Video games are an art-form and it is time to look back at some of the most memorable video game moments.
With so many amazing and memorable moments in gaming it sure is hard to pick a select few. This list covers 19 of the biggest memorable moments in video game history… So sit back, relax and without further a-do, let’s get too it!
19. Half Life 2 – Getting the ‘Gravity Gun’
The Gravity Gun is a tractor beam-type weapon that quickly becomes an invaluable tool in Gordon’s arsenal. Using the gravity gun in Half-Life even now blows my mind. Using gravity in such a way was a fairly new concept at the time and a number of games have been influenced by the success of these physics-based weapons.
18. Shenmue – Introduction: Iwao Hazuki’s death
Other than the endless search for sailors, everyone that has played Shenmue will never forget the epic introduction to the game. In the intro, Lan Di (The bad guy!) delivers a killing blow to Ryu’s father in order to find the Dragon Mirror. Iwao dies in the arms of his son Ryo telling him “Forgive me for leaving you alone. Your friends, keep friends, those you love, close to you”. An amazing introduction to the series. Since then, Ryo has sworn vengeance on Lan Di for Iwao’s murder…
Fun Fact – Lwao was murdered on November 29th, 1986 which is Ryo’s birthday.
17. Pac Man & Ms. Pac Man meet
Ms. Pac-Man is the second game in the Pac-Man series, released in arcades on February 1982. Ms. Pac-Man introduced a female character, cutscenes, four different mazes, more colourful graphics, and several gameplay changes. It quickly became one of the most popular arcade games of all time.
The three cutscenes follow the developing relationship between the original Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man (from when they first meet to having a stork drop off their baby). Each cutscene introduced a new level… The baby served as an introduction to Jr. Pac Man.
Due to the popularity of the game (and the fact the game was not made by, endorsed by or even allowed by Namco at the time) the two meeting was very significant… That and cutscenes were unheard of in arcade games such as Pac Man at the time.
16. The Last Of Us – Joel lies to Ellie
The Last Of Us gives us a great post-apocalyptic story throughout. However, to make a potential vaccine toward the end Ellie would most likely have to die. Joel didn’t want to take the risk of Ellie losing her life for no reason and saved her. He states to her in the car that the Fireflies were no longer looking for a vaccine which is not true.
If he had told her the truth she probably would have gone back to the Fireflies to finish her mission and die so they could potentially extract the cure from her. Even if Joel had managed to prevent her from leaving she would have despised him for taking away her chance to redeem her guilt. This would have made it very difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with her.
15. Bioshock – Would you kindly?
Bioshock gave us one of gaming’s greatest twists, the phrase “Would you kindly” is a phrase that was programmed to function as a trigger for the post-hypnotic suggestions programmed into the mind of the protagonist Jack.
“A man chooses, a slave obeys.”
14. Resident Evil – Meeting the first zombie
Resident Evil treats us to a number of great moments to remember, from zombie dogs jumping through windows in an attempt to to kill you… to moments like, I don’t know… Becoming a Jill Sandwich?
But, for me at least, the most memorable moment was simply meeting the first zombie. After a short and fairly scary cut scene Resident Evil throws you in at the deep end… Tight space, unable to move and an in-your-face foe that absorbs handgun bullets.
In this moment Resident Evil teaches players that it will show them no mercy.
13. Mortal Kombat – Finish Him!“Toasty!”
When it comes to finishing moves, Mortal Kombat doesn’t hold back. There is nothing more satisfying than performing a fatality in Mortal Kombat… Then performing another… And another. You get the jist!
12. Metal Gear Solid – Breaking the fourth wall – Psycho Mantis
Metal Gear Solid constantly breaks the fourth wall. From finding MGS gaming magazines to ‘Master Miller’ warning the player to use the bathroom frequently, so as to not miss one of the game’s cutscenes.
The most memorable moment however, can be none other than meeting ‘Psycho Mantis’ for the first time.
Famously, during the player’s battle with Mantis, he reads the memory card commenting on some of the games you may have previously played. Also, If using a Dual-shock controller Mantis will speak to the player telling them to ‘move it with your mind’.
Interestingly, Mantis also has a number of attacks that will break the fourth wall. As an example, Mantis will change the player’s screen to a black screen reading “HIDEO” (instead of VIDEO) in the top corner. He can also make ‘Meryl’ shoot at the screen.
On top of all this Campbell tells Snake that he must physically change the game controller’s port on the console to prevent Mantis from “reading their mind.” This must be done to beat the boss.
“So, you like Castlevania?!”
11. Final Fantasy 7 – Sephiroth kills Aerith
Few moments live up to this death scene. As a central character in the game, Aerith’s death is in my opinion the most notable event in the history of the Final Fantasy series due to its shocking and unexpected introduction, not to mention the great soundtrack / scenery.
Occurring at the end of the game’s first part, this scene acts to motivate Cloud to further pursue his nemesis, Sephiroth.
Grab a tissue… you are going to need it
10. John Marston & Arthur Morgan’s death.
I couldn’t mention Arthur’s Morgan’s death without including John’s.
Playing though Red Dead Redemption 2 is like being part of a captivating Netflix series. Every major cutscene plays a great part in progressing the main story and building up to the ‘big moments’. I can say, without going into too much detail, that both Arthur and John’s death scenes are simply aw-inspiring. You really have to play the game/s to get the full experience.
9. Super Mario Bros. – World 1-1
‘The princess is in another castle!’
…Probably one of the most well known (hated) phrases in video game history… I couldn’t include Mario without including it. That said however, I believe one of the most memorable video game moments isn’t this… but the first level. It doesn’t matter how long you leave Mario alone, you will always remember that first level, you know which one I mean… With the iconic music, the sound of collecting coins and the simple (but challenging) Mario gameplay we all know and love.
8. Pokémon – Choosing your first Pokémon
Bulbasaur (Grass)… Squirtle (Water) or Charmander (Fire). This is the choice that you had to make in the very first Pokémon journey. Each Pokémon was different and once your choice was made there was no going back… and to top it all off, there was no other way of getting the other two Pokémon in game. (Not without cheating or trading anyway)
You really do never forget choosing your first Pokémon, Personally I chose water (and continue to choose water)… I mean come on… it’s Squirtle!
7. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 – No Russian
From Pokémon to Terrorism… ‘No Russian’ is a controversial level in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Here, the player participates in a mass shooting at a Moscow airport to gain the trust of a Russian terrorist group.
Because of the levels graphic nature / content the player is not required to kill any civilians and can skip the level altogether without any penalties. ‘No Russian’ was subject to censorship in international versions of the game. In fact, it was removed entirely from Russian versions.
“Remember, no Russian”
6. The Walking Dead Season 1 – Clem and Lee say goodbye
It’s a real shame that Telltale Games are no more , especially after creating a number of great, story driven games.
Each tale told took the player on a journey, each decision made affected the story in one way or another. One of these decisions leaves you scarred and there isn’t much you can do about it… After spending the entire season with Clem and Lee a relationship is formed… And taken away.
In the final episode you are left with 3 choices, each one as sad as the other:
Have Clementine shoot Lee: Lee convinces Clementine to shoot him, optionally citing the time he allowed to Jolene to die to avoid becoming a walker, confesses he shot Duck out of mercy and it was hard or because his own fear of becoming one. (Determinant) Clementine cries heavily, stepping back. The screen fades to black as she shakily pulls the trigger.
Tell Clementine to leave: Lee convinces Clementine to leave, telling her there’s no time or that she shouldn’t have to do such a thing. (Determinant) Clementine goes to leave, looking back one last time as Lee succumbs to the infection and dies. The screen fades to black.
Do nothing: Saying nothing results in Clementine making the decision herself, basing it on the players’ choices and how they treated Clementine over the series.
5. Halo – The Flood
I loved the first Halo. In fact, Halo: Combat Evolved was the title that spurred me to get an Xbox Original to begin with. If you have ever played the game you’ll no doubt remember the discovery of ‘The Flood‘. The discovery changes the game for the latter and adds a great sense of horror. Hell, There is nothing more scary than playing legendary to see 3000 red dots coming at you on the radar!
“Someone has released the Flood. My function is to prevent it from leaving this Installation. But I require your assistance. Come. This way.”
4. Super Mario 64 – Looking into the light
In Super Mario 64 a beam of light would shine down from the ceiling in Peach’s castle after collecting 10 stars… Of course, back then no one knew what triggered this event.
Staring into this light would warp Mario to a level in which you can unlock the wing hat! This level and the fact not many people knew that 10 stars triggered the event made the game seem more unpredictable and alive in what was already a revolutionary title.
“Here we go!”
3. Metroid – Samus’s female reveal
Back in 1986, one of the biggest shocks in gaming history occurred… In a world where female protagonists were scarce came Samus. Upon completion of ‘Metroid’ Samus took off her helmet to reveal a female.
Interestingly, It was revealed that Samus wasn’t always going to be female… Metroid co-creator Yoshio Sakamoto explains:
‘When we were almost done with the development of Metroid, one of our staffers casually suggested, ‘Why don’t we make Samus Aran a female character to surprise the player?’ Back then I thought it was a nice idea, but I couldn’t foresee what a huge impact this would have on the future of the franchise.’
2. Gears Of War 2 – Dom’s Wife
One of my favourite moments in gaming happens to also be one of the most heart breaking. After years of being missing, Dom finally finds his wife in a Locust prison camp… At first everything appears ok however it is eventually revealed that she had been “processed” and severely tortured. Dom was forced to euthanize her to end her suffering, something he never recovered from.
1. Zelda: Ocarina Of Time – Pulling out the Master Sword
‘The legendary blade of time resides in the Temple of Time. The Master Sword is the final key to the sacred realm that holds the Triforce, and only the one worthy of the title of the Hero of Time can draw it…’
When Link pulls the Master Sword out of its pedestal, he is too young to wield it and therefore travels seven years into the future. In the future there are some massive differences as Ganon has conquered Hyrule. Seeing Hyrule before and after Ganon is great and came as a great twist to new players. Pulling the master sword for the first time is something that can’t be forgotten… Ocarina of time is a game that can’t be forgotten!
Bonus Waypoint – The memory problem
Nowadays consoles and PC’s have a ton of options when it comes to memory size… However, games are getting bigger and I am sure everyone has had to delete a game they don’t want to get rid of just to install another at some point. That was the beauty of older consoles, the ability to pop the game in and be on your way…
This did come at a price depending on the console… Some consoles, for example the PlayStation 1 and 2 had no built in memory. Therefore without a memory card the only way of ‘saving’ your game without the use of passwords was to leave the console on overnight / while you were away… A great way to overheat consoles and a very memorable moment for older gamers.
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