You know what I love? Video games that appeal to me emotionally, no matter what that emotion may be! Games that make me laugh like Deadpool and Monkey Island to weird and wonderful games that make me happy like Grim Fandango and Katamari Damacy all matter to me. Compelling stories and characters that you become invested in is truly the spice of life in gaming and brings joy to my heart. But what about the other end of the spectrum? The ones that pull on our heart strings are the games that people talk about, that we discuss with our friends, that stay with us for years afterwards. Sombre moments in video games is one of the things that solidifies the medium as an art form and these are 5 such moments where video games sent me on an absolute feel trip. Please remember these are from games I have actually and are solely opinion based, I also follow the one per franchise rule. SO! Without further a due.
Disclaimer: NO! Aerith’s death in Final Fantasy 7 will not be featured on this list. Yes it left people devastated and it truly is an iconic moment in gaming but the million other lists that it is featured in leaves it justified I feel. But for all of you that know me, we all know that Final Fantasy will be featured =D Oh and SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Last of Us – Joel’s Daughter
Much like the movie ‘Up’ if the first 20 minutes of The Last of Us doesn’t make you shed a tear, you clearly have no soul! After a brief incite into main protagonists Joel’s happy life as a single father, just before the infection hits. The moments we see afterwards are true hard hitting chaos and amongst all this we see Joel doing his best to protect his pride and joy as only a true father can. Things however go from bad to worse when they come to a military blockade and are mistaken for infected, the guard opens fire and Joel’s Daughter Sarah is hit in the crossfire, as Joel holds her in his arms begging her to stay with him as her young life slowly fades away this truly sets the tone of what’s to come and is an epic opener to one of my favourite games.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Snake Vs. The Boss
The Metal Gear Solid franchise is the definition of an emotional rollercoaster so much has gone on through the 3 decades of its existence, And if you don’t know, YOU SHOULD KNOW! But to me the one moment to me that sticks out like a sore thumb is the the climax between Naked Snake and his mentor The Boss. After securing the Philosopher’s Legacy and defeating all but one of the Cobra Unit, the young Big Boss must finish his mission and eliminate The Boss, his beloved teacher and Soviet turncoat, and what ensues is one of the most intense yet beautiful boss battles of all time. A one on one battle taking place in a field of white flowers, blossom meandering by and no soundtrack whatsoever (the atmosphere is the symphony in this case) and when all is said and done, your fallen comrade hands you her weapon and gives you one final order……to finish her, a task which the player must perform themselves (DAMN HIDEO!!!) with the white flowers turning blood red, this drives the battle home in a daring way.
Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core – Zack’s Fate
Goddam this is a good one! And the best part is for those who are dedicated to Final Fantasy 7, we all knew this was going to happen anyway! So the fact that it still hit this hard is even more impressive. With Zack trying to get a comatose Cloud Strife safely to Midgar, the two fugatives are faced with a barrage of their former SOLDIER comrades on the outskirts of the city. The determined Zack attempts to battle each one off to no avail, lying bloody on the cold ground in the rain, Cloud comes to and crawls to him and receives the iconic Buster Sword from Zack, referring to it as his legacy and telling him ‘You’re going to live for the both of us’ before succumbing to his injuries, keeping a dry eye while playing this on a bus ride is one of my hardest challenges and this moment alone made this spinoff not just another spinoff.
Walking Dead: Season 1 – Clem’s Lose-Lose
At the climax of the 5th and final, an infected and one armed (depending on how sick you are) Lee has successfully rescued his pint sized companion Clementine and somehow walked her through a horde of walkers in one peace. It is at this point Lee comes to terms that he can go no further and that he hasn’t much time left before he turns. After giving Clem some parting advice on how to survive on her own she tearfully whimpers ‘But….I’m little’ when Lee assures her that her strong will to survive counts for way more than her size, at this point a lump starts to form in my throat. After this Clem has a choice (or the player more like), to leave Lee chained to a radiator to turn into a walker, or to place a bullet in his head to rescue him from this gruesome fate. This fantastic gameplay yet so heartbreaking as there is no favourable outcome from either choice and captures the true essence and tribulations of a zombie apocalypse by insisting that you will lose the ones you will love eventually. No exceptions.
Shadow of the Colossus – Aggro
You’ve made a deal with a demon, defeated 15 monstrous beasts (Collosi if you will), you’ve almost saved your one true love, and you just have to slay one more beast, no big deal I mean you’ve already done it 15 times once more should be a breeze. As you make you way to his lair atop your trusty steed Aggro you know nothing can stop you! Just hope you don’t come across unstable, poorly built bridges!
As you head towards the final Collossus, the bridge Wander and Aggro cross starts to give away behind you and before you can fall to your death your horse, best friend, strength and confidence Aggro hurls you to safety and plummets to his death. This was hard to digest for me because Aggro helped Wander through the other 15 battles and leaves you to wonder if he can carry on without his friend.