• Introducing Image Options for ResetEra 2.0! Check the left side navigation bar to show or hide images, avatars, covers, and embedded media. More details at the link.
  • Community Spotlight sign-ups are open once again for both Gaming and EtcetEra Hangout threads! If you want to shine a spotlight on your community, please register now.

Your biggest "wow/omg/holy #$%^" moments in gaming, in order of when you experienced them

Apr 3, 2018
1. Family got a Magnavox Odyssey when I was 3 years old. We only had it for about a month and I only got to play with it a couple of times, but it made me realize what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

2. The first time I saw a crowd of people gathered around an arcade game just so they could watch someone play it. It was a very strange sight to behold at the time, as back then arcades just weren't ever that crowded, and the most people you'd see standing in front of a game was two playing doubles, maybe a thrid person waiting for next game. When I pushed my way through the crowd to find out what game they were so interested in... that was the first time I laid eyes on a brand new game called Space Invaders. (Ironically, I never really enjoyed the game itself very much.)

3. Tail Gunner at the arcade. The 3D wireframe spaceship models flying right into the screen... my visual cortex could barely process it.

4. ColecoVision at my friend's house. That was the first time I thought a home console port was virtually identical to the arcade original.

5. F-Zero and Super Mario World on SNES. I lost all interest in video games shortly after hitting puberty in the early 1980s. I didn't touch any games for about 7 years. Then after I finished college I bought an SNES just as a means to establish a credit line. I intended to play with it for a couple days and then sell it or something F-Zero and SMW made me a gamer again and I haven't stopped since.

6. Panzer Dragoon on the Saturn. Aside from Myst on my friend's Mac, PD was my first taste of CGI FMV in a game, and there was no stigma at the time. And then the game itself, the 3D graphics, the CD quality music... going from SNES/Genesis 16-bit stuff one moment to PD the next totally fried some of my brain cells.

I've seen all kinds of awesome shit since then, but I honestly don't think anything has topped those. Diminishing returns I suppose.
This. This list, I like. Thank you.
Oct 25, 2017
Area 51 demo in MK Deception. That game was absurdly gorgeous, easily the most impressive game I've ever seen on PS2 up until that point.

Black at the end of PS2 cycle, another extremely detailed and beautiful game.

Uncharted on PS3. It was the very first game I played on the system and everything about it made my jaw drop, it really was a new generation.

Uncharted 2. After being very impressed with the first one, this just blew my mind, I couldn't believe how well made everything about it was. This was perfection made physical form.

Nothing else since really marked me.
Jan 8, 2018
for tech-related amazement probably g-sync. Especially when you can slow down the game in cheat engine and retain the butter smoothness for headshots everywhere and learning the game at your own pace.
Nov 23, 2017
I remember going to Best Buy and I saw Crisis Core playing on one of their kiosks. At the time I had a gameboy advance (didn't get my DS Lite until a year later), so I was blown away by how amazing CC looked on this little portable machine.
Oct 27, 2017
I think gaming is such a fascinating medium in that it's uniquely interactive, so I always love reading other people's experiences about this sort of thing - whether it be a memorable gameplay moment, a story revelation, or an introduction to new technology. Thank you to everyone who's contributed in this thread, I've really enjoyed reading people's responses. I thought I'd throw my moments in, in chronological order of which I played the games.

1. Final Fantasy VII as a whole. When I got back into gaming as a young teen, FFVII blew my mind - previously the games I'd played as a kid had very little story, and a lot of explosive murdering. FFVII did so much I didn't think was possible with the medium. A compelling story! An unreliable narrator protagonist, with a large cast of characters that are all relevant to the plot! An incredible soundtrack! An engaging world to explore, with clever world-building!

I fully blame FFVII for making me completely obsessed with the possibilities of using video games as a storytelling medium, and getting me back into gaming in general.

...and then I went on to play newer PS2 games, and went, oh, wow, it's not just the writing that has improved since I was a kid - graphics and gameplay have improved a lot, too! LOL.

2. Cronos and Pandora's Temple in God of War 1. This segment of the game exemplifies what I loved about the original GoW games - the scale of the world, and the memorable locales. The scale of Cronos, delving deeper and deeper into Pandora's Temple, desperately trying to survive through the various traps and puzzles, as Kratos walked over the countless bodies of travelers that had tried (and failed) to reach Pandora's Box. You could almost smell the dried blood and rotting corpses. It was claustrophobic, exhausting, and memorable as hell.

3. The colossi of Shadow of the Colossus, aka. the game where I and a lot of other players had a quality 'are we the baddies?' moment. These extraordinary and beautiful creatures/constructs, some hostile, some docile... and I killed them all. Fuck.

4. Bioshock's 'Would you kindly?' - What more needs to be said?

5. Zack's final stand in Crisis Core. I absolutely loathe the story of CC, like, a lot. Retcons everywhere, undermining iconic moments and character arcs from the original game... I could write an essay. I actually found Zack really irritating for the first 2/3rds of the game! But I have to give Tabata and his team all the kudos in the world for Zack's final moments - it was an absolutely perfect integration of story and interactive gameplay. I imported the Japanese version on release, and I finished the game at about 11pm at night, fetal on the couch, sobbing. It's even more impressive to have that response, because as a player you know the inevitability of Zack's ending.

6. The Maiden Astrea boss fight in Demon's Souls. I'd never really experienced anything like that in a boss before, even over SotC. It's a segment of the game that's really stayed with me, all these years later.

7. 'Okay' - the beginning and the end of The Last of Us. It's a gut punch of an opening to a game, and TLoU also has the perfect ending - though I was actually quite angry about at the time! As I've been through different life experiences since then, my perspective on the ending has changed a lot. And the line delivery on 'okay' is still perfection.

8. The New Game + of Nier (2010). NG+ turned everything I thought I knew about the world and the characters of Nier on its head, and took the story in further unexpected directions. I cried. So much. So much.

9. Building a relationship Trico in The Last Guardian. My time spent with Trico was memorable like no other: working together as partners, protecting him, him protecting The Boy, cleaning Trico's fur, pulling out arrows and petting him, and together scaling and exploring the extraordinary location of The Nest. It was the most I've ever felt connected to a bunch of polygons - the first time I really saw a character in a game as more than a bunch of polygons. I was at the end of my seat (and swearing) through the final playable portion of the game, and of course, there were more tears when it finally ended. Unlike the other games on this list, I don't know if I'll ever revisit TLG - the thought of replaying it hurts too much. I also always wonder whether my Trico was specific to me, and responded to the way I interacted with it, or was it just a placebo effect? I'm not sure I want to know. Either way, the experience was perfect.

10. Reuniting with an old friend in God of War (2018). When I realized what was about to happen, I completely lost it. pleasepleasepelase-fuck yes!!
Virtua Racing on the Megadrive, WipeOut and Tomb Raider and Sega Rally on the Saturn, F355 on the Dreamcast. Shenmue on the Dreamcast. Gran Turismo opening movie and the game of course on the PS1.

Halo 1 landing on the Halo “opening” level. Ahh good times.
Oct 25, 2017
The Messenger. Talking about this game at all basically spoils everything, all you need to know is that it’s a Ninja Gaiden inspired action game before playing it.

Except the game transforms from NES inspired to Genesis inspired halfway through.

Except it’s not halfway through, because the second half of the game is a metroidvania

Also it turns out you can travel back and forth in time from the Genesis style to the NES style to transform aspects of the map
Oct 30, 2017
Las Vegas
Mario Flying
some kids house

n64 kiosk
toys R us

You can make choices? THERE'S MOVIES?
Friend around the corner's room

Look at the grass
Gran Turismo 3
My bedroom

Is this real life?
Metroid Prime Visor Fog
Best friends bedroom

the PS3 is HOW MUCH?
$599 USD
Giant enemy crabs
Last edited:
Oct 27, 2017
Super Mario 64, I spent like an hour as a kid my first time playing screwing around in opening area.

Baten Kaitos. Didn’t expect
then main character to go fourth wall and betray the party and player.
Although looking back after that, there’s a lot of red flags you wouldn’t notice the first time around.

Ar nosurge. Midway in the game, you are going to the top of this tower to
stop an antagonist from sucking all the energy out of the ship and also removing the extra-dimensional link the player has with Delta.
The fourth wall breaking when
it basically says you playing a game and not realizing their world is an actual world. The Vita port does let you pick a choice where you aren’t an asshat, but the first time I saw this I was shocked.

Final Fantasy VI. The scene with Celes if you fail to save Cid after the start of the World of Ruin segment. Those who played it know what I’m referring to. Even as a kid I knew what they were trying to censor, having that in a SNES game blew my mind as a kid.
Oct 27, 2017
Ashland, Oregon
I had an NES and later a PS1 when I was really young, but it wasn’t until the PS2 era that games started to really wow me. So I’d say:

1. Seeing screenshots for Gran Turismo 2000 in OPM for the first time

2. The melting ice and tons of other tiny details in MGS2

3. Playing GTAIII for the first time without any prior knowledge of it. Would go on to become my favorite series.

4. Seeing the Half-Life 2 demos (and eventually playing it) was something else. I saved up for a really nice graphics card just to play it and Doom 3 at the highest settings.

5. Nvidia’s Unreal Engine tech demos (which were mostly from Gears of War, as it turned out) for the GeForce 6800 Ultra

6. The “radiant AI” demos of ESIV: Oblivion. While the final game didn’t turn out quite the same, it’s still one of my favorite games ever.

7. PS3 E3 tech demos and game reveals (I was fully duped by these. Damn you Sony.)

8. GTAIV’s euphoria physics

9. Many moments in Uncharted 2

10. The Jeep chase scene in Uncharted 4

11. God of War’s amazing use of particle physics and framing epic moments without any camera cuts

12. Seeing Saint Denis at night for the first time in RDR2. In fact RDR2 continues to make me say “holy shit” even after probably 150+ hours.
Oct 25, 2017
I literally cannot tell if people are saying this ironically or not
I don't know about people, but I'm saying it unironically. It's the funniest thing I've seen in a video game.
Now, while my appreciation of the song might be ironic, the amazement was 100% genuine. It hit me just like the dangan.
Oct 28, 2017
Probably my journey through MMOS.

WOW- FF11 it was my first mmo and I was blown away by the concept.
OMG- World of Warcraft! I thought it was just a perfect game.
Holy Shit- Burning Crusade! I thought Classic was perfect but no, BC was perfect.
Dec 17, 2017
Nice seeing arcade references, my biggest WOW moments including:
- vector graphics Star Wars, OMG, so fluid and immersive, wonder how many fps would be needed on a modern screen to approach this... 120 fps?
(Scramble on Vectrex similarly blew my mind)
- Gauntlet, so good to play this with friends, top notch feeling of dread, shared adventure, so stressful - Warrior needs food... badly
Oct 30, 2017
Feeling rumble for the first time in Star Fox 64. It brought in an insane amount of immersion.
Good pick.


1. Quake 1 PC (1996) - Seeing a fully textured, fully 3D space running at 60 FPS with quick movement.

2. Star Fox 64 (1997)

Playing the demo for the first time at the movie rental store. The first 3D console game I ever saw, with perfectly smooth analog movement, bright colours, and clear voice acting.

3. Entering the Lost Woods (1998 or 1999)

I'd played games before, including games with differently themed levels, but when the music and atmosphere changed when going from Kokiri Forest to the Lost Woods, that was when I realized a video game could be a cohesive world.

4. Worms Armageddon N64 (1999 or 2000)

I'd always had fun with video games, but outside of slow simulators, I had always thought they were kind of limiting. Boxed off levels, strict objectives, limited weapons with lots of similarity. Then the uncompromising flexibility of WA rose up. Wind, gravity, momentum, eating away the landscape pixel by pixel with an incredible array of weapons and tools, landscape hazards, defense just as effective as offense.

5. Perfect Dark main menu (2000)

That booming, crystal clear audio. The sparkling, animated menu with depth. Swooping between screens filled with different things to do. And seeing a blurred-out hub world behind it all accessible with just a button press.

6. Halo 1 - crossing the first bridge (2002)

The open air. The way light interacted with the surfaces. The feeling of weight and solidity. The atmospheric sound mix. The size of it all. For once, it felt like the power of a PC had come to consoles.

7. Halo 1 - AI flanking (2002)

Video game AI used to be pretty standard. They charge at you, you shoot them. These guys, though...they see you from a distance and hide. You go after them. You think you've gotten them all, but some of them circled around a building and came up behind you. 0_0

8. Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions, lighting (2002 or 2003)

9. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, multiplayer lighting (2004)

From this list, you can tell how impressed I was with the power of the original Xbox. ^_^

10. Elder Scrolls Oblivion demo (2006 or 2007)

Played the opening at a game store kiosk. Shaped my character's face exactly to my specifications - so far so good. Then I exited the sewer, and saw a vast, VAST landscape all around. Ran and killed a bandit, and found that EVERYTHING it was carrying could be looted, including its clothes!

This was, without a doubt, something else.

11. Elder Scrolls Oblivion forests (2008)

The best feeling forests in a game, ever. Jogging through them, or just looking at them, is pure serenity.

12. Pikmin 3 visuals (2013)

Depth of field. Transparencies. Water. Rock walls. Fantastic use of colours. The detail and animation on bosses. And dat fruit.

13. Breath of the Wild's atmosphere (2017)

The rain. The breeze. The sunsets. The lights in the distance. Still night.

Perhaps the most captivating game environment of all time.

First molotov hit on the alien.

This f***ing thing keeps killing you over and over with every tiny mistake. Then, in a glorious room-filling blast of fire, you finally get it to run away from you.

15. PUBG (2019)

Four generations, and they've all provided something special. :)
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
Splatterhouse for TG16
Mortal Kombat in the Arcades
Mario SNES and Mario N64
Final Fantasy VII / Crash BandicootPS1
RE4, Silent Hill, basically any survival horror thing
The Last of Us
Destiny 1
Bloodborne / Witcher 3

I don't know. There's a lot. I've missed many, but the ones I've listed came first to mind, so probably had the hugest impact. Just to be clear, I am mostly referring to these games a whole: they were, as videogames, WOW moments for me, technologically, and gameplay-wise.
Oct 29, 2017
The Witcher 3 sunsets and no loading screens between interiors and exteriors
Half life 2 physics
Skyrim first dragon fight / dragon shout
Uncharted 4 going from underwater to the the surface at the beginning
Shadow of tomb raider tsunami set piece
Resident evil 7,Jack baker fight
God of War first fight with the stranger
Oblivion getting out of the sewers for the first time
Basically majority of highly rated AAA games
Nov 9, 2017
-Star Fox was pretty damn impressive to me as a kid. My SNES had some great looking games but before Star Fox, I had never played anything on it that advanced.

-Also, Rogue Squadron II looked INCREDIBLE at the time. I didn't know that this launch game for the GC would end up being one of the best looking games of the generation but it sure as hell did.
Oct 30, 2017
I played all these DOS games and demo discs with cute and ugly 2D games when i was very young. "Let's play a video game" was always a joy. Nothing prepared me, however for certain moments, starting with:

- I was bored at my cousin's and my uncle said "You can try this game" and it was a demo of Rayman 2. Holy shit, what is this?! It's magical, it has a story and I'm scared of the enemies!
- Finishing from The Water Temple and the rest of Ocarina of Time when I was 10, and it felt like something in me changed becuase the journey was so good.
- I'm playing a game at a booth in Toys R Us, it's kind of oppressive and scary. I wanna check the glowing item at the toilet door an-- holy shit, a zombie fell through the window and it's grabbing my leg! I don't know how to control! Cue getting zombie-phobia forever since Resident Evil CV was put on display at a toy store.
- Agasp at the introductory segment to Half Life 2.
- Turning 12 the same day I get a GameCube and Wind Waker. The game starts on Link's birthday. He must now become a hero and set out on his adventure. Nintendo, you touched me, and I want you to know!
- Crysis looks like it's generations ahead omfg, I need a GeForce GTX 8800!
- Feeling sour that the PS2 era graphics might be going away; Playing an Xbox 360 King Kong demo at Gamestop and realizing how fucking amazing it is
- Unpacking Twilight Princess for christmas and playing it with fam during holiday. It was nostalgic and new and so much better than the game itself!
- Sonic 06 looks fucking awesooome-- oh wait it was the final nail in the coffin :'(
- Turnabout Goodbyes, wow, this game got real and damn has it left an impact!
- CING makes fantastic games, but oh fuck they just went defunct... :'(
- Ghost Trick is literally too good.
- Mass Effect 3 is gonna be so lit, ME2 was so cool. Oh I hope ME3 is like ME2 but has more of the RPG stuff and open-ness like ME1, and maybe we'll learn what the Reapers are about, and I hope they do something cool with the Rachni choice... What the hell. What happened to the dialogue options? Did I turn it to "half conversations", is the game bugged? BioWare, what the hell??? Why is the tone of this game so dull and dreary? Why should I care about a kid. What the actual fuck that final mission and ending. It's probably gonna be a while until I trust any continuous series ever again, let alone RPGs with choices.
- Gaming depression... nothing I play seems hopeful.
- The Walking Dead was great, I almost cried. It was so depressing.
- The Last of Us is pretty damn good; really the icing on the cake for PS3! But it was pretty depressing...
- New games suck now. I'll try to see what I've missed...
- Metroid Prime 1 & 2 bought used. People did not lie, what amazing games these are!
- ICO's ending hit me so hard. Man it's bittersweet but artistic and beauitful... and sad...
- Dragon Age Inquisition, wow pretty graphics!
- Witcher 3!!!!!!!!
-...Wait, I kinda hated that ending too. Let's see the other endings. Huh, nobody's complaining but me. Game's still great!
- Forget Mass Effect Andromeda.
- I guess VR is cool?
- (Future): Wow, the PS5 is great...

My life in gaming.
Oct 25, 2017
I’ve shared this story a million times, but a glitch in Oblivion counts as one of my all time favourite gaming moments:

In the early game, on the way to or past Kvatch (don't remember which), I stumbled across the ancient ruins of Miscarand. It looked too interesting not to look in, even at my low level, so I sneaked past the goblins on watch outside and delved in.

The place was monolithic and not a little imposing for my first proper attempt at a dungeon. Thinking about the potentially awesome loot, I steeled myself for the journey ahead.

I crept through level after level, carefully avoiding death traps, skeletons and headless zombies (enemies that were very tough at my low level). A couple of careful hours of sneaking later, I reached a large antechamber. At its centre, a glowing white crystal. I hadn't seen anything like it in the game so far and, Raiders of the Lost Ark vibes aside, I knew I wanted it.

I should've paid more attention to my Indy instinct.

As soon as I had lifted the crystal from its plinth, a section of the wall behind me cracked open. I turned. From the darkness, a terrifying apparition slowly emerged; a magnificent floating corpse crackling with magical energy and humming with the malevolence of Hypno-Toad. It was, I would later discover, a Lich-King. Not just any Lich-King either, it was a named character: The King of Miscarand.

Not gonna lie, I shat myself.

Before I could apologise for intruding, he seared me to within an inch of my life with one bolt of electricity. I ducked immediately behind a pillar and carefully weighed up my situation.After a few seconds, I came up with a plan.

I fucking ran.

I ain't too proud to admit it, either. I ran straight out of the antechamber, through each of Miscarand's levels, narrowly dodging all the monstrosities and traps I had spent hours carefully picking my way around on the way in. It had taken me a couple of hours to work my way down there, but it took mere minutes to escape. Once in the daylight and out of sight of the Goblins on watch, I carried on running. I never once looked back.

A few weeks in real time later, I was visiting the Duchess (I think) in Burma. By now, I was a full fledged member of the Thieves’ Guild, acting as the Right Hand of the Grey Fox. I was hob-nobbing with some of Cyrodil's most influential people. I was a person of some importance, confident in my abilities, as well as my understanding of the game and its mechanics. Few obstacles couldn't be solved by my guile, my trusty bow or a sneaky knife in the back. I was, for all intents and purposes, an elite fucking ninja.

I stepped out of the keep and into the courtyard and heard the sound of nearby battle. This seemed odd considering I was inside the city walls.

On my way to investigate, I noticed a small dark circle on the ground. It quickly grew in size and complexity. As I stood there for a good thirty seconds trying figure it out whether this was a new random event or some kind of ghostly enemy I’d never seen before, the corpse of a guard fell from the sky. It turns out the circle had been his shadow. He must haven fallen from quite a height.

What the fuck was going on? When I turned the corner, I found out.

The King of Miscarand had followed me across Cyrodil and into Burma. He was now murdering guards, civilians and merchants alike to get to me. He'd even brought a couple of those bloody headless zombies for company.

He really wanted his crystal back.

The image of the Lich-King hovering slowly across the Cyrodil landscape - cursing and muttering under his breath, Hypno-Toad buzz ebbing and flowing with his emotional state - is a potent one for me. It was my first 'Next Gen' moment. This videogame character had 'remembered' my little indiscretion from dozens of hours ago and, completely unscripted, chased me across one of the biggest maps I’d ever encountered to settle the score.

The whole thing blew my mind.
Oct 25, 2017
I’ve shared this story a million times, but a glitch in Oblivion counts as one of my all time favourite gaming moments:

hm, I'm going to assume you are reflecting your incomplete understanding of the game at the time, but Oblivion is heavily level scaled. Every area and dungeon you enter is set to match your current level so there's no "too dangerous for my low level" enemies... unless you had mods installed I guess.
Oct 25, 2017
Too many to pick, so I would just mention the most recent one.

Shin Sakura Taisen

The original theme song from Sakura Wars was remixed with new lyrics, with the last line being "we are the new Imperial Assault Force~".

Tears nearly broke out. Absolutely amazing moment. Sakura Wars is back!
Oct 25, 2017
hm, I'm going to assume you are reflecting your incomplete understanding of the game at the time, but Oblivion is heavily level scaled. Every area and dungeon you enter is set to match your current level so there's no "too dangerous for my low level" enemies... unless you had mods installed I guess.
It’s a reflection of my then lack of understanding of the mechanics. Even so, early on, two Headless Zombies and the King of Miscarand are quite a tough fight, especially if you’ve only just escaped the sewer.
Oct 26, 2017
Mostly it's the endings that get me.

The most recent one is probably finishing Nier Automata, I played through Route C in a single sitting, finished at 4am or so, and it fucking destroyed me.

Also killing Ludwig in Bloodborne. A perfect boss.
Oct 28, 2017
One of the first RPGs I ever played was Shining Force. Hell, it was one of the first video games I ever saw. It had a huge impact on me.

Also, just seeing Final Fantasy X also convinced me that 3D games could actually look good.