Welcome to the second part of our look back at some of the most unforgettable moments in gaming!
Last time, we covered key sequences from Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy VII, Resident Evil, and more – which games will feature in part two?
While not every video game offers memorable moments, some stay with us forever – like all art and entertainment, games have the power to evoke various emotions: joy, sadness, fear. However, unlike movies and novels, games can actually go further: we become more immersed in the action, and when asked to make certain decisions, actually direct the way in which narratives unfold.
This power has helped to create many, many unforgettable moments – including the four below …
Losing your Head in Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 was a massive departure for the long-running series: gone were the static camera angles, shuffling zombies, and stiff characters. In their place, we were treated to a dynamic perspective, a more agile hero, and entirely different enemies – all of which gave the franchise the kick in the butt it needed.
While Resident Evil: Nemesis has its fair share of terrifying moments, nothing compares with that first sight of a chainsaw-wielding villain in its sequel. Wearing a burlap sack over their heads and carrying a deadly power-tool in their hands, these freaks are a horrifying sight – as soon as you hear that motor start, you know you better get trigger-happy to avoid a grisly death.
Too slow? Out of ammo? Well, then sit back and enjoy your brutal death-scene: for maximum impact, the camera shifts to show Leon’s decapitation as the chainsaw’s blade slices through his neck.
The first time you see this, it’s unbelievable – and, depending on your skill, you might end up seeing it many more times!
Blowing up Megaton in Fallout 3
Choosing unforgettable moments in Fallout 3 is pretty difficult – not because there aren’t enough, but because there are so many!
Without doubt, one of the game’s most iconic moments is destroying Megaton … if you choose to, that is.
Megaton is a small settlement built around an undetonated atomic bomb: this is one of the first locations you reach after leaving Vault 101, and can eventually set up home there (provided it still exists!).
However, early on, you’ll face a choice: either accept Sheriff Lucas Simms’ money to disarm the bomb, or take up Mister Burke’s offer (on behalf of his boss, Allistair Tenpenny) to detonate it.
While disarming the bomb is definitely better for your karma, detonating it does provide a sick thrill. Especially when you get to watch the explosion, in all its apocalyptic glory, safely from Tenpenny Tower.
Of course, you could always be sneaky and create multiple saves to try both options.
Battling through the Jungles of Titan in Flashback
Flashback remains one of the greatest games of the 16-bit generation, boasting distinctive visuals, intelligent gameplay, and a compelling sci-fi storyline.
Taking on the role of Conrad Hart, players are tasked with recovering his memories, returning to Earth, and, ultimately, stopping the Morphs’ invasion; the game was a real challenge from start to finish, but it was addictive, exciting, and unique.
The unforgettable opening level sees you jumping, climbing, and blasting your way through the artificial jungles of Titan, encountering robots and other enemies: who can forget that brief cut-scene as you discover the Holocube featuring an ominous recorded message from Conrad himself?
While the game then brought more amazing moments (fighting through the Running Man-esque Death Tower game show, as well as battling through the Morphs’ homeworld), this first stage is sure to linger in the minds of anyone who played it.
Shooting Hats off of Guards’ Heads in GoldenEye
Rare’s awesome, smash-hit game-changer GoldenEye translated many moments from the movie into exciting playable scenes: escaping from the train with a handy wristwatch-laser; driving a tank through the streets of St. Petersburg; blasting through Trevelyan’s base in Cuba.
Of course, one of the greatest movie-based moments was the opening of the second level. After jumping from a dam to reach the secret facility at its base, Bond begins this stage in a ventilation shaft: soon after, the player finds themselves staring down into a toilet stall … in which an unsuspecting guard is enjoying some time to himself.
In the movie, Bond lowers himself into the cubicle and knocks the guard out cold. In the game, though, Bond is armed with a silenced pistol – and this is where the fun begins.
While a well-placed bullet can kill the man, an even-better-aimed round will knock the guard’s hat clean off his head … without his even noticing.
This is a totally pointless endeavour, but everyone who played GoldenEye in its heyday did this at least once. As this was one of the most fun levels to play through over and over, blasting that guard’s hat became a tradition – if you didn’t do it, then the rest of the entire stage just didn’t feel right.
Well, that’s it for the second part of our wander down gaming’s memory lane – thanks for reading!
What are your favourite gaming moments? Are there any you think deserve to be included in