Incredible gaming moments

Last night I hit one of those moments in gaming when you are just lost in the atmosphere and mechanics; existing in an finely honed virtual world and revelling in every second.

There are several 'Survive It' maps in SSX where the aim is to keep snowboarding down the same hazard littered slope over and over until you meet your inevitable end by flying off a cliff or slamming into a rocky outcrop. To keep things interesting, on later runs in a chain, fog encroaches on the route dropping visibility to a few metres. One of my favourite such runs involves trees. Coppices of trees, trees at a 45 degree angle, trees horizontal across the path and trees half buried in snow. I know the run so well I can, for the most part, sail down it endlessly with only the odd moment where I wince and hope I'll narrowly avoid the rapidly approaching columns of wooden death.

On this occasion I was on my third of fourth run and enveloped in fog. Following a trail of red flares over the glistening show I relied on my memory to pre-empt rocks and tree trunks that loom out of the soft white wall ahead of me. Occasionally my board would hit a flare or two sending them skittering across the snow, or into the air, accompanied by their dancing red light. Sound of my companion helicopter crossed my path occasionally and I will see the whirling shadows of rotor blades all around me. My character is Japanese and, when I have a near miss on a tree or fly off a jump too fast, she will make a comment, with varying degrees of alarm, in Japanese. All this, accompanied by a sound track of my favourite songs, made for a sublime gaming experience.

Which moments, in your recent or distant gaming memory, stand out as being near perfection?

I have literally had that exact same moment as you down to the custom soundtrack. I miss that game, I have since ditched my consoles for PC gaming, but it is games like that SSX that really bums me out about not having a console. Actually I threw in my SSX on tour GC dump on dolphin last night, but it isn't the same.

Oh man, so many.

Recently, random turns executed to perfection in XCOM. Shooting a Berserker with my support with a 39% aim, in hopes that it WILL hit him, only to cause him to advance close to my Assault. Lo and behold, the shot lands, and the Berserker ran towards an Alloy Cannon shot to his stupid face.

Also, and this might be fanboying at some degree, but honestly, The Last of Us, the entire freaking thing.

Of distant memories? I remember once long ago, waking up hung over as hell, to find my brother playing Tekken with some of his friends. We passed the controller around each time one would lose to give chance to the next, so on and so forth. I grabbed the controller, and didn't let it go for about 50 fights. I was unstoppable.

Other small ones, pulling off colored smoke boosts in mariokart, making that cheap jump in N64's Rainbow Road course, final boss battle in Super Metroid is just perfect.

In the old Delta Force games, it was possible to shoot someone at a distance, with a heavy round, and kill him and the guy behind him too.

I still think some of my finest moments was making it to the Dark Queen in Battletoads. Never did beat her, however... but just seeing her was quite the accomplishment.

I know there's always moments of awesome here and there. Beating arcade games on a single credit (Golden Axe and Killer Instinct come to mind), reigning on the leader boards for time game (often a tower defense game), or somehow pulling of some incredible move in a multiplayer game, but I'm not sure I''l ever be prouder of an accomplishment as Battletoads... even if it was just short of the finish line.

In Gears of War 2, taking out an entire team all by myself using nothing but the chainsaw lancer.

The best of times.

I think my finest moment is pulling off a gold in GT5 seasonal events after running for hours and knowing on that one lap that you've nailed it. Getting every corner perfect just on line of being out of control, getting all the shifts right.

In a Quake 4v4 CTF game, being 80% or so of my team's entire output, dominating the map, and hearing the comments from all around (this was a LAN game). I think/hope I toned it down for the subsequent rounds.

In a 6(?) Player LAN game of Railroad Tycoon II, building a stone bridge from Tampa straight west to Corpus Christi. Trains would always run out of water/sand just south of New Orleans.

Mafia - just walking around the city back in 2003, absorbing the sites and sounds, following traffic laws, and riding around on public transit, listening to period-authentic music. A-Mazing! Oh, and the game was pretty stellar too!

Delta Force 2. There was a concrete structure down in a valley where everyone could restock weapons/ammo. I kept getting sniped from miles away by 'Rusty'. Then, on a whim, I placed C4 all over the inside of the building and waited. Lo and behold, he runs in, I press the trigger, and screams erupt from 20 feet away (also a LAN).

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down - chasing a guy (without his knowledge) for well over 5 minutes with just a knife (I was out of ammo) and a group of onlookers. I eventually took a "shortcut" over a mountain, jumped down, and stabbed him before landing....and the room erupted in cheers!

Playing Ars magica with my gaming group and rolling a 47. In ars if you get a one you roll again and double, if you roll a second one it double and you keep rolling. I got a bunch of ones and then a 2 or three. Unfortunately I was being stupid and told the GM I was rolling to see if I could cross a small stream. Something he does not make us normally roll for, but is was still an awesome roll.

My finest moment was making the score flip over on Atari 2600 Asteroids. It's been all downhill from there.

Delta Force Joint Ops/Typhoon Rising. Those were the days, man. I remember an epic sniper battle with some dude that lasted a good ten minutes. We were about mid-battlefield, carefully and slowly circling and trying to flank each other over hills and mountains, down valleys and through thickets of grass. It was incredibly tense. He'd take a shot, then move, and I'd try to catch a glimpse of his gillie suite sliding backwards. Then I'd slink back behind a hill, dash towards the nearest gulch, and try to scope out where I thought he might go. If I was lucky, I'd spot some movement and wait for him to settle in before taking a shot. Round and round we went, taking out any enemy combatant who happened to cross our small, private war zone.

And so many more.

Final Fantasy III (SNES) when my esper-formed girl had a measly 7hp left, the rest of the entire team having already been beat down, and she landed the final blow on Kefka.

One of the old 2K NFL games, I was playing the Dolphins vs. Colts in the playoffs. Playing against the computer is rarely much of a challenge, so I wasn't in any danger of losing, but it was tighter than it should have been. Then, I break Lamar Smith wide on a counter to the right. He's closing in on the goalline, but there's a cornerback sitting right at the endzone. I've got my special move button charged up, but I've already bulldozed two guys, and the game engine generally doesn't let you do it a third time in a row. So I hit the jump button. The jump button in the early NFL 2K games was useless. It didn't get you any extra yards running into the pile, it rarely got you high enough to clear a tackle. But this time, the cornerback dives forward into the tackle at just the right angle so that Smith goes up and over him into the end zone. I couldn't believe it. I didn't even know that this was a move you could pull off in the 2k games. I'm still not sure it was a move that was designed to be pulled off in the 2k games.

First raidboss kills in WoW. Those are always special.

First, thanks for creating this thread. I've been a little uninspired for video games lately.

My incredible moment was in Operation Flashpoint where you find yourself stuck by yourself and you have to figure out a way to E&E with BMPs and enemy soldiers prowling everywhere. Up to that point in gaming, no game had given me that sense of suspense and immersion.

I had somehow gotten to Sephiroth without ever having gotten Cloud's limit break ability. Once you are about to finish fighting him, you automatically get a limit break regardless of whether you had it prior to the battle. Seeing it for the first time as the climax of that battle was too perfect for words.

Another cool moment that I'll never forget from about 15 years ago, in Thief: The Dark Project, my wife and I were huddled around the monitor, exploring the mines that lead to Cragscleft Prison. When we approached a fly-swarmed human corpse, it leapt to its feet and groaned hideously at Garrett. We literally jumped up and ran out of the office, it was such an awesome shock. I'm sure it didn't hurt that it was 2:00 am and we were hopped up on coffee.

Also, in Anarchy Online they have flying vehicles called Yalmaha's. I had been saving my credits to buy one, but I had only managed to save about 10% of it. It was going to be a long time til I could afford that luxury. And then I found one in a random treasure chest, a pretty rare sight. That was such a great feeling, boarding the Yalm and taking to the skies above Rubi-Ka for the first time. It was a total game changer.

Remembered another one: Rome: Total War.
I was one of the Roman armies, and field battles against rebels were usually a pushover. This one took place in a forested valley. My well armored units were halfway up one side of the valley, trying to get more than fleeting glimpses of the enemy. You could hear them chanting and cheering somewhere ahead. Eventually, they emerged and marched up towards us. Archers being basically useless, this was all hand to hand, and eventually they broke and fled.
Then something unusual happened.
As my units slowly marched after them to clean up stragglers, the chanting and cheering resumed, only now we were in the valley. Suddenly the shirtless hordes erupted from the trees and crashed upon my legions again, and once again they were repulsed, this time for good.
Or so I thought.
A short while later, the cacophony begins anew! I'm becoming rather unsettled now, but the third charge out of the trees isn't nearly as surprising as the second was. It also proved to be the last charge, luckily; I had lost an unusually high number of soldiers to "mere" rebels.

MisterStatic wrote:

My incredible moment was in Operation Flashpoint where you find yourself stuck by yourself and you have to figure out a way to E&E with BMPs and enemy soldiers prowling everywhere. Up to that point in gaming, no game had given me that sense of suspense and immersion.

Wow, if that's the mission I think it is, it's exactly when I quit playing the game.

InTheMorning33 wrote:

I have literally had that exact same moment as you down to the custom soundtrack. I miss that game, I have since ditched my consoles for PC gaming, but it is games like that SSX that really bums me out about not having a console. Actually I threw in my SSX on tour GC dump on dolphin last night, but it isn't the same.

It took me a long time to click with SSX but now I love many of those runs. It's a great game just to hang out in, hunting down Geotags and seeing how well I can do in races, etc. I hope they are doing another one for next gen or will at least resell this version.

One event in Far Cry 3 made me happy. I was out in the jungle and saw three bandits lining up villagers in front of them. It looked like an impromptu firing squad. Notching an arrow in my bow I aimed at the guy furthest from me. I hadn't had that much regular success with the bow. You need to allow for arrow drop, etc and I was missing as often as I hit. With a little time to aim on the first guy I wasn't too surprised when I hit him in the head and he fell. The second turned to fire on me and the third ran for cover. I drew again, aimed and fired. Another hit. The second guy fell backwards. Before heading to cover myself I loosed an arrow quickly on the third guy and, just before he reached a low wall, the arrow found him and he fell dead.

I walked calmly past the stunned villagers as if taking out three armed guys with a bow and arrow was something I did every day.

I've got two:

- As a kid, my buddy was sleeping over, and had brought his Genesis. On Sunday morning, I woke up before anyone else, so of course, I went down and started playing something. For some reason, it was Fire Shark, even though I suck at shmups. Yet, for some reason, I was on fire that morning. I was untouchable. By the time my buddy woke up, I was on the last level, and hadn't died a single time. Of course, that somehow broke the spell, and I lost all my lives before the end.

- Some time in college, I was playing one of the Unreal Tournament games (probably the original, but I'm not 100% certain) with some people from a forum. We were playing team instagib, which I usually get eliminated in pretty quick. For some reason, this one match was going my way, and I was getting a bunch of kills. Eventually it was down to me and one opponent. The map we were on had a central building with a ton of ramps. Wide open, but lots of places to hide. I was circling the perimeter, hoping to be able to snipe him, but he was keeping inside, so I finally decided I had to go in looking for him.

I kept running up and down ramps, looking all over, knowing at some point, I was going to get nailed from behind. Finally, I see a flash of someone in the top of the screen, so I wheel around and take one wild shot, figuring I was dead.

Then the victory screen came up, along with the freeze frame of the last kill. I saw myself and my shot hitting the other guy. I also saw his shot whizzing past me, about three inches to the left of my face. The in-game text chat was going nuts, as everyone else had been watching this cat and mouse game for the last several minutes. I've never pulled off a shot that good again.

My first MMO (UO): Young mage not even knowing a 7xGM from a 8x8 yet is finally brave enough to head out to the graveyard near Empath Abbey but too inexperienced to know when to stop. As can be expected, I get way over my head.

As I'm hoofing it south to try and outrun the few dozen undead who just don't seem to be giving up, this fancy portal opens in front of me and two players emerge. The air is suddenly crackling with lightning storms and other things I didn't recognize and the players hadn't even started their spell casting.

Turns out they had just happened to portal there because it's traditionally a safe spot. Also turns out they were already maxed templates loaded for bear, the things deadly to me were just in their way, and so much their two Nightmares basically did all the work. Also turns out they were both very friendly and very helpful of my newb self.

8 months later I bought the Log Cabin from the one so I could inherit leadership of the Guild from the other.

My second MMO (EQ): Once again finding myself fleeing baddies. This time it was as a magician and from orcs, but details details. I happy to run through a few people having a sit down in the middle of a forest. I had only just learned the chat system (imagine, a chat system right in the game itself!) and apologized while running.

Didn't really need to though. In a starting-to-see-a-pattern moment, these veterans quickly lay waste to the orcs, escort me back to near Crushbone, arm me with things I didn't know existed and buffed me with spells I couldn't pronounce, and for a few hours I felt like a demigod.

10 years later I still run with them in some of these worlds.

I feel like I have great experiences all the time. Back in GW2, every day is a treat, remembering things I knew at launch but seeing them through the new abilities I have as a Mesmer now (Ele las time). Saints Row III had some great moments, Saints Row IV even went so far as to use that Stan Bush song from the Transformers 1984 movie, and Tomb Raider was just a well put together game all around. But it's always the MMOs that give me the most lasting of memories.

The crushbone story reminded me of few of my EQ moments. Back then I was a pretty hardcore raider and was part of a small guild (small in eq1 standards) we had about 28 people for most raids but we usually did the 72man stuff. The one I still remember is us leap frogging another much larger guild and taking down a planes god before they could catch up.
Another time we were raiding Bastion of Thunder and things have gone bad, I have died already but shortly after my corpse decided to wake a mezz... and make things much worse. I still have that screen shot somewhere.
It is an awesome game and I have many memories from it, me and my old neighbor still sit down sometime and share stories.

Remembered another one, not as far back.

This was in Team Fortress 2. I managed 16 backstabs in one life with Spy. Damn proud of that one. Haven't come close to it again. Closest I think has been something like 6 or 7. No idea how I managed 16.

And another one, this goes back to when I used to play ROMS on emulators. I know, I know, tsk, tsk. Anyways, I was playing Battletoads with a friend, and we couldn't manage to sync during the bike part of level 3. After probably 500 quickloads later, I said: screw it, gimmie room. He stepped aside, I remapped the keys on the keyboard, and controlled both toads. Pretty hard to sync both hands as well, but not as hard as two different people. He made sure to quicksave at each slow/resting zone, and I just kept pushing up and down, and finally did it! Truly a remarkable feat, if I do say so myself. Everyone knows how hard the speedbikes are in battletoads, but to manage with two? played by the same dude? Madness!

I'll never forget that night I came home loaded, fired up Guitar Hero, and finally conquered "No One Knows" on expert -- achieving 5 stars.

Turns out all I needed was a long night of drinking for the rhythm to click.

For the next couple of years, most of my gaming time was spent on perfecting my rhythm gaming skills.

There are probably other moments, but that one jumped out to me.

In the summers at the end of high school I had a friend whose parents would take a month long trip every July, and leave my friend and his older brother (who could buy us liquor) to watch the house while they were gone. So all of us would hang out there constantly and play the Game of the Summer.

One year we had scrounged up a 4 player adapter and a copy of Bomberman for the SNES, and all we would do every single day was swim all day, then get drunk and play Bomberman until the sun came up. Fans of the series may recall that the original had an awesome map which featured several pipes, which did nothing other than obscure what was going on inside them.

It was traditional for us to play a final game each night "for all the marbles," the winner of which would lord it over everyone else for 24 hours until the next marbles game. On this particular night I was so hammered that I knew I had no chance of winning, so early in the match I walked my guy into one of the corner pipes, yelled loudly like I had been killed, then set the controller down and proceeded to bitch at the others to hurry things along.

I sat and watched as others ran in and out of the pipe I was sitting in, miraculously no one dropped a bomb into my section. A minute later one of my friends "won" when he killed the last visible guy, and engaged in the traditional act of laying all his bombs on top of himself during the period of invincibility at match end while mocking all of our inferior skills. Everyone was dumbfounded when the bombs exploded and killed him. With great ceremony, I pushed on my d-pad with my big toe, and my guy walked out of the pipe and into legend.

Without question my favorite moment in video game history.

Original Quakeworld. 16 player deathmatch at a massive LAN party of all Sydney's major clans. DM2. First to 50 frags. Me and one other guy from a rival clanbattling out for the top spot, always within 2-3 frags of each other. No-one else scored higher than around 12.

Absolutely in the zone. No thinking, just acting. No mouse or keyboard - just my nervous system wired directly into the game. Incredible feeling.

After a half a dozen rounds of this someone came up to us and said "how the hell do you guys score so high?" The other dude says "head for the most crowded place on the map".

The next part we say in unison"

"And don't miss"

Gosh, there are so many... Great to read other people's but I'm gonna have a hard time coming up with only a few of my own.
Those of my childhood blend together: waking up early on Saturday mornings to play King's Quest with my sister, playing with my cousins on my grandparents' Colecovision, or my cousins' Genesis or PlayStation (depending on the time frame), making friends and hunting on the Realm Online...
But more recently, I'd have to say that some of the best moments were on multiplayer games. Either in TF2 when I managed to go on rampage or top the scoreboards (always a great satisfaction, right guys?). And even more recently, getting a GWJ group together on Guild Wars 2 and clearing areas in Orr or completing a dungeon. The sense of teamwork and accomplishment is always wonderful.
And of course, there are the tear jerking moments in the Mass Effect games. And a little further back, the flutters in my chest when I realized that Anomen Delryn in Baldur's Gate 2 was courting me. Corny, I know, but there you have it.

I was working my way through an abandoned building in Splinter Cell Blacklist Last night, taking out guards silently one after another. I'd reached a point where there were two guards left. One upstairs somewhere and one in an office with dirty windows. I'd 'tagged' both so they had a little arrow over their heads marking their location. When they were in range I would be able to use the 'mark and execute' ability to take them out quickly with a silenced pistol but, as they were separate, I'd need to take them individually. There was no clear way into the office. I was looking, crouched just below the side window, when the arrow upstairs started to move down towards me. I changed my plan. The guard in the office could wait. If the guard from upstairs came past me I'd take him out first. He was still on the stairs, heading down, when office guard looked my way. I was crouched but he was very close. His suspicion grew as he leaned forwards, "What the..." I tapped 'mark and execute.' One shot through the glass killed that guard. Another shot through the glass killed the second guard who, still unseen, must have just stepped out into the corridor to the left of the office. I admired the two neat holes in the semi-opaque glass and moved on.

One of my first online experiences with the original XBox was a game of Rainbow Six I played with a group of random people. We were just playing Terrorist Hunt, but none of us really knew how to play. After getting killed a few times, we all finally came up with a good plan of clearing out a room. Just a pretty standard flash and clear--one person would open a door, someone else would throw a flashbang, and we'd take everyone out.

So, what really happened? Someone cracked the door open, the person who was supposed to throw the flashbang threw it, but then we hear over the comms "Huh. That's weird. I didn't see the flashbang go into the r..."


Either the door wasn't open wide enough or the throw wasn't accurate, but the flashbang went off at our feet. Chaos ensues, and we end up all killing each other Reservoir Dogs style. After about 10 minutes of laughing, we all figured out that we had the game Links 2004, and figured that'd be more our style. So, we played a few rounds of golf before calling it quits for the night.

Sadly, I never ended up playing with that group again (for some reason none of us sent friend requests), but it was definitely one of my most enjoyable moments in gaming.

Thanks for this thread, I too am in a gaming slump and it helps!

1. Falcon 4.0 - Spent countless hours learning this complicated sim, and finally decided to jump online to a server hosting a persistent war (still the best example of this to date). I jumped in a 4 ship flight which was tasked to strike a runway deep behind enemy lines. Hopped in the Falcon and proceeded to perform a flawless ramp start. We took off and began our >1 hour (realtime) flight to the target. Immediately the immersion factor went off the charts, the radio chatter was incredible especially when I realized the SEAD and CAP flights were all human pilots. Other pilots were taking care of threats so that we could make it to our target. There is something mind blowingly tense about getting radio calls that bogies are inbound and you just have to trust that the CAP flights will take care of them. After over an hour of flying we reached the ingress point, and began a descent to our target.

After popping through the clouds, we immediately got lit up by AAA guns and sams. I had to take evasive action and was able to dodge not 1 but 2 SAMS and get back on course. I was able to get the runway in my sights and performed a dive toss that I had practiced hundreds of times. 2 of my wingmen had been shot down just as my bomb hit the runway giving me time to hit the afterburners and get the f out of dodge. I got hit with some AA fire, and had to limp home another hour (realtime) where I landed and mission successful. To this date, the most immersive game situation to date.

2. Jane's F/A 18. Doing my first nighttime carrier landing on a rolling sea. Talk about sweaty palms!!!

3. Joint Ops - Those few times playing with AGE clan where things went absolutely perfect.

4. BF2 - Karkand map, playing support and holding a point for a whole game with my SAW-249.

There was a span of a few years in college when my best friend and I played tons of co-op games. He really got into map editors and would set up various scenarios, especially in IL-2 Sturmovik and Operation Flashpoint.

This time it was Operation Flashpoint again. I had no idea what he had set up, joined the game, and my pc ground to a halt. We were two infantry somwhere in a village, at night in a thunderstorm, completely surrounded by enemy infantry, tanks and helicopters. We had AI allies as well, which were battling the siegers to the last. Everywhere things were exploding. The ground, our allies, the house I was in...and it was glorious!

My buddy got blown up pretty quickly. Somehow I survived long enough to wander outside and survey the carnage for a bit before getting gunned down in a single shot after peeking around a burning tank.

Mr Crinkle wrote:

With great ceremony, I pushed on my d-pad with my big toe, and my guy walked out of the pipe and into legend.

Without question my favorite moment in video game history.

....and it just became one of mine as well, simply by reading about it.