Editorial: I Am a Big Crybaby

Lately I have found myself riding the masochism train, dwelling upon all of the sad, sappy and sentimental moments in my favourite games. I can freely admit (because I am a girl and no one cares) that some games, some moments, have moved me to tears.

It really sucks to be Yuri Hyuga
It really sucks to be Yuri Hyuga
The moment that moved me most deeply was probably the ending of Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Like the original Shadow Hearts, it has two possible endings, one considered the “good” ending, and the other of course being the “bad” ending. In this case, though, both endings suck. It is a choice, essentially, between the physical or spiritual death of the main character. The player must choose whether to allow Yuri to be killed at the end of the game, or to live on and suffer the effects of the Mistletoe curse, which will eventually consume his soul and deprive him of all of his memories and sense of self.

I realize that there are moments in gaming history that are in fact more tragic, more gut-twistingly sad. I think that the end of SH2 got to me so deeply because I played SH1 and SH2 back-to-back and after approximately 50 hours spanning both games, I was particularly fond of and attached to Yuri.

So, readers, what do you think? Do the old classics get to you, like Aerith’s death? Are you one of those people who simply cannot play Lost Odyssey again? Were you like me, and completely traumatized by the first chapter of Mother 3? Did you sniffle when Thrall was reunited with his grandmother and bawl when Saurfang the Younger bit it? Or are you a stoic and unmoved by the trials and tribulations of polygons and sprites?

24 comments

  1. There are some parts of games which make one a bit misty-eyed. Lost Odyssey was PARTICULARLY grievous in this regard.

    Generally though, I find that particularly unsad parts get me. The opening sequence of Chrono Cross gets me every time. Bizarre!

    Maybe it is just nostalgia.

  2. I’m only at the second disc at Lost Odyssey, but I can relate to both of you. It is far more emotional than I expected. With both the main story and the dreams, I’ve been brought to tears.
    And don’t you “(because I am a girl and no one cares)” me! Emotions are universal!
    I have a soft spot for the Kingdom Heart series and, of course, the ending to Final Fantasy IX.
    Despite all these examples, I actually don’t cry often, and video games might even bring the phenomenon on more often than anything else in my life.
    …especially considering I almost cried my first time playing Flower…I think that’s embarrassing for ANYONE to admit.

  3. @Ethos: Every time you talk about Flower, you manage to say something that lowers my estimation of you further–a feat I scarcely believed possible until now.

  4. Kingdom Hearts? Really? REALLY!?!?

    I thought we could’ve been friends. :(

  5. We can be, Ginia. If Lusipurr hates on Grandia, you can surely understand how I feel about you hating on Kingdom Hearts.

  6. Pssh, whatevah! Kingdom Hearts is the shit!
    (Cue Lusipurr: “I think you meant to say, Kingdom Hearts IS shit)

  7. I’m more of a stoic myself. when Aerith died I couldn’t stop grinning. “Who are sick NOW, you bimbo!” …maybe that’s not so much stoicism as it is being a prick. well, whatever fits.

    gotta admit though, Square almost got a tear outta me. I didn’t much like Aerith but then I realized as Cloud put her in the water (and after I pondered why nobody thought to use a phoenix down) that my main healer just died. that hurt.

  8. haha, I was actually going to put the ending to Kingdom Hearts 1 before I started reading the comments. That’s probably the closest a game’s gotten to getting me to cry, even if it didn’t make any sense. Personally, I haven’t found a game that makes me all-out cry yet (not being manly, I’ll usually cry at the drop of a hat), but there are definitely some emotional game endings out there, and I love a well-done sad ending as much as anybody.

    Also, I thought the ending to FFX was really well done and almost found myself tearing up when I watched it again a few weeks ago. For my money, the part right at the end where Tidus high-fives (or low-fives, as the case may be) Jecht is a pretty perfect final shot for that game, contrived as it may be (I know it wasn’t the actual final scene of the game, but it’s where the main storyline wrapped up).

    That being said, something about Lost Odyssey just didn’t mesh with me at all. I realized all the parts that I was supposed to be sad, but I just didn’t have the connection with the characters that everybody else seems to have gotten. I wish I did, it probably would have made the game a lot more enjoyable :f.

  9. @Darth: The saddest parts of Lost Odyssey are the various dream sequences, which are sad in and of themselves, and not because of any relation to the characters–in fact, the dreams are only tangenitally related to the characters in that Kaim is the observer-narrator of them.

    The other exceptionally sad section is the death of Lirum within moments of her being reunited with her long-lost father. Of course, any emotional impact is promptly squandered by a series of repetitive fetch quests.

  10. At the end of Call of Duty 4, I actually got really upset not know the outcome of Captain Price. He is there pretty much the entire game as a sort of mentor to your character in the British SAS, and being one of the most badass characters in video game history. I mean, how can you argue with someone you runs around a firefight smoking a cigar?
    To see him shot and laying on the ground with medical personnel hovering over him before the screen goes black and to credits was quite upsetting. I only hope his fate is announced in the new game coming out.

  11. I agree that Shadow hearts 2 was very moving emotionally, but I found the Alice sceen much sadder then the ending.

  12. @Lusipurr: Yeah, I will say I got a much better emotional connection from the stories than from the plot proper. Maybe it’s because it’s so abstract and leave so much of the visualization to the player’s imagination, whereas I found LO’s graphics very “uncanny valley” (I think I commented on an article some time ago about how the “crying” effect in that game reminded me of zombiism).

    And yeah, I think the funeral scene and the 10-15 minutes leading up to it were the low point of the game for me. I have no idea how somebody on that development team didn’t say “Hey, wait a minute, this isn’t fun.”

  13. @Darth: True that. The cutscenes prior to the ‘funeral preparation’ are very moving. Pity that they are immediately followed up with some of the worst stuff in the game.

    I honestly hate that section of the game–not because the cutscenes are sad–but because the fetch quests and then the ‘Press ? button to burn ropes in particular order’ section is so stupid.

  14. @Ethos- KH>>>>>> Lost Odyssey and Grandia.

    -My saddest gaming moments would have to be the end of FFX and the death of Aeris.

    -The death of Lirum isn’t sad because no sooner do you meet her then she dies. You don’t really get sad game moments unless you first put in the effort to build up characters, otherwise they are mere plot devices.

  15. @SN – Glad to have you and Darth on my side about KH.
    And, usually I would make that EXACT same argument against Lirum, but for some reason I was very moved by those scenes, and I certainly didn’t expect it. I also can’t really explain it.

  16. By the end of the second disc the game hasn’t really done agood enough job of putting me in the head of Kaim, it’s almost as though in-game Kaim and 1000 years of dreams Kaim are two different people (1000 years of dreams was very very good, but only tenuously feels part of the game).

  17. @Lusipurr, anyone who doesn’t love the intro of Chrono Cross is without a soul! It’s freaking awesome. Even people who otherwise hate the game should be able to admit it.

    Also, I really thought the final battle (True Ending) in Persona 4 was really moving. As was the scene were a certain character (briefly) dies.

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