It’s always an awkward moment when your mom/roommate/girlfriend/boyfriend walks in on you in a dark room to find you clutching a controller, sobbing like an X Factor finalist. They’ll never understand. They’ll never get why you’re so upset, or why the death or sacrifice of a video game character can have any emotional impact; especially when you express your pain by going on an in-game revenge-fuelled rampage as a result. But forget about them.
We understand. We know what it’s like to lose someone you’ve spent hours fighting with, or for. So this is our round up of the biggest tear-jerker moments. The I’ve-just-got-something-in-my-eye highlights that you simply can’t forget.
* * * S P O I L E R W A R N I N G ! * * *
Dragon Age Origin – Morrigan Leaving
Ok, to a lot of people this isn’t exactly a sad scene but it had a big impact on me. Dragon Age is one of my favourite RPGs and brought Bioware into a shining light for me. I got fiercely attached to my character as well as support characters and the romance merely added to this attachment. There were of course quite a few sad moments during the game, the one that hit close to the heart was Morrigan leaving my party just before the end. To have invested so much into the romance between the warden and Morrigan only to have her leave just before the final battle was nothing short of sad. It wasn’t just the fact she was leaving though, it was the fact that she genuinely didn’t want to go. As soon as the final battle came the next day and my character had to sacrifice himself, I was just numb. Even though the character I had spent hours playing with was dead and the kingdom was safe and happy, I felt hollow that he’d died alone.
Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – Farah’s Death
It was a truly harrowing moment to see the one human that was left in the game falling to her death. It wasn’t just that she was your ally, but that she and the Prince had bonded throughout the game. Sure she ended up abandoning him and stealing the dagger of time, but can you blame her? The Prince had already had one chance to end it all and ended up flaking out. That just adds to the sadness of the moment though, the Prince knew that he could have prevented this had he just listened to her the first time and plunged the dagger into the hourglass. I remember playing the game and just feeling hollow straight after Farah’s death, I didn’t even register defeating the enemies afterwards I was just going through the moments. Throw in the fact that Prince grasped the dagger by the blade to try and save her, blend in the battle scene after her death and the cut-scene where the Prince is crying over her body and you have one of the most heart-breaking moments ever in the history of gaming.
Shadow of the Colossus – Agro Falling
Unlike other games Shadow of the Colossus doesn’t build up to a depressing end or throw a sad moment at you in the middle of the game. SotC pretty much drops you in it from the start. It convinces you that you really are alone in this world. Your only companion in this huge, open and desolate world is your horse Agro. The story alone is pretty sad, a young man travelling to the edge of the world, to a secret ancient temple to bring the woman he loved back to life. Whereas with other games you bond with characters in the game such as your allies or love interests, in SotC the only thing you can bond with is your horse. You may not use him in every battle against the Colossi but he’s always there for you. When he’s taken from you it’s a moment that has stuck with me, despite how long ago it was i played the game. As you’re travelling across a bridge it begins to collapse and in a bid to save you, Agro throws you to safety on the other side. As Wander rushes to the edge, Agro is seen falling towards the water below as you cry out his name. Wander takes one last look down the ravine before continuing his climb to the last colossus, the rage at losing his beloved companion and friend fuelling his every step. Although Agro is shown to have survived during the ending scene, it still doesn’t take away the sting of the scene that I’ve ranked as one of the most heart breaking moment in video gaming.
Mass Effect 3 – Anderson’s Death
Although many had a problem with Mass Effect 3’s ending, none can dispute that the game was full of heart-breaking moments. The music throughout the game merely multiplied this sadness whether it was when Shepard was leaving Earth or when he/she failed to secure the artefact on Thessia. One moment that hit me strongest though was the death of Admiral Anderson aboard the citadel. A bullet hole in his chest, blood and bruises all over his body; you can tell Anderson is reaching his breaking point. When both Shepard and Anderson are sitting down looking out over Earth, you think it’s all over you think that they finally succeeded. However Bioware decided that they hadn’t thrown enough curveballs your way and quickly snatch Anderson way from you. His last words telling you how proud he is of you made me choke up. It doesn’t end there though. After having watched the death of a major character, Admiral Hackett tell you that nothing’s happened. You then proceed to watch Shepard crawl towards the control module not knowing what to do, close to giving up before collapsing on the ground and being taken up towards the…well special magical child thing where you are faced with three choices that all means the end of Shepard.
And the most emotional, heart-wrenching moment in gaming history is…
Mass Effect 3 – Mordin’s Sacrifice
No matter your choices, Mordin dies a hero. Either he sacrifices himself to finish his work on the genophage modification project. Or if you decided in the last moment to stop the spreading of the cure, you are forced to shoot him. In the back. The emotional impact is brutal either way. Shepard loses her/his best friend. It was a moment that lingered with me for the longest time. And the scene afterwards (if you opted to spread the cure), with Shepard meeting up with the krogans and those snowflake-particles softly falling over them was one of the sweetest and most soothing moments in the entire game. It left me with a sense of joy mixed with sadness. Mordin was gone, but he left an awesome legacy behind. I am not ashamed to admit it that I shed a solitary tear at the thought of my old friend running tests on seashells in the Salarian version of the afterlife.
This is just some of the moments that has hit me in the feelers over the years, there are many others and hopefully many more to come. Please share some of your most tear drenched gaming moments with us. We love to hear about them and we have paper tissues for everyone!