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File:Kana cry2.jpg

You will be doing this by the end.

Utsuge is the Japanese portmanteau for "depressing/melancholy game". As the name implies, these games' goal is to make the player cry. Most of them are of the Visual Novel variety, in which the player is guided through an increasingly (melo)dramatic story, Deconstruction mostly optional.

Games of this type contain lots of typical tear-jerking material, with death, mental problems, loneliness and rejection as central themes. A lot of them contain at least one girl with a serious disease, who has to be helped by the player. Downer Endings are very common, when the player fails to achieve this goal.

Utsuge are often populated by Bishoujo-style characters and aimed squarely at a Seinen audience. By far the most of them take the form of Dating Sims, where the dramatic material is used to give the on-screen girls more depth and character. In some of those games, the drama actually becomes much more prevalent, overtaking the premise of simply trying to date girls. Most Utsuge, being Dating Sims, also contain quite a bit of the erotic content that comes with the territory.

It is rare to find examples without any erotic content whatsoever, although some H-Games have been re-released without adult material to appeal to a wider audience, usually without suffering any negative consequences for the story or playability. Still, gaming companies generally don't explicitly market their games as Utsuge, instead emphasizing their Dating Sim-nature to appeal to the typically male audience.

Examples of Utsuge include:

  • Air Pressure, but it's not obvious on the first playthrough.
  • Da Capo
  • Neko Kawaigari combines this with ill catgirls and a Bait and Switch opening. Just compare the opening to the ending.
  • ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two, which has been adapted into ef: A Tale Of Memories and ef: A Tale of Melodies.
  • Ever 17, especially Tsugumi's and Sora's paths, or worse yet, the Tsugumi/Sora bad ending.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and its Spiritual Successor Umineko no Naku Koro ni form an interesting variation. Their main objective is not to make the players cry, but to scare them. Despite this, the games still manage to move the player emotionally. They succeeded in doing both in both series.
    • The question arcs are supposed to confuse and scare us, but the answer arcs are straight Utsuge. Well, except for Matsuribayashi-hen.
    • Tatarigoroshi-hen is also fueled by tears.
  • Ico also qualifies: the main character is a lost little boy, the "love interest" is a frightened girl you can't communicate with who ends up being sacrificed and, after being resurrected, sacrifices herself again just to rescue you, the battle music is nothing but a depressing dark hum, and your enemies are the souls of boys just like you who didn't make it. Yeah.
    • It has a happy ending, though.
    • Don't forget Shadow of the Colossus - the music is exciting action-adventure stuff (except for the final boss), but the ending is possibly the most bitter-sweet thing ever in gaming. And then there is the music that plays as a Colossus dies...
  • Nie R is probably the most utterly depressing game of 2010. The backstory doesn't help much either.
  • Kana: Little Sister
  • Most anything by Key Visual Arts:
  • Devil Survivor is an extremely dark RPG example.
  • Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. The anime version doesn't let up on the tears, either.
    • Depending on how familiar you are with what PTSD does to people, you may think the anime amps it up from tears to trauma.
  • Muv-Luv. Alternative is definitely one of these considering how practically the entire main cast is killed off.
    • Chapter 7 of Alternative, titled The Unforgiven, stands on par with KimiNozo in all its gut-punching, PTSD-triggering, tear-jerking and râge-inducing glory. And you thought you had hit rock bottom with HEADCHOMP, didn't you? Wait till she's seen eating with another man.
  • Symphonic Rain seems like a slice of life visual novel at first but reveals it's more depressing elements later on.
  • Narcissu
  • Private Nurse — Come for the marketing as an H-game, stay for the many, many moments of crying your damn eyes out. There is basically one path that leads to a triumphant ending, the rest count as Bittersweet Ending if not outright Downer Ending.
  • Saya no Uta is a Cosmic Horror love story. Besides the Gorn, the nature of the bishoujo, and the other delightful elements, it fits this trope perfectly.
  • Type Moon's games, particularly the routes leading up to a "Normal End". "True Ends" tend towards bittersweet.
    • Sakura's route in Fate/stay night (Heaven's Feel) is particularly warped, with her "Normal End" the most depressing of all the endings.
      • Which leads some people to regard it as a bad end. So reload that save and stay alive, will you?
    • Tsukihime, the Far Side routes (Akiha/Hisui/Kokahu) in particular. Akiha's Normal End, as well as Hisui's True End, will Player Punch you in the face.
  • Surprisingly for Square Enix, Final Fantasy XIII-2 could qualify. The ending is one of the worst endings to hit a Final Fantasy game, and this is in direct contrast to its predecessor. It's even been noted noted on the game's main page that there are multiple bad endings, thanks to the game's "Paradox Endings".
  • Yume Miru Kusuri has three paths - one for the socially isolated school idol, one for the druggie kid, and the last one for the poor girl who is bullied with tasers in a classroom while the teacher assumes she is constantly falling out of her chair and screaming for no particular reason.
  • A Dance With Rogues is a Break the Cutie story for the player character. In the opening sequence, your entire family gets massacred by an invading army and you get raped. Then you are forced into working for the city's equivalent of The Mafiya, and just when you are getting settled and used to it your friend Caron gets brutally murdered right in front of you. Then, just when you are getting over that, all of the Family's leadership that have been much nicer to you than they could have get killed or taken prisoner by the same band of people who killed your family in the first place. And it doesn't stop there.
  • Mother 3 is an RPG example. Oooh, boy, is it ever.
    • To clarify, Lucas and Claus' mother (Hinawa) dies, Claus' goes missing for years, their father becomes a broken, beaten, man, the eden-like state of Tazmily village slowly becomes corrupted by technology, Lucas' has a dream of his mother and kills himself in the dream so he can be with her (but it was all a dream so he still lives in his hell), Claus turns out to be the enemy because Porky turns him into a Chimera after the accident, Lucas then needs to fight Claus but can't bring himself to fight his brother, Claus pummels Lucas, Hinawa talks to whatever parts of Claus that remain, Claus realizes what he became, kills himself to be with Hinawa IN FRONT OF LUCAS, and then the world ends and everyone dies. Or do they?
  • Oracle of Tao may qualify. It has a number of Downer Ending events, depending on what you do. Although some of these tend more toward the Fridge Horror/Nightmare Fuel category. Most notably, many of the dreams either result in a variant of Dream Apocalypse or Dying Dream, though some actually involve the physical destruction of the universe. And then there's a Naughty Tentacles ending... Even the good endings tend to be set up as a Tear Jerker.
  • School Days. Some of the routes are just wallowing in melodrama and end with someone unexpectedly dying horribly through suicide or murder.
  • CROSS†CHANNEL can be like this early on, but it's definitely this by the very end.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness/Sky somehow manages achieve this of all Nintendo franchises.
  • You will cry as you play Corpse Party, either because of all the Tear Jerker scenes or because of all the horror Possibly both.
  • 99 no Namida (99 Tears) is solely made to make you cry. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Katawa Shoujo falls under this heading as the routes can be heartbreaking. Every route has at least one Downer Ending and even some of the good endings are Bittersweet Endings
    • Rin Tezuka's route fits this trope the most. Hanako's route isn't too far behind, either.