I was inspired by a blog post on the Post-Gazette's Web site I saw a few days ago. I'm also a huge sucker for lists and videos games.
So here are the greatest moments I've witnessed in video games over the years. There is no order, as all these moments are friggin' sweet! Oh, and there are some spoilers. But let's be honest, if you haven't played these games you're not that into video games.
- Resident Evil: Dogs coming through the windows - This was the first, and really the only, terrifying moment I've experienced in video games. In the original Resident Evil, you are walking through a seemingly harmless hallway, when an evil zombie dog jumps through the window and starts chasing you! Holy Shit! You have a gun, but you're still in shock so you just run like hell. But then you turn a corner and another dog jumps through the window in front of you. AHHHH! Obviously, I didn't survive that first encounter. To this day I just bolt through the hallway and don't fight the dogs out of respect.
- Mega Man X: Level changes - There are countless amazing things Capcom did when Mega Man made the jump from NES to SNES with Mega Man X. But what really stands out is how some boss levels change if you defeat a specific boss. If you conquer Storm Eagle (Hint: use Sting Chameleon!), then Spark Mandrills stage has the remnants of the sky fortress that you took down on Storm Eagle's stage. It changes the lighting of the stage and one of the mini bosses is significantly easier. I didn't even know something like that was possible back then!
- Super Mario Bros. 3: Whistles - I was about five when I first played this game. I wasn't very good at it. I could handle the first two worlds, but the third one (Water World) killed me. I couldn't even get to the little Koopa ship. But then I learned that there are two whistles to be had in World One, which let me warp over Water World! It was amazing! I could kind of cheat without technically cheating with Game Genie!
- Mega Man 3: Sliding - Mega Man and Mega Man 2 were great games. They were simple. Run, shoot and jump. Then Mega Man 3 came along. Not only did you have a sidekick robodog (Rush), you could slide under things! It was so simple, but became such an effective maneuver when fighting jumpy bosses. It also inspired the dash in Mega Man X, which was equally awesome.
- Twisted Metal 2: Blowing up Eiffel Tower - Twisted Metal 2, like the games above, is one of the greatest of all time. And a big reason is all the destruction you could cause. The ultimate destruction was setting off a remote bomb in the Eiffel Tower and watching the fireworks as it crumbled. To top it off, you could then use the fallen towers to get to the rooftops of Paris. Even if you like the French, you had to love this!
- Final Fantasy VII: Sephiroth - There were a few specific moments, like the burning of Nibelheim and the assassination of Aeris(th), that I could have placed here. But let's be honest, Sephiroth is the best villain a game has ever seen. He killed anything and didn't care. He thought he was a God. He messed with Cloud's head constantly. He was just pure evil and he stole every scene he was in.
- Final Fantasy X: Auron "Choose!" - Holy shit this moment gave me goosebumps. Auron, one of the video game world's biggest bad asses, was fairly silent for most of Final Fantasy X. When he spoke it was with calm, emotionless demeanor. He shared his vital knowledge, kicked ass and was just awesome. But his shining moment was when you meet Lady Yunalesca. This crazy bitch was supposed to be the savior, but she was evil and wanted to sacrifice the summoner and one of her guardians. That's when Auron breaks out of his shell and says "Now! This is it! Now is the time to choose! Die and be free of pain, or live and fight your sorrow! Now is the time to shape your stories! Your fate is in your hands!" It was like the Braveheart speech of video games and really made you want to rip that bitch up!
- Warcraft II: Dragons - The read the manual, you knew you could get dragons during the Orc campaign. But level after level you were not able to build the needed dragon roost. Then, that last level your narrator declares that the Horde will support you with the strongest weapons at their disposal: Dragons! Woooooo! Look out human scum, I'm gonna burn your asses! I probably took about 8 hours to beat that last level. Because I wanted a fleet of roughly 30 dragons. I needed about five...
- Uncharted 2: Train sequence - Best sequence I've experienced in gaming. It was like Indiana Jones meets A-Team meets crazy jumping guy from "Casino Royale". AKA: the perfect storm.
- God of War: First Minotaur/Medusa Kill - God of War set a new standard for games. That standard was gore. You shove the blade of chaos down the throat of a minotaur or twist the head off a medusa and are showered with blood. It's brutal and amazing at the same time. And later, in God of War 3, Kratos would actually be covered in the blood of his enemies for a few seconds after kill. I know I sound sick, but it was awesome.