WARNING: **MAJOR SPOILERS** Throughout gaming history, and your own personal gaming experiences, I’m sure there are moments that you will never forget. The death of your favorite character, a sudden plot twist, a beautiful romance reaching fruition, or whatever else suits your fancy, there are certain moments that are etched indelibly into your memory.
This list explores 10 of my most favorite scenes/moments from video games. I make no effort to claim that these are THE top 10 EVER. They are simply 10 moments that I shall never forget, and that I encourage you to seek out and experience for yourself. This list does contain major spoilers, so beware.
#10: The Gravity Gun upgrade: Half-Life 2 (PC)
The entire game, Gordon Freeman has been using normal, everyday (well, almost) weapons to take down his foes. Shotguns, pistols, smgs, etc. Everyday fare. The power of these is such that it makes you feel as though you really were just another guy doing what’s right, instead of an uber-soldier. The normal weapons are not overpowered, they’re just right, and the ammunition supplies you’ll find for the more powerful weapons are rare enough that you won’t get used to using them.
After you enter the Citadel, though, Gordon walks into a security room and is held in place by a stasis field as his weapons are disintegrated. All except for the Gravity Gun. Up until now, the Gravity Gun has been rather low-powered: You can’t really punt things big enough at combine soldiers to kill them in one hit like you can with the Magnum or Crossbow. The disintegration field somehow supercharges the Gravity Gun, though, and Gordon gains the most overpowered weapon since the Gauss Gun from HL1. It’s got infinite ammo, and can pinpoint kill any soldier from long range. You can punt soldiers up close to pretty much wipe out an entire group with one shot. You can rip giant pieces of machinery out of the wall and bowl over legions of soldiers.
This is such a sweet moment, and the wicked fun you get to have with the Gravity Gun from then on is so awesome.
#9: Ridley X battle: Metroid Fusion (GBA)
Metroid Fusion is the direct sequel to Super Metroid, and was released 8 years after the latter. Of course, graphics have improved amazingly since then, and one of my favorite moments is the Ridley X battle in Fusion, because it demonstrates this perfectly. Ridley, a large space dragon and co-leader of the space pirates, has been defeated by Samus many times before. He’s very powerful, and is often the second-to-last fight in the game.
In Fusion, Samus has a mission on the Biologic Science Labs space station. She’s here attempting to defeat a deadly parasite named “X” that can mimic the powers and appearance of foes it absorbs. She happens across a cyro-freeze chamber, where Ridley is kept in storage. Here, he appears with the exact same graphical look as he had in Super Metroid. Later on, Samus makes her way into the chamber, only to watch helplessly as an X parasite absorbs Ridley and flies off. Much later, she falls into a room that has Ridley X sitting at the bottom; still frozen, still with his old graphical look. He appears to be dead until his eyes glow red, and the parasite attacks! The moment it attacks, though, Ridley X gets a significant graphical boost, and he looks suitably awesome.
I love this moment, because in just a few seconds, you can see 8 years of new technology being applied to the same character. I never get tired of seeing it; it’s that awesome.
#8: Arthas’ Fall: Warcraft III (PC)
Prince Arthas, once a Paladin, now a Death Knight. The first time I played Reign of Chaos, I certainly didn’t expect him to do what he turned out doing. I was operating under the impression that Paladins are invincible, and cannot possibly compromise their moral code. Arthas certainly surprised me in that regard, murdering scores of people as he fell deeper and deeper into evil, eventually murdering his own father and taking up the demonic blade, Frostmourne.
Arthas then went on to help summon the Burning Legion to Azeroth, and seduce the Night Elf Illidan into consuming the skull of Gul’dan and becoming a half-demon. The most memorable moment for me, though, is in The Frozen Throne, when Arthas finally confronts Illidan in a one-on-one duel to the death. Arthas demonstrates the extent of his power as he easily defeats Illidan and leaves him for dead (though he does survive), and climbs the mountain and approaches The Frozen Throne itself. Smashing Frostmourne into The Frozen Throne, at first, I thought Arthas had redeemed himself and destroyed The Throne, but my hopes were dashed to the ice as the crown of the Lich King was released and Arthas and the Lich King merged into one.
The game ends on a very somber note, as Arthas surveys his frozen kingdom, with nothing living in sight.
#7: Maxim and Selan’s Death: Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals (SNES)
In what game have you seen a main character die? Several, right? How about BOTH of the (happily married, no less) main characters? Maxim, Selan, Guy, and Artea have finally come to the Fortress of Doom where their enemies await: The four Sinistrals. The party defeats them, one by one, and after the last of them, Daos, falls, Daos summons the energy of the other 3 in a last-ditch attempt to kill the party. The party combines their energy in an effort to push back and finally defeat the Sinistrals, but Artea realizes that Selan probably won’t survive the ordeal. Selan claims she can hold, and the party does indeed crush the Sinistrals, only to leave the floating Fortress of Doom collapsing, and Selan practically dead.
Artea and Guy are separated from Maxim and Selan, and the nature of Artea’s escape spell is that for the entire party to be magically teleported out, they have to all be together. Maxim realizes that he cannot leave Selan, and so Artea and Guy teleport out, after hearing Maxim’s promise that he’ll get them both out alive. Selan dies in Maxim’s arms, and Maxim starts his reluctant escape, only to realize that the Fortress is going to crash atop the town where he lives, and where his infant son is sleeping at that very moment!
Maxim goes off to alter the Fortress’ course, and uses the last of his spiritual and physical strength in this task which ends up claiming his life. Maxim and Selan’s spirits embrace each other in death, and float over their home town to see their son one last time, before ascending into the sky. A tragic ending already, but made moreso by Artea and Guy planning a celebration that they expect Maxim to be at. After all, he promised…
#6: The Final Boss: Final Fantasy III (SNES)
Kefka, the villain of Final Fantasy III (or VI, as it is more properly known), achieved what few villains could: He actually destroyed the world. Most graduates of villain school rarely get as far as Kefka did. Kefka, through his mad designs, ascended to godhood by absorbing the source of all magic in the world, the Statues.
He then proceeded to remake the world as he wanted it to be: a bleak, dead expanse. He constructed a tower for himself, where from on high he could destroy anything that opposed his might. The party, finally confronting him, is drawn into the battle to end all battles against the mad dictator.
Who could forget “Dancing Mad”, one of the best final boss music themes ever composed? Who could forget the deep organ chords as Kefka made his final appearance? Who could forget his maniacal laugh as he promised to crush all hopes and dreams? Who could forget the intensity of the battle that was to follow? The party’s escape upon his defeat, and the disappearance of magic, is timeless.
#5: Malus’ Revelation: Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness (N64)
This could’ve been attributed to the first Castlevania 64, but Legacy of Darkness had much better gameplay and more options and pretty much the entire first game in it, so I’m using this game. Now, the moment: While on a mission to Dracula’s castle to kill him, your character (Reinhardt or Carrie) has to wander through a hedge maze while being stalked by a giant that resembles Frankenstein’s monster wielding a chainsaw. While in the maze, you happen across a young boy with purple eyes and clothing, that is very scared and very lost. He explains that Dracula’s minions burned his town and killed his family, while looking for a certain child. The boy, Malus, upon remembering this horrific event, starts sobbing. As your character tries to comfort him, two large, animated stone dogs from hell creep up behind you. Malus notices this, shrieks in terror, and runs off.
You then have to find where he’s run off to and lead him to the exit. The back door of the hedge maze leads to the forest, and it should be an easy escape that way. Malus walks off, and that seems the end of it. (Keep reading, we’re getting to the interesting part.) However, much later and much deeper into the castle of darkness, your character comes across some shelves that you can see through… with Malus standing on the other side. Upon being questioned as to why he’s still here, he asks whether you are planning on defeating Dracula and avenging his parents. Your character swears it, only to be answered with an evil chuckle from Malus. His eyes have changed slightly; they’re a lighter purple than before. He yells at you that you have no chance and you will die in the castle, and then runs off.
Your character is quite confused, but it is apparent to the player that Malus is just another possessed human or vampire. After all, you’ve seen several strange creatures up to this point, and will see many more. A long time and many levels and bosses pass, and you forget Malus. You come to the highest point of the tower, and meet Dracula himself! You defeat him in an epic battle, and start to escape, as is the custom of many games. On your retreat, though, an arrow is suddenly fired at you.
Where could an arrow have come from, though? You’re high up on a falling staircase in midair! Your character looks up, and sees Malus himself, with his normal eyes, riding a black demon Pegasus. He stares at you for a second, and then spurs his mount on. You continue down the falling staircase, only to find the door is locked ahead of you. No choice: take the small elevator off to one side. It leads you to the roof, where Malus confronts you. Your character can feel a much stronger evil aura than that of even Dracula, and is thoroughly confused by this point. Malus’ eyes turn light again, and reveals that that which you had defeated was merely a guardian of Dracula’s true, slumbering spirit, and Dracula has possessed Malus’ body !
Suddenly transforming into a fully adult vampire, Dracula attacks. Your character defeats him, and it seems that Malus is no longer possessed: He looks up with normal eyes and seems confused. Your character reaches out to help him up, but suddenly Malus is attacked by Vincent! (Assuming you’ve gotten the good ending.) Vincent, an NPC vampire hunter, is not fooled: This child really IS Dracula! Dracula curses Vincent and is forced to reveal his true form: A monstrous, horrific, Dragon/centipede creature. This is the true final boss. The many plot twists involving Malus and Dracula, leading up to the appearance of the (totally awesome) final boss, are perfect, and definitely deserve to be on this list, imo. I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I experienced this.
#4: Dhaos’ Real Motive: Tales of Phantasia (SNES)
Tales of Phantasia remains to this day one of my most favorite RPGs, ever. Stupendous gameplay, graphics, and one one of the deepest plots I’ve ever seen, all in one cartridge. The plot is simply too deep to describe here, and the final, climactic revelation is one of the best moments ever in gaming. Most games, you learn what the villain’s motive is early on or midway through, and your ingame characters learn it as well. Revenge, wanting to dominate the world, power, etc. Motives are hard to not be cliched nowadays. But in Tales of Phantasia, Dhaos’s (Dhaos is the villain of the game, and apparently very evil) motive is never mentioned.
Your ingame party can’t even figure it out. All they know is that whatever he’s trying to do, he’s going about it the wrong way: killing scores of people, etc., so they need to stop him. At one of the many points in the game where the party confronts Dhaos, their motive theories are all put down by Dhaos.
He even thanks Mint (the healer) for saving the life of the Mana Tree, the source of magic in the world. The party and player remain confused up until after the final boss! It is revealed that Dhaos came from a different world that needs magic to survive, and he was attempting to create a Mana seed to take back to his world. Since the party killed him, it’s likely that they’ve doomed Dhaos’ entire planet to extinction. (Luckily, though, Martel, spirit guardian of the Mana Tree, makes a Mana seed to send to Dhaos’ planet. ) To Dhaos, He was the good guy and the main characters were the bad guys! I still have yet to see a plot twist to surpass this anywhere else.
#3: The Wind Fish’s Awakening: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (GB)
The direct sequel to A Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening takes Link on a sea journey that goes wrong, leaving him stranded on the little island of Koholint. Along the way, he makes many friends, and attempts to find a way home to Hyrule. Nightmare creatures are on the island, and Link is enlisted to help clear them out. He discovers that on the highest mountain of the island, there is a gigantic egg, and within sleeps a mythical creature named the Wind Fish. It becomes apparent that the Nightmares know something Link doesn’t, and it isn’t until late in the game that everything becomes clear: The island is not real.
It’s being dreamed into existence by the Wind Fish. Link has a choice to make: Awaken the Wind Fish and leave the island, or remain on the island forever. Dream or not, there are many people on the island that Link has grown attached to. The Nightmares don’t want the Wind Fish to wake up, as they’ll cease to exist, but the people don’t even know they’re not real. Link has no choice: He has to awaken the Fish. He enters the egg and defeats the Nightmares, and then awakens the Wind Fish. Link watches as the island simply disappears, even as Marin, a girl that helped him out, sings her favorite song. Link suddenly awakens on a piece of driftwood from his ship. Was EVERYTHING a dream?…. No, Link looks up and is gladdened to see the Wind Fish flying through the sky. The melancholy moment of the island’s disappearance is impossible to forget.
#2: Mother Brain Battle: Super Metroid (SNES)
The first time Samus saw Mother Brain, in the original Metroid, M.B. was just a brain in a jar with some lasers for defense. She appears to be the exact same boss in this game, too. Just wait until the jar breaks, though. Mother Brain sprouts a gigantic, alien body and starts shrieking like a banshee. Samus curses silently to herself, and starts pumping missiles into M.B.’s head. After awhile, though, it’s obvious that Mother Brain is simply too powerful now. She charges up a gigantic psychic blast, and lets loose on Samus, draining almost every last point of energy from our heroine, and leaving her unable to move. M.B. starts charging up again, and it’s unclear whether Samus will survive this, until the last living Metroid comes in to save Samus!
The Metroid drains M.B. almost dead, and starts transferring the energy to Samus. Meanwhile, Mother Brain is regaining her health. She stands up and starts firing at the Metroid that is busily healing Samus. The Metroid charges in for the attack, only to be shot down by M.B. The Metroid’s body falls on Samus, and Samus gains the last thing that the Metroid absorbed: Mother Brain’s psychic blast power! Samus utilizes this energy as the hyper beam, and every shot that connects with Mother Brain makes her recoil hugely as she screams in pain. This hugely overpowered weapon almost makes you afraid of your own power. Mother Brain doesn’t stand a chance against her own energy; her head is blown off and disintegrates into dust. Samus is left thanking the Metroid for saving her life, until she has to escape the exploding planet.
#1: Frog is Glenn: Chrono Trigger (SNES)
This moment marks the only time I’ve ever cried about something that happened in a videogame. I’m not a sentimental guy (well, not much), but this really moved me. In the game, Crono and Lucca, looking for the kidnapped queen, are approached by a swordsfrog that names himself as “Frog”. He helps you save the queen, and then leaves, but it is apparent that the queen knows him from previously. Later on, Frog joins you as you fight against the main threat to the kingdom: The evil wizard, Magus. Along the course of the game, you see various flashbacks in which two characters are introduced: Glenn, a young boy that is much picked on, and Cyrus, an older teen that befriends Glenn. The two become best friends, and grow up together, Cyrus wants to join the royal military, and suggests that Glenn join as well, claiming that Glenn is better with a sword than even he.
Glenn is reluctant, but the two join. Cyrus becomes captain of the guards, and Glenn his right hand man. The two set off on many missions, retrieving the Hero’s Medal from the frog king, and finally confronting Magus himself. Magus kills Cyrus, leaving Glenn in tears, and then curses Glenn with the shape of a frog. These flashbacks are not in chronological order, though, so one of the very last ones is the one that shows how Glenn and Cyrus met (at which point I cried, at seeing how deep a friendship they had and how brutally Magus had slaughtered Cyrus). Glenn/Frog is left with no self-esteem whatsoever, and rejects the obvious fact that he is the legendary hero, destined to wield the mystical sword, Masamune. Eventually, though, he takes up the Hero’s Medal and the Masamune, and the cutscene in which this happens is still my #1 favorite cutscene, ever. This is my #1 memorable moment. No matter what happens, I shall never forget this.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed typing it and remembering these moments. If you were reading an entry and said “Oh, yes! I remember that! That was awesome.”, then my purpose for this list is complete. If you’ve never experienced these moments, then I think you should! You won’t be sorry.
[GameFaqs List written by The_Mighty_KELP, republished and modified with permission.]