Ghost of Tsushima is a wholesome feeling game that can tug at your emotions. It’s been weeks since I’ve started playing Ghost of Tsushima and while most of the game isn’t overly emotional, it does have its moments.
Anyway, Ghost of Tsushima may be light on drawing extreme emotions out of you, but there are some very powerful scenes that managed to do just that.
These are the 4 most emotional scenes in Ghost of Tsushima that hit me the hardest in chronological order. Be warned, there will be spoilers for those who’ve not completed or gotten to these points of the game yet.
1. Taka’s Death
This is the first character death in Ghost of Tsushima that made me feel extreme anger towards the main antagonist of the game. All throughout the first act, Yuna, the savior of our protagonist, is the older sister of Taka. She spent the whole of act 1 searching for her brother, trying to save him from the mongols.
Yuna succeeds with Jin’s help and from there, Taka starts to grow on you a little. He looks to you as an idol and wants to help out in any way he can. Such a pure and gentle soul, doing his best to pay you back for being such a hero of the people.
A few missions into the next act, he sneaks away from his sister to help you bring down a mongol camp. Jin tries to tell him to leave, but he insists and is then given the task of distracting them.
Thanks to his help, we now have fewer enemies to deal with on our way to bringing down a true traitor of Tsushima.
When we come face to face with our main target, we find out that it was a trap. Jin gets knocked out and by the time he come to, he’s tied to a pole facing Taka who was also captured for coming back.
Enter the big bad boss, Khotun Khan of the invading force. He has a sadistic tendency to try turning people against each other. So, as expected, he tries to do that here, cutting Taka free and handing him Jin’s family katana.
Taka is strong in his loyalties, but he isn’t a fighter. Instead of stabbing Jin like Khan wanted, he swings at him, but is pitifully kicked to the ground. Khotun then beheads him with our katana, taunting Jin one last time before walking off.
What’s sad about this death was that I felt terrible for Yuna. All that work to save him, only to lose him so soon afterwards. Not to mention that she solely raised him herself for years.
They had such a strong bond with each other and it gets ripped away from Yuna.
I felt as angry as Jin when he screamed in outrage after watching this, unable to stop it.
We finally free ourselves, cleaning out the camp as we make our way towards the front gates. Yuna comes through and tells us that she came because of a note Taka left for her.
I felt so terrible for her when she found his body, you could feel the despair through the screen. She blames Jin for his death, but then redirects that anger to the true killer, Khotun Khan.
She meant to leave the island with Taka, but now that he’s gone, she commits to avenging him.
On the way back out, we get to fight off the reinforcements as a sort of temporary vengeance. The mission ends with both Yuna and Jin burying Taka and mourning at his grave.
2. Lord Shimura burning the official adoption papers.
This one was pretty sad to see. A proud and honorable samurai, officially wanting to adopt Jin as his son. Making him the heir to the Shimura clan in addition to the Sakai clan, carrying on both legacies.
Throughout the entire game, we get flashbacks to the father/son bond between Shimura and Jin. We also learn that Shimura is the uncle to Jin, who lost is father when he was young.
The veteran samurai taught and raised Jin as his own and was about to officially adopt him as his son. You could see the tender love and care between the two. Practically, father and son in all but name, they just needed the official documents.
Unfortunately for them both, Jin chose a different path, one that demands him to sacrifice everything in order to put a stop to Khotun Khan. The way of the samurai assassin I’d like to say. Very much like the Assassin’s Creed series, striking from the shadows and using cunning tactics like poison to bring down his enemies.
For a traditional samurai like Shimura, these tactics were seen as having no honor. He tried to dissuade Jin from continuing down that road, but failed.
During the end of act 2 when we were taking back castle Shimura, Jin poisons the whole mongol army camped there. He knows that his uncle would disapprove, but he’s willing to sacrifice that relationship for the good of Tsushima.
So, it’s no surprise when Lord Shimura comes through the big gates leading into the main castle grounds to find that Jin has used such a dishonorable tactic.
He tries to convince Jin to renounce his ways and return to his side as a proud and honorable warrior once more. Holding out the official adoption papers towards Jin. Hoping and expecting him to take them, but is sadly rejected.
As the scene closes, we see Shimura drop the papers into the fire as his samurai lead Jin towards the castle dungeons.
Sad thing about this is, you could see him crying. It’s tough for parents to see their child this way. Expecting them to go one way, but instead they go another.
Worse still, the path they’ve chosen is hard, dark and lonely. Something that every caring parent doesn’t want their children to go through.
3. Losing your loyal horse that has been with you from the beginning.
Okay, I just have to say that this is the #1 saddest thing in the entirety of Ghost of Tshushima. Losing your most loyal horse after spending so much time with it.
After the prologue, we get to choose one of three horses that is supposed to be with us for the whole journey. We even had to choose a name for them. Also, as an added touch, we are treated to some cute interactions between Jin and his loyal companion.
One of my favorites was when Jin is seen napping with his horse curled around him. On a subconscious level, it builds an emotional bond between us as players, and this virtual animal. I felt like the horse was actually mine. I believed that it would really be with me for the entire game.
There was even a popup telling me that the horse I chose would be with me until the end.
Well, guess what, that was a lie.
In the transition from act 2 to act 3, we are told to sneak out and escape. When we reach our horse, we of course, get spotted and archers start shooting at us. Not at Jin, but at our HORSE, seeing those arrows stick into our buddy just pierced my heart.
What follows is a little montage of how our majestic friend gets weaker due to the wounds. Jin doesn’t have time to stop and tend to them for fear of being caught. Then finally, our best traveling companion collapses.
He carried us everywhere, and went as far as he could, holding on until the very end. It was only proper that we stopped to bury our horse, and mourned. Thanking him for being such an extraordinary beast and apologizing to him. It was heartbreaking.
4. Shimura and Jin’s final duel.
Lastly, the 4th most emotional part of Ghost of Tsushima is the duel between father and son. It may not have been made official, but that bond is real and can’t be erased.
During the epilogue, Yuna passes a message to Jin, Shimura wants to meet him at their old training grounds. Jin’s home with the arena where he was trained in the ways of a samurai. A very important place to both of them.
They don’t duel in that arena, instead they go to the cemetery where Jin’s father was buried. This is where Shimura informs Jin that he has been branded a traitor, his title and holdings as a samurai are gone. Clan Sakai has been disbanded by the shogun.
It is Shimura’s duty and punishment to duel Jin to the death. Sad enough as it is, but then you see the tears and sorrowful expression on the old samurai’s face, it makes this duel all the more somber.
Both of them take some time to reflect and prepare for the coming clash. We are taken back to a final, heartwarming memory of the two. Really hammering in the feels before the face off.
Throughout the final duel I couldn’d help but feel downhearted. Here we have a man that has put everything into caring and raising Jin. With the full intention of adopting him and leaving a legacy. He invested so many of his years treating and teaching him as his son, with no intention of starting his own family. Now, he has to start over again.
I mean, he’s already up there in age and put all his eggs in one basket. Can you imagine investing 20+ years of your life into one person, then losing them, only to have to start over again from scratch? It’s like losing years of progress on a passion project that just needed one more thing before it’s finished, but many times worse.
Then imagine you, as the child, having to kill or be killed by their parent who has given all this love and nourishment to you. Yeah, I don’t think anyone with a good family could do that. You could see that neither wanted this, but they were forced to by their differing beliefs.
Luckily, this battle between the two ends with you being given a choice. Deal the killing blow to Shimura as he wants to stick to his samurai code, or spare him. I hope the choice here was a no brainer to you too, I chose to spare him of course.
I didn’t even reload an earlier save to see what the other ending was. Accepting the lonely path that Jin chose is the right thing to do, in my opinion.
Overall, it was a pretty good story that shows us that there aren’t always happy endings.
We all choose our own paths and must accept the consequences of our actions.
Still, a wholesome feeling kind of game, but with a bit of emotional tugs to keep things interesting.
What were your most emotional parts in Ghost of Tsushima? What plucked at your heartstrings?
Leave your thoughts and comments of the game down below, I’d be glad to see what moved you the most.