Welcome to the third part of our ongoing look at gaming’s unforgettable moments!
So far, we’ve explored: Leon Kennedy’s head being chainsawed from his body in Resident Evil 4; shooting enemies’ hats off from the comfort of an overhead ventilation shaft in GoldenEye; and, of course, the joys of discovering a T-Rex in the original Tomb Raider.
So, what else is there to talk about?
Lots and lots – as you’ll see below …
Fighting for a Job in Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage remains one of the Sega Genesis/ Mega Drive’s greatest games, an endlessly-repayable beat-em-up starring three former cops out to liberate their city from crime and corruption.
With Mr. X’s Syndicate now in charge, Axel, Adam, and Blaze all take to the neon-lit streets to kick butt & take names – all using a variety of hand-to-hand attacks, knives, & convenient steel pipes. The action’s exciting, varied, and addictive, making for a game that never grows tiresome, no matter how many times you come back to it.
When you finally reach Mr. X’s lair, the man himself makes you an offer: instead of fighting him, join his organisation and help rule the city. Now, while the first instinct is to turn him down and punish him for his dastardly deeds, there is a ‘bad’ ending available – one many of us no doubt remember!
When playing in two-player mode, both heroes can be made to face each other in a final battle. To do this, one player must accept Mr. X’s offer, and the other must refuse it – triggering a bust-up. Once you defeat your opponent, you then take Mr. X down and take control of the Syndicate yourself.
This is a great ending to a fantastic game, and while it doesn’t make much sense for someone to suddenly turn to the other side after brawling through an army of villains, it’s a memorable finale from a classic game.
Facing that Giant Alligator in Resident Evil 2
As far as sequels go, Resident Evil 2 is pretty much perfect. Despite transplanting the action from an isolated mansion to a devastated city, this game still has the power to send a chill down the spine.
While there are certain butt-clenching moments of cheesy dialogue (“hold your fire! I’m a human!”), Resident Evil 2 boasts one amazing section after another. From that first flaming zombie in the game’s opening to the subterranean finale, you’re treated to an action-packed, suspenseful adventure that easily matches the first game’s brilliance.
The most unforgettable moment? Without doubt, it has to be facing that enormous alligator.
Now, an alligator coming towards you in any situation would be terrifying enough – but a giant mutant alligator?
Yup, that’s pretty much as bad as it gets.
This is a real stand-out, unexpected moment, and even includes a nod to Jaws: the beast will, at a certain point, bite into a fuel canister – which you can then make go boom with a well-timed shot (just like Police Chief Brody did in Spielberg’s legendary flick) . Alternatively, if you simply blast the alligator long enough, it’ll crash through a wall and stomp away, no doubt to find a snack elsewhere.
When the Resident Evil franchise is good, it’s absolutely exceptional – and this scene shows the developers’ creativity, imagination, & ability to build a well-crafted scare at its finest.
The Sniper Wolf Shoot-outs in Metal Gear Solid
The PS1’s Metal Gear Solid is basically one huge unforgettable moment (even with the endless cut-scenes and Codec-based conversations), so picking one is pretty tough.
However, to get around this, we’re combining two into one: the two battles against Sniper Wolf, the sharp-eyed killer with a heart.
In your first encounter with this villain, the game delivers something of a nasty surprise: Meryl, whom Snake has recently rescued, is shot by an unseen, unexpected sniper. As she lies on the ground, helpless, Snake has to take cover – and think of a way to save Meryl & himself.
This remains a hugely impressive part of Metal Gear Solid, and leads into a second confrontation later in the game. In a snowy outdoor spot, a location drenched with atmosphere, Sniper Wolf again tries to pick Snake off, one bullet at a time.
Despite there being no hostage to worry about, Sniper Wolf’s uncanny sniping skills make this a real challenge.
Diazepam is on hand to help steady Snake’s aim, but is in short supply, so whenever Sniper Wolf’s red targeting-laser appears, you know you need to find cover.
An absolute masterstroke of writing, though, is Sniper Wolf’s emotional backstory, which is so powerful it leaves you feeling bad for taking her down. Her tragic history makes her a likeable character, and helps to bring more depth to a game already filled with heavyweight themes.
The Clayface Reveal in Arkham City
The final half hour of Arkham City brings a few surprises – not least of which is the appearance of Clayface, Gotham’s premiere shape-shifting villain.
While it seems obvious in hindsight, the revelation that Clayface has been posing as the Joker while the real Clown Prince of Crime himself has been deathly ill, is a neat twist. The fight that follows is awesome, epic – a climactic showdown that comes as a welcome surprise (improves on Arkham Asylum’s ‘steroid Joker’ finale).
This also feels true to the source material, with Clayface having served as a misdirection in other stories, and the morph-heavy animations are technically stunning. While Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu featured a boss battle against Clayface, Arkham City’s is much more atmospheric, more visceral, and is just one unforgettable moment from a game filled with them.
So, that brings the third part of our lookback to a close – what do you think of our choices? What other unforgettable moments from gaming history come to mind? Let us know!