The Most Shocking Moments In Games: A Debate

Every now and then, something happens in a game that makes you stop in either awe or anger. What are the most special of these moments? Time to find out...

[Part 1] [Part 2]

 

Oberon: Aeris' Death (Final Fantasy VII)

Final Fantasy VII was the first of the series to be released here in Britain, and was (oddly enough) the first I played. Perhaps that's one reason why I chose a moment from that sublime RPG. The storyline was, and remains, superb, the graphics were stunning (for the time), and the FMV was used in precisely the way most games don't - that is, tastefully.

But this isn't just about me getting nostalgic. It was this moment that made me begin to utterly want to destroy the game's antagonist, Sephiroth. After seeing Aeris, a character who almost felt real, getting killed so cruelly by a character who shows utterly no remorse over the act, how else can you feel? It was this moment that made many, myself included, begin to see Sephiroth as true, undeniable evil. Once this had happened, you really, really wanted to kill him. (A well-known phrase about revenge, and the taste thereof, may be appropriate)

Squaresoft are excellent at building their characters, making them believable despite the fantasy world they exist in. Here they excelled themselves. As Aeris and Cloud (the game's lead) build up a friendship, there was always hinted at something more; you genuinely believed that they liked each other, more than just as friends. And as you see her become impaled upon that massive sword, suddenly all this is shattered; you've actually seen her die, you cannot bring her back, and oh, how he is going to pay for that.

Even after the event, the characters seem to be really reacting to what has happened; the dialogue is almost how you would expect you feel you'd say it, and despite it only being written on screen, it all seems very real indeed.

 

Not Jo-Jo Fine: Complete and utter defeat (Command & Conquer)

The most shocking moment in a videogame, this is a tough one, and may I say, open to interpretation. For my first contribution to this argument, I will choose a moment that was completely shocking, and did infactscar me for life. It was the summer of 1995, the summer holidays infact, and I scraped enough money together to buy the Playstation version of the original Command and Conquor (Platinum by then). Having totally pwned Warcraft II I was riding high in the strategy genre, and my self confidence was equally inflated.

T'was a fine summer afternoon when I returned form the local game store, I slammed the disk into the trusty PSX, and settled down for a 6 hour session of eye destroying depravity. I sailed through the first 4 or 5 missions (NOD campaign, natually) then came a seemingly simple mission where you start with a 1/2 destroyed base, and must build up and repel an allied attack. This was my forté, a base centered mission, no petty micromangment of 3 gruts and a commando, this was what I was made for.

It went well, turrets, tanks, a couple kennels. I repelled the first attack, and destroyed an intermediate base, all looked set for victory. Then, suddenly, a massive counter attack: the tanks rolled in, supported by wave after wave of grenadiers - where had they all came from? I recalled my expeditionary force, only to reveal enroute a second GDI base (which incidentally slaughtered the force). I was churning out rocketeers and tanks as fast as possable, but to no avail, they could only delay the inevitable, and my funds were rapidly depleating. I did the standard sell all buildings, suicide charge grunts tactic, but they were squashed by tanks and burned to death by greanadiers. Then came the screen I had feared, defeat. I was shocked, I turned off the console, and sulked. I didn't play C&C's NOD campaign ever again, and to this day, i still have a pathologoical fear of failure in any strategy game. Debilitating, but true.