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File:FFVIIsephirothkillsaeris 4185.jpg

Starting with the "iconic scene" on the left, Final Fantasy VII may very well be the embodiment of It Got Worse when it comes to Tear Jerkers in video games. You'd better equip tissues instead of swords, really.

  • The death of Aerith in Final Fantasy VII had many gamers literally bawling into their controllers.
    • This troper found herself crying when she first saw the scene...ten years after the game was released, and at least five years after she knew Aerith was going to die.
    • Seconded. This troper didn't even play the game until 2002, had already seen the scene on a friend's PSX, and *still* had to dry his eyes.
    • This troper didn't cry, exactly, but the scene hit home so hard that he was still in such shock at the power in that scene he lost the subsequent boss battle from inability to quickly respond to the attack.
      • This troper didn't lose the battle, but the 'Please Insert Disk 2' message probably stayed on my screen for a good 10 minutes as I kept expecting SOMETHING to happen to let me know it was going to be alright. Since this was back in the day, I kept thinking she was going to come back well into disk two and practically to disk three.
      • This troper was so shocked by the event that she stopped playing the game altogether, only continuing quite some months later.
    • This troper was also deeply affected when he chose to take Yuffie, of all people, into the City of the Ancients with him...and after Aerith dies, and the members of your party come forward to comfort Cloud...the previously annoying, perky, selfish thief hugs him, then runs away crying. Made the scene afterward, when she basically bitch-slaps Cloud and tells him he's not going after Sephiroth alone because of course they're all coming along, all the sweeter. It was this moment that convinced him Yuffie actually had a heart after all.
    • This troper liked Barret's reaction. Barret, basically being Cloud's best mate for the course of the game, walks to Aerith's body, looks for a second, and then places his hand on Cloud's shoulder. Having lost the woman he loved as well, Barret's reaction was very appropriate for that scene.
    • Hell, this troper was replaying the game when her mother happened to walk past at the exact time where her death FMV started. She had no idea what the game was, who Aerith was, or any of the build-up, and she still started crying. This troper had to pause the game and explain why that 'poor girl' died.
    • Everyone's reactions are tear jerkers, in a sense. Specially, when Tifa pays her respects by kneeling in front of the dead Aerith, caressing her face gently. She never hated Aerith, rabid bashers!
      • In addition to those already mentioned, I also found affecting Red XIII's mournful howl and Cait Sith's half-hearted attempts to cheer Cloud up.
    • While the whole FMV of Aerith's death of course made this troper cry, it was specifically the shot of her sinking slowly into the water and disappearing from view that turned on the major waterworks. Who cares that it's Faux Symbolism? That only adds to the sorrow.
      • This troper obtained Cloud's final limit before that moment, in order to have the satisfaction of unleashing it against said boss battle in a berserker rage, one-hitting it and getting some little revenge.
      • This Troper equipped Cloud with a Water Ring before-hand, so even when the rest of the party had been KO'd, Cloud kept fighting. It seemed very appropriate.
    • The fact that in the boss battle right after that scene, Jenova's music being replaced by Aerith's sad, slow theme is what got this troper. Screw knowing from the instant you picked up the controller that this scene was coming - hearing that tune after what just happened ripped my heart out.
      • This Troper too. Not to mention the precise timing of the start of the theme in the cutscene. Way to push the knife in.
    • This troper was caught off-guard by that battle and faced the one thing nobody would want after that scene: a party wipe. My response, I think, expressed the party's emotions as vividly as my own at having to watch her die again...said response being "GameShark-induced permanently-full Limit Break gauges." Given how furious a thrashing was dished out the 2nd go-round, this troper maintains that this is what should have actually happened.
    • I had a friend who played FFVII ten years ago only after her brother causally mentioned Aerith dies; determined to prove he was lying she played the game right to that part, learned the truth and never played the game again. She is nineteen now and still refuses to play past Aerith's death.
    • This troper still can't listen to Aerith's theme without tearing up again.
    • Even over seven years after playing through the scene, this troper still remembers crying so much that her hands were literally shaking as she swapped the discs afterwards.
    • Aerith's death was related to the death of a real person: Sakaguchi's mother, who died early in the production of Final Fantasy VII. This made Sakaguchi, the man behind the entire series, include a realistic death in the game as opposed to the Hollywood-style deaths in earlier Final Fantasy games.
      • This troper actually didn't get to play the game (she's born too late), but watched several playthroughs. The first time I saw this cried like hell, to the point my mother was starting to worrying that something really bad happened to me. And even now, I cry everytime I hear Aerith's theme, or her death is brought to the conversation.
    • What seems to really get this scene for people, even ten years after the game came out, at a point where everyone in the known world with an internet connection knows it's going to happen, is that it's just so dragged out and emphasized. A ton of people have seen the clip of Aerith getting stabbed, but what the billions of countdowns and the like that show it fail to mention is when Cloud has to fight against his own programming to stop himself from killing Aerith, how he cradles her in his arms and insists that his feelings matter too in the face of a completely sociopathic villain, her theme punctuating the boss fight, the other party members reactions, and of course Cloud letting her sink away into the water. It all lasts for a good ten minutes to the point where even when you know full well it's coming, it still punches you in the gut with how uncompromising it is that she is dead... and that bastard deserves hell for killing her.
    • This troper didn't like Aerith during her first playthrough, and was actually looking almost forward to her death. But when it actually happened, I was speechless. I could only watch in horror as the materia bounced down the stairs, and as her theme started. The tears came, my vision blurred, and then I went into attack mode to kick JENOVA'S ass. Aerith still isn't my favorite character, but I don't hate her either; in other words, she's a part of the damn team!
    • Anyone else cry at the idea of entering the house of Aerith's mother in Midgar?
  • This troper actually found Aerith's death scene second only to Cait Sith's prior Heroic Sacrifice. I mean, it ended up being Not Quite Dead, but it was still so touching...
    • What always got this troper was when the moogle tripped and Cait Sith fell on the floor, then turned to the camera and made that adorably cute shrug. "Even I can save the world!"
    • So this troper's not the only one? On my second play through the game I was pretty ambivalent about Aerith, but at Cait Sith's scene I actually started crying, even knowing the circumstances. I blame the music "Words Drowned by Fireworks' and the moment when he swings his arms cheerfully, then stops and slumps over for a second... Jeez, darn you, Square.
    • Alas, Poor Scrappy at its finest. I actually couldn't help but agree with what he said: another Cait Sith body may (and does) come along, but there's only one of this Cait Sith...and I was actually going to miss him.
    • Word of God says that Cait Sith's sacrifice was so blatantly played up, only to be deflated in mere seconds, intentionally to desensitize players to dying characters, making the player believe that this is a game in which nobody dies. The next scene is Aerith's going to you-know-where. Well played, Square.
  • I found Aerith's death pales in comparison to the scene where Tifa finally finds Cloud, after he fell into the Lifestream. "Great!" we all think, "He's in this town! ... In a hospital... Wheelchair bound... Nodding his head in a comatose state... completely unresponsive." Tifa is so broken up about it, she leaves the party, and your party consists of Cid as the leader. And you play that scenario, so the game's telling you that it's not joking around. That's what did it for me.
    • The moment Cloud rejoins the party had this troper crying just as hard as she did at Aerith's death. She not sure if they were tears of joy because Cloud's back, really back, as he has just gotten past his identity crisis, or tears of despair, because we've just been shown what a terrible childhood he had. Either way, this troper sobbed.
    • This troper feels like an asshole for not feeling much after Aerith died, but felt like collapsing with Tifa after she finds Cloud in his unresponsive state because it felt similar to someone being in a coma and you know they are there and alive but you can't do anything for them. Just having to imagine someone you grew up with your whole life and shared lots of happy moments together is now effectively brain dead makes me want to keep some of my own friends even closer.
      • This troper seconds that. The scene with Cloud in a coma is something more of us could imagine happening to us than Aerith's death. And while Cloud recovers later, considering this scene comes fairly soon after Aerith's death (which is a huge shock) a new player might well assume Cloud isn't gonna get better either.
      • The whole scene of Cloud's past. Having no friends as a kid, getting blamed for Tifa getting hurt... definite Tear Jerker.
  • Just about everything pertaining to Vincent is wibble-inducing to this troper. Granted, she's more attached to Vincent than is probably healthy, but let's look at the facts: He falls in love with a woman who doesn't return his affections, but instead shacks up with a mad scientist. Instead of holding it against either of them, he states "As long as she's happy...I don't mind". When she becomes very unhappy very fast (see: knocked up with alien baby), he does his best to avenge her, but is shot (and possibly killed, depending on what fanon you hold to). He's further subjected to an untold number of horrific experiments for an untold amount of time, and is cursed to transform into hideous creatures the moment his health get low, so he can't even put himself out of his misery. Once Hojo gets bored with him, he locks him in a coffin for thirty years, the entire time spent unaging, unchanging, trapped in a perpetual nightmare state, until AVALANCHE frees him (and even THAT depends on the player's ingenuity/walkthrough). And the kicker? He believes he deserves it all. Put the icing on the cake by showing him his lover insane, encased in crystal, and still not caring he's alive, and it's no wonder he out-Woobies even Cloud.
  • If you already knew about Zack/were playing the game through again, meeting Zack's parents in Gongaga. They wonder why Zack hasn't written to them, not knowing that he's dead.
    • It gets worse when you play Crisis Core: you know Zack's going to die, and you know his parents have no idea what happened to him. Oh, what's that? Zack just arrived in his hometown?
  • Another, though much more low-key, tearing up moment for this troper was in Cosmo Canyon, when after Bugenhagen clearly dies, Nanaki/Red XIII comes out to rejoin the others. Something about the cliche euphemisms (he'd left, gone on a journey, was tired and had to rest) seemed much more poignant coming from the well-spoken, rather innocent beast.
  • And then there's the scene in which Bugenhagen shows Nanaki his petrified father, Seto. It's stunning enough when Nanaki learns the truth about what his "coward" father actually did...but the scene after that, where he swears by Seto's name in begging Bugenhagen to stay alive, prompting Seto's tears to fall on Nanaki, just gets this troper to start bawling every time.
    • I replayed this game for the first time since 2002, and when I got to this scene, this grown man literally started crying when Nanaki started howling.
    • Oh God, YES! And on top of everything else mentioned here, somehow the description text for the Seraph Comb you receive after this, "Memento of father", makes me tear up every time I see it. And when the Fridge Logic sets in, and you realize that even though he's paralyzed in stone, Seto is left alive like that forever, never able to go home and be with his son... It was enough to make me want to role-play a scenario in which Aerith (who had either never died or was resurrected) unpetrified Seto, and he got to journey with Nanaki and fight by his side. Sadly, the RP never took off...
    • What gets this troper is when Nanaki starts referring to himself as "Nanaki, son of Seto!" He just says it with such pride...
    • Like with Aerith's death, the music here, the light piano reprise of the Cosmo Canyon theme, really helps drive it home.
    • This moment holds a rather special place in this troper's heart. I lost my father rather young, and after replaying the game, after watching this scene once more, realized what I had thought of my own father, and immediately forgave him. If it weren't for Seto and Nanaki, I might not have realized how much I loved my father. The tear from Seto's eye might have been the thing that got me.
  • Speaking of the music, this troper tears up every time he hears the main theme. Maybe he's just weird that way...
    • Ditto; it's something about the melody that plays right over the first overhead shot of Midgar.
  • Barret's complete breakdown after the sector seven plate collapses and crushes everything under it should receive a small mention especially since Biggs, Wedge and Jessie got killed in that situation. Also Dyne's speech just before his death.
    • Speaking of the Sector Seven Plate collapse, what always got me was watching the plate start to fall...from the point of view of the people looking up in horror; a TV broadcast from inside sector seven is abruptly cut off; and then we pan out from the horrific devastation until we see it from the point of view of President Shinra, who caused the mass murder and is watching it while listening to some mello opera. Bastard.
      • "Bastard" is an understatement.
      • Dyne gets one brief sentence? That hardly seems fair. This is an utterly broken man driven past the point of no return, convinced that everyone he knew and loved was dead because of his best friend, driven so insane that he wants that to be the case, to the point that he planned to kill his own daughter, then when sense is finally beaten into him, he knows that mania is just around the corner once more, throws himself to his death rather than risk the life of that same girl. Manly Tears indeed.
      • "Don't ever...make Marlene cry."
    • For this troper it was the breakdown itself that really got him. Barret just shooting hopelessly at the wreckage... That kind of body language only became possible (or, rather, memory-practical) when they made the switch to polygons, but this moment showed just how powerful it could be.
  • Crisis Core Putting aside a nonsensical plot, prequel-created plotholes, and not the best writing to be had, the doomed ending of Zack Fair has this troper suffer through Vietnam Flashbacks about playing through the ending a second time.
    • But before you even get to the inevitable foregone conclusion, Angeal's death and Aerith's subsequent comforting of the sobbing Zack is sure to send tears spiraling down your face.
    • Not only that, but when you also consider how close they where to Midgar before Zack died and got to see Aerith again after fove years... just thinking about it breaks my heart.
    • On the note of the the doomed ending, don't forget how the battle is interrupted every so often by the voice of your friends. As soon as this Troper heard 'Hell-oo' he had to pause the game for a bit. Of course, the choice of BGM didn't help either.
      • Even worse is that they use the initially normal-seeming interface of the limit break system to frame those soundbites, so the first time it happens, it can catch you unawares... but then instead of the usual clear but unvoiceacted mini-cutscenes that sometimes pop up, you get staticky video with likewise staticky voices, and the pictures on the reels start to dissolve. By the end, the only face remaining is Aerith's, jittering brokenly on the reels. Considering it's implied throughout the game that Zack's limits are activated and strengthened by his thoughts of his friends and loved ones... yeah. Just. Yeah.
    • This Troper can't listen to that song anymore without crying.
    • You Should Know This Already, but damn, Square know how to take one and STILL make it an immense Tear Jerker.
    • In Banora, this Troper was teary eyed from the minute you find Gillian Hewley's body. After that, Angeal just leaves and the clincher for me was the sad look on Genesis's face before saying "We are monsters" effectively leaving this Troper to deal with the fact that she's a baby.
    • Zack's simple line: "Those wings... I want them too." makes this troper go into a comatose shock of sadness.
    • Cloud screaming in despair when the first thing he sees after breaking out of his catatonia is his first real friend dying. The ending is depressing as hell.
    • When Cloud says, "Goodnight, Zack." and then walks away! T-T
      • This Troper saw the ending before playing the game and bawled like a baby - there were so many references to the original game (duh), and parts of Advent Children suddenly made more sense. It was like everything coming together - this Troper's friend didn't think it was THAT sad...
      • Same here. The ending pushes some Tear Jerkers of the game and/or the movie Up to Eleven.
    • This troper only cried once to a tear jerker and it was Zack's death on CC. It gets worse when Cloud says "I'll never forget you", and then you remember how Cloud denies Zack's existence during first half of the game, and you recall that remembering what actually happened isn't even part of the main storyline but a secondary quest, and then you need some serious quantities of Kleenex. The rest of the game was crap, but the ending made it worth the suffering.
      • I thought the game was great (am I the only one here who loved it?). The extra depth to Zack's death just made it more-so. To echo everyone else... you know it's gonna happen, and you can't stop it, but you tear up anyway!
    • This Troper was in shock after CC's ending, even though this Troper knew what would happen. It wasn't until the credits when this Troper started crying a lot of Manly Tears.
  • Cloud's breakdown at the Northern Crater. After being tormented and mind-screwed by Sephiroth since the start of the game, Cloud still turns to Tifa and sadly tells her "I hope you find the real Cloud". Made worse by the fact that Tifa, the only one who could snap him out of it, had been rendered mute by Sephiroth for the moment. This Troper cried more at his sad, ashamed resignation than at Aerith's death. The later revelations in Mideel have convinced This Troper that Sephiroth's actions throughout the first disk were nothing more than a convoluted revenge plan to emotionally crush the puny, unknown kid who managed to defeat him when not even SOLDIERs could.
    • For this troper, the worst part was Cloud begging Hojo for a number.
      • More when you analyze it. He pretty much hit rock bottom, he's a puppet, he doesn't have a real past, and all his drives and goals were just manipulations (at least he thought that) he failed to save the planet (by that point) he failed to save Aerith, he actually failed to become a first class SOLDIER, now his begging to at least be numbered, to be recognized as ANYTHING...and Hojo tells him he's even failure as a puppet...yeah, forget rock bottom, he was so down he was underground.
  • SEPHIROTH. I mean, in Crisis Core, you really see how much of a good person he was. He truly cared for his few friends. Watching that, and knowing what he becomes, was painful. When he told Zack "After this mission, I'm leaving Shinra." (because he doesn't want to hunt his friends anymore) THEN we find out it's to NIBELHEIM? I bawled. Also, every single scene with Zack and Aerith in Crisis Core. I mean, you KNOW it's doomed.
  • Surprised this hasn't came up yet: Elmyra waiting for her husband to return, and finally finding out from Aerith that he died on the way back from the war.
    • Agreed. This is the one part that's guaranteed to make me cry every time I play through it.
  • Was I the only one that cried when Cait Sith was telling Aerith that her and Cloud were perfect for each other?
    • That part was ruined for this troper because she also had Tifa in the party. When Cait Sith mentions that he doesn't want to say the fortune in front of the clearly distressed Tifa, Aerith encourages him to, replying 'Oh don't worry, I don't mind!'.
  • Dirge of Cerberus was full of this. To name a few:
    • The revelation of Lucrecia's backstory: Had this troper sobbing. This troper was still crying like a little girl.
    • The scene in Shinra Manor when Vincent sees a projection of Lucrecia and the first thing he does is try to hug her. Then she walks straight through him.
    • Shalua's sacrifice.

  "And remember... I'll always... Love you." *DEAD*

    • In a funny way, the demise of the Tsviets. While they have to be held responsible for their actions, the fact that they scarcely knew better make this troper tear up.
    • Nero and Weiss becoming one at the end of the game.

   Nero: "Let us become one. Let us come together, so that no one may ever tear us apart."

  • I can't believe Kadaj's death isn't here yet. This troper cries every time she sees that scene; first, Cloud catches Kadaj when he falls (still wonder the reasons for it, tho); second, Kadaj still calls Cloud "brother", and god, the way he does (and how Cloud is looking at him) starts to break me; third, and here's when I start to get teary eyes, Aerith comforting Kadaj (damn, Maaya Sakamoto did a good job), he thinks that it's his "mother"; and last but not least, when this troper is fully crying like a abandoned baby, Aerith telling Kadaj to go back together, and the last one, smiling and crying of happiness. And of course, having Nobuo Uematsu as music director, with the Awesome Music (or sad music) "The Promised Land".

 Aerith: Kadaj... Stop working so hard.

Kadaj: Mother... is that you?

Aerith: Let's go back with everyone.

    • For me, the tipping point is exactly that moment: When Cloud catches Kadaj and shows such vivid compassion for him -- this despite being a totally shutdown hero and so expressionless as to be almost a Heroic Mime. It's not only that Kadaj's death is suddenly, and unexpectedly, very sad, but also that Cloud suddenly shows enormous depth of character and as a character. His heroism is earned once and for all, and all the emo is swept aside, because he fights without malice or vengeance, and shows pity for the defeated foe. Not just pity, but sympathy--because he knows exactly what it feels like to be a puppet for someone else's agenda. It's that combo of heroic prowess and heroic insight (compassion) that brings about the classic catharsis. And all that is captured in one strange, small moment, when Kadaj dies in his arms.
    • Kadaj then says "okay" and his voice and expression is just so innocent looking that it's hard to believe this is the same psycho bastard who's been abducting children and antagonizing the good guys this whole film.
  • The talk about the Final Fantasy games reminds me of the 1960s horror classic, "Psycho". Janet Leigh's character was the one that audiences identified with and viewers did not expect her to die. Norman Bates kills her, and it shocked audiences who now had to identify with Bates which was even more shocking. It was unheard of in movies back then, just like dystopian and sad endings were unheard of, or the death of Aerith in FF 7.
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