What’s Your Favourite Gaming Moment?

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What’s Your Favourite Gaming Moment?
Image: Sony


It’s no secret that I love Journey. The experience of wandering the desert with a total stranger. Working together through obstacles as you make a rudimentary chirping noises to try and communicate with each other.

Yet despite the many times I’ve played it, no moment will ever top the first time that I played Journey.

Let’s talk about our favourite gaming moments. There are going to be spoilers.

Journey is a simple game. You wake up in the desert and walk towards a mountain. Along the way you meet fellow travelers, real people you can work with to reach the summit.

The first time that I played Journey I met maybe a dozen different people along the way. One of them stuck with me for about half of the game while we trekked up the snowy mountain towards our final goal. We developed a way to talk with the game’s chirps. Short, rapid bursts meant danger was imminent. A long cry was used to get attention to something interesting.

We approached the summit together. Our steps slowing down in the cold. My friend collapsed. I collapsed. Everything seemed over.

The next thing I knew we were bursting through the clouds above the summit. Soaring through the skies, passing through sections reminiscent of the world we trekked through before as Austin Wintory’s magnificent soundtrack played.

It was glorious.

Even on my second, third and fifteenth journeys it was still a beautiful moment. Just not quite the full glory of the first experience.

The song that played, Apotheosis, struck such a chord that I still listen to it from time to time when I’m feeling down. When my wife and I got married, Apotheosis was the song that played at the end of the ceremony.

Few gaming moments have ever touched me in the way that one moment in Journey did. How about you, do you have a favourite moment?

Comments

  • Pretty much everything about ni no kuni. The world, the animation, the music. It was all perfect and it blended into something you could lose hours or days in without any realisation.
    I truly hope it gets a port to PS4, so people can play this criminally underplayed game.

  • I’ve got plenty! Pretty much all of Journey, especially the ending. The giraffes in The Last of Us, the “I Hope You Find Peace” bit in Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture, that bit in What Remains of Edith Finch where you’re simultaneously controlling the guy in his real and fantasy worlds etc.

    I could go on, but that’s probably enough.

  • Couple for me:
    – The cut-scene with the giraffe in Last of Us
    – Walking out on the ledge after beating Iudex Gundyr in DS3
    – After exiting the cave at the beginning of BOTW

    Anything that makes me sit back in my chair with a big grin

  • Losing Wrex in Mass Effect 1, or Mordin during the finale of Mass Effect 2. I had no idea that you could lose team mates during the last fight… ;.;
    Though I could pick any one of a number of indies for a good feels moment – Limbo, Inside, Firewatch, Night in the Woods…

  • Like others, I have a few, but the ones I keep going back to when asked are in Everquest. Early in the game, there was a moment that was so simple in retrospect that it shouldn’t be a memory at all, but at the time was so game changing that its stuck with me for near on 20 years so far. And it was just a simple corpse run.

    Low level dungeon, with a tree that had a false floor (curse you Blackburrow tree!!!). Fall through, you end up at the bottom of the dungeon, and need to fight your way through way too many mobs. Which happened to a friend, and they died. In those days, you had to fight back to your body to get your gear back, so we mounted a rescue party.

    That adventure was such a gaming highlight we still talk about it today. There were other, grander events I experienced in the game, with some of the raids I went on being highlights for totally different reasons, but that one, as much for its simple setting as anything, is probably my favourite.

  • Riding into Mexico for the first time in Red Dead with that Jose Gonzalez song playing.
    That has stuck with me and I’ve never had the same experience in a game since.

  • Final Confrontation with Luca Blight in Suikoden II.
    Both final Warthog sequences in Halo 1 and 3.
    Assault on the Lunatic Pandora in FF8 with your giant dragon shaped space ship.
    Clash of the Gardens also from FF8.
    Fighting the Snowhead Temple boss in Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
    Final Fight with Ganondorf in Zelda: Twilight Princess.
    Fairly niche one – when the cavalry arrives near the end of Utawarerumono part 3.
    Also Niche: The endings of Ar Tonelico 2 and 3.

  • When I first played Mass Effect, I settled on Garrus and Tali as my teammates for most of the game because they were the characters I liked the most and… I wasn’t really bothering with team synergies and stuff like that. I got through the game fine, anyway.

    When I was able to reunite them in Mass Effect 2, it was all Team Dextro all the time once again, and this continued into Mass Effect 3.

    So imagine my delight and astonishment when, near the end of Mass Effect 3, I’m wandering around the Normandy (this is right before you head to Earth for the final battle), and I open the doors to the Battery that Garrus has been ‘doing calibrations’ in since ME1.

    And there, in front of me, awkwardly and weirdly, is Garrus and Tali holding each other and kissing.

    Even though it likely was intended as a way of partnering the two dextros if you never pursued them romantically, the impact this had on me, given I’d used them consistently as my team throughout the entire trilogy was amazing. All the battles the three of us had shared and it had… forged a relationship between them. I felt… proud?

    The great part is, though, that this moment might not mean anything to another player who didn’t go through the game like I did, and if you never think to check that part of the ship at that point in the game, you wouldn’t even see it.

  • Obvious choice is getting to Mexico in RDR, and John Marstons last stand.

    Also the opening sequence in the reboot of Tomb Raider.

    • Oh god yes. That first end to RDR.

      And yes, love that opening sequence. Played TR2013 twice on PS3, once on PS4 and once on PC… Kinda like it. 😀

  • There’s too many great moments, but the Bioshock 1 twist would have to be one of the best ones. Also being forced to cannibalise half my colony AND eat the frozen corpses of my defeated enemies during a particularly harsh winter in Rimworld was pretty neat…

  • Not necessarily”favorite” but yeah;
    * Journey’s conclusion
    * Shadow of the colussus final act
    * Some of the first few text chats in Super hot
    * Horizon Zero Dawn final act
    * More than a few moments in What remains of Edith Finch

    • I would have incuded shadow of the colossus final act if the controls didnt make it so frustrating to jump from back to hand, should3r to hand …. aaaaargh. I was so mad!

  • When I played Horizon Zero Dawn for the first time.
    The beginning of the final fight in Far Cry 4 cuz I loved the music.
    The mission where u steal the truck to open the north map in far cry 4 cuz i love the music.
    The mission where u r blowing up the factory to kill the chemist in far cry 4 cuz.. colour nd music.
    The drive up to pagan mins palace cuz music
    All of the drug iduced missions cuz colors and music.
    The hang glider moment in brothers: a tale of two sons. It was just… happy!
    Tomb raider anniversary’s t rex.
    Lara’s first human kill in tomb raider anniversry.
    When lara comes face to face wit her doppelganger for the 1st time in tomb raider underworld.
    Killing the worshipper aftrr 36 attempts in lords of the fallen.

  • I’ll add my vote to H:ZD, when you discover what Project Zero Dawn actually is and what Ted Faro did.

    Also the ending of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons where the older brother is killed by the girl that’s actually a fucking spider monster! That was a holy shit moment with many feels.

  • The Horizon: Zero Dawn moments where the Zero Dawn project true intentions were revealed and the boardroom projection where everyone gets gassed by Faro to keep it the data erasure secret. That last act was phenomenal storytelling, even if the reveal was easy enough to guess.

    The Last of Us: Giraffes and the final Rampage to rescue Ellie were both fantastic.

    Metal Gear Solid: The Gray Fox reveal when you walk through the hallways littered with corpses was freaking awesome.

    South Park: Stick of Truth when you have to venture into the butthole past Lemmiwinks – some hilarious moments in that game.

    Assassin’s Creed when you first do a leap of faith off a high point and almost get a knot in your stomach. They do that so well.

    I’m sure there’s some older ones I’m missing.

  • I have many, but the main one would have to be my first ever day in World of Warcraft . The sheer size and scope of the game was breathtaking. It is probably dwarfed by many games these days, but up until then I’d never seen anything like it. I spent more than 2 weeks, playing every night in Goldshire, then finally made it to Redridge Mountains. When I looked at those areas on the map, they barely showed.

    I also spent a whole night trying to run from Duskwood to Booty Bay as a very under powered level 19 warrior (yeah, I was a human warrior, sue me). I must have died more than 50 times. Finally walking out of that tunnel into BB was such a feeling of achievement, I doubt I’ll ever forget it. The flight back to Storm Wind was pretty cool too.

    Incidentally, I watched my 13 year-old nephew have his own breathtaking moment while he was playing H:ZD on my PS4 a couple of months ago. His reaction was so profound I could almost feel it. It’s the only time I’ve seen the little chatterbox speechless. He was so ecstatic he teared up, then exploded with excitement. I don’t think his life will ever be the same.

      • @trikeabout

        It’s very early on, he was only allowed to play for about 90 minutes – he’s also on the spectrum so gets distracted by other things fairly regularly.

        It’s the part when you first discover that you can ride one of the horse machines. The random combination of events that lead up to that moment made it really special. Hell, I knew it was coming and it affected me!

        • Oh yeah. I get it completely. I hope over the next few weeks he gets to progress, it’s a fantastic story and played “episodically” it’s awesome. The mission/quest tracking is brilliant – set a goal, complete goal, go do something IRL for a while! 🙂

          Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • There are a few, but WoW has a couple. Back in Vanilla a friend from work got me hooked and I joined his raiding guild. The first time Ragnaros emerges from the lava in molten core and just towers over the whole raid. Holy crap! Felt similar in TBC when I did the Kil’Jaeden fight and he claws his way out of the pool and towers above everyone too. Probably the last genuine “WHOA!” moment in WoW for me though.

      But before that Quake really got me. Playing MP co-op with a friend and a shambler dropped down between the two of us and goes for him. He’s got his back turned so he can’t see it. I’m yelling at him in real life and we’re both panicking and yelling. Not a big set piece or a boos battle. But it was the first time we really felt that “you’re *IN* the game” feeling.

  • The moment you realise that the game doesnt control you (the rules, the limits, the moves, the overpowered brickwall enemies…) but you control the world and a free from a constraint or challenge that was tearing you up inside. Be it a piece of gear, the right strat, your perfect team, that checkpoint that opens the world ahead of you, a vehicle. That moment that changes the game for the better.

  • Mass Effect 3 – the cutscene where the Normandy leads the united galactic fleets through the relay to take back Earth, and the ensuing space battle. Chills. Every time.

    Horizon: Zero Dawn – have to add my voice to this one. So many awesome moments: Finding out what Project Zero Dawn really is, all of Faro’s decisions/mistakes, and…

    …where you find out Elisabet Sobeck made it home before she died

  • Some of my favourite moments have been:
    BoF Dragon Quarter: That one moment when you have to do the one thing you’ve been told not to do the whole game. (People who have played it should know what I mean)
    Drakkengard III: The scene before the final “fight” is the only time a game has ever made me cry.
    Asura’s Wrath: Pretty much everything in this game.
    Furi: The first phase of the The Edge fight.

  • – Hobbes being revealed as a traitor (MFer!!!)
    – Dat ladder in MGS3 and the music slowly kicking in. Bonus: the opening credits and the Snake Eater theme song
    – Dancing with Jenny in The Darkness 2 and the ending. Not wanting to press the button prompt
    – Crawling through the tunnel as Old Snake with the radiation killing him in front of you. The struggle was real!
    – “They are all diamonds” – killing your own men out of mercy
    – decapitating a prisoner with a homemade shiv in Skyrim
    etc etc

  • I mean how can one even choose…
    The intro to ff7 with the music, those piano tinkles, then the music filling up as the camera zooms in over midgar…gives me chills just thinking about it honestly.
    The first level of deus ex when I realised just how much there was to explore and how many methods of progressing there actually was…
    And so many more

  • Yes, Journey. The feels… 😀

    Yes, Horizon Zero Dawn the first time I saw a Thunderjaw… up until that point it had been good solid open world gaming… but that thing was “OMG how am I ever killing that” (and then by the end of my third playthrough “ok, Thunderjaw time… DIE.”)

    The Longest Journey when April first travels to Arcadia.

    Sam and Max Hit the Road – the first puzzle when you use Max on the kitten… and it’s “Oh. So THAT’S the kind of fucked-up shit we’re going to have to think of…”.

    Shadow of the Colossus when you realise it’s not going to end well but you have to go on

    Tomb Raider (2013) when Lara dual-wields the pistols for the final boss for the first time

    Far Cry when I realised how big an environment could be and I didn’t have to GO THAT WAY, I could sneak my way ROUND enemies, lay a trap, ambush… So good.

    Mass Effect 2 at the very start. WTF?

    SSX Tricky EVERY TIME you activate that boost and “IT’S TRICKY”, god that was so good.

    Deus Ex when the scale of the conspiracy becomes clear…

    So many more. I’ve been gaming a long time…

  • Entering Firelink Shrine in Dark Souls 3

    Finishing the tutorial of Skyrim and entering the world

    The hospital in The Last Of Us

  • Mine is the ending of Darksiders. After everything you accomplish in the game, all the hardships and struggle and how much world progression you make as a solo horseman.. Then the ending! So good.

  • Oblivion when you first walk out of prison. I stopped breathing for a second.
    Journey when I realised it was other people I was playing with.
    H:ZD in the boardroom (like everyone else).
    Portal at the fire jump. I realised the game was only just starting.
    Far cry 3 during my first “in between” exploring moment when I realised how much I hated the slavers.
    Mass effect 2 when I knew I was getting my team back together. And then keeping them all alive.

  • Some are saying the last of us, hospital part. But most impact was the tunnels during summer. Reading what happened to those people. I know they are not real. But god, it makes you feel like they were. Also child of light. The ending of that made me feel happy and sad at the same time. Beautiful game, story and art.

    • Yeah. After all that, exiting the tunnels at the far end, and seeing the warning, which just hammered it home. I haven’t played it on PS4, I think I’ll have to run through it again before part 2 lands.

  • The first Tomb Raider has so many.
    The first appearance of the T rex
    St Francis Folly
    Lara’s doppelganger
    When Lara says “No”
    The Sphinx and the invisible platform
    Most of my favorite gaming memories!

  • The last boss in persona 4 – brought together the two things I loved about the game – the characters and the music. Especially when you realise it’s a remix of all the songs into one grand orchestral version, it was perfect.

    The last hour or so of 999 – don’t think I’ve ever had my mind blown by a video game as much as that.

    Hanging out with Riley in last of us: left behind. Just a really sweet couple of sequences in between some really awful stuff. Loved when they were telling each other jokes . And the photo booth! Can we just have more moments like that in games?

    The last scene between clementine and Lee where you have to choose his parting words to her.

    Beating smelter demon in DSII, scoring a buzzer beater in 2K11, exploring in BoTW, ten wins in a row in ranked online matches in SSFIV.

  • Way of the Samurai 2 is one of my favourites hands down.

    At the start of the game the young mute girl Sayo gives a starving protagonist a rice ball, a simple gesture that begins a serious of interactions with the girl. (If you choose)
    Much later in the game, if you pursue one of the bigger endings, every faction and antagonist is trying to capture the girl for their own reasons.

    In a finale fight with the magistrate captain he demands to know why you would go to so much trouble to help an orphan mute you have no relationship with, leaving a bloody trail of Yakuza and soldiers in your wake, the city burning around you.
    You can provide a number of meaningful answers from heroic to evil, but the one that stood out to me the most was the most simple..

    “Because she gave me a rice ball”

  • For me there would be two:

    – In Homeworld when Adagio for Strings plays. Never had a situation in a game where it has combined the music and activity on screen so well that it has made me buy into the story to the extent that I actually hate the big bad.
    – The first time the get to the plot twist in Jade Empire. May have been my naivety at the time, but didn’t expect that at all (some slight biasis here as JE is still my favourite RPG of all time).

  • The entire ending sequence of Persona 4, as well as level 8-10 of any confidant in Persona 4.
    Any interaction between Nathan and Elena in Uncharted 4.
    The final 10 minutes of The Last of Us.

  • What really stick out for me is in Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire on Route 120 where you are struggling past all these trainers in the rain and you finally get to the end and the rain stops and you see the reflection of clouds in the puddles and as a kid I thought that was the most amazing thing.

  • Playing early Arathi Basin with my brother in WoW.

    We rode down to the mine on our own, and saw 8 Alliance players charging down to meet the two of us. (Out of a team size of 15.)

    We thought we’d make a decent show of it to buy our team some time, but several minutes of frenzied, desperate, white-knuckled play later, we were the last ones standing. 8 vs 2.

    It was deeply satisfying to watch a handful of enemy reinforcements mounted at the top of the hill considering running down to try their luck against us again as we ate/drank to recover, who then instead they disappeared, as they /afk quit the match.

    The entire Alliance team ended up AFKing out of that match, leaving us with a swift 5:0 win. Wish I’d recorded that.

  • Journey gave me the best multiplayer experience I have ever had.
    And I’m generally not a huge fan of online gaming. I just find almost all reasonable sized online communities to be extremely toxic and basically not much fun to interact with.
    But Journey.
    I met someone on my first playthrough, but lost him when we got to the bit toward the end where you fly across the void to the bottom of the snowy bit.
    I waited about ten minutes for him, and was just about to give up and move on when I heard a “pinging” sound and it was my new friend, back to continue the rest of the journey with me.
    After we finished I received a message from a complete stranger (obviously my new friend from Journey) that said:
    “Thankyou for waiting for me and being my companion throughout out journey.”
    It is the nicest thing a stranger has ever said to me in an online game. And it touched me in a way that I didn’t expect.
    It certainly made a very welcome change from “your mother is a whore!”
    I don’t think I will ever forget that first run-through for that reason.

  • No One Live Forever got me with the whole “the henchmen have lives” thing. I remember listening in to them having conversations. They felt like real people instead of just being digital targets to shoot at. And the whole feel of the game was terrific, like the love child of Austin Powers and James Bond.

  • Oh. Yeah. GTA III
    There were two major moments for me, the first time I played GTA III. I even knew basically what the game was and was a pretty big fan of the 2D games.
    But after the intro & tutorial part, I left the safehouse, immediately tried jacking a car for the first time and obviously it succeeded.
    I so vividly remember the feeling of it slowly dawning on me that I now had TOTAL control over this incredibly good looking game, character & basically everything else, just like in the older 2D ones.
    I recall grinning like a madman, as I ripped the first of many, many poor, entirely innocent victims from the drivers seat and threw him to the ground.
    Then I stepped through the door and stole the first car in what was to be a long, long line of many to come & drove & drove & DROVE!
    I just COULDN’T believe it was possible.
    That it could look this good, be that enormous AND have that level of freedom of ability and choice. What weapons to use, what approaches to use. Hell, things like being able to rig your car with a bomb for a mission, and then realising that it was actually just introducing a game mechanic!! It was just unheard of.
    Until then, to me a game had either been able to be graphically impressive, yet fairly simple, eg racing games or FPS, for example.
    Alternatively they could be far more complex, allowing more freedom as in say RPG’s or SimCity styles (in fact, even GTA 1/2)
    But in those days they almost always had to make fairly hefty sacrifices at a graphical level in order to achieve that greater level of detail.
    I thought I’d seen everything it had to offer (and loved it)
    And then…he bridge opened and it dawned on me that I had barely seen a third of it and… I don’t think anything has ever blown my mind to quite that extent since.
    Still to this day my favourite gaming series by a comfortable margin.

  • Oh man, there’s a few…

    HL2 – The opening has already been mentioned. Also wanted to throw in the running battles with Striders on the streets of City 17, and the entire Ravenholm portion. Also when you get the upgraded Gravity Gun at the end of the game and tear your way through the Citadel.

    Diablo – The very first time I opened the door to The Butcher’s room. You can see all the impaled corpses inside and I remember literally yelling as he screamed “AAAHHHH FRESH MEAT’ and proceeded to run out and chop me to pieces.

    FF7 – When Sephiroth killed Aeris. Couldn’t bring myself to explain to my folks that I was depressed for a whole week because one video game character had killed another.

    Starcraft – the cut-scene when Mengsk abandons Kerrigan to the swarm on Tarsonis

    Skyrim – god, which part. Probably the destruction of Helgen by Alduin, or the first time you actually fight a dragon. Or pretty much any part of the game.

    Literally any single point the The Witcher 3.

    The last few missions of GTA: Vice City.

    The final mission and closing cinematic in Warcraft 3

    Assault on the control room in Halo 1

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