Unforgettable moments in gaming

I’d love to hear about/discuss experiences in gaming that really affected you deeply. In my opinion, games can potentially make an even deeper impact on the mind than books and movies, as it is an interactive media, and that is one of the reasons I love gaming. Naturally there might be some spoilers, so a friendly heads up before I give a couple of my personal examples- I’ll never forget the ambivalence I felt after landing the final stab into the first Collosus in Shadow of the Collosus, when the melancolic music played and I watched it fall to the ground. It really made me question my motives and how easy it is to have a “black and white” view of life/the world when we just go about our business and don’t question why we do what we do. I had a similar experience when Andrew Ryan asked me “Would you kindly?” in Bioshock. As most of my friends don’t game, I rarely get to talk about stuff like this, and I thought this forum would be the perfect place :slight_smile:


Some of my favorite moments in video games would be:

  1. Ending of Super Mario 2 on NES. I love the music, dream sequence and just thought it was definitely one of the best endings on NES or even any game I played.

  2. Ending of FEZ. A visual masterpiece. Made me feel like I was going nuts. But in a good way.

  3. Playing through the West End of Final Fight on SNES. I love the sunrise effects.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more. Nice topic!


Great topic. Off the top of my head, in no particular order:

  • The ending to River City Ransom. There’s nothing really special about it but if you read the ending text, it ends up being pretty silly and it cracked me up the first time I beat the game. For example, everyone you beat up suddenly decided to study and graduated as honor students.

  • As you mentioned earlier, that Andrew Ryan reveal in Bioshock put a big look of surprise on my face since I didn’t see that coming at all.

  • I had a similar reaction after a fight in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. I’ll try not to spoil it but it wasn’t the immediate aftermath of that fight but what they had you do. I thought it was a cutscene and I had waited about 5 minutes before I realized that I actually had to press a button to keep things going.

  • Having Leonard Nimoy tell me that my Seaman had passed away. I had gotten to the point where I ran out of food and I didn’t know about growing bugs in a separate tank so he starved for about 3 days. My mom was in the room when I got that message and she laughed, making me laugh as well and not feel so bad that my virtual pet had died due to my neglect.

  • Beating The Legend of Zelda. Nothing special about the ending and it was only me beating the first quest so no Master Quest. Still, I had finally beaten it 23 years after I first played it on the NES and I did it on the GBA using a flash cart to run a NES emulator on the system long before their NES re-releases hit the system. That’s also the only Zelda game I’ve ever finished despite playing a good deal of them in my life.

  • Discovering the paper trick in StarTropics. My sister and I were so amazed at that outside of the game puzzle that we destroyed the actual letter after running it through water so many times.


Nice! Super mario bros 2 was actually one of the first games I beat. I remember being impressed by the graphics of Mario sleeping. Awesome game.
I have played Fez, but I haven’t finished it. Sounds like I should :slight_smile:


I didn’t play River City Ransom back in the day, but I have it in my collection and have played it a little. I thought it was so funny that the characters looked exactly like the soccer players in Nintendo World Cup, a game I played a lot.

I got Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons on ps plus, but haven’t played it. Is it good? God, so many games, so little time.

I actually have a similar experience with Zelda. I remember playing it at a friends house back in 1987, I had no idea what I was doing, and it was so mysterious and epic. It was a great feeling to finally play through it and complete it a few years ago.

Me and my older brother got a NES as a shared birthday present in the mid 80’s. We got two games; Ice Climber and Kid Icarus. Ice Climber got boring quite fast, but Kid Icarus really captivated me. I played it crazy much, and got really far, even though I didn’t understand how to level up and make the game easier. I remember even writing stories in school based on the game :smile: A year or so later I got a password for the final level from a friend, all leveled up. He had written it on old, rolled up paper - if you played games back then, you know what an awesome gift that was.
I played through the whole game not too long ago. Still love it.

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I really enjoyed Brothers. The game is short enough that you can knock it out in an afternoon but it still feels like it comes in at just the right length. Not too short that you feel unfulfilled and not too long that you wish it just ended. The only thing you have to come to grips with is the dual analog setup as you’re controlling both characters at almost all times. It doesn’t take too long to get used to but you’ll be taken aback if you’re coming in cold.

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Thanks for the tip, I’ll definately play it when I have an afternoon to game.

This is a tough one. Not because I can’t think of any, but because I have too many.

  1. Beating A Link to the Past when I was 11, maybe 12. It felt like such a well earned win, the first really satisfying game completion that I can remember. I completed other games before it but this one meant something significant to child me.

  2. 100% Super Mario World. Why? Because Koopas wear Mario masks instead of having shells, and everything turns to chocolate. All because you beat Star Road. Impossible Frustrating Star Road. Man Star Road was tough when I was 10. I don’t think I beat it until after I beat A Link to the Past. And beating it felt great. IT was hard, and I conquered it. Achievements are simpler when you are a kid.

  3. Fighting and beating Lavos on my fresh new game plus with just Crono and Marle. Yes, everything in Chrono Trigger was memorable, given it is still one of my absolute favourite games. But beating Lavos with two characters that were barely more powerful than they were at the end of my first run was exceptionally fun and memorable. My first fight with Lavos at the end of my first run was challenging and exciting. But jumping in right away with Crono and Marle was on another level.

  4. Everything about The Last Guardian, but especially the finale. I grew attached to Trico, and the end is devastating. The game fosters a sense of connection with Trico, through mechanics, in a way few games do. And the simplicity and power of the ending solidifies it as one of the more important games I’ve played in some time.

  5. Gone Home resonated with me, on a story level, in a way that is seldom tackled in video games. Increasingly that is changing, but Gone Home is an important step in a direction that tells a less typical story about identity and self. These themes are often tackled in other forms of media, but it was nice to see a video game take them up. And that meant a lot to me. I expected something very different going in and found, instead, a story that deeply resonated.

  6. Giving Cassandra Varic’s latest issue in Dragon Age. This might be my favourite moment in any BioWare game, and if it’s not, it’s tied with my favourites in Mass Effect. Regardless, it is the perfect scene. Cassandra is embarrassed and happy, ashamed of her interests yet excited for a new book. She doesn’t want to abmit she likes something that she fears other’s will judge, but can’t contain her joy at having a new volume to read. It is earnest and honest, and I have certainly been in Cassandra’s shoes. A close second is Cassandra reading the book during the credit sequence for Trespasser. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t played Trespasser, but it is pure and good.

  7. Mass Effect. Every second of every game. Every relationship, every mission, every bit of dialogue. All of it.

There are too many more. I could do this for hours, so I’ll stop here. For now :wink:

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  1. Unwrapping SMB 2, popping it in and expecting it to be the SMB 1 that i had played at friends house. Off to coin heaven… NOPE.

  2. When weather was about to get bad i went out into the middle of nowhere (Modoc) with a friend who had a generator (but no running water) he’s a big fallout fan so we basically had a side by side ‘lan party’ and played fallout 3 for AT LEAST three days straight non stop with no sleep, living off of coffee with like 1 ft snow (we couldnt even open the door)

  3. Cruising around way too fast in GTA Vice City listening to Cake Fashion Nugget and shooting people to the groove of Electric Six, lol

finding a pinball machine somewhere and playing it alone in a secluded place all night undisturbed. Recommend you do it once in your life. For me it was south park pinball at a mostly vacant hotel.

I’ll also never forget the time i was at a local competitive ladder thing for Warhammer 40,000 and this CRAZY guy was having some argument about lore/mechanics interpretation or spirit of intent and he climbed on top of the war table to ‘preach’ to everyone in the place about the forces of chaos and their influence on man and why he deserved to get that initiative save! Several people wanted to stop him and pull him down but nobody did because i think everyone really wanted to hear/see what he had to say or do next. I was about 12 and I actually got a bit scared. “Chaos is bad, m’kay?”


A Link to the Past holds a very special place in my heart too. I did vote for it as my favourite Zelda game in your game poll :slight_smile: . It’s one of the games I pick up and play through every now and then, and it really brings me back to when I was 12 years old, experiencing it for the first time.

I played Super Mario World loads, but never managed to 100% it. I think I got to 96%, never being able to find the last hidden levels.

As a european, unfortunately I didn’t get to play Chrono Trigger during the SNES-era. I made up for it a few years ago, playing both the original cartridge on my US SNES and the DS version on my 3DS. It has aged really well, and even though I didn’t play it back in the day, I consider it one of my favourite SNES games.

The last Guardian was fantastic. To me it didn’t reach Shadow of the Colossus level of awesomeness, but there’s no real reason to choose between two such wonderful, very different games.

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I remember when i played a GTA game for the first time. It was GTA3 and it blew my mind. I borrowed it from a friend and played it with my brother in the basement. An hour or so after starting I went upstairs to have a glass of water, and discovered we had been playing for like 7 hours. Good times.

That story about the crazy Warhammer preacher guy was hilarious!

This reminds me of two stories. One about Mario 2 and the other Zelda II.

I think I received Mario 2 for my birthday that followed it’s release. I just remember being in the passenger side of my mother’s car as we drove home. I had opened the box and was reading the manual on the way home, excited to play. I remember reading that booklet as vividly as I do playing the game.

It was 4am Christmas morning, likely 1988, and I was awake. I crawled out of bed and made my way to the living room. The tree was lit with presets beneath. I knew I wasn’t allowed to wake anyone that early, so I sat in front of the tree for three hours, too excited to go back to sleep. I was also snooping, and I found a gift that was unmistakably the shape of a NES game. I picked it up, turned it around in my hands and wondered which game it could be. I think I wanted to peek inside, but I didn’t. When I finally gave in and woke people around 7am, I shortly discovered that what was contained in the gift wrapped box was Zelda II.


It’s pretty perfect. I play it again every once in a while also. I think I own it several times over for different Nintendo systems. But I still have the SNES cartridge, and it’s my favourite way to play.

I don’t think I knew that it wasn’t available in Europe. That is utterly tragic :frowning:
My copy was a copy that was passed around among friends in high school. One friend bought it and when done, passed it on to another friend. And he to another. And so on. When it reached me I played it and selfishly never wanted to let go. I went back to the original friend, who owned the cartridge and asked him if he wanted to sell it. He said sure, as he was done with the game, and most of the other people who wanted to play already had. I still have the box and posters that came with the game. I lucked out, because otherwise I may have missed out on Chrono back at release. It just wasn’t a game that was originally on my radar.

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Good stories. I must admit you ended your zelda II story with a real cliffhanger! would love to read a review with that story integrated into the review lol

Here’s another. (your story made me recall) I remember reading the original Legend of Zelda manual i remember being printed on some kind of photo copy paper. I dont remember where the game came from or when i played it but i remember reading that manual and being mesmerized by the genius concept art of enemies and scenes. The manaul/copy paper was poorly done and very faded and i think i further imagined it to be ‘tattered’ like some kind of treasure map. I remember I was reading it in the back seat and my dad was going fishing and I had the idea to look for treasure on the beach. I found some a hermit crab and I thought of the manual and thought it was an octorok, I remember digging in the sand looking for more. Maybe this weird experience is the reason i probably spent more time playing Link’s Awakening than other games?


Thanks for sharing your stories, you guys are awesome. :grin: On a more general note, I really have good memories playing difficult, almost punishing games like mega man, castlevania and punch out!! in my childhood. The sense of accomplishment when (often after a million tries) defeating a difficult level/boss/fighter etc., hands sweaty, adrenaline pumping, is just something else. I got the same feeling playing Furi recently, a game that basically is built around creating that feeling. I often don’t have the patience for games like that nowadays, but when I do, it’s always rewarding. Unless they make me throw my controller into a wall.

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I feel like the only person who didn’t finish any games with good endings. Well, yet.

I’m sorry ec_ho, I don’t understand. What do you mean by good endings?

What a wonderful thread.

@8bithero already mentioned the ending of Fez, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

I found the transition from the 3rd to the 4th disc and then the final disc’s story of Shenmue II incredibly moving.

Some other moments that blew me away the first time I experienced them…

  • First loop-de-loop I ran through in Sonic the Hedgehog
  • The camera panning up to expose the first colossus in Shadow of the Colossus
  • Running around in front of the castle for the first time in Super Mario 64
  • The ending of Portal 2
  • The first hallucination in Arkham Knight

Yes! Completing a hard level or boss in megaman is very rewarding. I just thought of Super Meat Boy. I finished the last stage on one try and felt like a video game god. There was so much swearing in the worlds and levels leading up, but then when I crushed the final stage I was ecstatic.

On a side note, this is a random one which I believe not many people have played, the part of Hiversaires (first person puzzler on mobile device) where you do something to unlock a portal and the screen goes through some kick ass animation. I love the game. Nice black and white graphics, created entirely by one person (More Info Here) and mind effingly challenging. I had a lot of fun with it. Not bad at all for a free game.