End of Year 2020: Great Moments 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 2020.

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.

[Hub Thread]

I will have a lot to say about Hades in the GOTY thread (spoiler alert: mine is going to be Hades), so let me take a minute to talk about the end of Miles Morales (spoilers ahoy):

Obviously Into The Spider-Verse is in a fight with Spider-Man 2 for the best Spider-Man movie ever made, but this last fight? With the purple of the Tinkerer juxtaposed against the yellow of Miles’s bioelectricity? All while trading barbs with his best frenemy who winds up sacrificing herself to save him after he sacrifices himself to save Harlem from her error? I think it’s both a knock against the overall level of storytelling from the MCU but also a testament to the quality of storytelling coming out of Insomniac’s Spider-Man games that I feel like I got my MCU fix this year. It’s just that it was on the PS5.

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Crusader Kings III can build to some really memorable moments, like this one, where I thought I’d take this small green area which had appeared on my map.

Only one problem:

Turns out, when I zoomed out I discovered that they were a superpower in charge of most of the map. I couldn’t take that one spot I wanted because they just sat huge numbers of troops on it, so that war ended badly.

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Flying over my house in Flight Simulator 2020. Flying over my mom and I’s old vacation spot, while she was watching over the internet. Flying over the same airfield where I flew an actual god dang plane, in real life, this year. Flight Sim 2020 was the awe-inspiring game this year for me.

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The moment in Chapter 12 of Yakuza: Like A Dragon when Majima and Saejima show up and you have to fight them for nebulous reasons while one of the best boss themes in the game plays is maybe my favorite individual moment from the whole game. It might be because I’m a bit of a mark for Majima/Saejima/Daigo showing up but I think it worked pretty well.

The ending of Pixel Puzzle Makeout League was really strong and, in particular, when it goes to a FMV music video that ends in a picross drawn in the sand of a beach was extremely cool.

One last thing, and this is a super personal one, is that I did a speedrun of TRI: Of Friendship and Madness for the Power Up With Pride: Winter Pride 2020 Marathon and spending several weeks practicing and preparing for it and then getting to do the run felt great. Showing off my favorite speedrun of my favorite game to the biggest audience I’ve ever been able to felt fantastic.

Oh and I also played Shadowrun: Dragonfall this year and the mission where you go to a fascist gang’s base and just shoot the shit out of a bunch of shitty fascists felt incredibly cathartic this year.

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I’ll definitely give this to beating the Proud level songs in Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory. One-Winged Angel Proud is really damn hard, man. Most intense victory was over Wave of Darkness, which took me hours to overcome. Still can’t beat the KH3 Final Boss theme which is like Through the Fire and Flames hard.

Also, Yozora in KH3, but I mentioned that in another forum already.

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I cried forever when it was time for Astrid to leave the ship in Spiritfarer.

I didn’t like that game by the time I finished it, but it’s got some strong-ass sequences.

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Loose mentions of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s ending

The meta narrative/ endgame twist of Final Fantasy VII Remake was my favourite moment of this year’s games that I played. Made doubly so by how it was the gaming moment that most felt like when a streaming service dumps an entire season online and everyone hits the major cliffhanger/ twist at differing paces which causes chaos in the discussions of it. I loved it.

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Plus, Cloud’s reveal in the dress and Aerith’s reaction, with a legitimately awesome rhythm game beforehand. The entire Wall Market sequence was done better than I could have possibly imagined.

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Yea, I loved it. The “nailed it” comment does it for me.

That whole game was my great moment, I think. I didn’t play too much from this year but out of that and the other big tentpole release, The Last of Us Part 2, it’s FFVII that sticks with me. Meta commentary and narratives are extremely my shit though!

Also the music leading up to Wall Market slaps.

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Some of the departures in Spiritfarer were incredibly touching, some of my runs in Hades I talk about the way my uncle talks about impressive fish he’s caught, but I am going to give it to the last few hours of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Spoilers: Final Fantasy 7.0: You Can (Not) Remake gave me what I wanted (and didn’t really get) from Kingdom Hearts III, which is Nomura on his bullshit and a fun Sephiroth fight. I’ll talk about it more in the music thread, but the way he indulgently builds up to the classic JENOVA theme, and One Winged Angel later on, is delightful. I watched my spouse play and was hooting and hollering with him for the entire ending. Especially when Zack showed up.

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Umurangi Generation
So I was late to Umurangi Generation, like I played it 4 days ago. Anyway the OTUMOE TAI 2 mission blew me the fuck away. I nearly cried as soon as the level loaded seeing my friends equal parts scared, yet defiant and helping the UN troops. How they managed to evoke that feeling with the art style is beyond me, it’s amazing. BUT THEN LOOK AT THE FUCKING SKY. You see what’s actually happening, I mean you know your friends are hurting and violence is happening somewhere but just wait until you see what it is. Then I was hit with a sudden feeling of danger. though I’d guessed I was not going to be shot dead by the jellyfish because it was not that type of game, I was hyper aware that the only verb I had was shoot, but not a gun. I don’t think i’ve ever felt so vulnerable in a game.

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Entering the rebuilt version of Xen in Black Mesa gave me a feeling I can really only compare to the clifftop opening in Breath of the Wild.

I know there are a variety of opinions on how Half-Life as a game has aged, its merits, etc., but I still have a deep nostalgic connection to it as one of the first non-Nintendo games I ever played. Tempering that was always the disappointment with its last couple of hours, and how drab and boring the eventual alien world you’ve spent so much time trying to reach is.

Black Mesa, on the other hand, makes Xen this magical, beautiful, eerie world that seems to have so much of its own life and ecosystems and systems. It feels like you’re seeing the game’s aliens in their natural habitat, and the way it unfolds and the views and the traversal puzzles and physics sequences you go through are just spellbinding. It also has some fantastic horror vibes, with zombified researchers wearing that familiar HEV suit, which plays all the same low health/death sounds and voicelines that you’ve become so familiar with over the course of the game. Altogether, it made for something incredibly affecting — I reloaded my save several times to see the opening scene over and over, and played through the whole level twice before continuing to the end of the game.

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This is a Yakuza: Like a Dragon Spoiler

There is a sidequest where a scientist asks for a million yen to fund his roomba research. If you do so, mistakes are made and a giant roomba runs amok in the city. A cat chases a fish and is sucked into the roomba, as is an old lady. Kasuga remarks, “this must be what hell looks like”


That’s my favorite moment.

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If you put a single \ before the tags, they’ll display as text and not be interpreted as tags.

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This is a mechanical moment, and it happened more than once: in 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel, a game that is precisely what the title suggests, I would sometimes make a move and the game would announce that I had won, without me having the slightest clue why at first. In other games this lack of clarity might have been a frustration, but I just had to marvel at the audacity of the game’s concept as I tried to piece together the logic of how each piece can move: forwards in time, backwards in time, and across timelines. Nothing else I’ve played in quite some time has produced that same sensation.

I played it early in the year, so some of the details are fuzzy at this point, but I will just say that the end of Act III in Kentucky Route Zero, when realizing the gravity of what Conway has gotten himself into with the company, hit me like a ton of bricks.

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This one from chapter 13 of FF7 Remake struck a chord with me.

Also, holy shit, this moment…

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On Kentucky Route Zero, the ending of this game was astoundingly beautiful. If Chapter 5 had come out at the end of 2020 versus the beginning, there is no way that isn’t GOTY for most people. It is really the tone we needed to close this awful year out with.

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My favourite moment of a video game this year was with Final Fantasy 7: Remake
making an antagonistic force in the game a personification of fanboy rage at anything that was different from the original.

And how, at the end of the game, that force is completely killed off by Sephiroth because he knows he doesn’t win in the original timeline and wants to make a separate timeline. This is basically Nomura making an in-universe fuck you to the people who wanted the game to be the exact same as the original and saying “this is my remake. I’m going to make it my way.”

“And you know what? I’m going to bring Zack back.”

It was fucking great! And the best part? The worst Final Fantasy 7 fans out there absolutely hated it.

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Getting to the end of a “world” in Astro’s Playroom.

At least four separate moments in Destiny 2’s new raid. Moving past the first encounter and seeing what “Clarity Control” is; the first time you get into a launch pod on the second encounter and get shot up into a space station; the space walk “platforming” section; the entire third encounter where you’re burning through the atmosphere crashing back down to Europa.

Probably a dozen music queues or moments in FF7R, though this one is primarily nostalgia driven in a way that I was surprised affected me. It’s feels weird in a world where Advent Children exists for me to still find myself thinking “holy shit it’s next gen Tifa!” but here we are, I guess. Also Rufus rocket jumping with his shotgun. I mean come on.

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