Videos can be heart wrenching and sad to levels that most wouldn't believe. They're often considered full of action and not expected to pull out moments that make it rain on the inside. Recently I was playing Mass Effect Andromeda, and there's this tiny little quest where you place some signal boosters around the planet. No fights or anything like that, just drive and drop it. However, they each come with a message from a young boy named Eric who is suffering from a terminal illness who wasn't able to make it for his father Eric Sr who had gone missing on a scouting mission. At the end of the mission Ryder sadly congratulates the two Erics, super tough Cora sobs and Liam turns away from the group and insists that it is raining, to which everyone agrees. That got me thinking about some of the other tear jerking moments in video games, so I sat down and made a list. Beware, there are spoilers ahead.
4. Saint's Row 2 - Carlos' Death:
Yep, Saint's Row is gonna make the list here. I know it's a goofy series, even the super gangster original. Then the sequel started getting crazy and by the time the third game rolls around the train has left the tracks. But, the game had it's serious moments still. Carlos was the younger brother of a Saints member from the original game and helps Boss break out of prison. After some pleading Boss allows him to become a member of the gang and tells Carlos "We'll make a banger out of you, even if it kills me." Carlos is tasked with helping take down The Brotherhood. His plan is to use radioactive ink on their leader's Marrow's next tattoo scarring him permanently.
This is when things go south. Marrow's girlfriend Jessica orders that Carlos be kidnapped. He's then snatched and tortured. The Saints look for him and eventually The Boss receives taunting phone calls and we track down Carlos. Carlos is being dragged through the city chained to the bumper of a truck. Boss tries to break the bumper and the chain but can break neither. This is the first time we see Boss break and show any emotion other than anger, he tears as Carlos puts his hand on Boss' gun and nods. Boss performs a mercy kill on Carlos.
It's already sad because it's obvious that Carlos is a good kid with no business gang banging. Then for the first time we see this sociopath of a character show emotions. Other characters had joked that he doesn't laugh, show fear or compassion but here he is finally breaking down and crying while holding Carlos' dead body.
3. Red Dead Redemption - John Marston's Death:
In Red Dead Redemption you play as the embodiment of wild west bad ass, John Marston. Throughout the game he cooperates with the US Marshalls, predominantly Edgar Ross. They have taken John's wife Abigail and their son Jack. They want John to track down a man named Dutch from John's old gang and kill him, only then will he get his family back. John agrees of course.
You have the option to be a piece of crap, but canonically John is a good man at heart. He doesn't cheat on his wife and values family above all else. It's revealed that John Gave up a prosperous life of crime to live a quiet family life. He does whatever is necessary until he finally track down Dutch. Dutch dives off of a cliff and that's enough for Edgar Ross to send John's family home. We get to ride directly to John's farm from there as the music plays.
Now reunited with his family John goes back to work as a farmer and raising his family. Things are going great until Edgar Ross and an entire brigade made of members from the Bureau of Investigations and US Marshalls. John sends Abigail and Jack off to safety away from the gun shots on his fastest horse. Uncle (Not his real uncle) is killed in the shootout and John is cornered in the barn. He calmly walks out and Edgar Ross taunts him. The game goes into Dead Eye mode and you think all will be well because this is how John has escaped other situations. But it's not because as soon as the John gets the first shot off dozens of men fire at him and kill him.
Jack turns the horse around because he expected gun shots, but hearing dozens of men empty their clips simultaneously means trouble. He arrives to see his father and uncle dead. They bury John on the hill and not much longer Abigail dies as well due to illness and leaves Jack Alone. The added sadness is John and Abigail did everything they could to make sure Jack didn't end up an outlaw like John. Jack was going to be a writer, instead he tracks down a retired Edgar Ross and tells him "You killed my father, prepare to die," before murdering him and becoming an outlaw as well.
A lot of people hate Jack but if you play as him, you'll realize he's suffering from some serious depression likely stemming from PTSD. For the record, I'm not a psychologist. I just notice he stops shaving, no longer cares what he wears and often will mumble things about dying alone and being disgusted with himself at one point after committing a murder saying "I wasn't always like this." It just adds another layer of sadness to John's death. Keep in mind, Jack is only around age 18 when we start playing as him and he's thinking about suicide and why his life means nothing, just about all the time.
2. Mass Effect 3 -Mordin Solus' Death:
People may have hated the ending to Mass Effect 3 but they'd be lying if they told you it didn't have countless moments that pulled at your heart. There's Thane dying and he may or may not be disgusted with his son becoming a mercenary like him depending on your actions. Jack has finally learned to care about others and is risking her life for children. But it's the big moments that really break you down.
The Genophage has been running wild on the Krogan population making most of them infertile. Only 1 and 1000 Krogan births actually result in a child being born and the population is slowly dying out. The Genophage was created by Salarians to calm the Krogan Rebellion and they've been trying to overcome it sense. One Salarian and former crew member is Mordin Solus, if you talk to him during Mass Effect 2 he'll tell you he doesn't care about curing it because Krogan are rowdy, battle hungry and not to be trusted. This is how just about every single Salarian feels.
However, Salarians only live for around 50 years. Mordin is getting old in Mass Effect 3 and is looking towards retirement. During this time he's created a small team and become focused on curing the Genophage. When asked why he changed his mind he list various reasons. He's old and the new generation don't care about Krogans at all, nobody else would take time to get it right, after teaming with Krogan he realized they weren't all about war anymore and most importantly he realized he was wrong for sitting by as an entire species faced extinction. After curing it, he wants to retire on a beach and collect seashells, maybe run some tests on them.
So we're going to disperse the cure but some Salarian's had tampered with the tower that spread the Genophage so that it would self destruct if anyone tried to reactivate it to spread a cure. Mordin doesn't care. Despite Shepherd begging and telling him they can find another way he takes the elevator to the top and dodges explosions before distributing the cure. He looks over his work and smiles. Mordin is a strange Salarian who enjoys entertainment and has been known to sing. On this occasion he sings "Salarian Scientist" a version of "Major-General's Song." As Mordin finishes the first verse of the song he's vaporized in an explosion.
The reason this was so sad is because for this scene to occur you had to have made a few choices and been through some serious stuff with Mordin. You had to survive a suicide mission. You had to become close enough to him that he would admit he enjoys singing and once helped create a children's show. Mordin is also never wrong, let that be clear. Here he was finally admitting he was wrong about something and wanting this to be the greatest accomplishment of his life. Only to never see it in full. I almost cried.
1. Sleeping Dogs - Jackie Ma's Death
I did shed a tear or two the first time I played through the game, and it still makes me upset to this day because I know people who's stories ended like Jackie's. You might know someone who's story ended like Jackie's. Jackie was Wei's childhood friend and helped Wei infiltrate the gang, rekindling their friendship along the way and becoming best friends. Things started going bad for Jackie in a lot of ways all at once.
Jackie was accepted into the Sun On Yee alongside Wei. However he was forced to kill a man. While Jackie had killed people before this time he did so at close range. This led to Jackie suffering some PTSD and wondering if he was bad person. Next, Jackie was arrested despite Wei doing everything he could to prevent it. After being released Jackie accompanied Wei to Uncle Po's funeral where they're attacked. He's kidnapped after the funeral and buried alive. Wei saves Jackie and they cry. Wei takes him back to the city where Jackie says he's done with the gang life. Only to be kidnapped, tortured and murdered on his way home.
We're forced to track down Jackie after being promised he's alive. Only to find Jackie hanging in an alley already murdered. We're not even given time to mourn Jackie's death as Wei is kidnapped and tortured immediately after finding the body.
Jackie's death is sad on a variety of levels. He was never meant for gang life as shown by how rivals literally walked all over him in some cases. He's not a fan of the violence and watching everyone die around him. The only thing he has going for him is loyalty. Then there's the guilt, Jackie was done, he was going to walk away forever, but Wei convinced him to show up to the election. Only for him to be murdered on the way. You can't help but feel guilty for getting your best friend murdered.
The combination of guilt and sadness is what breaks you. In the end it's not as if Wei really gets any closure on it either. The next time Wei wakes up to a nightmare it'll be about Jackie's death. Sure you kill the men responsible but that doesn't remove Wei's guilt and it doesn't bring Jackie back so you're stuck with that forever. In the DLC Nightmare in Northpoint Wei is somewhat haunted by ghosts of people he saw die. One of those is the ghost is Jackie who waves at Wei from the kitchen of the Golden Koi. He never escapes the death of Jackie and it resonates with him even after the main story is completed.
You can hear Darrell on the CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. He also plays classic arcade games on The Cabinet. You can also check out his playthrough of Sleeping Dogs or Skyrim
4 Saddest Video Game Moments Reviewed by Blerds Online on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 Rating: