Fate stay night/Tear Jerker

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • This troper once had the Fate/stay night Visual Novel described to him as such: "It will rip your soul out and tear it to pieces." When he played it, he and others found out that that may have been an understatement:
    • Fate route:
      • The only ending (and a truly bittersweet one) for the Fate route is "Continuation of the Dream." Having won the battle, Saber asks Shirou to let her fulfill her duty one final time, and he uses the last Command Spell to order Saber to destroy the Holy Grail. The last scene you see is the final moments of Saber, ending her life as King Arthur. She speaks to Bedivire, talking about how she had a "pleasant dream" and when she finally passes away, just to drive the knife in, the last words are "Do you see it, King Arthur? The Continuation of the Dream?" Cue profound crying.
        • Four simple words threw This troper into an endless stream of tears: "Shirou - I love you."
      • The anime adaptation of that scene isn't much better, either, since now you have very sad music playing in the background. Damn you La Sola, damn you!
      • Shirou and Saber's confrontation after their date in Fate. There's something heartbreaking about Shirou's first real admission that he's in love with Saber, mixed with his hopeless realization that he can't save her from her own self-destructive path.
    • Unlimited Blade Works route:
      • The Fate route had already established Ilya as a homicidal, sociopathic Creepy Child and her Servant Berserker as a Nigh Invulnerable embodiment of madness and destruction... And then we come across Berserker desperately pressing forward into Gilgamesh's endless hail of swords in an attempt to shield his master. After a flashback revealing their bond in Ilya's backstory, a now blinded, frightened, and dying Ilya slowly crawls across the floor, calling out for her Servant for comfort; to fulfill his master's wish, Berserker defies reality and forces his body to physically remain through sheer willpower, when even his mind ought to have disappeared. Upon feeling the touch of (dead) Berserker's stone foot, Ilya is reassured that he will protect her and loses consciousness hoping that he will pet her head when she wakes up. A moment later, Berserker's body begins to crumble to dust, and Gilgamesh rips out Ilya's heart.
      • Similarly, Servant Caster tries to protect her master from Archer's hail of swords and is fatally wounded in the process. In the calm that follows, Caster desperately checks to see if he is okay. He says he is fine and promises that if she tells him her wish, he will fulfill it in her stead. But she just shakes her head and with a hand to his face says that her wish has just been fulfilled, vanishing with a smile. After another moment, he falls down dead from the fatal wounds he had sustained but kept hidden... This scene was also in the anime adaptation.
        • Uh... that scene (or at least, that exact rendition of it) was ONLY in the anime adaptation, where it was Gilgamesh's hail of swords. In the game, where it was Archer's swords, Kuzuki does survive Archer's attack but then insists on attacking Archer without the assistance of Caster's magic and Archer ruthlessly cuts him down. Not quite the same effect.
          • The manga redition of this scene is arguably worse: rather than Caster protecting Kuzuki, it's the other way around as Kuzuki takes Archer's arrow and collapses, to Caster's shock and horror. As Caster starts crying, we get a whole look at Kuzuki's backstory before he dies, and we cut back to him telling her to keep fighting for her wish - Caster insists that her wish was to live a second life with Soichiro by her side, and breaks down completely when he breaths his last. When Archer cuts the sobbing Caster down, it feels more like Shoot the Dog than Karmic Death.
      • When Archer is fighting Shirou, his past self, and screaming at the top of his lungs that his entire life was a lie. As he tries to effectively kill himself, he comes to the conclusion that while his original ideals are beautiful, they can never happen, and the only salvation from the horrors of human atrocities is his own death. It might just be this troper, but I can't read that scene without shedding a few tears.
      • This troper cannot read Archer's goodbye to Rin and his last smile without bursting into tears.
      • Just reading about Archer's life for the first time was extremely depressing. To summarize, He worked tirelessly towards his ideal of trying to save everybody he could see. He realizes the limits of his powers and begins to fall into his foster father, Kiritsugu's mentality, which is sacrifice the few to save the many. But he still continues to work endlessly to try to make as many people happy as possible. But the people around him become suspicious of him, since he never asks for any rewards, and since he never talks, they start to think he's "ruthless" as well. But the real reason that he never talked or wanted any rewards was because he never had anything to talk about, and his reward was the sole action of saving people. And thus, he keeps getting betrayed by the people he saves, but he continues pursueing his ideal, because he believes that as long he doesn't betray himself, there will be another oppurtunity. He eventually even makes a contract with World giving his entire afterlife as a guardian to save a few hundred people. He eventually gets killed by one of the people he saved, but even as he is excuted, he's glad that he might still be able to save people after he died as a guardian. But after becoming a guardian, he discovers the truth, in that a guardian's sole duty is to kill people who threaten humanity as a whole, and he is essentially betrayed by his own ideal, causing him to become cynical and bitter, whose only goal is to erase himself from existence by killing his past self. Unfortunately, this troper failed at writing this summary, but hopes that the messages gets across.
      • Addenum to the above: He exchanged his freedom for power to save the people right then, right there. He thought he could continue doing what he always have been doing, but with more power. However, role of the Guardian is to clean up the mess after it's already too far gone, usually by eliminating whatever threat that caused the mess in the first place.. He felt that he ended up saving noone in the end, despite everything.
      • To add in, the UBW movie ending with Archer's final words to Rin with his 'Old Look' & smile back + Rin's promise to both Archer & Shirou + the ending theme song, [[Crowning Music of Awesome|Voice Tadori Tsuku Basho~]] by Tainaka Sachi has this troper shedding Manly Tears even long after the movie ended. Well done, Tainaka-san & Nasu-san. Damnit.
        • Rin (narrating): The boy who stated that he just doesn't want to see anyone cry... could only see crying humans forever. Tears.
      • Archer is basically a walking Tear Jerker himself.
    • And yet all those (except perhaps the ending of Fate) pale in comparison to the Heaven's Feel route:
      • Shirou is (possibly) killed off in the finale: the Tear Jerker ending then sticks to and expands on this, showing the epilogue through Sakura's eyes, as she ages and watches everything change around her, remaining alone until the end... Needlessly and maliciously cruel.
        • This Troper also interpreted the very last scene of the normal ending as Sakura having a hallucination that Shiro is waiting for her among the cherry blossoms, just before she dies of old age. This Troper, using a flowchart, managed to unlock the True End (which was the only other non-Bittersweet or Downer Ending besides UBW's possibly too optimistic "Good" end) before he unlocked the normal end, and thought that having the HF "True" end in mind as he went through the "Normal" end would shield him from the impact that he knew the "Normal" end was supposed to have (having had the fact of Shirou's death spoiled by this very wiki). He was completely unprepared.
      • Oh, and then after that the f@#king title screen changes to both the music and background of the very last scene of that, so we can now ALWAYS feel depressed on loading the game! Oh joy!! Dammit, Nasu...
      • And who can forget, in that same route, when if you get the true ending, the happy one, right before Shirou dies, Ilya rescues him. The entire time he's begging her to let him die so she can live, or at least he's trying to. At the end she goes out with a smile saying she's going to show Shirou a miracle. This was the first time this troper ever cared about Ilya, and this coming off the already sad multiple climaxes.
      • Saber's death is bad enough (especially when Shirou learns of it, when his Command Spell disappears). Forcing the player to make the choice to stab Saber Alter in the heart while she's helpless is just mean. Yet failure to do so triggers the worst Bad End with Dark Sakura giving Rin Tohsaka a 'personal lesson' on what she suffered the past eleven years. No matter which decision you make it is a HUGE Player Punch.
      • And then the Last Episode goes out of its way to tell you how much you lost.
      • And dear god, nothing could prepare This Troper for what came next. What's the scene called after making that painful decision? I'll forget about you. Within it, Shirou reflects on the fact that he's just committed an unforgivable act that cannot be justified in any capacity, how he feels so bad about killing Saber that he has to erase every trace of her memory from his mind just to keep from going mad, how he knows he's sacrificing literally everything he has and he knows it just isn't worth it... but that if given the choice, he would do it again, because a world without Sakura in it is incomprehensible to him.

"Using my own hands, I killed someone who protected me until the very end ----
Neither regret nor a confession will bring forgiveness ..."

      • The rainy night in the park, with Shirou's decision to abandon his ideals and protect the most-likely dying Sakura.
      • Later on, Shirou asks her what she'd like to do "when" she gets better. She says she just wants to go watch the cherry blossoms fall. Shirou then promises her they'll go do exactly that. Given that at this point, Shirou has just decided to kill her...well, this troper had to stop playing for a few minutes, to say the least.
      • The Ilya's response to your choice and the knowledge that you'll have to kill her and Rin so soon after her Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in the infamous "Mind of Steel" ending ought to wring some tears our of you.
      • Bad End #38. Right after the Crowning Moment of Awesome for Shirou that is defeating Saber Alter single-handedly by going past his limits, the consequences of doing so hit and he's reduced to a vegetable that will never recover and is effectively dead. At this point narration switches to Saber, who contemplates his strength and what will come of his sacrifice.

Saber (thinking): The one whose limits held her back, and the one who went past his limits. The result is the one laying beside her. [...] Tohsaka Rin and Matou Sakura. No matter which one survived, the one who would bless them is no longer in this world.

  • The ending of the Fate route can be considered one of these. Shirou and Saber defeat their respective Big Bad and yet by doing the right thing and destroying the grail, they lose any chance of staying together. This is made substantially worse when Saber tells Shirou she loves him before she leaves his life forever. How Shirou manages to smile through it all is simply amazing. I Want My Beloved to Be Happy indeed...
  • While Gilgamesh is taking a level in badass when killing Berserker about 13 times in the UBW route, he also destroys Ilyasviel's eyes and rips her heart out of her body, thus making an incredibly sad play on kick the dog.
    • More like kick the token loli, who totally didn't deserve it.
    • The real tearjerker is the scenes we are rewarded with afterwards. Shirou desperately tries to be the big damned hero, running towards Ilyasviel and the flashback of Ilyasviel's past 'training' with Berkserker, which is spartan training at it's finest. You finally gain some affinity with the emotion driven huggable giant.
  • For this troper,Heaven's Feel route has one when Shirou is fighting Saber Alter in the cave, and using Archer's arm causes him to lose the memory that most shaped his path in life prior to the war: the night of Kiritsugu's death and his promise to become a superhero.
  • Maybe it's just because of the music, but this troper very nearly cried during the dream-flashbacks Shirou is having about Saber's past in the Fate route, about how she was all alone and had to kill her emotions to move on...
  • Archer's Heroic Sacrifice in the anime (and by extension, Fate), staying behind with the intent to defeat Berserker (or at least take out some lives) while his Master, Shirou, and Saber flee. Even as he takes that beating, not once does he think to strike at Ilya (for very good reason, as it turns out ...), and when he finally fades away upon completely draining his mana ... God. Rin's reaction is already heartbreaking as she vows to not forgive Shirou and Saber if they get killed by Berserker; worse when the credits play and instead of the usual song we get "Hikari" as the ending theme. In the last moments, we get to see Archer's red cape disintegrating into light to reveal the only thing left of him - the gemstone Rin used to save his life, back when he was still still Shirou Emiya and first got caught up in the war ...
  • Anime episode 18 makes it appear that Rin has had to kill Sakura to prevent Caster using her to summon the Grail. She's left holding Sakura in her arms as the credits roll, and Sakura looks up at Rin and seems to be thanking her....