While there are plenty of games to focus solely on gameplay, design, and mechanics, what sets many games apart are their memorable characters and stories. In the many hours of which players are plugged into their systems, addictive narratives and/or gameplay intend to keep them determined to finish their journeys to the end, to be rewarded by progressing and completing the story themselves.
Though consumers usually expect to finish their heroes’ expeditions, rescue missions, or whatever else may be the case, certain games have left players with a feeling that, despite all their efforts through the story, things just don’t always work out the way they should.
The friendly and warm puzzle adventure games are known for not shying away from having an emotional core. Players come to love the game’s characters, particularly its namesake, the kind, intelligent, and curious gentlemen that is Professor Layton.
In the third installment of the series, Layton’s past is finally revealed, having been a relatively mysterious and private character. When it is revealed bit-by-bit in flashbacks, it all comes to a head as the Professor is forced to re-live his trauma from the past. For the first time in the games, not only is he is shown crying and shouting, which is bizarre, as Layton is known for always keeping a level head, but he also takes off his hat for the first time on screen to mourn. As any PL fan is aware: Layton makes it a point never to take off his hat. This has caused many a player young and old to break down into sympathetic tears and the character.
Time travel and interdimensional misadventure are sure to complicate any narrative, and Bioshock Infinite, adamant about having twist endings, leaves the player with a sense of loss. The protagonist, Booker DeWitt, is forced to sacrifice his life upon knowing that his alternate self is also a ruthless dictator.
Multiple versions of Elizabeth drown him in in a lake where he had previously attended a baptism. This seems to fix the timeline, and multiple Elizabeths disappear, leaving on a heavy note.
An emotional ride throughout, this autobiographical video game doubles as a way to cope and upholds the preservation of precious memories, even if it means remembering the bad ones, too. Its style has an edge of childishness in its simplistic yet imaginative designs, settings, and bright colors. It tells the story of the game developer, or rather, his toddler son, as he is effaced with terminal cancer.
Rather than focusing on the tragedy, the ending offers the player a moment where they can see the child off before death, for him to be happy, healthy, and safe in a peaceful forest. The final goodbye is one of the most ultimate tearjerkers.