Persona 3 have the saddest moment I ever saw at a videogame. It is possibly the only moment that I almost cried in any game. Even Aerith's death in Final Fantasy VII hadn't the impact in me that this game had. And All because I got too involved in the story. Remember when I said why games have trouble telling story? About how they can tell more engaging stories if they do it right? Well, Persona 3 does it in a way.
You start as a nameless protagonist in the story, moving to a new school. You are an orphan, your parents dead from an accident ten years prior the story. As you start your school year, you discover that the dorm you live is a cover up for a group of gifted students who can live the Dark Hour, a hidden space of time every night, and fight Shadows, weird creatures who devours humans emotions, leaving them in an state of apathy.
As the story progress, you don't just watch the happenings around you. You are actively participating in everyone's life. You don't just watch your party members coup with their problems, you can actively help them to solve it. You see them growing up, become stronger. You become attached to them. And them, the game ends...
To save the world from an ancient entity with god-like powers, you make an ultimate sacrifice. You give your life to put a barrier to avoid that every living person on the planet dies. You do it because all your friends, all people you have met are trying their hard to live. And you sacrifice yourself.
The game does not ends right away. You are given a month to live, till your veterans graduates, in order to fulfill a promise. But everyone forgets about it. When everyone remembers and run to meet you, you are already dying. You have one last moment with Aegis, your robotic friend, and when you all met, you are sleeping, a sleep that you will not wake up.
You have passed for so many things with them and made everything to save those guys, but you cannot be with them anymore. You are the greatest hero ever. You gave your life, literary, to save the ones dear for you, without any other reward to you them the assurance that your beloved ones will leave. You aren't even reuniting with lost friends.
I felt lost at that end. After all the battles and effort, you die. Most games gives the main character some kind of reward, being it a 'real' reward by allowing the protagonist have the classic happily ever after ending or some deep, philosophical reward, like going to a better place.None are received by Persona 3 protagonist. His only reward is that his friends lives by. and he is OK with it, because he finally understood that everything that lives dies.
And yet I found myself on the verge of tears, every time I play this game.