One day I was thinking to myself about awesome moments in video games, and it ended with me deciding to do a list about it. This could not be done alone. Recruiting help from the jolly fellows at the Mega64ums
, I asked for suggestions. This is the culmination of it all, the Top 25 Most Badass Game Moments.
This can be either an awesome cinematic, the first time you do a special move or get a super power, or an event in the game, but there is a general rule I'll be following; it has to happen "naturally" in the game, that anyone can get when playing the game. That is, no A.I. glitches, no use of cheat codes, online play, etc. It needs to be a scripted event that comes about from normal means, not stories about how you went on a 50 man kill-streak, or messed with the game's A.I. to create elaborate scenarios, or personal stories of how you came from last place to first in Mario Kart with a Lightning on the last lap.
Furthermore, this considers just that moment in the game, not the game as a whole. Also, I use "badass" pretty liberally, from either something awesome you can do in a game, or just an amazing moment from the game in general.
Anything with thanks on it means that someone suggested it and I had played the game and agreed about it.
Half-Life 2: Getting the HEV Suit
So after being made to walk through gates, pick up trash, and then having to be saved from a savage beating by a gurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl, Gordon eventually gets his trusty Hazardous Environment Suit Mark V. You step up, and he puts it on instantly, making a unique animation where he clenches his fists that are never seen again in the game, or the following two Episodes. What makes this moment so badass is the brief music that plays when you put it on. You know that shit is gonna go down, and go down hard.
And the first weapon you get after that? The crowbar. Awwww SNAP!
Onimusha 3: Oni Army
Thanks dark mullet
If you thought that having actor Jean Reno in Onimusha 3 and going to feudal Japan was dumb, then I don't think we can be friends because it was awesome. Jacques had an interesting weapon which gave him some neat moves, he'd shoot downed enemies with a handgun and he even jumped a ramp with his motorcycle to get onto a ship. He one-upped the series' main protagonist early into the game, and all this badassery culminated at the end where he led the Oni Army against a tide of demons. And the topping on the cake? You got to play through the fight as well.
Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon: I Am Impact!
Here's our first case of disregarding the game's quality and looking only at the moment. Mystical Ninja was a strange one, a game often described as "very Japanese." It would also be the first case where I would hear a Japanese song in a video game and bless Konami and Nintendo for leaving it in. That intro was just average but the song took it to a whole new level. Then you first get to play as Goemon Impact. Summoning Goemon Impact was a blast, and the goofy, anime-like introduction with the subtitled song was so weird, yet at the same time so very awesome. It is a crime that the next Goemon game that came to America had its intro and song cut out.
Chrono Trigger: The time portal
This blew my mind the first time I saw it. Seriously, there's not much else to say, except that when I saw it, it was seriously impressive. I thought that the SNES had peaked in terms of graphical prowess but this made my jaw drop it was so impressive. I wasn't expecting a lot going into Lucca's death machine, but if all time travel looks like this? Sign me the fuck up.
Doom: The BFG9000
Doom. Where do you begin? It's legacy and controversy is large enough to write it's own article on, but here we're gonna talk about it's big fucking gun. The
big fucking gun, the BFG9000. True to its name, it is big. The beast looks like it's got quite a bit of heft to it, and at the time, it's shots looked awesome, with very clear results. In a time when an FPS meant killing everyone in front of you, the BFG did exactly that.
Mortal Kombat: Sub-Zero's Fatality
Mortal Kombat. A lot can be said about the game, from its impact on arcades to its controversy. The gore factor may not amount to much in this day and age of gaming, but at the time it was the talk of the day and kids memorized the Fatality inputs more than... whatever the hell you learned at school back then. Out of them all I find Sub-Zero's to be the most iconic, the defining signature of the Mortal Kombat series. No matter how over the top the various Fatalities, Brutalities, Animalities, Babalities or Friendships (Christ I wish I was making the last three up) became, there's something to be said for the simple ripping of a man's head and spine out.
God Hand: Kicking some ass
The trailers for God Hand said "It's hard... but fair" and that's pretty much true. It'll kick your ass around for a while, but as you start to understand the dodge mechanics and start tinkering with the different moves, you'll be laying the hurt down on the various thugs, robots and demons you encounter. You really do feel like a badass after dodging an enemy's combo then countering with your own. This game is also the first time that mashing a button as been fun. If you do enough damage to an enemy, a prompt to press the O button pops-up where you do a context-sensitive move that varies from enemy type to enemy type. You may repeatedly knee a fat man in the face, deliver a flurry of punches or kicks to a gay cabaret dancer, or bend a woman over your knee and tan her cheeks red. And what the game may lack in an ending it more than makes up for with the best end credit roll ever made. Don't act like you don't like the Ball Buster.
Devil May Cry 3: Fighting with a motorcycle
Devil May Cry 2 did not have a very warm welcome, so Capcom decided that maybe they needed to kick it up a notch. The game's producer Tsuyoshi Tanaka, after doing a fuckton of blow, began screaming that Dante needed to fight not only with swords and guns, but also motorcycles and guitars. After being left outside a hospital in a shopping cart with "O.D. - COCANE" written on cardboard, the team then went to work, crafting a very over-the-top action game with cinematics that danced the fine line between awesome and absurd. While Tanaka was able to get out of rehab in time to work on the game, the team was only able to get the magic guitar in as a weapon, and he had to be content with a cutscene where Dante drives up a mountainside, dodges rocks, and kills demons with a motorcycle.
Gears of War: Your first chainsaw kill
In 1999 Squaresoft released Final Fantasy VIII, showing us a world where guns and swords come together in harmony creating the gunblade; the second-most questionably unsafe weapon made. In 2006 Epic Games made the
most questionably unsafe weapon ever made; the Lancer. This assault rifle is equipped with a chainsaw bayonet. I knew at once that this was the best weapon ever made. The first time you kill someone with the chainsaw attachment was friggin' hardcore, and you've probably died a couple of times trying to use it exclusively. I did anyways. I hear now that Gears of War 2 is gonna have chainsaw duels. Expectations: high. Boners: Massive.
Super Mario 64: Flying
Pilotwings 64 sucks. There, I said it. No one wanted to because it was a launch title and people were nostalgic over the original shitty one on the SNES, but it really didn't blow minds with the gameplay and it really wasn't very good. Enter Mario 64. Once you got the Wing Cap it was everything Pilotwings was supposed to be; fun. It was tricky at first but learning how to stay up in the air was amazing, and even when I had gotten all 120 stars and found Yoshi, I would still play the game just for the pleasure of flying. As a bonus, that cap lasted a pretty good amount of time, and I can honestly say that I haven't played any other games were flying is a power and has been as fun and open as Super Mario 64.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Solidus vs. Rays
Solidus Snake is a tool. He surrounds himself with a poor man's Foxhound unit, people that wish to betray him, and he's got a retarded name. None of his plans ever succeed, his presidency was a failure culminating with him resigning and he can't even lose the correct eye to look the Big Boss. The only time he ever is legitimately awesome is at the end when he's killing various Metal Gear Rays. It shows his power, what kind of threat he is, and looks totally sweet doing it. The POV shot of the Ray with its vision freezing is just extremely cool. It's unfortunate that the game took this long to show us that maybe Solidus is more than just another clone running around.
Super Mario World: YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER ! !
Super Mario World is my favorite game of the core, non-sports/party/kart/RPG/Paper/etc., series. I loved it to death and armed with the sweet, official guide book (that I still own and cherish) I explored the entire game after beating it on my own the first time. The Special World levels are still damn hard for me, especially fucking Tubular. So after much yelling and anger and near-thrown controllers, I saw the message in the air made out of coins in the last level, I really thought that it was all worth it. Fuck you Tubular.
Super Metroid: Mother Brain
The end of the original Metroid on Nintendo was intense and Super Metroid was, but for a different reason. Mother Brain was easy, but once she did that crazy beam move on me, I thought my game had glitched. Right before I was going to reset the game and hope my controller would work, the titular Super Metroid swoops in and starts fucking up that bitch's shit. I was all "Yeah, yeah, suck it baby!" (I'm glad no one had heard me) and then... that fucking brain in a jar killed my baby. Noooooo! Using Mother Brain's hyper beam against her was only a small consolation, as I furiously took down that bitch. I fled the exploding planet, upset that the giant blob was dead. It was on-screen so shortly but the giant, scary, and somehow cute, monster had endeared itself to me. I replayed the fight a few more times to see if it was somehow possible to have it survive. Somewhere, a psychiatrist got rich off of Samus explaining that fucked up family dynamic.
Zelda series: The Master Sword
There's a Master Sword in pretty much every Zelda game made, and almost every time it's a rush to get. All those dungeons, puzzles and boss fights just seem to lead up to this moment. My first Zelda game was Link to the Past, and it really delivered. You finally get the sword, and go to pull it out. The music swells, the sword glows as the three pendants you collected float up into the air and then it's yours. After the music dies down you scroll through some text while you hear heavy wind blowing. It really feels epic in its own small way. The only time getting the Master Sword that failed to deliver was Twilight Princess, where I was just glad to get through the tediousness.
Call of Duty 4: Shock And Awe
Call of Duty 4 is a first in the series in that it's not taking place in World War II, which was enough to make me interested in it. It also has entirely in-game cinematics where you're always in control. I don't know if that's also a first but that's irrelevant because Infinity Ward did not lie in that aspect. The most amazing moment of this is at the end of the Marine mission Shock And Awe. Right after your amazing rescue of a downed chopper pilot you and the rest of the team get in your own helicopter and get the hell out. As soon as you hear on the radio the word "nukes" you know you're fucked. And you are. Said nuke goes off and your chopper goes down. When the screen clears, you're in control again, this time slowly crawling your way out of the wreckage, only to stand up and look at a completely devastated city, buildings crumbling and ash flying like snow, before finally falling to the ground and dieing. It's an absolutely amazing, emotional, and powerful scene that shows you how far games have really come.
Resident Evil 4: Ganados village.
Like everyone and their brother, RE4 is my favorite of the series. Despite trying, and failing badly, to make Leon look like a tough guy (dude shaves his pits, check his alternate costume in RE2) the game took a big stride forward in terms of gameplay mechanics in what I believe is a positive direction. The coolest encounter to me was in the beginning of the game, where Leon is fighting for his life in the village, running from building to building to buy some time. While normally infinitely-spawning enemies make me hate a segment, the fight in the village was really unique. It was an open, free-form fight where you could try to hole up in a building, barricading doors and kicking down ladders, picking up ammo when you can, just trying to hold out. And once you hear the chainsaw? Aw shit.
Killer 7: Dan vs. Curtis
Playing Killer 7 feels like you needed to read some kind of external storybook to get the full picture. There's a lot going on that doesn't make much sense and the game is more than happy to keep you in the dark about things. One thing it did make clear was that Dan Smith is, indeed, a badass, and he's one of the more developed Smiths in the game. The confrontation between him and Curtis Blackburn was hardcore. You could tell these two had a history together and wanted nothing more than to put a bullet between the other's eyes, and there was no better way to do it than a good old fashioned quick draw. Not only was this awesome, but it serves as the level's boss fight, and it's an intense, twitch-inducing battle. And the music box tune that plays after the fight? Fuuuuuuuck.
This is probably the best opening movie you will ever see in a video game. If you don't get pumped for some fucking Melee once you see "Nintendo's All-Stars in" and then the electricity crawling up Mario then you sir have to see a doctor because you are missing something in life. That missing something is called happiness. Every moment about that opening is awesome; they even made the big, gay, rainbow Yoshi stampede totally sweet, and I know you're a liar if you didn't say "Super Smash Bros. Meleeeeeeeeeeee!" with the announcer at the end. The only thing that I wish was changed was if you could unlock a second movie when you unlock all the other hidden characters, but then again, why mess with perfection? I'll excuse you for a moment because I know you're about to watch the video again.
Skies of Arcadia: Harpoon/Moonstone Cannon, fire!
Skies of Arcadia was the best RPG on the Dreamcast, and is in fact a damn fine game. If it had made it to the PS2 I'm willing to bet that people would be talking a lot more about it. It seemed like a throwback to the older JRPG's with a simple plot and a protagonist that didn't have mental issues, elaborate reasons for exploring, or a closet full of skeletons. And thank you, Sega, for not even hinting at a love triangle between Vyse, Fina and Aika. While in combat the special attacks were neat, nothing was as cool as firing off the Harpoon Cannon and later, the Moonstone Cannon. The ship battles in Skies was a very interesting and fun system and when you saw the option to use the special cannons, you knew someone's day was about to be ruined.
Sonic Adventure: Emerald Coast
Sonic Adventure made me believe in Sega again. It wasn't a perfect game and it had its rough edges, but it was otherwise a fantastic game. I really can't pick a best part of Sonic's first level, people may remember the whale segment but it was so well done, with such excellent music that I consider the entire level to be completely awesome. I really thought that Sega was going to make a comeback because of this game. Unfortunately for Sega, Sony and Nintendo saw this success and sent undercover agents to make sure Sonic Adventure 2 would not be as successful. After adding in the shitty Emerald hunt levels with Knuckles, and making Tails' levels a poor man's E-102's, the agents went the extra mile by then forcing you to play those stages over as Eggman and Rouge. Sony and Nintendo then forgot to recall these saboteurs, and they have been hard at work making sure every console Sonic game thereafter has been shit.
Ace Combat 5: Mission 27+
This was the first game of the Ace Combat series that I've played, and I'm convinced it's the best. I say this with no authority having played none of the other games besides Ace Combat Zero but I digress. There were a lot of moments to choose from in this game, and this one was really spectacular. First you have to fight two elite enemy squads high in the sky and when that's done, you need to blow apart a falling satellite before it crashes into the Earth below. While you're blowing this bitch up you need to dodge the debris from it falling off all the while The Unsung War is playing in the background, which may be the most perfect, epic music ever. It really is an amazing finish to such a great game.
Shadow of the Colossus: The first colossus.
It'd be easy to just say the entire game and you would pretty much be right. There were really only 2 colossi in the game that I'd ever really want to skip. But I'm going to go with your first encounter in the game. Climbing up the cliff side and then BAM! The colossus rises up and stomps past. It's just amazing and sets up the scale of the game perfectly. I've show that moment to some people in my family who don't care for video games and even they find it impressive. In a very close second, standing up in the saddle while holding your sword aloft, riding at full speed. Fuck yeah!
Metal Gear Solid 3: Les Enfants Terrible
I was considering just putting the entire game down, but then I remembered that this was looking at a moment, not the entire game. So yeah, Snake Eater. Every boss fight, every encounter, every story revelation kept topping itself, so it was really hard for me to pick just one. For me, at the end of the game as it goes down the timeline before stopping at the Les Enfants Terrible Project entry. "The Sons of the Boss are born" comes on-screen with a chilling sound and the enormity of it all just hit me. Naturally, I picked another moment that needs the audio to feel epic with.
Final Fantasy III/VI: The opera house
GEE, DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING. Well fuck you, make your own list. I don't think you can legally talk about Final Fantasy III/VI without talking about the opera house scene. For weeks I would rent this game from Blockbuster, forced to restart because the last person to rent saved over my file, only to have to return it right before I could get to that point. After the long, long cockteasing, I eventually was given the game and played the crap out of it wondering what would happen next. And holy shit did it rock my world. I'm sure if you showed the opera house moment to people now, they'd laugh at how silly it all seems but for me, those synth-noises made to mimic singing floored me. I had a saved file right before the opera house and would load it who knows how many times because it never got old. Never. Even later in the game when shit goes nuts, the opera house is always the part of that game that'll stand out to me.
BONUS TIME! Honorable Mentions!
Here are a couple of moments that were good, but just not good enough to get into the door, or were suggested to me by others but I hadn't played the game in question.
Final Fantasy VII: Cloud Omnislashing Sephiroth
So FFVII was amazing when you were playing it and the Summons and Limit Breaks were rocking your Goddamn face and you know it, and then you fight Sephiroth for the final time. Then when he's dead Cloud fights him in his brain or something? Anyways, it was a very cool final moment, with the camera cutting quickly between the two as the Limit Break gage slowly fills up, then... "Omnislash? What?" and then you select it and Cloud busts out an insane move you've never seen and Sephiroth is dead. Then you're talking to your friends about it, and you're going on and on about how cool it was, then someone interrupts with "That's Cloud's final Limit Break. You can get it before then" so you load up your last save file and do the bullshit to get Omnislash and use the shit out of it and suddenly when you beat the game again, that moment is not so cool. In short, this moment's mileage varies; if you were just trying to beat the game it's awesome, but if you got every little thing, then seeing Omnislash for the umpteenth time has probably gotten boring by now.
When you fight Giygas, the atmosphere just makes it so damn creepy and intense. Piggy is constantly taunting you and being a dick, and he reminds you that Giygas isn't just some everyday boss who wants to enslave humanity or blow up the Earth. He is just PURE EVIL. And the only way to beat him? Literally praying for the aid of everyone that has helped you throughout the game.
The whole scene takes place in a cutscene. It reveals James' true reason for being in Silent Hill, as well as who he really is. He has been lying to himself the whole time, or simply had a nervous breakdown after the murder and really believed Mary died of her disease years before, instead of being murdered by him 3 days before. It's never explicitly stated, but hinted that her body is in the trunk of his car (the "In Water" ending hints at it, when he drives his car off a bridge into a river, saying "now we are together forever" or something like that).
This moment was very important because up until this point you were on James' side. His viewpoint on the situation was skewed, and so yours was too. Laura said he hated his wife, and you were always with James when he said "What? No! I loved my wife!" When it's all said and done, Laura was right. He really DID hate his wife, but also loved her... he at first claims that he killed his wife to end her suffering, but later has to admit to himself that he did it so she would stop ruining his life.
He had to wait on her hand and foot, and he couldn't fuck her anymore, and he hated that. James was a very twisted, bad man. He viewed women as objects, and has a very violent sexual side, which is why all of the monsters are somewhat sexual (the mannequins are just two female pelvises attached to one another AKA just a vagina with no need for a brain, the nurses are sexualized and even Pyramid Head brutally rapes multiple monsters). That's why he's my all time favorite video game character. He's just so fucked up and not two dimensional, but is in fact two separate people: the soft-spoken loving man and husband on the outside and the twisted perverted misogynist on the inside.
Half-Life 2: Episode 2: Strider Battle
People will try to hype up the final part of Episode 2 as awesome where you're fighting a bunch of Striders and Hunters and it's totally awesome. They are liars. Remember how fighting Striders with the guided rockets was a pain in the ass? Now imagine that but you have to instead shoot a bomb onto them then shoot the bomb while a minimum of two (2) Hunters are trying to fuck up your day and yes I know you can hit them with the buggy but it still is a pain in the dick fuck this part fuck.
So while this part could have been awesome as one man fights down massive bio-weapons as allied A.I. get slaughtered, it's filled with so much shit that it becomes tedious, like a bridge puzzle, or fighting off respawning enemies while waiting for a slow elevator, perhaps in total darkness. Alright, this isn't so much an honorable mention as it is me venting. SORRY, GEEZ.
Yoshi's Island: Baby Bowser boss fight.
Like, it's just you and this fucking baby the whole game. You've heard the damn thing cry the whole way and you're finally almost there. The Yoshis have all pulled some excellent shit to make it this far, and now you've got a hundred foot tall Baby Bowser and a few shaky platforms between you and total victory. It's just one of those games where, when the credits start rolling, you sit back and smile and feel really proud of yourself.
Resident Evil 4: Hunk.
I really, really liked Mercenaries mode in Resident Evil 4. It was challenging and addictive, and mastering it gave you something more than just a few inches on the e-peen. Hunk was a very cool addition to play as. Not only does he look cool, but the ability to snap necks and instant kill enemies is a major plus, and really friggin' sweet to boot. Nothing looks cooler than chain-snapping a row of ganados. Unfortunately his weak arsenal keeps him from being a total badass. TMP must stand for Too Much Pussiness or something.
Kirby Super Star: Kriby vs. Meta Knight
Kirby vs. Meta Knight was just one of those epic battle scenes that you got to play. The game basically says "fuck all the other powers in this game, you are using the sword, and you are going to like it!" And you love
it. Plus you're facing the badass who has been trying to get rid of you the entire game, who finally shows himself while his ship is going down and his whole plan is falling apart around him. He's got no reason to fight and finish you other than revenge. Plus, the escape sequence gets huge points for basically being like a cute Metroid ending. Fantastic.