End of Year 2019: Great Moments and Highlights

Great Moments and Highlights

We laughed. We cried. We fought through adversity. We accomplished something. This thread is the place to share your most memorable stories and impactful moments from games we played in 2019.

Maybe it was something you pulled off that made you feel great about yourself. Maybe the game’s clockwork systems interacted just so, and something incredible happened. Maybe it was a completely scripted moment that was deeply thought-provoking, side-splittingly hilarious, or just hit you right in the feels. Maybe it was a small moment that just stuck with you. Or maybe it just had you saying “Wow!”

We want to hear about those moments that stick out in your mind, whether it be a major plot point or a personal story only you experienced.

Given the spoiler-heavy nature of this topic, we’d like to remind everyone to please be courteous and blur your spoilers, annotating what game (and roughly what part of the game, if applicable) the spoiler is from. That way other folks reading through the thread have the opportunity to experience that moment just like you did.

To blur spoilers, add [spoiler] and [/spoiler] around the spoiler text, or select the text and click on “Blur Spoiler” in the gear menu of the post editor.

Discussion Thread

This thread is all about discussing your favorites! The end of the year is always a great opportunity to look back and reflect on what we loved, but it’s also a great time to remind ourselves of what we missed and want to come back to next year. So give a recommendation, get a recommendation, and above all please be respectful and have a good time!

Be sure to check the Q&A section below if you have questions, otherwise feel free to reach out to one of us! We hope you enjoy this event and we’re excited to see what sorts of discussion each category inspires!

Please Note: We’re planning to write-up a summary thread at the end of the event and include various members’ quotes from the discussion threads, just like last year. The quotes that we select will be attributed to their authors and only posted on this forum (forum.waypoint.vice.com). If you would prefer to not be quoted in the summary thread, please indicate this in your posts.


Q: End of Year? What's that?

A: I’m glad you asked! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the event here.

Q: What can I discuss in this thread?

A: Anything that you think fits the topic! Feel free to share your favorite experiences of 2019, whether they occurred in media that released in 2019 or media from a previous year.

Q: Where are the nominations?

A: This year we’re structuring things a little differently: we’ll be posting discussion threads over the second half of December, and nominations won’t begin until January. This will give you a few more weeks to play more games before you’ll need to lock in your votes. We also hope that by focusing on open discussion threads, the event will be more inclusive of folks who haven’t been able to play many games from this year.

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I wrote something earlier this year along the lines of “Everyone’s GOTY will be The Outer Wilds followed by Helping someone else through The Outer Wilds” . And go figure, one of my favorite moments this year was helping my brother play through The Outer Wilds. Not only was it awesome seeing someone else work through the games puzzles, but it was a neat puzzle in itself to find ways to ask questions or provide hints that didn’t spoil the solutions entirely.

Also, quick shout-out to this community for being extrodinarily patient with me earlier this year when I decided to join in a Destiny raid in my first 20 minutes of playing Destiny since launch. I dragged the team down, but they were kind and helpful in helping me get my bearings!


My big one was Jedi Fallen Order for the obvious reveal of Darth Vader at the end. I was, unfortunately, spoiled on this by a Youtube Thumbnail, but it still was a fantastic moment that utilized the films’ music so effectively it gave me shivers. I was also a huge fan of the Clone Wars scene that used Prequel music.

As an idiot Star Wars fan, I got them EMOTIONS at these scenes.

I’m so frustrated at the dip of audio at the end of this. I feel like the music are the big parts of the scenes, and all youtubers have cut it out to avoid strikes.

Watch some of youtuber reaction videos to some of these scenes to get a big ol’ smile on your face.

One of my favorites:

(CW for some language use.)

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One of my coolest moments in games this year was the end of Dicey Dungeons. You struggle fruitlessly against Lady Luck with all six characters, fighting episodes that change the game’s logic, throw random rules at you every floor, and change all the characters’ cards to an entirely different set. You might wonder at this point if it’s even possible for them to meaningfully change the final episode. Well…

Your escape plan is foiled and you must pick one of your dice to return and try and save the others. (I picked my NB BFF Jester, of course.) Your deck is a little weird and your Limit Break doesn’t seem especially useful. You fight the first enemy, probably the Rose, and you get some unique dialogue at the beginning, which is always nice… then more unique dialogue at the end, where he decides to set aside his beef with you and join up to help defeat Lady Luck! I lost it once I realized what was going on here. It’s no longer improving your deck, it’s catching fucking Pokemon. Every enemy has new unique dialogue and even a sprite of them from behind since they’re on your side now. It’s unbelivably cool to recruit your favourite enemy or one that’s always given you trouble and use their abilities to take down the final boss.


I only have one moment for a game that actually released this year so I’ll start with that. In Code Vein there’s a moment a few hours in that was so good I set down the controller and had to go walk around for a minute because it was pretty wild. The game starts off in a pretty nondescript post-apocalypse cityscape. Broken buildings, big rocks, the usual. You go underground to a flooded cavern and down to a dried up port and those are each pretty neat. But then after you activate three plot devices to move onto another area in the game, you go through a cave and come out the other side in The Cathedral of the Sacred Blood - a massive area of completely stark white architecture, winding pathways, tall columns, flying buttresses, massive arches. It is extremely Anor Londo-esque (or Il Duomo-esque if you want to go straight to the real-world inspiration). It’s a very fun and strong moment because it’s the first time the game has a major aesthetic departure.

And there was a personal accomplishment with a non-2019 game: Spelunky! I absolutely adore this game and for the past two years or so I’ve tried on-and-off to complete a Low% speedrun (hat is, beat Olmec with only your starting 4 health, 4 bombs, and 4 ropes.) and I finally did it! I got a time of 4 minutes 33 seconds which isn’t a great time in the scope of Spelunky speedrunning but that’s not bad for me. Along the way, I also got an Any% No Teleporter run in 4 minutes 8 seconds and a No Gold run in 6 minutes 24 seconds. When I think of my proudest gaming achievement(s), this is probably up there since it’s a culmination of literally years of slow progress. Spelunky is still a real good video game y’all.

My favorite moment might have been the first time Mr. X came through a door.


Ashtray Maze in Control.

First, it was just cool. Second the song and how it helps establish the game in a grander universe.


Came here to say this. Also the final loop in Outer Wilds and getting to meet Solanum on the quantum moon. Overcoming the first Genichiro bossfight in Sekiro. The midgame twist in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I’m sure people have plenty from Death Stranding, but I’m still very early in the game, and the first voidout and the aftermath was really stunning.


I had written up a thing about the emergent gameplay in Outer Wilds and Death Stranding and how my favorite moments of the year were just uncovering new secrets and finding my way organically through those games.

But then I remembered the Divine Dragon fight from Sekiro, and how it might be the most brilliant, exhilirating set-piece boss not only that FromSoft has ever made, but that I’ve ever found in a game. That fight was elegant and magnificent, and the way it used the game’s stellar movement mechanics to make me feel so effortlessly weightless has me feeling butterflies about it almost 10 months later.


Oh right Sekiro was this year. 2019 has been the longest year and it isn’t even over yet, heck. Anyway, the Guardian Ape boss fight has a pretty incredible moment in it. Here’s Cado reacting to it when Austin showed it to him.


Yeah I think the Guardian Ape fight in Sekiro has to be my favorite moment of the year as well.

Sayonara Wild Hearts is a game that’s just goes from memorable moment to memorable moment, so it’s hard to really pick one favorite. My two favorite ones might just be the giant mecha wolf and the stage that flips through different realities as you go through it though.


I got two.

HEAVY SPOILERS FOR OUTER WILDS: Curious to see what will happen, I waited in the center of Ash Twin for the universe to end. As the music dies down, the warp core you’re intended to pick up for the Final Mission opens up. I jump into it, ending the loop. Thinking that nothing really came of it, I returned to the center of Ash Twin because, honestly, I was almost done with the game and had nothing better to do.

LO AND BEHOLD, HOWEVER, ANOTHER COPY OF THE PLAYER CHARACTER JUST CHILLING OUT NEAR A WALL. You begin talking, finishing each others’ sentences, screaming at their existence, and realize that, yes, they have in fact thought of everything. A very niche secret that gets across everything that makes Outer Wilds incredible.

Devotion: Reading Mei Shin a bedtime story. It’s wild to imagine a horror game these days giving you a 15-minute segment that’s not just scareless, but one that exhibits so much levity. Devotion is a bleak-ass story that, in my opinion, earns its weight, but this sequence? A joy. This sequence, if anything, underlines the tragedy that surrounds this game (inside and out), because it shows Red Candle deftly competing with the staples of the Atmospheric Horror genre, only to fade away as a headline.


I’m not reading the spoiler because I had no idea that there was actually a special final episode (I got about 1/3 of the way in, and didn’t complete any of the characters, before going off any doing something else). I might actually try to get somewhere further in it over the holidays…

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Had a lot of fun discovering the enigma that is Dragon’s Dogma with the community this year.
My personal favorite moment was the realization that the Jester just sleeps on the ground wherever and the castle manservants sweep him around like trash.


Honestly, this. I played hours of that game thinking, there’s something up with this pope lady. At no point did I expect it to be that she was a secret dragon.

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Watching my characters’ ending stories in Fire Emblem Three Houses was so emotional and I was so happy. That game is full of character moments that made me smile. Bernie and Raphael support convos: Raph finds Bernie singing and thinks she’s a great singer and wants to tell the whole world; Bernie is UNHAPPY. The next support convo has the same scenario play out except Raphael is like “I’m really sorry I just think you sound great, I won’t tell anyone or try to make you sing in front of people!! I’m sorry!” and I love these fuckers so much.

Control was just a series of Highlights. It’s a wonder.


A lot of game stories fell a little flat for me this year, Fire Emblem, The Outer Worlds, etc. all had good moments but nothing that really stuck with me (except Parvati, anyway). But I was really drawn into the story of Hypnospace Outlaw and in particular, the event that leads into the final chapter: I was quite a bit more upset than I expected to be, playing a Moderator in a weird Geocities-Neil Cicieregian 90s webcircle, when a couple of the people I had been reading creepypastas of or reporting for calling some other kid’s mom a toilet died because my boss is an idiot.

Also, it’s small, but the first time you honk at the farmer in Untitled Goose Game filled me with glee, a slightly maniacal glee that I assume fills all geese IRL. Glee at realising that this is what the whole game is going to be, and it’s going to be delightful.


The final boss fight of Sekiro. Beginning with a rematch against Genichiro is such a great start to the fight. The first real Genichiro boss fight was also the first real wall I had to struggle to overcome. It took me something like 3 days of trying to beat him the first time. So to get a second go at him when I’m stronger and much more skilled at the game felt like a great finale. Except I had gotten so much better I bodied him on my first go. It felt amazing to take this opponent who had previously been so beyond me, and just absolutely merc him. Of course, it’s a From Soft game, there are final forms to important boss fights. AND BOY WHAT A FINAL FORM THAT WAS. Learning the Isshin fight felt amazing. He’s just a joy to fight in general, but when you get it, when you know his moves and can react accordingly, it honest to god felt like getting a read on an opponent in a fighting game. Fighting Isshin is better at capturing the joy of fighting games then any of the fight game story modes I have ever played. Man. It’s just so good. God Damn.


The entire final level of Ape Out is such joyous pandemonium

You, the Ape, have been recaptured, again, but this time, you’re surrounded by greenery. You instinctively move forward, and then you come up to glass wall, with people looking in, on the other side. You’re trapped in a zoo. Now, after smashing through the glass and killing the guards immediately surrounding you, you’ll notice all the other animals that have been caged. You break them out, bears, big cats, giant snakes start wreaking havoc and destroying everything alongside you. This level is massive as well, so you’re really taking your time smashing shit. Partnered up with the music, it’s beautiful, bloody, destruction. https://youtu.be/QDDlEK_TjXU The outro starts at 7:25

I think I mentioned this already in another thread, but I was playing Sayonara Wild Hearts and Untitled Goose Game during a very messy, and very sudden, eviction where I was unsure if I was gonna even have a home for myself at the end of September. It was terrifying and infuriating and those two little games helped keep me level, so I gotta give them a shoutout for just existing.

The first time I ever landed on the quantum moon in Outer Wilds, I audibly gasped and said “holy shit”. Figuring out the puzzle there felt like discovering fire.

There’s a lotta cool shit in Control, but it was solving the luck puzzle and winning the golden suit that really made me feel like a badass. And that Mold-1 fight was pretty great too.

And finally, Disco Elysium. I could probably spend an hour talking about all the great stuff that happens in this game, but the standoff that concludes day 6 serves as my single favorite moment.

You think Mr X is scary? Try being the only thing standing between a group of civilians and three heavily armed and armored, drunk, mercs who are ready to kill. Like the rest of the game, there’s only a little voice acting in the scene, but it’s some ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING text to read. You’re desperately trying to talk everyone down, with no idea of what might set off this volatile situation, while you’ve ALSO got voices screaming amongst themselves in your head, telling you to either start shooting, or keep negotiating. It’s nail biting, teeth grinding stuff.


I gotta go with the final screen of Chapter 9 of Celeste as my Moment of the Year. It feels like it’s five minutes long and requires about three dozen tricks all done perfectly. But Badeline cheers you on and “this is for granny” is just chills, man. Took me about a whole morning to get this right and it was worth every second.

Also, from DQXI S, everything involving Sylvando’s Soldiers of Smile.