There’s so much of that in the original X-Com. I mean, just the first time you land a Skyranger and disembark it’s like you’ve entered a whole new world of entertainment and wonder. Everything is immediately alien to you and now you get to research wtf is going on!
Yeah, the lighting at night time was perfect. Made the missions really intense.
I had this same experience. I had no idea what was going on. It took me a couple of turns to figure out it was my own guys getting turned. I thought initially it was invisible enemies appearing in my midst.
I have a lot of great memories of my first playthrough of X-Com. I didn’t know anything about it, hadn’t read any reviews, etc. It was completely fresh. I remember seeing a Muton for the first time and how badass they looked.
I have many memorable gaming moments, but I guess exactly how interesting they are will be for others to decide …
I don’t remember the very first video game I played, probably Pong or Space Invaders or something like that. I do distinctly remember the first time I saw Pac Man, and how totally blown away I felt. It was like the moment when Dorothy steps on the yellow brick road, and everything is all light and color and music. I had never seen anything like Pac Man before, which is kind of funny looking back on its simplicity now. But I feel like that really set me on a journey that I’m still taking today.
I remember getting the Atari 2600 for Christmas whatever year that was - and my cousin and I just being amazed that we could play Combat and Space Invaders at home! We played for hours, I think a family member probably had to pull the plug on the thing to get us to off to bed.
I remember being completely enraptured by Starflight on the Commodore 64, piecing together its mysteries. I remember discovering and landing on earth. I remember discovering that the fuel I was burning to power my ship was a living entity. It’s still a spacefaring adventure that I judge all others against.
Similarly, playing The Magic Candle on the C64 was a CRPG highlight for me. The fact that you’re wandering the world trying to put together a ritual to keep an elder demon in its prison was so cool to me- you’d never defeat it, if he escaped that was the end of the world. Delving the game’s dungeons and finding all the trinkets and components for the ritual, and in the process growing my party’s power and knowledge, felt very satisfying.
I remember buying a PlayStation just to check out Resident Evil 2 and Final Fantasy VII and getting totally lost in those games. Similarly, getting a PS2 so I could play GTA 3, Jak and Daxter and Metal Gear Solid 2. I haven’t really hung with Sony’s hardware since those days, but I still keep both consoles around just so I can occasionally go back and visit those games.
I guess I am turning into one of those old dudes that sits around bending everyone’s ear about the old days. I could do this all day!
Unfortunately I first experienced Starflight through watching a friend play in his pc, before it was available for my c64.
The Magic Candle reminds me of The Magic Carpet. I remember playing that and thinking “holy cow, you can deform terrain, and look at the graphics!”. I kinda don’t remember the game very well but some of the spells were awesome, I think there was a meteor storm that was fantastic.
My memorable moment:
I made a city in Sim City 2000 with the objective to be the most culturally advanced, with the best education. I don’t remember what happened, a disaster, or a economical crisis … but the whole city was devastated, not having money for roads, they slowly eroded to nothing, so the whole city was a maze of cut roads. Without money to buy a new power station, I relied to green energy (wind), slowly, the whole city used the empty slots that was road to put windmills… it recovered, the whole city turned from a gray collection of abandoned buildings into a city powered entirely with green energy. The city was great and had visible the scars of a huge crisis that lasted generations but that finnaly the citizens managed to beat.
We used to fly IL-2 (original) in LAN parties.
Four of us would multi-crew a bomber, manning all machine guns. Our PCs were roughly where the guns would be.
The fifth would jump in a German plane and try to kill us before we could hit the target. Other AI planes were in the mix as well on both sides. We would rotate the “wild-card” player around the group.
Flack bursting all around, calling out targets, hearing the machine guns coming from other stations (we could all turn up speakers for super surround sound). Absolutely incredible.
By far my favorite gaming moments yet to be surpassed.
My family had a hand-me-down 486. One of my favorite memories was building my own PC out of TigerDirect parts from mowing money, managing to get a 10-Base-T network going between the two computers on the table in our study room, and playing my first LAN game of Warcraft 2 against my sister. Nothing particularly memorable happened in that game other than a difficult amphibious landing of a bunch of ogres, but it was mind-blowing to be competing in the same room together. We also did a lot of Descent, Red Alert/RA2 and Settlers 3 on that network before my parents asked for their table space back.
Oh man I remember the original GTA on LAN. That was glorious. Parking cars at the gap in the bridge so someone would smash it and fall in the drink, leaping out and trying to rocket launch someone while they tried to run you over, ducking into an alley to avoid someone barreling you over. . . that was a great LAN experience.
“DIVE! DIVE! DIVE! Hit your burners, pilot!”
As far as narrative moments, that was one of the highlights. But also, I remember playing Wake Island with the folks here, back in the early days of that first Battlefield 1942 demo.
I also have memories, not so much of the games themselves, but of specific people and places, back in the pre-Internet era. Sitting with my dad as we tinkered with an old IBM PC, or with my cousins huddled around a NES while our parents were talking about grown-up things downstairs. And much later, playing multiplayer Rocket Race in Halo before it was an official thing, or countless hours with Mario Kart in my buddy’s tiny apartment. I guess a lot of my “people” memories are from multiplayer, or shared play where we’d huddle over a monitor and bumble our way through some adventure or RPG.
I mean, I also remember a terrifying amount about game stories, probably more through repetition than anything else. And some moments were engineered to be memorable moments, bordering on interactive cutscenes, like that first time you emerge from the vault in Fallout 3, or when choosing who to save during Mass Effect’s Virmire sequence.
Huh? What? no, I was just resting my eyes, really!
But when you bring up playing with other folks here, that reminds me of a really fun session that several of us around here had playing RDR on the 360. Sorry, I forget exactly who besides Tom, but we were out assaulting that big ranch house and we noticed that for some reason they had cannons lined up on a ridge facing the ranch, so we went up there and tried arcing the cannon fire to try to plink enemies way far off. It wasn’t the best idea but it sure was fun.
Everquest - had several
The days of corpse rotting and raids or just big dungeons, and the first time your group is sitting there waiting for your cavalry to arrive, only for them to get slaughtered, and then the third group shows up, and they get slaughtered… it’s late in the evening, work and school is going to suffer and the Norwegian guild shows up and saves the day.
Of course this lead to me immediately volunteering later when it happened to some other group because yeah i’d been there. When a guild is asking for non-guilded people of approx level to help them out, you know it’s really, really bad.
The first time the clerics drew aggro by spamming healing, they’re all wiped, and you realize it’s over even though only 2-3 are dead. Now you’re getting frantic typing from your group leaders of where to die in the best locations so your corpse can be recovered. Hint: it’s not falling into the lava or water or a pit.
Being chased by werewolf in the middle of the night no one knew was there because we didn’t have wiki, and it’s like gambling if you’re going to make it with Jboots or SOW. Also, when you cross that forest the first dozens or so times, you and your group are no where close to high enough level to take it on.
Rimworld - first time I realized water isn’t really a barrier, and there are bugs that burrow into the base… and both those happen at the same time. The colony, RIP.
Skyrim - the first time you see a dragon flying around and then you realize… it’s headed for you. I don’t know that I’ve ever played a game that was so dragon heavy, so when some dragon just lands in front of me on the road like that, I was pretty darn surprised.
In the first Dark Souls game, early in the game, when a simple poorly equipped enemy soldier can kill you, a dragon buzzes you as you enter an area. He doesn’t kill you, doesn’t even do damage, but you are suddenly aware that there is stuff out there you don’t know about and have no idea how to kill.
I have heard a lot of good things about memorable moments for Dark Souls. It seems like the kind of thing gamers might talk about around a campfire on a beach somewhere, enjoying nature while basking in the glow of one of their favorite hobbies, with S’mores of course.
The first time I found out that I could get other species to vote for me in the council of the original master of orion, I just laughed and laughed. I had played the game for a good long time and it never occurred to me that you could win by cooperating with them.
Join the circle! (I’d start with 3 though).
In Rome total war, I was attacked by a much superior army. There seemed like there was no way to win. However, On the map, I noticed a small hill that had cliffs on 3 sides leaving only one way to get up the hill. It was there I made my last stand. I had all my infantry block it, with my archers trapped behind them. I had my cavalry as far away and out of site as possible.
The enemy came, and began beating on my iron wall of men while my archers rained death down upon them. At times I would bring in my cavalry to harass the enemy archers and other weak troops, but most they just ran way if attacked. The battle took about 45 minutes, but eventually I actually won with minimal losses. After the battle there was a special marker put on the map as a legendary battle had taken place there.
My son (13) and I played the latest God of War at the same time. It was interesting to see the Father/Son relationship portrayed in the game and how we interpreted their actions. He’d point out that Kratos is acting like a jerk and I’d be thinking, he’s just trying to keep his kid safe.
It also led to me saying things like, “Boy. Feed the cats!” or “Boy. Take out the trash!” for about a month. Good times.
That’s a cool little feature.