This post is part of a Pastime Zone series called “I Cry Every Time”, or ICET (Ice-Tea) for short. The goal of this series is to highlight scenes in games, anime, TV shows, movies, books, etc. that have caused me to cry, weep, bawl, or shed a lone tear in response to an emotional state brought upon by the scene (not by any physical pain or irritation to my eyes). While ICET scenes are typically sad, they can also highlight moments of joy, nostalgia, love, and many more complex emotions.
An important note is that most ICET scenes depict significant plot moments that will likely include heavy spoilers. You have been warned!
(For more information about the world line in Steins;Gate read my explainer here.)
This ICET scene occurs in the 0.337187 Alpha world line in Steins;Gate. First, some background: In the “base” Alpha world line of 0.5710, Suzuha is a time traveler from the future gets to know Okabe and some of the other lab members through working for Mr. Braun downstairs from the Future Gadget Lab. On 8/9/10, Suzuha attends a time traveler’s meeting in an attempt to find her father, but she fails and decides to continue her time traveling journey to the past to find the IBN-5100.
Or at least, that’s what would have happened in 0.5710 if Okabe hadn’t sent himself a D-Mail to follow Suzuha to prevent her from leaving. This D-Mail gets us to the 0.337187 Alpha world line, where a thunderstorm damages Suzuha’s time machine due to her overstaying in the present. Subsequently, the members of Future Gadget Lab help her fix the time machine, and during this time, she discovers that Daru is actually her father! After a bittersweet good-bye, the group sends Suzuha back in time so she can get the IBN 5100 in the possession of the Future Gadget Lab so they can thwart SERN’s evil plot.
Almost immediately after Suzuha leaves, Okabe receives a letter from Suzuha (who traveled to the past) through Mr. Braun who was keeping it until this day. It reads:
It’s been a long time. It’s Amane Suzuha. Hashida Titor’s girl. For you, it might just have been a few hours ago. Right now, it’s AD 2000, June 13th. Meaning it’s about 10 years before you’ll read this.
I’ll just write the conclusion.
I failed. I failedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailedfailed.
I remember I was me just a year ago. The day the Great King of Terror came from the sky. Stupid stupid what’s the Great King of Terror he should have come down from the sky.
For these 24 years, I had lost my memories. All I could remember was my name. I remembered just a year ago. The day the Great King of Terror was said to come down but didn’t. The Great King of Terror’s nowhere to be found, but I want to die.
The imperfectly repaired time machine malfunctioned and when I leapt to 1975, I couldn’t remember anything. When I remembered it, my mind went blank and I didn’t know what to do and I got institutionalized.
Now I’m living alone, but that’s as the brand new person, Hashida Suzu, living an ordinary life. Last year I remembered my mission as Amane Suzuha that I had completely forgotten.
For some reason, the time travel went badly Father’s repair was incomplete but it’s not Father’s fault it’s my fault. I should’ve leapt directly to 1975 I shouldn’t have stopped over at 2010 I shouldn’t have been so selfish now the future won’t change.
I couldn’t get an IBN 5100.
I’m so sorry.
Why did I live this long?
I forgot my mission, and just lived carefree.
This life was meaningless.
Meaningless. Meaningless. Meaningless. It’s bad that I remembered. It’s good that I remembered. It’s good that I could apologize to you. ForgivemeForgivemeForgivemeForgivemeForgivemeForgiveme.
My plan failed. I kept thinking about the cause for this entire year.
Then I figured it out. If I didn’t hesitate just one day to leap to 1975, this wouldn’t have happened.
Okabe Rintarou. After that time machine offline meet, I tried to leap to 1975 but you detained me. I was really happy about that, but detaining me there was where it all failed. I should have leaped on that day. I shouldn’t have missed that day. Since you detained me, the time machine broke from the rain that night.
If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t have let myself get detained that day. Because then I could’ve gotten you guys the IBN 5100. I could fulfill my mission. I want to fulfill my mission.
Because I promised father.
Because it was father’s will.
Because I want to change the future.
This life was meaningless.
This letter on its own is sad enough, especially given Suzuha’s raw emotion and heartfelt sorrow at her circumstances and her failure. However, it gets worse when you think about the particular consequences of this letter:
- Okabe went after Suzuha because he valued her relationship and he had to give that up (by not going after her) in order to save Mayuri from SERN. Suzuha would never know about Okabe’s care for her.
- After Suzuha stays back, she finds out that Daru is her father. To complete the mission of obtaining an IBN 5100 for the Future Gadget Lab, Suzuha has to go back early and never finds out who her father is.
- Suzuha’s past year before writing this letter was filled with misery and regret as she realized that she had neglected her friends and family by failing their mission for her. She knew that Mayuri’s death (among other atrocities) was inevitable due to SERN securing the IBN 5100 during her amnesia.
Soon after these realizations, Okabe talked to Mr. Braun about his “old friend” Suzuha. She was apparently a happy and kind woman throughout most of her life, but in her last year, she was severely depressed. She died from suicide.
3/5: I had to grab a tissue to clean up the mess.