As the title suggests, a guide to making the choice between saving Gears 5 JD or Del is going to contain big spoilers, so if you've arrived here before you've made it to that milestone in the campaign then turn back now – unless you're happy to spoil things for yourself, that is. If, however, you're here intentionally for advice on who you should save in Gears 5, then you've come to the right place for help. Making the choice between Gears 5 JD or Del is a real tough one, seeing as both of them are likeable characters, so we've got the lowdown on what outcome each of those decision leads to.
Final warning: Spoilers below, along with a video at the end showing the cutscenes for both options.
Gears 5 who to save: JD or Del?
This scenario is thrust upon you without much buildup, as everything is seemingly going well with planting the beacons so Baird can use the Hammer of Dawn. All of a sudden however, Queen Reyna appears, hoists JD and Del up with her tentacles, and you're pressed for time on who to throw the sword at to save. The clever thing to do would be to throw it square between Reyna's eyes, but unfortunately that's not an option. So which of Kait's mother's tentacles do you chop off?
Gears 5: Save JD
If you opt to save JD and let Del die, Reyna snaps Del's neck then flees, before JD grabs his dogtags and a huge building comes crashing down on the two survivors. The ensuing cutscene shows Kait and JD alive in the rubble, as JD apologises to Kait and they both have a bit of a cry. Expected really, when your best mate has just been killed by your own mother.
Jack finds a way out and the next scene cuts to the pair meeting up with Marcus, who thanks them for the save but immediately notices Del's absence. JD turns his back to Marcus, as he looks at Kait and she shakes her head, facial expressions telling Marcus all he needs to know. He touches JD on the shoulder and tries to comfort him, but his son shrugs him off and walks away before Marcus marches after him and stops him in his tracks.
The two look at each other before embracing in a father-son moment as Kait looks on, fighting back the tears. In true Fahz fashion, he barges through the wall in a huge truck, then brashly beams "Hey Del, looks who's saving who again!" before noticing his comrade isn't there. "Goddamnit," he mutters before Baird pipes up on the radio requesting backup. As they hop in the truck, Marcus instructs Fahz to move at "double time" in order to get back to the wall.
As Cole is shown as having survived, being helped along by Fahz and Paduk, JD is stood on the edge of the wall contemplating his friend's death. Marcus approaches and consoles him before Cole waves at them, and the group have a small reunion.
Gears 5: Save Del
If you opt to save Del on the other hand, then the first cutscene plays out similarly. JD's neck gets snapped, his body is thrown toward Kait, and she grabs his dogtags before the floor crumbles beneath him. The building comes down and voila! Del and Kait are trapped in the building where they have a similar moment together as Del apologises to the now-deceased JD.
They return to Marcus and once again, he thanks them for their rescue and straight away, notices his son's not there. He walks towards them as Del mimics JD's movements in the other option and turns his back to Marcus, while Marcus looks at Kait and just says "what?". Kait reaches into her back pocket and presents Marcus with JD's tags, causing him to repeat "no" over and over in denial. She gives his tags to him as he curses out JD in anger.
Right as Kait apologies, Fahz shows up. Marcus walks behind the truck solemnly as Fahz pipes up at the worst moment possible, realises what's happened, then Baird appears on the radio again. In true no-nonsense fashion, Kait tells Baird they're on the way. Fahz hops in the driver's seat, then looks at Marcus who tells him to drive.
The final scene before the boss fight shows Marcus stood on the edge of the wall, clutching JD's tags. Del puts his hand on Marcus' shoulder as Cole shows up behind them, somehow still alive. Marcus shakes his head, then gives ol' Cole Train a hug, grateful his pal has survived despite his antics.
Gears 5 JD or Del: What does this mean for Gears 6?
For now, we have no idea which choice is canon. The Coalition may decide to essentially phase out both JD and Del for Gears 6, which would save them a lot of work and players wouldn't feel betrayed knowing they chose the "wrong" option.
There may also come a solution that involves importing your save file from Gears 5 into Gears 6, so the game knows which option you picked. JD and Del are similar characters so in theory, they could replace a few voice lines here and there, along with just replacing the character model in-game and that way, either character would technically be canon. We've seen it before in games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.
Of course, there's also the fact The Coalition may have a story in mind that involves one surviving and the other dying. In which case, one of either JD or Del's death will be made canon. Or they might have a neat storytelling trick up their sleeve... only time will tell.
Check out the video below courtesy of VGS - Video Game Sophistry in order to see both cutscenes in full.