I'm fairly emotional man. It doesn't take much for me to start tearing up during a moving moment. But aside from obvious trite, like pets being reunited with returing masters, what really gets the water works going is scenes of heroism.
Bravery and courage shown in times of ever increasing peril, and all that jazz. I think that I'm such a schmuck for that sort of thing because I still have that niave desire to, at some point to some degree, be heroic. I think a lot of us do; it's why we play video games and read books and watch movies. We want to identify with the hero and be part of a righteous force that saves the day. Something that Earthbound nails perfectly.
If you've seen the scene, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, it's in the ending so I'll try to be descreet, or you can just turn back now. Look it up if you're curious, but really you should just play the game. The way the game sets it up nonchalantly is genius. It seems so insignificant at the time and it is quickly forgotten. The video game world's best brick joke. In a dire moment, when all seems lost, when every resource seems exhausted and it's not enough, what will be the final straw? What will be the final death stroke to the great evil? YOU will be.
It was almost like Itoi knew the exact recipe for pulling my heart strings. To make this moment the most powerful moment in gaming history I've ever experienced. A moment that is still powerful to this day, if not moreso. A moment that blew my ten year old mind, and makes me well up just thinking about it to this day. A moment that tauht me an important lesson: when times are bleak, when pleas for help get absorbed by the darkness, just keep praying.