10.31.2010

Ten Days of Halloween: 5 "Oh Crap" Moments in Gaming

Sorry for the delay, updating now!

Everyone has had one of these moments in their life. It doesn't matter if its a movie, a game, or even a book, you'll be going along when suddenly something intensely shocking and awesome happens, but its so awesome (and sometimes terrifying) it just makes you think "Oh Crap." Darth Vader is Lukes father! Oh Crap! Stuff like that, where you get a stunning reveal or a stunning sequence of action that you didn't see coming. Sometimes you even see it coming, but its so well done you still are amazed by it, and you're still floored.

Gamers love these moments. Games love these moments. Unsurprisingly, games have a lot of them, because we like to pull big reveals. So, for the 8th day of our Halloween countdown, here are five totally shocking, completely amazing "Oh Crap" moments. Spoilers abound.




Super Metal Sonic in Sonic 3 and Knuckles
As a kid, this one was a jaw dropper. By the time most players reached the final boss of Knuckles story in Sonic 3 and Knuckles, they were pretty familiar with how a Sonic game worked, including how if you collected 7 Chaos Emeralds as Sonic, Knuckles or Tails (7 Super Emeralds if Tails) you would be able to turn into a nigh invincible, faster and tougher Super form. So it was a huge shock when in the final boss battle as Knuckles, your opponent does this exact thing.

The fight starts off pretty cool, with Knuckles tricking Metal Sonic into destroying (for good) the Eggrobo foe he's chased through the whole game. This leaves him with only Metal Sonic to take down. Granted, he's no picnic (the first time anyway) and it feels like a good old fashioned boss, but you already fought him in Sonic's game (explaining how he gets here). So smash-bam, a few hits, and he goes down. Suddenly, he gets up. Music shifts into a much more intense beat. Metal Sonic blasts across the stage, lands on the Master Emerald, charges himself up and whoosh, he's gone Super.

This is a masterful stroke of a final boss. The sheer shock of realizing what's happened, that your opponent has done something you thought only you could do is masterful. Its compounded by the fact that you know by first hand experience how awesome a Super form is, and now you're about to be on the receiving end of a beatdown. Oh...Crap!


The Salazar Statue from Resident Evil 4
Relax. I only chose one from RE4 for this list (the game has many). The Salazar statue gets special mention simply because it not only telegraphs itself (you know exactly whats going to happen, but you're still shocked when it does) but because it packs multiple Oh Crap moments into itself. Just when you think its done, it pulls another frantic moment out of itself.

The moment you walk into the room, you know it's going to chase you. You just know. But when it starts smashing through the room, forcing you to frantically run as fast as you can before it crushes you, it's a wonderful moment.


The Entire Opening Sequence from Half-Life
Half-Life is one of those groundbreaking games that changes the industry overnight. Half-Life's release shook the industry so badly that nearly half of all FPS games in development were canceled after it came out. The future had arrived, and it did with one of the most famous "Oh Crap" moments in all of gaming.

It all starts innocently enough. You're an MIT graduate named Gordon Freeman who is just heading to work another day on the job at the Black Mesa Research facility. You ride the tram, talk to the guards, put on your Hazardous Environment Suit, and go to work pushing an unusual sample into a large beam. BOOM! Cue critical problems and the beginning of one of the most famous "Oh Crap" moments ever. Half-Life changed the way we saw games, and this opening sequence played a large part in that.



Kefka becomes a god: Final Fantasy VI
I'll be brief with this one since Kefka has already graced this list and I have mentioned this before. Final Fantasy VI's big "Oh Crap" moment is played completely straight, so straight in fact that you think its the end of the game. You're in a crazy place, you fight a massive tough boss with what sounds like final boss music, and then go to stop the Emperor Gestahl from taking the world. Except you fail, Gestahl gets backstabbed by Kefka, and Kefka absorbs the power of the three gods to become the only god, destroying the world in a fiery Armageddon. Talk about shock value.







Soma Cruz from Castlevania Aria of Sorrow
Aria of Sorrow was a well done game in many respects, but its best twist came right at the end. In Aria of Sorrow, you play as Soma Cruz, a college student sucked into the eclipse along with a whole host of characters where they find Dracula's true castle home. Since Dracula was killed many years earlier(for good, his body forever destroyed) a new villain has risen who hopes to absorb Dracula's power (still floating around the Castle) and become the new Dracula. As Soma, you wander the castle, using your ability to dominate the souls of monsters to grow more and more powerful until you defeat Grahm, at which point you learn the real truth, Soma Cruz is Dracula, the new body for Dracula's power to consume so that a new Dracula can arise. It explains his powers, but also is one of the biggest shocks, since Castlevania revolves around killing Dracula, finding that you are him is a bit crazy, and a definite "Oh Crap"

2 comments:

Stephen said...

That was a sweet idea for a post.

Viking ZX said...

Glad you liked it.