Nintendo games aren’t exactly known for their deep story telling, but there have been times through the years where they have left players around the world feeling all the feels. It may have been tears of joy or tears of sadness, or maybe tears from laughing way too hard. Regardless of how it happened, here are 6 memorable times that Nintendo games left us in tears. Warning: Potential story spoilers ahead.
#6 Xenoblade Chronicles 2: “Brigid Can See”
Monolithsoft, which as an external development studio is 96% owned by Nintendo, crafted an incredibly touching story with Xenoblade Chronicles 2. I’m only going to pick one scene from this game to keep a little variety in the article. But let’s be clear, I could write an article titled ‘6 times Xenoblade Chronicles 2 brought us to tears.’ There are so many good moments in this game.
To start the list off, how about when Rex almost gives up when Pyra is taken away by Jin and Malos in Tantal? This interaction leads to the only time in the game where Brigid opens her eyes, and that is significant, and it makes this scene one of the most powerful cutscenes in all of video games. The cutscene immediately following this one, where Rex needs to be convinced to continue his journey, and every member does their part to convince him to stick with it so that will happen, is just a great way to really reiterate to the player how desperate the character and the situation has become.
#5 Super Mario Galaxy: “Rosalina’s Storybook”
Super Mario Galaxy is not a game you’d likely expect to pull at the heart strings, but that’s exactly what Rosalina’s storybook reading does. In the library of the hub, you can sit down and listen to a story of Luma and a little girl who go in search of Luma’s mother. Midway through the trip, the little girl realizes that she too will never see her own mother again. Making the best of the situation, the girl builds a home for her and Luma to live in on their turquoise comet. Soon more Lumas would join them, and the little girl was now affectionately known as “Mama.”
The little girl decides she would like to go back to her home planet to be with her mother and father. In an act of great love, the original Luma transforms into a comet itself, and flies in the direction of the blue planet the little girl once called home. Though they only return once every 100 years, the little girl realizes that as the Luma’s mother, she must care for them until they are ready to leave home, and see them off with a smile. That is every mother’s responsibility to their children.
#4 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: “Saying Goodbye to Saria”
This game makes the list not as the greatest Zelda game, arguably, which might be enough to bring people tears of joy. What a wonderful game! However, there is one scene in particular that brings up some pretty strong emotions, and that is when Link leaves Kokiri Village and says good bye to Saria.
Though you haven’t known Saria for long in terms of game time, it’s very apparent that she is Link’s best friend, and saying goodbye to a friend is always hard. You’ll have interactions later in the game with the little forest girl, but this moment is so touching because it really does feel like goodbye. The way Link hesitates just a moment before running out of the woods is such a subtle, yet brilliant, touch. Nintendo wonderfully captured the seldom spoken of uncertainty of goodbyes.
#3 The Wonderful 101: “Jerjingha Goes Down”
The Wonderful 101 makes the list not for sadness, though there are some of those moments in the game. Nope, it’s for the mix of emotions during and after the final boss fight, a true classic in gaming history. It is, without question, one of the most intense, over the top fights in the history of video games, and there is so much happening on screen.
There is the Punch Out! style fighting, which is so good, and when it comes to the final blow, the game showers beams of light all over the screen. Your characters scream out absolutely ridiculous battle cries, and the team’s desire to save the world from an awesome enemy finally comes to fruition in the most epic of ways. It is stunning how the game builds everything up to one amazing final moment. Then it ends, and you’re left there, breathing heavy, swelled up with emotion that shouldn’t come from pixels on a screen. It is amazing.
#2 Xenoblade Chronicles: “Fiora’s Death”
Just like the sequel, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Xenoblade Chronicles has a few moments you could easily select for a list like this. The game evokes intense feelings…I can remember exactly how I felt and the exact moment I felt it when I first noticed Bionis and Mechanis in the skyline. That left such a deep impression on me because I had never imagined such a thing as being possible.
The moment we have chosen for this list is when Metal Face attacks Colony 9 and “kills” Fiora. Shulk’s reaction is one of the realest you will find in all of gaming, filled with pain and angst for the loss of his friend. It is so powerful, the raw emotion is palpable. Shulk reacts even more passionately than Fiora’s own brother, Dunban. From that moment I knew Xenoblade Chronicles would be a special game, and I think back on that scene often and how I couldn’t help but well-up with sadness for Shulk.
#1 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: “The Plan Didn’t Work”
Breath of the Wild has several cutscenes with Link and Zelda that are heartwrenching, to say the least. The one that stands out most to me though, is when Link and Zelda are running through the forest and it is raining, hand in hand. They are both dirty and tattered and suddenly Zelda slips and falls to the ground. In one of Link’s most touching gestures in all of The Legend of Zelda, and one that went largely unnoticed by fans, he tosses the Master Sword off to the side, his only concern being the condition of his leige, Princess Zelda.
The scene continues with Zelda berating herself for the failures. Everything she had worked so hard to achieve to this point hasn’t worked, and all Link can do is listen in support, which he does by looking her in the eye with extreme sorrow and compassion. Eventually Zelda collapses into Link’s arms, the weight of everything they had tried, and failed to do, coming to a head. She sobs in his grasp, as the memory fades, and I’m crying. Tell me video games aren’t art after watching that scene.