The performance of Patric Zimmerman. With incredible finesse and talent, he is able to mimic the speech patterns of Cam Clarke's Liquid Snake expertly, while balancing it out with his own Revolver Ocelot voice. The end result is enough to convince anybody that Ocelot is truly possessed by Liquid. which was absolutely crucial to the game's story arc. Not only that, but the sheer quality of his acting is outstanding. It isn't much of a stretch to say that Patric Zimmerman gave the greatest performance of the series in Metal Gear Solid 4, and one of the best performances period in the history of video gaming.
Metal Gear Solid 4, one word. Raiden. It's sort of still being debated on what the Crowning Moment was, but later on, it seems to be a mix of Breaking his own arm to get to his sword with his other hand so he could pull an Aron Ralston and cut it off so as to free it from a bunch of rubble...BEFORE stopping a umpteenhundredthousand ton SHIP...yes a SHIP...by himself. Or, perhaps it was when he held off and brutally killed who knows how many FROGS, who were apparently terrified judging by the CG, while having NO ARMS, with nothing but his sword in his teeth and his feet. If these scenes, among with others unmentioned don't get his Scrappy title out of the way, nothing will.
"I am lightning. The rain transformed."
At that point it would have been easy to think he'd end up as a limbless torso bouncing around, before finally just rolling along the floor as a head nipping soldiers ankles. The man just doesn't know how to give up.
It might sound kind of weird, but this one felt his old persona was only completely done away with in the epilogue, when the woman he once thought had major-mindscrewed him presented him with the son she bore him in secrecy.
And if that's not enough, Vamp and Raiden fight each other again in Act 4, while Vamp is mortal. Towards the end of the fight, Vamp nearly kills Raiden, but it turns out he was just faking it. Just when Vamp is about to kill him, Raiden shoots knives into Vamp, snatches his sword, and deals Vamp a fatal blow. Unfortunately, the entire scene is split-screen and takes place when you fight suicide Gekkos. Thank God we have YouTube.
The microwave corridor in Metal Gear Solid 4 is both this and a Tear Jerker, as a weak and weary Snake struggles to cross a tunnel that blasts searing-hot microwave radiation, boiling his insides and causing his suit to explode and injure him during the process. He manages to eventually crawl to the end by sheer willpower and manliness alone, even when his Solid Eye optic explodes in his face, his Life bar being totally depleted and his Psyche draining at the same time. At the same time, you are shown all of Snake's allies fighting their respective battles, reminding you that you, as Snake, are their only hope for winning. All this whilst Otacon, through the Mk. III, is constantly pleading you to keep moving.
Either Snake vs. Ocelot battle in Metal Gear Solid 4. Metal Gear on Metal Gear action at the end of Act 4 — "Twin Suns" and the epic, nostalgia-driven final fistfight shouting out to all three previous games' Snake vs. Liquid/Ocelot encounters were enough to make Manly Tears flow like rain.
What bugs me is that no one mentioned the EPIC fight between Metal Gear REX vs Metal Gear RAY in Act 4 and given it any real justice. What's wrong with piloting two of the strongest weapons in the world and pitting them against each other. Really, the CMOA belongs to REX, who beat down RAY minus the former's railgun and having a smashed radome - remember that RAY was originally meant to destroy REX, and yet the crippled REX won.
Metal Gear RAY is no a pushover either, as it can easily trash you and you can trash it. Sure, REX may have won in the end, but RAY still proves that it's an Anti-Metal Gear Destroyer for a reason!
It's also a moment for Otacon and his quirky design traits as a factor in REX's victory is a program he put in it for fun, a 'Street Fighter' program enabling full use of Rex's traits in a close combat. The designers of Rex did not know about this at all.
And if you think about it, the REX vs. RAY fight could also be a CMOA for the series' namesake in general: in all the years the games have been out - from the very first Metal Gear on the MSX to the most-current Peace Walker - this is the only time you, the player, get to jump into the cockpit of a Metal Gear and kick ass with it, not against it. And it doesnotdisappoint.
Let's not forget During the final fistfight, Snake and Ocelot using their syringes to get back on their feet. First Snake. Then Ocelot. Then both of them at the same time. Then both of them injecting EACH OTHER. Some call it Narm, others consider it a CMOA.
The fight between Snake and Ocelot is particularly awesome because of the way the fight evolves. At first it's just Snake and Liquid throwing around punches, but then the Ocelot persona fully surfaces, Snake Eater starts playing and Ocelot begins to use CQC, giving the fight a very distinct flavor of being between two successors of Big Boss, not just two angry brothers. Finally, it is crowned by the final moments that strip away the decorations and portray the fight as it is: just two old, weary, tired men hurting each other because of a war that has already ended.
Three words from MGS4: "Call me EVA!" and "Call me Mama... Big Mama!" Yes, that 78-year-old with the open top is not only the Bond Girl from MGS3, but also your character's mother. Also, the entire chase scene that ensues, especially when Raging Raven shows up.
After getting smashed against a wall when her bike crashes and having shards of glass lodged in her stomach, she makes herself get up again and pull the glass out when she sees Snake. 'A mother's work is never done'.
Even MORE awesome if you've played Snake Eater. She survived being impaled by a tree branch. What's a little glass gonna do?
The shot in which EVA unveils her bike is simply spectacular. It represented an old woman returning to her former self, so she could have one last ride.
An overlooked but nonetheless awesome moment occurs for the USS Missouri and her crew at the beginning of Act 5: The Big Bad's massive floating fortress launches a Macross Missile Massacre at them as they approach. What do they do? They shoot down the entire swarm and destroy the launch pods. With World War 2-era naval weaponry. Although, considering the lack of electronic warfare systems combined with the hijacking of SOP, that's all they had to do it with.
Then again, in Metal Gear Solid 4, there are a LOT of Crowning Moments of Awesome to be had by all.
This is also counts as CMoA for Mei Ling. If you remember, Otacon makes fun of her position in Missouri, joking that she used a "special arrangement" and has a "thing for older guys". Otacon, we wouldn't care how she got into position, but she definitelyhad her homework done.
For gameplay Crowning Moments, in MGS4 it'd have to be the Big Boss Emblem, which if achieved gives you the Patriot... whose own trope is subverted by the BBE's requirements (instead of going off and grinding, you have to play the "ultimate" MGS game on the hardest difficulty). In fact, there are online guides and a section in the official paperback strategy guide just about achieving the BBE.
Rose's plan revealed in MGS4 would definitely be a crowning moment of glory. After MGS2, it was pretty much confirmed that the Patriots would stop at nothing to get what they wanted - kidnapping children had worked so well, that it was pretty clear that since Raiden had proven himself such a great fighter, all they needed to do was take one hostage and they'd have their own private supersoldier. Rose knew this, and knew there would be no way to hide their child from the Partiots. The only option would be to make their child useless to the Patriots, by making Raiden think the child was dead - if the Patriots contacted Raiden and told him they had his child, he's just laugh at them. She could tell that Raiden had his doubts about her immediately after the GW tried to get into his brain and make him question reality, so if she gave him one last push, he'd be sent over the edge. She made him crazy to protect him.
In Guns of the Patriots, the Missouri's Marines are very awesome, if you think about what's actually going on here. By the final act, we know that many soldiers from non-Outer Heaven-owned PM Cs as well as state militaries are deserting because of SOP withdrawal, and those are the ones who aren't so slammed with battlefield trauma they're permanently broken or suffering heart attacks. Thus, the Missouri's Marines must all come from two groups; either combat veterans who are in the minority of those able to barely hang on without SOP, or total rookies who have never seen combat, let alone ever fired their weapon at an enemy since getting out of basic training. And they still do their job, holding the line long enough for Snake to get the job done despite being overwhelmed in numbers and firepower, by an enemy with more experience and the advantages of SOP, watching each other be gunned down by Haven troopers left and right. Semper Fi.
The end of MGS4, when Snake finally gives up his smokes.
Both Johnny Sasaki and Meryl get one the moment they become a Battle Couple. Cue countless faceless Mooks getting mowed down by their combined awesome... and then in the ending everyone except the suicidal Snake, Raiden, and Rose, attends their happy wedding, where everyone has a great time.
The 'power walk' on the USS Missouri was awesome given that it was Meryl, Johnny, and a guy who's chemically approaching his late 70's. Give it up!
By far the most Crowning Moment-worthy Ocelot moment is in MGS4, when Ocelot and company are surrounded by US troops in Eastern Europe, with seemingly no escape. So what does he do? Hold two fingers and a thumb like a gun and says "bang" while pointing at a helicopter. AND IT GOES DOWN.
Not to mention that at the end of MGS2, we think Ocelot was completely taken over by Liquid, and just a pawn of The Patriots. Turns out in MGS4 he was faking being Liquid at least since the end of MGS2 to fool The Patriots, not to mention that he gets Snake and co to carry out a backup plan for him. Basically, everyone in the game helps or gets killed by Ocelot.
Snake annihilating about seven men at once in CQC when he's looking for Big Mama.
In a meta example: Remember all that craziness from MGS2 and the ending? This game somehow took all that and got it to make sense, completely in context with the series as a whole to boot!
Not to mention the cutscene right after defeating Screaming Mantis. Psycho Mantis shows up and is still up to his old tricks, but this isn't the awesome part. The awesome part comes up right after when he suddenly disappears. You and Snake are no doubt confused as to what happened, right up until a familiar face flashes on the screen, with broken glasses, and crying blood. That's right, The Sorrow himself shows up to assist Snake by sending Mantis back to the void. He leaves you with the same Famous Last Words he gave to The Boss.
The Sorrow: "The spirit of the warrior will always be with you"