as him accepting his death, again tying into the destructive winds of Gerudo Valley.
      • There's also the fact that if you've played Skyward Sword, you'll realize that Ganondorf is the incarnation of the demon king Demise's hatred. Think about it; chances are, Ganondorf most likely would have just been a Gerudo desperate enough for his people to survive the harsh desert winds to try and make a complaint to the King of Hyrule at the time, probably come to an agreement, and that would have been the end of it. But Because Destiny Says So, Demise's hatred for the goddess and her hero caused him to seek out the Triforce for these ideals, twisting his noble desire into a thirst for power. His willingness to hold back during his battles with Link and Tetra (Zelda) was probably a sign of him getting fed up with his destiny. He's lived a long time at this point, long enough to see the end of Hyrule, and just wants this accursed conflict to be over with; he's tired of this ceaseless struggle. Him happily walking towards the completed Triforce is him finally seeing the goal he'd been searching for all these years, and then it's cruelly taken away from him. In his Laughing Mad berserker state, it is implied that he's perfectly willing to kill the two heroes at this point; but it could also be seen as him wanting at least one good thing from this. Namely, one final fight with the heroes — in this case, the Link and Zelda of the current era — before his final death in this timeline.
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    • Making things worse: the look on Link's face after he drives the sword into Ganondorf's head. Logically, a death wound like that would get blood everywhere, including all over Link.
  • Also when Prince Komali arrives to find Medli has left (to become a sage, although he doesn't know that). What makes it worse is when you come back, he's still waiting for her to return, to give her a flower. Come back even later, and the flower's wilted… but he's still waiting. Fortunately, Komali and Medli were seen among the search and rescue party for Link and Tetra at the game's end, subtly implying that they have finally reunited at last.
  • Link's poor grandmother and her nightmares once you return to her. Accompanied by this music. It's even worse when you talk to residents of Outset Island about her condition.
    Sue-Belle: "Your grandmother has been having a terrible time of it ever since you left. She rarely leaves the house, and as far as I can tell, she just spends her days sleeping. She hardly eats..."
  • The first time you enter the sunken Hyrule Castle, but before claiming the Master Sword. Everything is frozen and grey. The castle is in ruins, overrun by monsters. And that creepy, sorrowful reed music that plays in the background.
    • The statue of the Hero of Time. It's so easy to think of the events of these games as being restricted only to the space of their specific story, but seeing that statue, the sheer reverence to which his memory is held to, was an incredibly moving moment. For the first time, the Hero's legend was more than just an abstract or reference to a vague history — Ocarina of Time is a story that everyone knows. There's something so hopelessly tragic about rewatching the end of that game, knowing Zelda believes indubiously that she is doing right by Link in sending him back in time so he can start his life over, having no idea of what's to come. It just really sunk in how terribly sad the history behind these games really is.
      • That statue is later broken upon returning. The icon of a beloved hero being defiled like that… It's inexcusable, and tragic, how something so significant of hope can be destroyed so shamelessly.
    • In the room that houses the Master Sword, the windows are decorated with the images of the Sages that were awakened in Ocarina of Time, showing that their sacrifices were not forgotten by the people of Hyrule. It's as if reuniting with old friends...
    • They are remembered until the flood, at least, when everyone seems to think that the power of the Gods lies in the "Triumph Forks", a special golden set of eating utensils.
    • And Link and Tetra are the last two people alive to see those windows. Was the significance of the images ever explained to them? Probably not. But hey, at least these sages' names live on in the Fallen Hero timeline, as the names of towns.
  • Going into the Forbidden Woods and realizing that it is all that remains of the forest the Hero of Time grew up in. One of the Koroks even outright states that the houses you find in there were the homes of the Kokiri before monsters moved into the woods and they were forced to leave it.
  • Departure, which only plays two times over the course of the game — both equally heart-wrenching. The first is when Link sets out with the pirates, toward the Forsaken Fortress, waving to his Grandma, and the second… is when Link sets out with the pirates at the end of the game, beginning the search for New Hyrule. The positions are roughly reversed, with Aryll running the length of the dock to wave to him, as they set off.
  • Speaking to the Deku Tree, where it sinks in that this really is the Hyrule that Link saved in Ocarina of Time.
    • He's so nostalgic upon seeing Link's tunic that he begins speaking in ancient Hylian. It's been so long since OoT that the language spoken by the Hero of Time has completely died out and only the King of Red Lions, the Deku Tree, Valoo, and Jabun can speak it fluently anymore. Of course, they have an excuse, being that they were all alive either in or shortly after that point in time.
  • For a more Manly Tears example, when Link pulls the Master Sword from its altar. The music, the sight of that legendary blade, it just brings a tear to the eye.
  • Related to Skyward Sword's ending, even though by now she may be nothing but residual energy in the Master Sword, this is the last time Fi will ever meet Link "in another life" (in this timeline, anyway) and is now entombed at the bottom of the sea forever.
    • Also, when you first find the Master Sword, it's drained of power. Fi is dying.
      • You leave her inside Ganondorf's head at the bottom of the ocean possibly never to be retrieved and used ever again.
  • And finally, when the king refuses to take Link's hand, instead choosing to drown with his kingdom in the belief that, as part of the past, he too should be left behind. He even reaches up for a moment to do it, but then slowly takes his hand back, and the last you see of him is him bowing his head with a look of deep regret on his face as Link floats back to the surface.
  • The king saying that he and Ganondorf were one and the same in that they were both bound to the memory of Hyrule. It's a little jarring to think that the companion who has watched over you and helped you during your whole quest could ever be similar to Ganondorf, but he has a point.
    • This entire scene is amplified by the existence of this track, appropriately titled Farewell Hyrule King. It's a somber remix of the castle theme from "A Link to the Past".
    • "This is the only world that your ancestors were able to leave you. Please... forgive us."
  • That look of stunned helplessness right after Link runs off a cliff trying in a blinded effort to save his sister. His mind was completely blank except for having to watch his only sister vanish over the horizon and being unable to do something about it.
  • The overall message of the game can possibly count as one of these as well. "Let go of the past and allow yourself to move on, or it will consume and destroy you." We see two very good examples of this in Ganondorf and the King of Red Lions, who were both unable to let go of Hyrule and so died with it.
  • Laruto is the only Zora we get to see in this game. She's also dead and only manifests as a ghost. It's been confirmed that the Rito are the descendants of the Zora — which may mean that Laruto truly was the last of the Zora, and that they are functionally extinct in this timeline. Her theme music is also undeniably very sad.
  • Fado's goodbye after you meet him in the entrance to the Wind Temple;
    "That Wind Waker you hold was used long ago to conduct us sages when we played our song to call upon the gods. In those days, it was always the king who conducted for us. Please... tell the king that I will continue to play, even in the next life!"
  • Just think about what Aryll had to endure while at the Forsaken Fortress. She is a very young girl, probably no older than 8 and was forcibly abducted from her home, from the place she's lived her entire life and brought to a fortress, cursed into perpetual night and locked in a cold, dark cell with two complete strangers. Who knows what she and the others went through in there? Did she spend her entire time here? Did she talk with the others? Were they forced to do hard labor?
  • The scene where Medli discovers she's the Earth sage. It isn't sad in the obvious sense, but it's a very somber moment. Complete with a Single Tear.
  • For the HD version, the disappearance of Tingle bottles after Miiverse's 2017 shutdown. In fairness, it's now the same as when you played it on the Gamecube, but for players who enjoyed the function, starting up the game and finding a sea empty of bottles from other players was quite a lonely moment.

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