We’ve all had emotional rushes when playing a video game. We can feel frustrated when we can’t compete a level. We can become elated when finally beating that one super tough boss and finish the game. We can even feel melancholic after finishing the game because we thoroughly enjoyed the experience but also feel sad that the adventure is over. Video games can make you feel that because of the interactivity. We’re active participants and doing the things on the screen.
We can, however, also feel the game tugging on our heartstrings at times with their stories. There have been really big moments in video games that have left an impact on us because of how a specific cutscene affected us. I know you’ve felt that because I’ve felt them numerous times. So, with that in mind, here are just 5 scenes in video games that left me feeling all kinds of emotions.
Oh, SPOILER ALERT because I’ll be talking about specific moments. You have been warned!
#1 The Ballroom Dance Scene (Final Fantasy VIII)
Final Fantasy VIII is one of my favorite games not because I played it when I was young and I feel nostalgic for it. Rather, it a game that just warms my heart because I have so many pleasant memories of watching my brother play it. It was flashy with all pretty lights whenever he would use Draw and the monsters were all fun to look at. I didn’t understand much because I couldn’t read all that well and a lot of the stuff went over my head. There was one thing I knew, though. That ballroom dance scene in Final Fantasy VIII was super cute!
It was the ballroom scene where I was introduced to Rinoa, a really pretty girl who didn’t act all feminine. She was the one that approached Squall, who was supposed to be a tough guy, and managed to get him to dance! I loved Rinoa and all her antics, like sticking out her tongue at the guy they bumped into! It was just so adorable! This scene just makes me emotional in a really light and funny way! Even though VIII is kind of the “black sheep” of the modern Final Fantasy games, it was this ballroom scene that made it my favorite!
#2 Eating Watermelons at the Beach (Ico)
While you had to read a ton of dialogue and text in Final Fantasy VIII to get the story, the opposite is true in Ico. Ico is one of those simple stories is easy to follow thanks to a really basic plot and a lot of good scenes that tell the story. Once again, I didn’t play Ico and I just watched my brother go through the entire game controlling Ico as he navigated through the castle with the waif and pale Yorda in tow. I remember really rooting for that little boy with horns to escape with Yorda and they did! What I didn’t expect was how touched I was by its really simplistic but profound ending.
At the end of the game, Ico wakes up and finds Yorda washed up on shore. For a moment, you think she died but she slowly wakes up. Normally, the game would end there, but if you bring a watermelon to her, you get an extra scene with Ico eating the watermelon with Yorda. Even today, when I think of this scene, there is just something so satisfying about it. There isn’t any grand fanfare nor do you see an explicit scene of Ico and Yorda falling in love. Rather, it’s just a beautiful and quiet moment of peace after a horrible ordeal. It’s just a heartwarming and calming scene that I just feel so emotionally attached to.
#3 Playing the Video Tape (Silent Hill 2)
There is something special about the Silent Hill games. It’s a series that managed to get the tone of horror just right. For me, the pinnacle of the series is Silent Hill 2 as it was the ran a chill down my spine. Sure, I get a jump scare when the dogs smashed through the windows in Resident Evil and the feeling of dread when walking through a cramped corridor while being chased by ghost in Fatal Frame. All of that pales in comparison to the horror when James watched that video tape near the end of Silent Hill 2.
I still remember this scene as I didn’t understand what was happening at first. I just knew it looked super disturbing and all I could see was a blurry image of what James, the protagonist, was doing. I couldn’t really make it out but, when he explained what he did, I was shocked. Mind you, I was around 6 years old when I saw this! I didn’t really understand how the “good guy” could do something like that! This shocked me to my core and I still remember that strong sense of disbelief even now.
#4 Sarah’s Fate (The Last of Us)
Let’s keep that depressing train rolling after Silent Hill 2’s big reveal with one of the saddest things I have ever seen, video game or not. Of course, I’m talking about The Last of Us’ intro level. Naughty Dog had the guts to get us all emotionally invested in Sarah by forcing us to play as her just to kill her off in the opening intro of the game!
Sarah’s death in The Last of Us took me by surprise. Okay, not totally because she wasn’t featured in any of the trailers or anything like that. I kind of knew she was going to die. What I didn’t expect was her dying in just a dramatic and painful way! I expected her to get infected or something like that. Not get shot and bleed to death while whimpering in pain in her father’s arms! It’s Sarah’s whimpering that got me! I will admit that I started bawling like a baby after this and I was shook. Seeing the scene still makes me tear up to this day.
#5 Snake and Ocelot’s Fist Fight (Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots)
There is a part of me that wishes Metal Gear Solid 5 was never released. Not because the story was ridiculously unfinished. Not because they played me like a damn fiddle by making me think I was controlling Big Boss and not some unnamed grunt. No, because I truly believe the Metal Gear Solid saga should’ve ended with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Everything was tied up in a neat little bow and, what’s more, we got one of the most epic boss battles with Old Snake and Revolver Ocelot in an awesome fist fight that transcended the previous games of the series.
This final fight gives a brief look at each of the battle systems of all the previous games and how its evolved since then. It’s also a really engaging and visually compelling combat scene pitting two rivals who both hate but respect each other. It’s a really good scene and gives me goosebumps.
Bonus: Jump Up, Superstar! (Super Mario Odyssey)
If there was a way to express how happy this level makes me, I would but I can’t.
A lot of things just makes this a joy to play. From Pauline singing a jazzy song called Jump Up, Superstar, Mario doing a happy jig and the nostalgic and well designed levels, this is a level that just puts a huge smile on my face. Jump Up, Superstar indeed!
What video game scenes makes you feel emotional? Let me know in the comments section below!