Video Games Broke My Heart: Persona 4

I guess I’m going to do this as a series. Video Games that broke my heart.

I love a good narrative. Persona 4 was a recent addition to the Persona Series through Atlus games. Persona 5 is out for the PS4 and I love it, but it didn’t break my heart that Persona 4 did.

In the Persona series, it’s a JRPG (Japanese RPG) where you have to balance your real world life (going to school, work, friends and etc) with saving the world. Who can level up when you have a history test? Do you grind in the dungeon or go to your part time job?

To get the best ending in the series, you have to max out your social links, in other words find people in the world–either your companions in battle, or people in your life somehow and get close to them to help them grow and to help you grow more well-rounded.

The game follows Yu. His parents have to work abroad, so he is sent to the countryside to spend the school year with his distant uncle and little cousin (both of which are social links). As the deep dark evil hits the town, you (as Yu) and your friends have to save the world. Nanako, your little cousin ends up looking up to you as a big brother. She serves as a major plot point which I won’t go into details here.

If you do everything right, you fight the boss but—you’re not strong enough, or so you think. In this video of the first part of the ending, all your maxed out social links reach out to you and are trying to encourage you to push through, they share what you mean to them and what you did for them–essentially it’s your final thoughts as you are reaching the light at the end of the tunnel.

What gets to me is the last person you see is Nanako–your little sister. She begs you not to die. She begs you to not leave her behind (like what she thought happened when her mom passed and when her dad, so grief-stricken, he becomes distant), and promises to be a good girl. I broke down. Maybe it’s because of my known relationship with my family, maybe it’s because I see myself as a father some day and want to protect my kid how you protect Nanako, but maybe it’s the fact that her crying was what gets you to stand up and fight.

Here’s the video:

You can check out the full ending. It gets sappy at points, but yeah. It was such a cathartic and hard earned ending, that I cried from joy but also that wistfulness of a good life led and knowing that it was all worth it.

See. Video games does shit like this to me. I’m gonna try to think of some more video games that broke my heart. What about you, if you’re reading this. What games broke your heart?

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