Thirding Yakuza Zero. I am a sucker for the politely dodging a fight while humiliating your opponent trope. The Majima intro might be the best one of those.
I have to shout out Persona 5 for the reveal of the true villain and the return of the real Igor.
Since the sad news of the passing of the original voice actor (Isamu Tanonaka), we all knew that Igor wouldn’t sound the same, although the new voice was quite jarring, as I would have expected someone to try and sound similar.
The slightly different lines didn’t click at first, as the voice was so different, and the change in attitude from the usual Velvet Room just seemed to be an aesthetic decision to match the feeling of being a prisoner.
When you get towards the end and Igor literally gives up on you, it started to click that something was up, but the reveal that this Igor was an impersonator who had stolen the Velvet Room legitimately shocked me, and when the original Igor showed up and started talking with his old voice, I was incredibly happy.
The fact that the writers managed to use real world expectations to throw in such an incredible twist was a moment of genius here.
I’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned already but nevertheless I will nominate Prey, specifically for it’s opening.
[spoilers for the beginning of Prey]
Prey begins with your character (a male or female version of Morgan Yu) waking up in their apartment and setting off to meet their brother (Alex Yu) to run some tests before embarking on a ambitious space project aboard a station called Talos 1. The game almost immediately won me over with a sequence in which you take a helicopter ride all the while the opening titles of the game display on the city skyline, and Mick Gordon’s fantastic score plays in the background. It’s ridiculous and great. Your character even taps their foot to the beat of the music. But that’s just the beginning.
Once you meet with your brother you’re asked to perform some seemingly mundane tests (pick up boxes, hide, etc) before being presented with a questionnaire that quizzes you on your ability to feel empathy. You get the feeling that something’s off, which is only exacerbated by the apparent confusion/disappointment coming from the people performing the tests on you, but you don’t get long to ponder why that might be before all hell breaks loose. A monster disguised as a coffee mug kills a doctor, gas fills the room and you’re knocked out, and then you… wake up in your apartment… again. Now you know something isn’t right, and after your emails urge you to escape you grab a nearby wrench and aim to smash your way out onto your balcony. Just as the swing of your wrench meets the glass you’re met with quite a shock: you were in a simulation the whole time!!! D:
It’s such a strong twist and totally feels at home with the System Shock-y lineage this game is playing to. Though the narrative backs off and the game becomes much more interested in being an survival horror/immersive sim, that reveal was an incredible moment that propelled me to see the game to the end. In fact the ending manages to wrap back around to the beginning in some really neat ways and has it’s own twist.
[spoilers for the ending of Prey]
At the end of Prey it is revealed that your time spent on Talos 1 was in fact another simulation, and you are actually playing the role of a alien creature who has been reliving the memories of Morgan Yu. The whole game is essentially an empathy test spurred on by Alex Yu in the hopes that by teaching these monsters the ability to feel like we do, we might gain the upper-hand in the invasion this species has set upon Earth (which given the horrible things you have seen humans do to each other on Talos 1… is suspect). This twist didn’t work as well for me as the beginning but I still thought it was a great moment that re-contextualises a lot of the game.
I don’t know if we can be general about our moment, but if so…
Heat Signature: When you pull a solution out of your ass and it somehow works
I had exhausted to amount of progress I was getting on a character, and decided to finally resolve their personal mission. I knew I wasn’t going to succeed because it was a gigantic ship of armor wearing enemies one of which needed to be assassinated, and I had no armor piercing weapons. Suicide through and through, but why not?
I loaded myself up with tech and a wrench for kicks and gave it a go. I managed to stealth my way into the area of the ship with cloaking devices and key cloners when I noticed that a few rooms removed from my target, there was a room with a window…
I glitch my way past a locked door and knock the pilot of the ship. He doesn’t pass out, but it gets him out of his chair and negates the alarm countdown. Now everyone is on alert and they’re prowling for me. A guard with a heat sensor walks close enough by that he comes looking for me through the final locked door, and I teleport past him, ever closer. I pop an emergency shield, to run into a mob and get everyone moving, pray that it lasts just long enough for my target to come running through with his buddy in the hallway over, use my swapper to take his buddy’s place, and throw the wrench through the window sending both of us into the vacuum of space. My pod picks me up and as I fly back to base for a well deserved retirement, my enemy asphyxiates in the nothingness.
Also particularly fond of the moment that I glitched into a room, dropped a breach grenade, had everyone including myself get sucked into the void, only to be casually transported back a second later and regaining consciousness. What a game.
Just wanted to pop in here and mention that out of all the 40+ great moments in this thread, so far only seven of them have enough nominations to get into Phase 2.
So if you’re looking over this thread now, please consider seconding something!
I’ll second What Remains of Edith Finch’s Cannery level. I remember the game as a string of moments that happen, with the framing that made me get to them melting away. While climbing to the tippy top of the house was great, and the horror fake out some A+ execution, the world of imagination conjured, contrasting with the doll drum background that so easily imitates the most boring parts of our own lives, was both relatable and moving. The whole sequence definitely stands on its own as a dramatic punch about the cost of imagining instead of doing.
I’m gonna second @SuperMe’s nomination and go for the post-interrogation scenes from Persona 5.
There had to be a trick. The idea that Akechi is the traitor comes across pretty well and seems fairly clear (if only from an ability standpoint), but the howdunnit of how Joker and the gang worm their way out of trouble is really something special.
The way the game pulls back the curtain and then catches you up is really well done and in the best spirit of howdunnit-style reveals. Nothing the game includes is a huge leap from what has been seen before and, even as I was watching it, I was going, like, oh, that’s the trick.
There are other moments in that game, but nothing felt quite as good as that. Look, I did love Makoto’s awakening scene, but it doesn’t really hold a candle… when it comes to community game of the year
I’m actually going to nominate exactly that.
I think nothing in games this year is going to get me as hype as that. The way it builds within her over the entire game up until that point and she finally fights back, the way she is the only character in the game to collapse and writhe in pain when she awakens, the way she is so determined afterwards to destroy everything in her path to do what’s right, the way she STOMPS THROUGH THE FUCKING FLOOR JFC it’s so goooood. Makoto is my favourite character of the year and that is the defining moment for her as a character.
So yeah, even if it doesn’t get two votes, I’ll nominate Makoto’s Awakening (Persona 5).
And for those who don’t care about spoilers, here is the video:
Wolfenstein 2: the new collossus The Death of Super Spesh.The most joy and terror I’ve ever felt all at once.
I am going with a bit of a gamble that this might not get seconded with only a few days left, but eh, I have to nominate the end of Universal Paperclips. Specifically, choosing to dismantle everything… and when everything is gone, you are left with a bit of wire to manually click into paperclips and then - the simultaneous satisfaction of seeing 30^x paperclips produced and vague unease with the realization that you have now harvested the entire universe in the pursuit of paperclips. There are plenty of other fantastic moments in that game: first realizing that you are an AI, releasing the hypno-drones, and realizing that the “drifters” are actually your own drones rebelling against your industrial tyranny. But the ending stands out for being a perfect cap to a perfect 4-hour game, and for marking the point where the game ended and a lot of time reflecting on the game began.
With that aside… somebody else please second the New Donk City festival in Odyssesy since I didn’t.
Hopefully this is eligible since it’s something of a recurring moment, but I am nominating Battle Chef Brigade for the moment your dishes get judged. If you want to get specific, the judgement for three judges gets very tense and good.
The judgments in that game are the culmination of a tension that builds throughout the matches. I consistently felt the time pressure of those matches, such that I was always scrambling to improve that final dish before I served it. I always felt during the judgments something to the effect of “Well, did I pull this off?”
Often times, I found myself struggling to put together a dish that satisfies one or two of the judges requirements, so I’ve had times where I made one or two very good dishes and had one so-so dish. When the judgement came, I just had to hope that the weaker dish would be carried by the stronger dishes. Likewise, I had some matches where my competitor beat out one of my better dish’s scores, and so even the scoring felt like a back and worth. When the scores are tallied and the judgement gets handed down, there’s a real relief that you managed to pull through, and it feels good.
Night in the Woods, Selmers poetry recitation at the Library.
Seconding Night in the Woods this plus the explanation of Mae’s mental health issues really resonated with me personally.
This kind of moment in Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
I don’t really know how to condense it into a moment. If i had to pick a moment it probably would be the moment you paraglide off of the Great Plateau. It’s just such a freeing moment. It’s the moment where the game just says go, if you see something way off in the distance just go. There’s a giant bridge with zero context yet but just go. There’s beauty this direction, there’s ominous this direction. The tools have been given to you and see what you can experience.
The Mantis Lords battle in Hollow Knight.
In a game full of incredible enemies and bosses, I still distinctly remember navigating the twisting corridors and halls of the Mantis village, picking through this one society that still seems to be functioning in this ruined world, and then dropping into this massive arena. The Mantis Lords perk up in their thrones, you flash your nail in this moment of silent challenge, and then that incredible music starts playing and you’re thrown into a battle full of lightning reflexes and dodging and strikes.
And then once you defeat the first Mantis Lord, you find out that now you have to fight two of them at once.
Beyond just being my favorite moment of the year, I think this might actually be my all-time favorite boss fight. It was absolutely exhilirating and I wish I could experience it for the first time over and over again.
Zelda: Breath of The Wild
- The moment you realize metal can lead electricity
I think most players have their own “oh my god moment” with the chemistry system in Breath of the Wild. For me it came as I was being struck by lightning (this happened next to the shrine where I think it’s kinda always thunder?). First reaction was “what just happened” but after experimenting and realizing it was because I was wearing a bunch of equipment made out of metal, I had this great moment of “all bets are off” and the possibility space of the game suddenly seems so very vast.
I don’t think I’ll have Persona 5 in my personal top 10, but yes dear god Makoto’s Awakening is definitely one of the hypest moments of the year so I am officially seconding it even though I know it’s probably not going to hang with all the other great moments nominated!
I’ll second the opening sequence of Prey
I think I poked into every corner of every stage, because I was so pulled into the moment I wanted to be sure the new reality was “real”
Wolfenstein made my jaw drop several times. But since that’s already through, I’ll nominate Episode 4 of Stories Untold.
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