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Tearjerker / Civilization

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  • In Civ V, the player gets to see unique "defeat" scenes for each civilization when you wipe them off the map, in which the civs' leaders react to their defeat and the loss of their empire. Some are stoic, some are angry and vengeful, aand some just... break down. Many of these are appropriately tragic as the leaders grieve for their losses, plus several of them have burning sounds and the sounds of screaming in the background and quite a few strongly imply (and in some cases outright state) that the leaders are about to be executed (and are well aware of this).
    • In some cases this is especially so if one can appreciate the Bilingual Bonus, as what the leader is actually saying doesn't always line up with what the text gives you. For example, Genghis Khan's text has him congratulating you on your victory, whereas he himself merely says "I await my execution" and hangs his head, totally dejected and resigned to his death. These also play when they're caught spying, which takes the edge off a bit, but they can still be quite emotional. Other particularly tragic ones include.
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    • We find Willem Van Oranje keening over his desk, praying to God for mercy on him and his people. This one hits especially hard because the voice actor does a very good job expressing his sadness; the guy sounds like he's about to burst into tears at any moment.
      • Even sadder if you know that these were reportedly his actual final words after being shot by an assassin.
    • Shaka of the Zulu, surprisingly. Upon being defeated, the Civ series' quintessential Proud Warrior Race Guy throws down his weapons and breaks down, for if his soldiers have failed then that must mean that he, in turn, has failed them.
    • Pacal of the Mayans spends much of his time claiming that his shamans have foreseen the apocalypse and that's it's coming soon. When you wipe him out, he falls to his knees and realizes that you are the cataclysm, which has brought destruction to his lands and death to his people. He refers to you as "the path to the black storm," and says that with you comes the "pain which is always hot." Again, while the sounds of burning play in the background.
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    • Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has some amusingly unhinged lines, but his defeat quote is just depressing: "It is over. Perhaps now I shall have peace, at last." Whatever's going on in his head can't be pleasant.
    • When you declare war, most of the leaders react with some variation of "bring it on". And then there's Darius of Persia, who recoils in shock, accompanied by the saddest war theme in the game, as if he knows he has no way of winning. It's a bit of a contrast with his arrogant behavior before that point.
      • It doesn't get any better if you're playing as Persia, either. Though they're no slouches at war, their bonuses are more focused around trade, culture, and golden ages. If you were going for a more peaceful victory condition but outside circumstances pushed you into war, Darius' theme can make you wonder whether something in your strategy has gone horribly wrong.
  • Civ VI once again brings back the animated and voiced defeat scenes, and with the far more expressive and animated leaders, they are even more of a Tear Jerker than ever.
    • Much like Willem Van Oranje in Civ V, a defeated Pedro II says his actual last words: "May God grant me these last wishes; peace and prosperity for Brazil."
    • Montezuma of all people sounds truly heartbroken when he is defeated, asking his gods for forgiveness that he was not strong enough to serve them.
    • After you defeat Spain, the normally haughty and self-righteous Phillip II staggers, drops his sword in shock, raises his hand to the heavens and asks, "Why, Lord? Why have you abandoned us?"
    • After conquering The United States, Theodore Roosevelt congratulates you with the most defeated tone in his voice, making it seem like admitting defeat is the most painful thing he's ever done
    • After you defeat France, Catherine de Medici calmly accepts her defeat and possible death. "I have lived long enough to know when I am defeated. Carry on." Even sadder if you know that, because she left long enough, Catherine outlived her husband and most of her children.
    • All those scenes are consolidated by a tiny detail. What's the text of the only dialog box you can click? Goodbye.
  • Speaking of Civ VI, Scythia's theme music stands out from the other civs' because even at its most powerful, there's a real sense of melancholy to it. Kind of underscores the fact that there isn't a Scythia anymore.
  • During the intro cinematic of Civ VI, we are treated to the story of a pair of seemingly immortal father and daughter. For most of the cinematic, we get to see the father as he joins various war campaigns throughout the ages, eventually meeting his end during a air battle during World War 2. The way the windows in his cockpit shatter and the camera pan down to a picture of his daughter is a heartbreaking sight to see
    • Doesn't get any less heart-wrenching in the intro for the Rise and Fall DLC, with the Father eventually succumbing to the Black Death all while poignantly talking about how just one disaster can unravel a great people. Although, like the base game it swiftly rebounds into heartwarming.
  • Meta-wise, we have the story of the Eternal War also covered on the Awesome page. A player called Lycerius wrote about how he had continued his Civ II game for ten years as an experiment, the result being a Crapsack World of massive proportions—but he was determined to bring it all to an end. After sharing the save file with other players, some succeeded. Then, one year after the original post, came an update from Lycerius himself which served as a huge Wham Episode. This comment by Mikuro sums it all up:
    Look over the past year and reflect on yourself, Lycerius.

    One year ago, you wanted peace and happiness for your people. You said:

    My goal for the next few years is to try and end the war and thus use the engineers to clear swamps and fallout so that farming may resume. I want to rebuild the world. But I'm not sure how.

    And now?

    what need would there be for my glorious Celtic Communist state to exist in a world at peace? How would I justify to the masses the need for brutal dictatorship and big brother’s watchful eye if there is no longer an external threat to protect them from? I couldn't. And so the external threat must be maintained of course.

    What happened to you, Lycerius? We trusted you!

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