All The Moments in ‘Spider-Man 2’ That Ripped My Heart Apart

Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 promised two things: great gameplay and a highly emotional storyline. It delivered on both counts.

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There were times when I played this game through a haze of tears, so touching were some of the character interactions. These are my personal picks for the most emotional scenes in Spider-Man 2. Oh, they still hurt my Spidey-loving heart.

***Major spoilers for Spider-Man 2 ahead***

A memory of Aunt May

Aunt May in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

At the end of the last game, Peter had to choose whether to save the entire city or save his beloved aunt. As you’d expect, he reluctantly and sadly chose the former. Aunt May is gone … but she lives on in Peter’s memory.

This flashback scene near the beginning of the game takes us back to Peter’s early days and shows us how Aunt May helped Peter fix a hole he’d punched in his bedroom wall. She didn’t judge him, simply helped him talk through his problems. And Peter carries her wisdom through to the present day.

Peter’s near-death

Peter Parker's near-death in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

Wait, this game wouldn’t kill Peter Parker, would it? Would it?! Well, it sure comes close. At the end of the Spider-Man vs Kraven fight, Kraven delivers a seemingly fatal stab wound to the superhero. MJ pulls Peter up and tries to reassure him, but he’s fading fast. All hope seems lost and Harry lets out a scream of anguish—but then the life-giving symbiote suit slowly slides off him and onto Peter. Peter is saved, but he doesn’t yet know the terrible price he’ll have to pay for that.

Howard and his birds

Spider-Man sitting with Howard in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

Remember Howard from the original Spider-Man game? He’s back for this one, but his appearance is so heart-wrenchingly bittersweet. Howard is going on a trip, he tells Spider-Man, and he wants you to find a place for his beloved birds to live. You can take them to a nice spot in Astoria, no problem, you’ve got web wings. You fly alongside the birds to the beautiful sound of “Seabird” by the Alessi Brothers …

… and then you get back to Howard and an ambulance is there. Howard has passed away, but you helped make his last moments special.

Going deep into Miles’s mind

Jefferson Davies in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

During the Miles vs Mr Negative fight, Martin Li takes the opportunity to get inside Miles’s head. He presents him with images all of his loved ones—Rio, Ganke, Peter—telling him how much of a failure and disappointment he is. The fake Ganke even brings up Phin, Miles’s friend-turned-villain who he failed to save in Spider-Man: Miles Morales. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, Miles’s late father Jefferson appears to him as well, likewise being cruel and seemingly confirming all of the younger Spider-Man’s worst fears about himself. Ouch.

Gravestone interactions

Miles at his father's grave in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

In a small northwest corner of the map, you’ll find a graveyard, and this graveyard is where Aunt May (plus Uncle Ben) and Jefferson Davies are buried. Both Spider-Men can interact with the graves.

Miles primarily speaks to his father and Peter to Aunt May, but each will say something sweet if brought to the other grave as well. For example, Peter will tell Jefferson what a great son he raised. Awww.

You actually get a trophy, “You Know What To Do,” once you visit May’s gravestone as Peter.

Sandman’s daughter

The little statue of Sandman and his daughter in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

Flint Marko aka Sandman is definitely one of the most sympathetic villains in this game, to the extent that he’s barely even a villain at all. After the very first Sandman incident—orchestrated by Kraven—the Spider-Men are tasked with collecting the crystal-like fragments of Marko’s memories that have been scattered over the city. Find them all and you’ll realize Sandman is just afraid for the safety of his daughter, Keemia. But you can find Keemia and give her a statue Marko had you make out of the crystals, a depiction of him hugging his daughter. He’ll always be with her no matter where he is.

Grandpa

Grandpa Earl and Tasha in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

Another incredibly touching side mission is the one called “Find Grandpa.” Have your tissues out for this one.

A young woman in Brooklyn is looking for her grandpa Earl who’s disappeared after saying he was going to meet someone. As Spider-Man, you go on a hunt for Earl and find him sitting alone on a bench opposite a beautiful statue and a pond. It’s okay, he’s not in any trouble. Talk to him, and he’ll tell you how he proposed to his wife at the spot he’s sitting at. “When I’m here,” he says, “it’s like she is, too.” You sit with him and listen to his story for a bit, and when his granddaughter arrives she does the same thing.

Which is, of course, the very essence of what Spider-Man is about.

Letting go of hate

Martin Li and Miles Morales in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

A big theme of Spider-Man 2 is that supervillains can be rehabilitated, especially if they have access to support. That doesn’t mean their victims have to forgive them, though. And that’s the case with Martin Li and Miles. Miles absolutely cannot bring himself to forgive Li for killing his father…but he can let go of the hatred that’s been dragging him down, and he does. Peter touchingly points out later that Miles has done one of the things he himself never could by reforming an enemy. And Martin Li gets to live and attempt to atone for what he did.

“I love you”

Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

Harry’s love for Peter in this game is intense and complicated, just as it was in the comics. Even as Venom, Harry doesn’t want to kill Peter, he wants to “heal the world” by his side. But Venom also wants to turn everyone on the planet into symbiotes, so Harry tells Peter to separate him from it, even though it’ll kill him.

Peter manages to get the symbiote off of Harry, and then tells his dying friend, “I love you.” Harry manages a smile of true happiness before he dies … but wait, he might still get that second chance he dreamed of. Miles is able to electric-shock him back to life, albeit in a comatose state.

The ending

Miles Morales, Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2 (Sony)
(Sony)

The last few minutes of Spider-Man 2 are a rollercoaster ride of emotion. Norman discovers his son has been left in a coma and loses it completely, setting things up for an almost inevitable revenge plot in the sequel. MJ interviews New Yorkers about the “new normal” they’re all now in post-alien invasion. Peter and MJ move in together, and Peter donates May’s old things to FEAST.

And Miles? He’s taking over as New York’s main Spider-Man now that Peter is stepping back and focusing on restarting the Emily-May Foundation. Plus, he’s even finished his college essay. He’s got a happy ending … until Spider-Man 3 rolls around, anyway.

What were your most heartbreaking moments playing this game? Share in the comments!

(featured image: Sony)


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Author
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.