The end of the Abattoir mission in the first game. This is one of the very few instances in the first Splinter Cell where you must fight the enemies. The scenario: a group of kidnapped Chinese diplomats and American POWs are imprisoned in a slaughterhouse in Myanmar and scheduled to be executed. Sam having discovered them throws the bad guys' plan off and so instead, Vyacheslav Grinko decides to just kill everyone at once. The American soldiers have been starved for two days and are in no shape to fight. It's just Sam against six Georgian soldiers + Grinko. Depending on how you play, this can turn into an massive shootout worthy of a Hollywood epic movie, or you can fight unfairly by setting up wall mines and using reprogrammed gun turrets to kill the enemies for you.
The entire Bank mission in Chaos Theory. A very open-ended mission that allows you multiple paths of entry into the bank, a wise-cracking Boxed Crook talking you through breaking open the vault, and Sam pulling off a robbery that would impress the Ocean's Eleven crew. And the best part is that stealing the money isn't even the point, it's just there to throw off the investigators.
Fisher: So Lambert, now that I'm holding 50 million bucks, I think it's time we talk about that raise...
Lambert: Hmm. 25 cents an hour and not a penny more.
One more from Chaos Theory. "Blood is thicker than water, Sam. I know you. And I know you wouldn't shoot an old friend." Sam has two potential responses to this statement by Douglas Shetland. The first is to shoot him. The second is to put his 57 away. Shetland goes for his own gun, and Sam stabs him through the heart with his combat knife. Either way ends with Sam chucking Shetland's corpse through a paper wall to fall and splash unceremoniously into a bathhouse vat, with the Bond One-Liner "You were right, Doug. I wouldn't shoot an old friend." The implication of both eventualities is awesome.
Sam taking on Third Echelon Splinter Cells in Conviction during the attack on the White House. They all know how good he is. He's a legend. And he cuts through these guys like a hot knife through butter.
Receptionist: I'm sorry sir, but I'm afraid the office is closed for the evening.
Fisher: I'm here to see Tom Reed.
Receptionist: Mr. Reed is currently unavailable. But if you'd like to make an appointment Mr...
Also in Conviction, Vic Coste saving Sam's life in Iraq. Unexpected Gameplay Change or not, this guy is not a spy of any sort, but goes against orders to save his commanding officer's life because they're good friends.
At the start of Blacklist, Sam and Vic's helicopter is blown out of the sky. Instead of panicking, they adapt to the situation, grab some weapons and try find and disable the signal jammer which has rendered the Guam base defenceless. Later, Vic's fast enough to tackle Sam to the ground and save him from a grenade blast which puts him in a coma.
In Blacklist Sam successfully breaks into the former US Embassy in Tehran, the Real Life base of Iran's feared Special Forces and lives. His escape just adds to the audacity of the infiltration with Grim providing cover with the UAV, blowing away hostiles as Briggs and Sam speed through Tehran with Iranian operatives on their tail.
Also when Sam breaks into none other then Guantanamo Bay and when he defies Caldwell's orders not to land in Denver and breaks into the Site F bunker, one of the most secure installations in the united states
The Louisiana mission where Sam traverses through a gas refinery which is burning down around him, re-activates the safety systems which prevent the massive fire from spreading to other refineries in the area and then is able to hunt down the Engineer leader overseeing the attack with Charlie causing the latter's getaway vehicle to crash by reactivating the entrance barrier.
Kobin of all people gets one. When the engineers try to crash the Paladin with a computer virus, and one of the pilots is knocked out, Kobin keeps the plane up in the air while telling Sam how to purge the virus and restart the plane. Later, he's able to put these skills to use evading the air defences around Colorado to infiltrate Sam and Briggs into Site F
Sam escaping Sadiq's trap in Iraq when infiltrating their training camp. He runs through a burning building as a UAV bombards the place, rappelling up to the escape chopper barely in time as the building he's escaped from collapses.
The Briggs missions. Preventing SVR's Voron division from stealing part of India's nuclear arsenal as the Blacklist attacks are going on.
The gunfight with Voron operatives while recovering Kestrel from the abandoned city in Russia.
Briggs being unmasked in the Colorado, subverting the initial belief that Sam got caught. At that point you know Fourth Echelon has finally caught up with Sadiq, one of the first true Magnificent Bastards in the franchise.
In Blacklist, Grim has to get an Obstructive Bureaucrat who is blocking access to the president out of her way:
Aide: I'm sorry, the President is occupied with an urgent matter and won't be able to speak with you.
Grim: Tell her it's Fourth Echelon.
Aide: She knows. Sorry, Grim.
Grim: Look, I know you think you're special because you sip lattes with the POTUS, but I have a lot of friends on Capitol Hill...
Aide: Are you threatening me?
Grim: No.Get me the President if you ever want to work in D.C. again. Now I'm threatening you.
Aide quietly scuttles away
EXERCISE FIFTH FREEDOM
YMMV but Briggs killing the Secretary of Defense in order to ruin Sadiq's final plan. Up until this point, Sadiq's been a completely unstoppable and unflappable Magnificent Bastard but he clearly begins to crack when Briggs denies him access to the classified information he's been after.
Sam's takedown of Sadiq, one of the first true Magnificent Bastards of the Splinter Cell series. First, disguised as a base employee, he kills Sadiq's Mooks, then after sneaking up on him, fights him, cripples Sadiq by getting control of his knife and slashing an artery and at the end, he subverts his Roaring Rampage of Revenge and drops Vic's karambit in the snow, denying Sadiq a My Death Is Just the Beginning and causing a Villainous Breakdown. Seeing Sadiq afterwards, completely subdued and broken in prison makes it all the more sweeter.