- The point where Jess and Mike hear the deer getting mauled. The poor thing was attacked and left near death. Mike can quickly kill the animal or comfort him until death comes. Getting close to a wounded animal such as a deer, even one that is almost dead, isn't a good idea. The thought was very kind of Mike though, considering how mean or goofy players can make him.
- Depending on your choices, you might get some heart wrenching scenes with Ashley and Chris. If you don't do anything when Chris is forced to shoot himself or Ashley, or have him aim the gun at himself, Ashley will later kiss him before he leaves with Flamethrower guy to get Josh. If you manage to get Chris killed by a Wendigo while he's running back to the cabin, the Wendigo will throw his decapitated head onto the porch for Ashley to see, causing her to fall to her knees in tears. In another scenario where Chris is still alive and you play as Ashley, if you fall for a Wendigo mimicking a human's voice it will lead to Ashley getting caught and decapitated. Chris may fall into the same trap later and, upon finding Ashley's beanie next to a pool of blood, he will break into tears and inconsistent blubbering, before the same Wendigo appears and gives him the same fate.
- Let's face it, whoever survives the game deserves a hug for how traumatized they are. The facial expressions and voices can tell the entire story, and if some live and some die, it showcases how much this comes into play during the police interviews at the end:
- Matt, should he survive the night, not only laments not being good enough to rescue Emily on the tower, but if Emily dies in some manner in the lodge, simply breaks down in tears.
- Emily, meanwhile, (if her relationship with Matt is high enough) can be utterly heartbroken if she believes Matt is dead, and nearly breaks down wondering if she could've saved him.
- Mike and Sam might hold it together better, but the way they can blame themselves for Jessica and Mike's deaths respectively make it clear how much they're hurting inside at that point.
- Jessica. Just... poor Jessica. The way she's all battered and weak by the end of the game, looking so drained and sometimes near the point of tears, it's just really jarring and heartbreaking to see someone who was so lively and perky just appear so broken.
- The way she quietly asks if Mike made it out alive can be a real punch in the gut if he died in the cabin.
- Her likely fate is so much worse if she's the Sole Survivor, which can be pretty likely given how she's separated from the main group and how difficult it can be to figure out how to keep Matt alive. Her experience of the night in that scenario has her dragged to and thrown down a mine shaft, experiencing bodily and head trauma that ought to have killed her, running into and being forced to evade the wendigos, which she had no way of knowing existed, and emerging only to find all of her friends have disappeared and the cabin destroyed. By the end she's shattered both physically and mentally, unable to comprehend or describe the creatures she saw. A Jessica with at least one other survivor has somebody who knows she hadn't simply had PTSD-induced visions and who could help her process her experiences, everyone else being dead makes the chances of her ever recovering from her trauma vanishingly small.
- Possibly even worse. Henry VIII had a massive personality change due to being unconscious for two hours after a hard fall from a horsenote . Jess is unconscious from 00:12am to 06:24am - that's 6 hours and 12 minutes, more than enough to cause major brain problems and personality changes; is she broken at the end... or has she been so damaged that she physically can't process anything anymore due to brain damage?
- With Ashley, if Chris dies after his relationship with her has gotten much better, with her kissing him for good luck as he ventures out into danger, she will be devastated. In the interview at the end, in her grief, she will say that maybe they never really had a chance.
- Though he spends a lot of the game being a bastard (albeit not For the Evulz), it's rough watching Josh having a psychotic break in his last non-credits scene, thanks to how viscerally out of his mind with fear and despair he is through the experience, plus potentially finding his best friend's decapitated body (if Chris was killed by a wendigo) in the mines.Josh: (practically sobbing) I didn't... I didn't want you to die!
- To make matters worse, it's impossible for Josh get so much as a bittersweet resolution to his story. He never gets the chance to try working through his issues again or make amends for his actions; he just either dies horribly while still hopelessly insane, or suffers a Fate Worse than Death. Even worse; Josh dies thinking he is, at the very least, the reason Jessica is dead. He never learns that she makes it out (if she does). Josh ends up blaming himself, not only for the deaths of his sisters, but for Jessica's, too, and potentially the rest of his dead friends. Indeed, Josh really seems to lose the last vestiges of his sanity once he learns Jessica is "dead".
- Face it, Rami Malek's voice acting in the second act is sad to listen to especially in contrast of how he is in the first half. Especially when he gets dragged into the mines.
- Hannah's fate. Left at the bottom of a mine for over a month with her twin sister's dead body, freezing, injured, and starving, she has no choice but to eat Beth's corpse to survive, unknowingly starting the process of turning into a Wendigo. All the poor girl wanted was for her crush to like her back.
- Beth's fate is just as tragic! She never did anything wrong. All she did was try to help her sister and she wound up dead at the bottom of a mine, with her sister who was slowly starving. Then to add insult to injury her sister was forced to EAT her body to sustain herself. Like she hadn't already given up enough for her sister. Made especially worse by the fact that if she hadn't gone after her not only would she have survived but in all likelihood either her sister would've died a swifter, more peaceful death or at the very least not turned into a Wendigo. Heck, she might've even made it! If only she had grabbed onto the branch off the ledge it might not have broken and they might've both lived! In fact even if Hannah had made it as far as the cliff and fallen she still survives even in the original scenario (with injuries), so as long as she was found in time before hypothermia or starvation got her....and with Beth alive maybe she would be more likely to be found (can't see Beth quitting on searching for her easily) and the group as a whole a year later found more evidence than the police ever did
- To make it worse Beth very nearly avoided said fate, It happens in the space of a few seconds and is easily missed but watch carefully the segment after she and Hannah have just crossed the bridge (where the phone gets dropped): While neither can see the cliff edge through the snowstorm or even seem to realize its there until it's too late, by co-incidence Beth initially swerves to the right- AWAY from the cliff , but Hannah who is running slightly ahead, possibly not expecting her sister to suddenly change direction, and scared out of her mind doesn't notice in time and continues straight (towards the cliff edge). Beth glances over, realises they're about to get separated, and quickly changes direction again to follow her. If Hannah had followed Beth rather than vice versa, they wouldn't have ended up on the cliff edge and might both have lived. Also just before they both run you can see them reach for each other and briefly hold hands but they almost immediately let go when they start to run, if they'd just kept hold of each others hand while running Hannah would have been pulled in the direction Beth was going and likely automatically followed her lead.
- Should Sam and Mike find out what really happened to Hannah and Beth, Josh spots the shoulder tattoo depicting a butterfly on the attacking wendigo, realizing much to his horror that it's actually his sister, Hannah. Instead of dying, he is dragged back into the mines, helplessly screaming in terror. We then get treated with a shot of Mike hiding out of sight, knowing it's too dangerous to go back and rescue him.
- The entire game is a tearjerker for the Washington family. Since the remaining child, Josh is either killed or turned into a wendigo, the family is destroyed over the course of a single year, all because of a prank. To make it worse; at least Beth had a chance to save Hannah. Imagine how Josh would've felt knowing he was so close to the action and he could've helped! Beth even tried to wake him! Imagine the guilt he must've felt.
- When Josh is revealed as the psycho and he explains his reasoning for pulling the prank, you get this line to make you wince:Josh: I mean, how does that feel? Right? How does it feel? Do you enjoy feeling terrorized? Humiliated? I mean, panicked? All those emotions my sisters got to feel once, one year ago? Only guess what? They didn't get to laugh it off! No! Nope! No, no, no, They're GONE!
Sam: Josh, your fingerprints were all over this. It was obviously you.Josh: Oh, really? Really, really, really?Sam: You're crying out for help, Josh! Come on, you wanted to get caught, didn't you?Josh: Oh, sure. I'm totally just crying out for help. "Help me! Oh, help me! Help, help..."
- And if Sam finds all the clues that show that Josh is the psycho, you get this heart-wrencher:
- The way Emily sobs Matt's name throughout her whole trek alone, from the radio tower to the icy mines. She feels immense grief for him and you can hear it every time she says his name.
- Late in the game when Sam and Mike are searching for Josh, they stumble upon a room where the Killer keeps their victims strung up like trophies. Depending on whether or not the players actions resulted in Jessica, Matt, Chris, Emily, and/or Ashley getting killed, Mike and Sam can potentially discover the dead bodies of all of their friends. No matter what happens, their reactions are always devastating, with Sam screaming in horror, while Mike nearly throws up from the sight of his dead friends. There's also Mike's reaction if he sees Jessica's decapitated head; all he can do is point and stutter out: "That's... that's Jessica..." And, when Josh and Mike walk through the room filled with bodies, Josh will exclaim "No...NO! I didn't want you to die..." For a guy who's already lost his sanity over the guilt and grief from his sister's deaths, seeing the dead bodies of his friends (especially if Chris has died, considering they've been best friends since third grade) is absolutely devastating. And while it was pretty irrational for him to blame himself for what happened to Hannah and Beth, considering he was physically unable to help, all of the other deaths that have happened up to that point are technically his fault... Then he is either killed by his own sister or turned into a wendigo
- After Josh reveals himself to be the Psycho, he slips into his usual jokey emcee humor-except now he's gloating about what a great puppetmaster he is. It's almost hilarious how confident he is about the whole thing, until Mike yells that he killed Jessica. Rami Malek's acting just sells his shaken, quiet little "...What?" perfectly. From there on out, Josh seems more and more unstable, giving the implication that thinking he really did kill one of his friends pushed him off the edge completely.
- Emily possibly being shot by Mike in the basement. Love her or hate her, you can't help but feel sympathetic to her situation. She's finally made it back to what she think is safety after getting separated from Matt who could have left her die, doing a grueling run through the mine, where she finds Beth's head and is chased and injured by a wendigo, only for one of her friends to accuse her of transforming into a monster, have her ex-boyfriend point a gun at her head, and the one person who believes she is okay isn't actually doing anything to help stop it. By the end of the scene, she is curled up in a heap on a desk, tearfully begging Mike not to kill her. And if Mike does kill her, it's eventually revealed that the wendigo bites aren't infectious. Emily died for nothing.
- Even worse when you notice the small detail in the background if Chris if you choose to shoot Emily, doesn't take it well. You can actually see him on the verge of a breakdown. He canonically sees the most deaths of anyone on pretty much any route taken. No matter what he ends the night broken.
- Poor Josh waking up from a drunken blackout to find both of his little sisters are gone. Just like that, he wakes up to a totally different reality. Worst hangover ever.
- Chris and Ashley watching the prank video. Ashley even notes that Hannah looks "so excited." It's tragic to see this shy, introverted young girl beaming hopefully at the prospect that her crush has reciprocated her feelings, only to be humiliated by the people she considered friends. To make matters worse, the final shot of the video is a still frame of Hannah smiling, and the camera lingers long enough to make you feel really, really bad about what happened to her.
- The game can essentially be described as "Josh's life being destroyed by mental illness". Since he was 11 he's been passed around psychiatrists putting him on ineffective antidepressants, with it being possible given the nature of the psychiatric system and his age at the time that depression wasn't even his only condition or that he was improperly diagnosed entirely; a lot of fan theory and interpretation holds that he either actually or comorbidly suffered from schizophrenia and the drugs were making his hallucinations worse, but he began self-medicating in desperation to stop the waking nightmares. Neither medication nor withdrawal can have mixed well with the whiskey he's passed out drunk on at the beginning of the game... which leads to his sisters' deaths from a Deadly Prank. And his attempt at avenging them with a prank of his own? Only pushes his friends farther away, possibly getting himself and all of them killed by Wendigos. His life really sucks.
- Even though he faked his death, especially considering that he still watched his best friend theoretically choose someone else over him in a life-or-death situation, it's still sad to see Josh panic and beg Chris to save him as he's facing the circular saw. He even states "what did I do?" multiple times before the saw gets him.
- It's all but explicitly confirmed that, whatever his illness is, Josh is off his medication during the game, which has led him to either genuinely believe that his prank, of invoking horror movie tropes to bring his friends closer together, was harmless and all in good fun or just... not really have it in him to care otherwise. All of that happens at the point in time when he and his friends are LEGITIMATELY in the midst of a situation straight out of a horror movie.
- Hannah causes her own transformation into a Wendigo by total accident - not by eating her sister, but by moving from where they fell. The police said they searched the mountains - and if she'd stayed where she was, she'd've been seen when they explored. But she didn't - she moved location and became Wendigo-fied.
- And then she essentially causes her brother's transformation.
- If Chris is the Sole Survivor, he gets additional dialogue about Josh. The interviewer mentions Josh, and Chris sniffles, looks away, and then looks back at the interviewer, asking "What about him?" in a painfully vulnerable way - keeping in mind that everyone else has died and despite the horrific "prank," Josh has been his best friend since childhood, Chris clearly had wanted to go back and save him, and it is hinted when Josh revealed the prank that while angry Chris, understands Josh is not currently in his right mind. The interviewer says they haven't found his body and and Chris's face immediately crumples, realizing that he completely failed to save his oldest friend, they haven't miraculously found Josh alive, and in a very quiet voice, sadly concludes the wendigo must've dragged Josh into the mines for a Cruel and Unusual Death. Talk about yanking the dog's chain.
Tear Jerker / Until Dawn