Let us tell you about some of the awesome things that we've seen in video games. Hopefully, they might inspire you to pick up the games and play them yourself.
You know the drill...when adding examples, mark spoilers where appropriate.
Please move series with many examples to their own page.
Its not often that a games advertising could be considered to be a true Crowning Moment of Awesome, but there isn't a doubt in any gamers mind that these are every bit as awesome as any other moment on this page.
In Baldur's Gate 2: The Shadows of Amn The moment when Big Bad Jon Irenicus breaks out of Spellhold and slaughter his would-be jailkeepers. If you haven't played the game, then you won't understand how tempting it is to just write "Anything he does" as a Crowning Moment Of Awesome, but that's the one that stands out the most. Here, have a link
Jon Irenicus: I cannot be caged. I cannot be controlled. Understand this as you die, ever pathetic, ever fools!
Of course, he's not the only person to get a Crowning Moment.
Minsc: I grow tired of shouting battlecries when fighting this mage. Boo will finish his eyeballs once and for all, so he DOES NOT rise again! EVIL! Meet my sword. SWORD! MEET! EVIL!
The first time that Aerie started using the battle cry "This will hurt you a lot more than me!" Incidentally, she was armed with the Crom Faer at the time.
Jan Jansen: Whoa! This place looks just like... it reminds me of.. this is just like that time I... hm. I don't think anything like this has ever happened to me before...
Sarevok (the Big Bad of the first game) is so badass that even being killed - TWICE - couldn't stop him. He returns in Throne of Bhaal as a playable character, and doesn't even suffer from Good Is Dumb.
Sarevok: "I live! Flesh and blood and bone! I AM ALIVE! HAHAHAHAHA! I swore I would scratch and crawl my way back into the world of the living, and I have DONE IT!"
The protagonist gets one of their own (or can) in the first Baldur's Gate game, it is very satisfying after being the errand boy or girl of the entire Sword Coast all the way from level one up to the XP cap to be able to tell of a random NPC as follows:
"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"
Also, sweet little innocent Aerie telling off Big Bad Irenicus in Baldur's Gate II:
"I came to hell to help my friend! Who helps you, Irenicus? Demons? You're going to die alone and you know it!"
Also, the protagonist has some badass quotes, by courtesy of wikiquote:
"Poor little gnome. My heart bleeds. Yours will too."
"Fine, I'll do all the actual work. As usual."
"We all know this is going to end in violence. Let's just cut right to the good stuff."
That part when asked by Elvish general if you fled Drows, you can answer that no, you left them broken, you did not "flee".
Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal let you witness your character raised to Champion's League of awesome, for example, having vampires attacking you only to have a Rousing Speech.
During the party's infiltration of a Drow city, the player is given the opportunity to talk down a freaking Aboleth.
Battlefield: Bad Company
When Bad Company finds the big baddie and have to escape. How do they escape? By flying a pimped-out disco-ball wielding hot-tub carrying Hind-D. Of course.
In the promotional videos, when they killed Solid Snake. Next Generation Special Forces couldn't do it. Dead Cell couldn't do it. The Kobra unit couldn't do it. The Beauty & The Beast Corps couldn't do it. Four army rejects did it. It must seen to be believed.
In Battlefield: Bad Company, Haggard single-handedly invades a neutral country.
Really anything Haggard does falls into this category. "I just love it when stuff blows up."
The satellite crash.
A giant streak of burning metal hits an abandoned town
Haggard: That is the greatest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.
The final confrontation of the second game: Bad Company blows Big Bad Kirilenko's An-124 transport in half with a whole bunch of C4, with Preston personally destroying the Aurora superweapon with a few shots from his pistol before jumping out of the flaming plane and shooting Kirilenko dead while in free-fall.
Call Of Juarez
William McCall's death scene is a CMOA both for him and for the cutscene director and animators of Bound in Blood. Here's what happens (unmarked spoilers follow): Ray, the wild beast among their Power Trio, pulls a gun at Thomas for betraying them. Thomas pulls a gun at him in self-defence. William, still suffering from a Heroic BSOD after his first murder, steps between them. Thomas puts the gun away but Ray still threatens both of them. William informs him that he is a murderer now, too, so he "reaches on three". On the count of three, he reaches for his belt and Ray shoots, killing him instantly. As William falls in slow motion, we suddenly see what he was reaching for — The Bible. The camera pans out as it flies through the air, and we see Ray falling to his knees in realization and Thomas and Marisa stepping back in disbelief. Then the Bible hits the ground, as the mournful music suddenly cuts. Cue Big Bad's final entrance.
Dawn of Sorrow has a few of these.
After Dmitrii spontaneously dies during his battle with Soma, and his soul is absorbed by Soma, He later is released and possesses a doppleganger to gain a new body. He then explains he did it so he could touch Soma's soul and copy the power of dominance.
When Soma meets Dario Bossi for their second fight. Dario has fused with a powerful fire demon to become insanely powerful. Soma tells him "I will show you why you can't be the new dark lord." He then ( if you're going for the good ending) proceeds to go inside the mirror to defeat the fire demon Aguni, completely removing all of Dario's power. Owned.
Of course, there's also the worst ending, where Soma goes along with the villain's plan and becomes the new dark lord. She starts to give a Bond villain speech about how she's won and he's done exactly as she wanted, and he tells her to shut up and kills her.
From Order of Ecclesia. In the Lighthouse level Shanoa is chased all the way to the top of the lighthouse by a giant crab that just won't die. There's nothing at the top but a big elevator and, of course, nowhere left to run. So what does she do? Jump in the elevator and toss a one-liner. The elevator then proceeds to drop down to the bottom, taking the crab with it, with massive amounts of blood spraying in all directions before finally crushing the boss into paste. Considering this is one of the more annoying bosses for new players, this probably got a bit of a HELL YEAH.
Play Albus mode and he throws a one-liner of his own when he flips the switch.
Shanoa got her real CMOA upon reaching the castle:
Shanoa: I am the morning sun, come to vanquish this horrible night! (Also a Shout-Out back to Simon's Quest)
Especially considering everything that happened before. She lost most of her friends, found out the true reason for Ecclesia, and found out that she was a Tyke Bomb. Then she finally reaches Castlevania and prepares to finish her mission while her theme, An Empty Tome plays in the background.
Then, from Aria of Sorrow: If you have a certain set of souls equipped when you fight Graham (the fake final boss), the powers Graham was trying to harness flow into you... and YOU... BECOME... DRACULA!! Then you get to fight Julius Belmont.
Portrait of Ruin. You walk into 13th Street. A train comes at you at top speed? Do you run? Yes. You run RIGHT INTO IT AND STOP IT WITH YOUR BARE HANDS.
"I have been waiting an eternity...just for this very moment..." And Schala's soul is freed and healed, and Lavos finally melts away. It may have been Guide Dang It, but that is how one defeats a god.
When the cast discovers that the world will end 1000 years after they were born. Them, their children, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren don't have to worry about it. Is it somebody else's problem? ....hell no. They can travel through time, that Eldritch Abomination is going down.
When Frog at last takes up the Masamune and slices it through ten feet of stone, opening the entrance to the cave leading to Magus' castle.
Whatever opinion you have about the PSX re-release, you cannot deny that the anime scene of that is epic. Behold.
Crono's is when, battered and defeated, he walks straight up to the mouth of the creature that just decimated both his party and the previous Big Bad, and would eventually destroy the world. In spite of everything he uses his last ounce of strength to challenge Lavos one more time before being vaporized.
The entire party gets one of these when they finally confront Lavos and have to psyche themselves up, although Ayla, Marle, and Lucca's are the best: "Ayla strong! Ayla and world good! You outsider. No part of planet's life!!" "This is Crono's and ours...Leene's and Doan's...everyone's...and I mean, EVERYONE's world!!" "Impossible... You CAN'T expect to toy with an entire world and get away with it!"
Lavos gets to respond via the Time Devourer in Chrono Cross, and is absolutely pissed that a bunch of livestock (Seeing as he essentially bred humans for his own purposes) dared to kill him in what he seems to consider a grievous case of Carnivore Confusion. If they can get to declare him evil just because he happens kill them as part of his spawning process, then to hell with it, he'll stop people from being able to hurt lesser animals through eating and living themselves, by ending all of time. That'll show those hypocritical bastards. Seeing as this is about the only thing that Lavos/Time Devourer openly states in the entirety of the series, it's funny how often that bit gets glossed over.
Marle's jump-through-the-platestained-glass-window moment during the King's Trial Side Quest definitely deserves mention.
Practically everything Magus says or does, with highlights included below:
When the party first confronts him, his theme music begins playing, and he prefaces the fight with this line, with the song hitting only moments after the fight begins:
Magus: The black wind blows... All right, give me your best shot... If you are prepared for the void!
"If history is to change, let it change! If the world is to perish, let it perish! If my fate is to die, I must simply laugh! I'm coming, Lavos!"
What he says if you have him in your party when you fight Queen Zeal, his mother.
The first time you meet Ayla, she challenges you to a Drinking Contest for a Plot Coupon. The next morning, your Gate Key is missing, so she joins up with you to storm a nearby Reptite lair to get it back. Once you get it back, she sinks to her knees and... throws up. How awesome is she? She can whip the ass of an entire race of hyperintelligent dinosaurs... while hung over.
Maybe so, maybe no... given the rather blatant hinting that Kino and Ayla give the party before departing at the end of the game, it seems that Ayla might not have been hung over, but suffering from morning sickness. Still pretty badass, though... helping save the world whilst pregnant.
The Elder Scrolls
Martin Septim at the climax of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Once he reaches the Temple of the One in the Imperial City, he shatters the Amulet of Kings and transforms into the avatar of Akatosh, a giant flaming dragon, and sends Mehrunes Dagon back to Oblivion before turning into a statute.
There is only one way to make this more awesome. Playing DragonForce's epic "Through the Fire and Flames" in the background. Hell Yeah.
This is mirrored in Oblivion's Expansion Pack, when the player kills Jyggalag, a god even stronger than Amalexia. Of course, Jyggalag being Sheogorath, this also counts as a Tear Jerker to some..
He didn't necessarily KILL Jyggalag, just kept beating the crap out of him until he calmed down. Which is even more impressive, given that the source of Jyggalag's anger was his betrayal by all of his fellow gods, having the Order which he so loved taken from him, being turned into a being of Chaos (that which his entire purpose for being was to oppose), and being forced to watch himself build monuments to this Chaos, being let free once every era to try and fix what he had done, but only having enough time to destroy it all before reverting and watching himself rebuild it. The player's response? Essentially: "Stop whining, or I'll hit you again."
Also Daedric Lord don't die. They are just banished back to their plane of Oblivion.
Of course, the player isn't fighting a god in the physical realm. The player's fighting a god in his own realm, at full strength.
Elite Beat Agents
Every time someone fully does what they are being for in Elite Beat Agents. You know that anyone who's played the game will have at least one character who invokes this feeling in them. For example...
A washed up baseball player saving three kids and a amusement park from a volcano monster to the song The Anthem.
A mom weather lady changing the weather to go to the park with her son to the song September.
A cat saving a baby from certain doom while the song ABC is playing.
The magician mathematician saving everyone in a Las Vegas casino for robbers with magic to the song "Rock This Town".
A little girl and her mother who tries to keep her father's memory alive so hard that she actually brings him back to life. Doubles as Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, too.
That grouchy truck driver who takes on a horde of zombies and a monster fungus with only nuts as ammunition while the song Survivor is playing?
The intro to Jumpin' Jack Flash which has the girl from the Christmas level start a chant that rescues the agents from their petrified status.
A taxi driver driving his car up the side of a building. To the song Sk8er B0i, of all things.
The whole of the final stage might as well be here, from the beginning of Without a Fight, to the aforementioned intro, to the dancing around the world with chants of "HEY!" leading into the final section, to the ending far more epic than a quirky rhythm game like this has any right to be.
But the best part is when Agent Spin yells Music is ALIVE!
On top of that, the precursors to this game, "Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan!" and its sequel "Moero! Nekketsu Rhythm Damashii Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2," had comparable endings to that!
The Defiants' You Shall Not Pass moment, holding off the entire Amarr Navy while covering the retreat of three fleets of ships which had just pulled off the single largest attack on the Amarr Empire ever planned or staged, would probably have counted if they'd have let us watch it.
EVE, as an MMO designed entirely around the idea of empowering the players to influence the entire galaxy, is likely chock full of both documented and untold stories rich with CMOA. From the above mentioned moments of true villainy, to tales of epic space battles including upwards of 800 players, to stealing multi-billion ISK Titan-class capital ships.
Titans cost over $10,000 total and take several months to build and to train pilots for. They had never been destroyed in real active combat. Until Goonfleetdid it.
At the end of the Emma Story Path for Front Mission 3 The OCU and the USN are holding a press conference that will basically sweep the conspiracy that was the events of the game under the rug. Events that cost the player character (Kazuki Takemura) his father and his sister their lives, as well as countless other people. So what do our heroes do? They take a Space Shuttle into orbit and perform an orbital drop onto the grounds of the building where the press conference is held. There they mow their way through the USN Police Wanzers guarding the building and break in to reveal the truth. The Japanese Prime Minister attempts to stop you by getting into a Wanzer and opening fire but Kazuki uses his Wanzer to block the shots and, one step at a time draws closer and closer to the Prime Minister before one-punching his Wanzer into submission, thus allowing the truth to come out and the danger of the MIDAS superweapon to never be used again
The fights between Gene and Azel, from the awesomemusic to the epic pummel matches, are considered the high points of God Hand by many. And when you've got in a high point in a game that revels in being over-the-top, you've got something special.
"You can wax on wax off all you like..."
Elvis earns his awesomeness by showing us just how bad it is to disrespect the dead by megaton punching two of his henchman into the skies.
In case you didn't know, she just conned one Big Bad into killing the other Big Bad, then sold her soul to the surviving Big Bad for one wish, in a contract that is only breakable if the demon volunteers to be sucked back to Hell and tortured for eternity. Her wish? She asks the demon to embrace God.
Grimlet: (realizing to his horror that he'd just been suckered by a little girl) Mephistopheles... is this your doing? Advocat: (Evil Laughter) No. But, I so wish that it was.
Orlachmar holding off Zenos during the Elder Wars.
Defiant in his pain, Orlachmar roared, his anger fueling his attack until his sword was a blazing font of darkness. Zenos finally fled, shrieking off into the smoking sky.
Kalikai's capture of Fain and his Traitors is pretty badass. Up until that point, all we've seen her do is smoke her pipe and get hammered. And all of a sudden...
At the head of the traitors' formation was Morgfyre, his face contorted in rage. He blasted Kalikai with a stream of balefire. Surprise registered briefly upon Kalikai's face before she was engulfed in a white hot sphere that blazed with a furious incandescence, enough to obliterate mountains. When the glow died down, she stood there with her head cocked, still smoking her pipe.
Susano showing up at the Moon Cave to slay Yamata No Orochi despite having been pathetic comic relief up to that point.
The peak of this moment being when, after receiving Amaterasu's help with cutting off seven of Orochi's heads, he tells her that he doesn't need her help for the last one... and proceeds to cleave the final head in half all the way to the base of his neck unaided.
One word: Shiranui. Amaterasu's immensely powerful past self kicks all sorts of ass, and fighting a boss alongside her is both amazing and humbling.
After being beaten within an inch of her life, Amaterasu receives the prayers from all over Nippon and regains her greatest divine power, at which point she summons the Sun within the eclipse and makes short work of the Lord of Darkness.
In Rock Band, whenever you beat a Solo Tour or get into the Hall of Fame, you and your band get your own crowning moment of awesome in a giant fireworks show. This is made all the more sweet if you just beat the likes of Green Grass and High Tides or Run to the Hills on Expert. Especially Run to the Hills — "The only way to light up a stage is with a big-ass gong!"
This pales in comparison Rock Band's predecessor, Guitar Hero, where, after defeating Bark at the Moon's blistering last solo, the lights dim, the chanting begins, and your avatar ascends into the air in a Pillar of ROCK.
Guitar Hero II and III were pretty good as well—in the former, after you beat Free Bird, you're abducted by a neon-lit UFO, which flies into distant space leaving a constellation that reads, "LIVE AND LET ROCK", and in the latter, you defeat Satan (aka Lou) in a rock-off to a metal version of The Devil Went Down to Georgia featuring no less than 26 guitar solos, causing him to be sucked into a chasm of swirling souls; your band escapes Hell on flying motorcycles with bat wings. And just when you thought you were done, you see a loading screen appear that reads "Good Luck". The credits begin to roll, a note highway appears, and Through the Fire and Flames, by DragonForce, begins to play.
Harmonix snagging the Beatles from right under Activision's nose counts as an epic CMOA, especially considering the Beatles have yet to enter even ITUNES! Source.
It was all MTV, really, not Harmonix (which, though an impressive feat without a doubt, is not that awesome). That said, look at the staff listing of Harmonix on their Wiki entry. If you recognize even one name from that listing (and no doubt you will), you'll understand how significant and amazing this staff is. If there's such a thing as a Crowning Recruitment of Awesome, this is it.
Yuri gets one right at his introduction in Shadow Hearts 1. As he followed Bacon, he had his arm sliced off by the minion the man had used to slaughter an entire train of Japanese Soldiers. Without a blink, he immediately catches the imp, crushed it in his hand before reattaching his fallen arm back on.
And that when he and Alice stopped in Monster Town - it wasn't because of Plot-induced stupidity you would see in other games, they knew it was a trap, but decided to head in, intending to kick some ass before going to bed.
Nicholai-Astaroth: "My soul has been revived. The age of Mankind is coming to an end. Joy... sadness... desire... all of it is finished now. I will usher in a glorious new future."
Yuri:"Before you do, can I ask a favour?"
Nicholai-Astaroth: "What do you wish, human?"
Yuri:"I wish you'd shove it. You know where."
This (spoilerish) scene from SHII: Yuri manage to have a Heroic BSOD a Kick the Dogmoment and a CMOA in the SAME scene. And, come on, a Japanese game where we see a Japanese protagonist beating the hell out of a Japanese nationalist politician? You can hardly make something better than that.
Rasputin doing the arms-spread fall off the edge of the Russian Palace and landing on his armoured zeppelin/airship, and smugly flying away. Only for Yuri, watching from below, to just smirk and transform into the(previously inaccessible) form of Amon, Demon of Destruction.
Harry may inadvertently be the baddest ass in human history. If you make it to the fight against the true final boss with no ammo of any kind, the sheer heroic display of shiny brass balls on Harry's part makes God commit suicide in terror of the man. Well, that might be the reason it happens.
Eddie, of Silent Hill 2, doesn't really give an impression of awesomeness at first; being described as an obese and useless man, which for the most part he is. However, after Silent Hill drives him completely nutzoid, he has some of the best lines in the game.
Eddie: From now on, if anyone makes fun of me... I'll kill em. Just like that. * he puts a gun to his head to emphasize this.*
Every single time Pyramid Head is on screen is a CMOA. He is always either raping a fellow monster or doing something just as brutal and despicable. However, his best appearance is his first. After wandering around a pitch black generally creepy but overall uneventful apartment complex for a little while, you hear a scream. As you walk down the darkened hallway, which had previously been devoid of activity, James's radio starts going absolutely crazy with static, despite there being no discernible threat. Finally, James reaches a fence blocking him from the rest of the hallway. Just on the other side, barely visible in the shadows, standing completely still, is Pyramid Head. He is just looking at you doing nothing, but the combination of his huge knife, the overwhelming radio static, and the terrifying lighting, plus the slightly jarring and unorthodox lack of a cutscene to introduce arguably the most memorable antagonist in the series, make this an epic moment of creepiness and possibly the most ridiculously awesome character entrance in gaming history.
Pyramid Head gets a great CMOA in Homecoming, because the new look for his Great Knife is quite possibly the only bit of visual symbolism in the game that actually fits the plot, and what he does with it makes it even better.
After realizing what he did and that his ordeal through Silent Hill was his punishment, James gets one himself when he stares down the two Pyramid Heads and coldly declares that it's time to end things. The Pyramid Heads actually take a step back.
James gets another one when he comes across his first Patient Demon. He stares it down, and then picks up a 2X4 to beat the monster to death. It's even more badass when the player picked up the chainsaw, but used the plank anyway.
Quite possibly one of the most poignant one on this page occurs in the finale of System Shock 2. The Heroic Mime player character is offered the chance to become the Big Bad's prophet and partner, in order to rule the universe as one.
The Reveal of System Shock 2. "The Polito form is dead, insect."
"I AM SHODAN" Sends shivers down your spine even just thinking of it.
Brosnon's last stand, which either reforms or damns her character, your call.
Bronson: They've killed my men and now they've killed me. I'm holding my guts inside me with both hands. I'm almost done. Resist! This is bigger than my little life, the lives of my men, and the lives of the people I was forced to kill. Resist! Humanity demands it! Resist!!!
Sydney Losstarot of the same gets a scene of his own - the opening scene, in fact, where Ashley shoots him dead with a crossbow before he has much time to react... only for Sydney to stand up, casually remove the crossbow bolt from his chest, and then summon a dragon before taking off.
Sydney Losstarot's scene with Jan Rosencrantz deserves a mention too:
Jan Rosencrantz: (slashes Sydney's arm off) Then keep your immortality. Here, let me lighten your burden! Ah ha ha ha! ... Hah, heh...what?
Sydney Losstarot: (stands, picks up his arm, and sticks it back on) I gave my limbs to the gods. Perhaps I will add yours to the offering!
At the climax of Spider And Web, the player must escape from certain death while strapped in an immobilizing chair. To do this requires unraveling the player character's brilliant gambit and triumphantly completing it. It's like being Light Yagami in that moment where it all clicked together.
The antagonist gets a CMOA if you fail to solve this puzzle. He figures it out instead, and kills you.
You can play Slouching Towards Bedlam by the standard rules, picking up everything, asking everybody about everything, and so on. This ends up spreading a thought-based monster that, depending on your interpretation, either destroys humanity, or, at the very least, destroys its individuality by forcing use to Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Getting the other endings requires that you not so much "play by the rules" as "burn up the gameboard and dance on its ashes", by choosing to kill yourself and anyone you come in contact with, perhaps saving humanity at the cost of being vilified as a madman.
All Things Devours has only one puzzle, arguably. But given all the time travel, planning, and paradox avoidance you need to pull it off, finally saving the world is most definitely a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
For all its weaknesses, Heroine's Mantle delivered on awesome. Scenes that would be crowning moments in less insanely Bad Ass games - like fighting gun-toting mooks on a slippery rooftop in your underwear - are minor early-game sequences here.
Example 1: How do you signal an airplane to land in a blizzard? Easy. With an exploding squeaky mouse toy and a tanker full of gasoline, that's how.
Example 2: You duel to the death with laser cutlasses. You try to steer a torpedo away from an ocean liner filled with innocent passengers. You do both of these things simultaneously.
Donkey Kong Country 2: DK breaks free of his ropes, then gives Kaptain K. Rool a HUGE uppercut, throwing him smashing through the window of the Flying Krock and sending him plummeting down Crocodile Isle and into the sea. At which point he is attacked by sharks (and survives for the true final battle in the center of Crocodile Isle).
Speaking of DKC, the end of the intro screen in the first game gives Cranky one. Let's just say it involves TNT in close proximity to his grandson.
In Yu Gi Oh GX Tag Force, Chumley talking about how momma koalas sometimes feed their own kids their feces, as an insane, WTF quotient of just how obsessed with koalas he is.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The second half of the final mission. It all starts with one line: "Carl, you motherfucking piece of shit gangbangin' cocksucka!"
Particularly the points near the end of the game, when the entire city is going bat shit crazy, including throwing Molotov cocktails at you.
The beauty of this game is that it's possible to rig up your own Crowning Moments of Awesome. Insane Stunt Bonus anyone?
Part of the gameplay in Real Time Strategy series Warlords Battlecry. When you hear the words "That was a heroic effort!" it means that your hero just killed a whole lot of stuff singlehandedly and you receive an Experience bonus.
Travis Touchdown's battle with Destroy Man in No More Heroes, particularly, its end. In the cutscene that follows your victory (i.e. deplete Destroy Man's vitality to zero), Destroy Man pops back up, after getting a Beam Katana through the chest, and starts firing two automatic machine guns that were embedded in his chest. Since Travis was standing between the streams of bullets, Travis simply slices Destroy Man in half right down the middle and walks away, leaving the two guns to keep firing long after Destroy Man dies.
And those are nipple guns.
Better yet, his opening sequence to become number ten, the first part of the game. Riding his gigantic bike right through the gates, he then jumps off, past the guards, laserblade activated, and defying all logic, screams the word fuckhead, instantly decapitating all of them, resulting in a massive and incredible display of blood and kickass.
Every moment in Metal Arms: Glitch in the System where Glitch uses the Control Tether to hack in and take over enemy robots to blast the crap out of enemies. Also, this quote from him which pays homage to Full Metal Jacket:
Glitch: Gimmie that chip, or I'll unscrew your head and empty my oil reserves in your optics!
Metal Wolf Chaos has a bunch of these. One of the most insane is when a massive tank drives towards President Michael Wilson, he merely grabs hold of the front, picks it up and performs a Giant Swing while shouting How do you like me now?!
Not to mention "Suck my missile punch!".
While the above entries were indeed Moments of Awesome, there can really be no serious argument against the fact that Michael's CrowningMoment of Awesome was when having gone into space, defeated his evil Vice-President, saved America, and blown up aforementioned evil Vice President's space station, he surfed down to Earth on a piece of the space station's hull on wings of fire. In a Humongous Mecha.
Actually, It's more of powered armor then an actual Humongous Mecha...but that only makes it all the more awesome.
Trilby has a number throughout the Chzo Mythos series, but what takes the cake is at the end of Trilby's Notes when he averts the Eldritch Abomination crossing over to our dimension (sort of) by mentally choosing to die before the ritual is completed.
Yeah, Cadabath still came over. But he was so pissed off at Trilby dying, that he decided to take his anger out on Lenkmann, in a rather... nasty manner. Funnily enough, the awesome actually is referenced in the next game, 6DAS, where Lenkmann's corpse is found by Theo... Cadabath had just disposed of it, and promptly tears out the Trilby clone's guts.
Double H initially comes off as rather... special, but he proves himself to be more competent than he looks when, before a boss, he comes sliding down an air vent, does a flip, breaks through a grate, falls five or six meters to a ten-point landing on his feet, and proceeds to help you pound the boss into oblivion. Sweet.
And Pey'j? The amusing pig-man whose main talent is whipping up weird gadgets? He's actually the leader of the galaxy's most powerful rebel organization, he's hiding a spaceship in his garage, and he's the biggest threat to the Alien Invasion yet. DUDE.
Secundo el Major Screwup Magnifico, otherwise serving as a holographic AI of Jade's S.A.C., also gets one in the endgame when he saves the day by hacking the computer in the Alpha Sections base to allow the team to transmit their reports to the world ("Hello, General Secundo, at your service"), starting a revolution in the process.
In Contact for the DS, after The Professor ditches you/Terry for the final Power Cell, and Terry washes up on the Deserted Island just like the beginning of the game. He then proceeds to call out, and you realize that he's talking to you, holding the DS and controlling his actions. Pissed off that he was being essentially used by you, he proceeds to attack your lower screen in rage, causing your vision to dissolve further and further until you stylus-poke him in to submission. Talk about Fourth Wall breakage.
And even after the ending credits, on The Professor's end, he leaves you, the player, a note of apology, explaining about how he knew that everything was a game, and that he was a character in a "fictional world", but still existed outside of the game. It almost makes up for him ditching Terry to hitchhike with Mint back to his home planet.
Mint: "But next time...will you help me instead?"
Also, Mochi, everyone's favorite Space-Dog-Who-Wants-to-be-a-Space-Cat, gets his own moment when he rushes to save Terry on one screen, whose health bar is being lowered point by point by being punched by a rather large fire giant on the other screen (and did we mention that Terry is also chained to a wall and only wearing his underwear? Harsh.). Mochi runs through some beautifully-painted backgrounds, and makes it in time, too, saving Terry with much awesomeness.
Trauma Center has one of these in the first Alethia mission in Under the Knife 2. As Alethia is sapping energy from the patient in a last-ditch attempt to save itself, Derek is cutting away its lifelines (literally) one by one. Every time one is cut, he and Angie say a line about all the suffering GUILT has caused around the world, and how it's the end of Delphi's madness.
And then there's the defeat of Savato in Under the Knife and Second Opinion:
Derek:"No disease in incurable...I'll never accept that!"
Derek getting his healing touch back while saving Blackwell, specifically his mini flashback in the middle of the second operation on him.
Though there's all manner of awesome in Army Of Two, the real CMOA comes in the mission to China, where Salem and Rios end up in a running gunbattle with the entire Chinese army.
To make it funnier, Rios is taking it seriously and slightly panicky, and them Salem actually starts asking about Wu Tang Clan (IN THE MIDDLE OF A FRIGGIN GUNFIGHT). Salem took the whole situation like it was nothing:
Salem: Hey Tyse, who's you're favorite rapper in the Wu-Tang clan?
Salem: A lot of people say its the RZA, but I gotta like Ghostface Killah... oh wait, I haven't heard the new U-God album yet. Have you heard that shit?
Rios: Salem, we just got framed into killing a US senator, our jobs and our lives are at stake, and you're asking me this shit now?!
Salem: Easy, bro. You cope your way, I talk Wu-Tang.
Rios: You're gonna have to cope with my foot up your ass in a minute
The first time you fire the XGS Gravity Cannon in Project Sylpheed, after saving up to buy it, is a CMOA for the weapon itself, especially if you charge it up to full power first!
Jade Empire, people! Kicking Death's Hand's arse? Saving a bunch of slaves? Alternately, killing a bunch of slaves? Discovering one of your party IS A GOD? Destroying an entire Lotus Assassin fortress? Come on!
Master Li gets two: Early in the game he utterly destroys a ship with a single leaping punch. Later in the game, he just as effortlessly kills the player character.
The Open Palm resolution to Master Li"Trap[ping] you in doubt" before the final showdown. Your True Companionslends you their strength to help out, but it's not quite enough and you're still trapped until the ghost of Sagacious Zu appears and channels his entire spirit to bust you out with one punch. The little 'That all you got' smirk you give Li afterward is just the icing on the cake.
Just as fun is the scene when Emperor Sun knocks out everyone in the room, then turns around and starts ranting about his unbeatable power while your character casually stands back up and brushes himself (or herself) off and then proceeds to beat the Emperor's ass through the floor.
For those who aren't familiar with the terminology, FC is short for "Full Combo" and refers to completing a song with 100% notes hit, without hitting any extra strums anywhere in the song—literally a perfect run.
Software Studios and Electric Dreams Software, for pulling off a fully playable, fully coloured, perfectly fluid conversion of R-Type and its Amazing Technicolor Battlefield - on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, a machine with less memory than that used by the average Word document (48K), a slower processor than most washing machines (3.2MHz), and computing's most hilariously finicky display layout.
From Drakengard there's Caim who, in one of the endings, after fighting long and hard against every Empire soldier he came across, must face off against the red dragon he'd spent the entire game fighting alongside. The dragons seek to wipe out humanity, and she can't disobey. He promptly does so, and the roars of thousands of dragons outside shake the chamber. Barely even dwelling on his previous act, he readies his sword and rushes out, even giving a slightly psychotic smile.
Dead Rising has Frank West, at the end of Overtime, beats a tank with just a military Jeep. Of course, Brock decides to take manual control, smashes the Jeep over, and points the cannon at Frank... And after a conversation, it points at the incoming herd of zombies. Then, Frank gets up on the tank, and FALKAWN PUNCHES Brock in the face''. Naturally, they face off for a final confrontation. Frank wins, Brock gets eaten alive... And then we are treated to a planning shot around Frank, who then roars at the top of his voice to the sky, in wake of his victory. Epicly. He deserved it.
And Sean gets one as his death scene. The sword stabbed through the altar thing falls over, just as he asks for his "god's" power... And it goes right through his eye - an eye is the very symbol of his cult. If that isn't Death by Irony, nothing is. It's also incredibly awesome.
Dead Rising 2 has plenty. Particularly when Chuck faces down the man behind the outbreak in Fortune City, the traitorous city guard Sullivan. After a brutal fist fight in which the odds are stacked against Chuck, he knocks Sullivan down but before he can finish him is blasted off his feet by a missile from Sullivan's extraction plane. The agent sends up a skyhook and taunts Chuck, but when he glances at the plane Chuck handcuffs his belt to an iron bar on the roof...just before the plane catches the skyhook. Chuck was right: Sullivan wouldn't make it out in one piece.
The Dead Rising 2 DLC "Case West" has a moment that is the absolute embodiment of this trope. Frank West and Chuck Greene are in the main Phenotrans production facility trying to uncover evidence of the pharmaceutical company's involvement in the outbreak. A lockdown is preventing them from getting to a certain so they have to destroy a generator. After getting the components they need and rigging a bomb on the generator (with a ridiculously short timer, for some reason), they sprint out of the room and are sent sprawling by the explosion. Frank and Chuck slowly pick themselves up off the floor, turn to look back at the burning room, and simultaneously go for a high-five.
Psychonauts: Right in the middle of The Milkman Conspiracy, if you're captured the agents ask Raz "What is the purpose of the goggles?" Much later, the Den Mother screams to Raz "Now I shall pluck out your eyes!" Raz responds: "Hah! You can't! That is the purpose of the goggles!"
Ford Cruller gets his in the showdown with the Big Bad leading up to the last level:
Ford Cruller: (flying down from the sky) The Psychonauts have a word for people who turn on their own.
Oleander: Ha! I don't need the Psychonauts anymore! I'm making my own army! Got a word for that?
Ford: Yeah. Gesundheit!
Ford blows some of Oleander's weaponized sneezing powder into his face, making him sneeze out his own brain.
This whole scene is made even more awesome by the fact that Cruller, fully coherent, has left his sanctum containing the only thing keeping him sane, and has done it in the most badass way possible.
The Dev Team in Hunter the Reckoning: Wayward. The party has to break into an old prison with solid steel doors to advance in the story. The dev team made it so the party would do it, in a School bus with monster truck tires and HEAVY METAL BLASTING ON THE STEREO. The only it could have been even more awesome? If it was revealed that the Badass Preacher Esteban Cortez, was driving the Bus.
Another Dev team moment of Awesome. In Pre Va a gundam like game. You have a jump jet back. The Second Mission in the game? A fully 3-D space battle complete with your troop carrier firing air support. Worth the 9.95 you spend on it.
"Make The Moon" in Katamari Damacy. Slowly but surely, the Prince has been rolling up nice-sized katamari for his dad, the King of All Cosmos, and he's managed to make ones capable of rolling up vehicles and small buildings. Then, as the main theme swells in an extended version, everything gets pushed into high gear as you start rolling up land masses, clouds, and even the god of lightning. Bonus points if you can understand the lyrics, which start taling about picking up things like t-shirts, and eventually progress to all of the large things the Prince picks up, and yet implying even more to grab (the last lines of the last verse, "Katamatte.. Katamatte!" roughly translate to "I'm rolling on").
These get progressively more insane the further the franchise goes: Me & My Katamari lets you start from a 5cm. katamari and end with rolling up entire continents in its final level...and then there's the final stage We Love Katamari, where the player is tasked with using the Earth to roll up the entire galaxy, including the sun.
NiGHTS Into Dreams: the final level, Twin Seeds. As with all the other levels, you walk forwards to merge with the flying acrobat NiGHTS and begin the stage proper. But what's this? The villain won't let you! You're thrown backwards a huge distance and land on a tiny platform. With nowhere to go, you make a leap of faith to the bottomless pit below... ... and your character, a child who until now has been completely vulnerable alone, flies up into the air in a way they had previously been unable to do, accompanied by a twinkling version of the game's main theme.
This is more or less recreated in the sequel (of sorts), NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams - the final level of that game, Bellbridge, is also a CMoA, complete with your character flying under their own power, and the game's main theme playing. However, it gets a second one halfway through, better if you're playing as Helen: The music cuts out suddenly and Helen stops flying, looking around nervously as Wizeman's evil laughter echoes around her. All the lights go out, and she falls... with a tiny dot following her down. Wait, who's that? Then there's a flash of light, and Helen pops back up... with Will flying behind her. If you're playing as Will, you just stop in front of Helen, watch her fall, then swoop down to save her and continue.
Every Ratchet & Clank game has a CMOA when you can finally afford to buy (or are able to assemble) that games version of the RYNO.
On that note, Megaman Legends when you can finally assemble that arm-mounted howitzer.
There's also that bit in the second game when you have to assault Thugs 4 Less HQ. There's a bridge, filled with tanks and thugs loaded for bear, followed by a series of buildings with another tank, two helicopters, and even more thugs, topped off by the CEO of Thugs-4-Less personally fighting you in his Giant Robot, and all you've got is an armour shop, a weapons shop, and a few crates. They don't stand a chance.
Drill Dozer has you go through an entire game using a drilling mechanic, and for the final boss fight, the Dozer loses all of its drilling gears. The heroine, a school-age girl with pink hair, then proceeds to punch the main villain right through his blazing energy shield for a one-hit kill, bisecting his mask and launching him off the chair in the process. Yeah.
Anytime the enemy Fountain gets destroyed in Defense Of Ancients is one for the team responsible. Given that most Heroes cap out at about 6000 to 7000 hp, even with all item slots dedicated to the best health items, whereas the Fountain has 50,000 hp and ridiculous DPS, it is truly a feat to be proud of, even if it is completely optional.
The finale of Chibi Robo, which not only perfectly connects and explains all the bizarre, seemingly-disconnected elements of the plot, but pits your character, a tiny, four-inch tall robot with only a low-powered sonic blaster used mainly to remove stickers, against a Boombox-sized, quadrapedal spider robot that incapacitates the Sanderson family and hangs them from the ceiling, attaches a ton of random junk to its body (including a refrigerator) to protect itself, and flips the entire living room upside down. Yet, against all odds, you manage to prevail-not only physically, but in your main, ongoing goal to make people happy and restore harmony to easily the most fucked-up family ever.
The only moment that could possible hope to match is the resurrection of Giga-Robo. You would think a robot just walking upstairs and outside isn't what you'd call awesome. You'd be dead wrong.
The NES version of Bionic Commando has Adolf Hitler / Master D's head explode. Yes, even in the American version. Even better is the same scene in the remake, which has the scene rendered in three dimensions.
Additionally, after Rad Spencer escaped from the enemy base in the end, he realises that he left behind Super Joe, who was the entire reason he went on his mission. He runs back into the base, the commander starts getting impatient... Then the island explodes, and a helicopter emerges from the explosion, revealing that both Rad and Joe made it out safe and sound.
Xenogears contains several, but one of the most noticeable involves the villain, Id, in his giant mecha, nearly being crushed by a sand cruiser. It buries him, and a moment later he emerges while holding it up with one hand. "That was pretty interesting. But dropping a warship on me is cheating... Take it back!" After this awesome quote, Id proceeds to toss it at the mecha he was previously fighting, burying both said mecha and the ship in the desert.
The last mission of Metal Slug 3, wherein, after apparently killing the leader of the rebellion you're fighting, it unexpectedly turns out to be a Mars Person in a disguise, who promptly kidnaps the player character and escapes into space in a UFO (that has the real rebel leader strapped to its side). You then take the role of one of the other player characters, team up with the enemy army, and blast off into space to initiate a massive assault against the Mars People that is inarguably the longest level in the entire series.
The mission immediately after that, which is the last mission, is also pretty cool. After finding out that the near-destruction of the world was orchestrated by the AI in charge of your own mercenary group, you set out to destroy it. You then find yourself up against the near-mythical top-ranking Raven, and he's no pushover, but when you finally manage to destroy him, the AI realizes it cannot possibly win, and blows itself up.
Snatcher has one for the sequence in which Gillian's car was sabotaged and is rapidly running towards certain doom. Random pulls a Big Damn Heroes by racing along side the car, first catching Metal Gear (no, not that kind), the music swelling as Random berates Gillian for cowardiance, Metal Gear counting down the time frame Gill has to jump out, then it passes and the car goes over. A cut shot revealed that Gillian jumped at the very last second, and is now hanging onto the rearend of the motorbike.
Wario getting a planet in the best ending of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
In the ending of Wario Land The Shake Dimension, after defeating a great evil and saving an entire dimension, Queen Merelda goes to thank Wario. Halfway through her speech, Wario grabs her, throws her over his shoulder and walks towards the treasure.
World in Conflict: The previous coward Bannon gets his when he sacrifices himself to bind an overwhelming sovjet force in place for a tactical nuke.
The entire Pine Valley mission qualifies for nearly everyone at different parts of the mission. The first cutscene has the resident Colonel Badass, Colonel Sawyer, calmly continue to give his briefing as everyone around him ducks for cover from both a sniper and the multitude of shells landing amongst them. After taking the town of Pine Valley, you find yourself surrounded on three sides by the vastly superior - not to mention recently reinforced - Soviet forces and pushed up against the fourth side (the Ocean). The only support is a long way out or bogged down trying to get to you. You, and your AI allies, hole up in the center of town to make your last stand. After several minutes of ever escalating combat with the nearly endless Soviet forces, all looks lost....until out of the smoke and dust appears the USS Missouri, guns (and patriotic music!) blaring as they calmly request that you give them target coordinates. Needless to say, the last stand turns into an absolute victory as the Missouri's guns pound the Reds into dust and your previously bogged down support un-bogs itself and rushes to your aid.
Time Hollow for the DS has one at the end of chapter five. The Big Badis about to go back in time again, and taunts the protagonist that no matter what he does, there'll always be another him to take the protagonist down. The protagonist's solution? Skip all the time altering stuff and on a leg that's been stabbed almost clean through ram the guy off a cliff.
Any player completing I Wanna Be the Guy. The internet salutes you. Heck, beating a screen in that game is a CMOA.
Max Payne has many, most of the defined by the player. For huge awesomes in the narrative sense, there's Max taking on the murderous Trio, who he describes as vicious mad dogs that would hang the heads of their enemies on the fence outside the Punchinello manor if they could. Cops wouldn't touch the Trio. Max utterly destroys them. Then, later in the first game, Max goes up against Big Bad Nicole Horne and her impressively large group of well-armed, well-trained mercenaries. He kills them all, but Horne manages to escape to her helicopter, which is waiting for the wind of a blizzard to die down so that it can use a minigun to rip Max to shreds. Max responds by dropping a radio tower on the helicopter, smashing it into the helipad, which breaks and plummets a good fifty storeys before crushing the helicopter and killing Horne.
Even More Awesome since Max knows Alfred Woden's going to pull major Inner Circle strings to get him cleared of the built-up charges, smirking while he's in the back of a cruiser hand-cuffed and being hauled away.
Legend of Legaia 2, Duel Saga, the moment where you meet the big bad for the very first time. No name as of yet, just 'the man with the golden eyes.' He's going to take a valuable MacGuffin from your village and thus cause it to die, and so you take sword in hand and engage. The guy just stands there, he lets you throw everything you have at him and with every single blow you land, HE DOESN'T MOVE ONE FUCKING MILLIMETER. It's like you're not even THERE. After this show of badassery, the inevitable autolose sequence is actually something of a letdown.
In Penny Arcade Adventures it's Ann-Claire Forthwith who gets the first shot at the Crowning Moment of Awesome, when she attacks Fruit Fucker in a giant robotic doll, successfully managing to combine a Crowning Moment of Awesome with a Crowning Moment of Cute.
Battle Moon Wars gives one hell of a CMoA to Kohaku from Tsukihime, when she not only survives but tanks a blast from Gilgamesh's Enuma Elish in Act 4. Keep in mind that this is an attack which rips apart time and space, and by all rights should have atomized her.
Wait, that's not all! Play up to Stage 50 when the Nasuverse army confronts the true enemy they've been fighting all along. Haruna delivers a speech so awe-inspiring and legendary that Aoko Aozaki herself steps in to join the battle... or so one can imagine. Then the stage's background music picks up. Manly Tears were shed.
Tales of Destiny 2. Finish the game twice, then on the third play through... do Judas' final Hi-Ougi. After much awesome monologue, he BREAKS HIS MASK revealing his identity as Leon Magnus, and does Massive Damage with said Hi-Ougi, as it IS the most damaging Physical Hi-Ougi of the game... creamed with awesome sauce.
The cutscene in Brigandine when White Wolf of Norgard Vaynard teams up with Brangien to drive of someone super powerful like Cador, which involves Vaynard freezing himself to freeze Cador, then use that time to have Brangien take one accurate shot to Cador's eye, which they use to retreat. Gets more awesome in the Grand Edition when it's animated with anime cutscenes.
Myst: Exile. The Ameteria age consists of three oddball puzzles that you have to solve for no good reason (much like all Myst puzzles, really), followed by another one that makes even less sense. And then you finish off the age in what is indisputably the greatest cutscene ever, riding in a ball (in first person perspective) literally through all of the puzzles you just solved. No other puzzle in video game history has had such a rewarding conclusion.
Spire is a CMOA for Atrus and the Torus Age is one for Katran.
In one scene in Myst: The Book of Ti'ana, Ti'ana is a prisoner of Veovis and A'Gaeris. She can still whip up an explosive and set a trail of accelerant. Veovis barely escapes with his life and is captured.
King Ahlsendar's homecoming and defeat of the Judges of Yahvo cult.
The creation of Deretheni by the D'ni. It takes a supernova to melt it, and it's so good at insulating that Gavas survived his two seconds in that supernova.
The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series is designed in its entirety to allow players to pull off Crowning Moments of Awesome that would kill any skater who tried them in real life. A particular example that comes to mind is a section in Underground 2 where you can grind a power line.
This is quite possibly capstoned, however, in Underground (1), where you jump over a fully operating helicopter.
Er-Hem. Jumping the Bridge. But yeah, Underground 2 has a better one: You have 5 SECONDS to escape Skatopia before it blows up.Also, you have to save dogs to do it.With a CAT ON YOUR HEAD.
Tony Hawks Under Ground had an awesome one for the second go-round! Your character has just made it big after being kicked to the curb by Smug Snake Eric Sparrow and at the end, Eric appears, taunting your character with the video tape showing the aforementioned helicopter jump. In the first go-round, you have to chase him across your hometown to get it back. The second? You just punch the guy in the face.
The ending of Irrational Games' Freedom Force, where Man-Bot sacrifices himself by becoming the new power source for the Celestial Clock. The scene where he finally removes his helmet is a Tear Jerker.
The ending of Freedom Force vs. The Third Reich, where Alchemiss realizes the only way to permanently stop her evil alter-ego Entropy is to completely erase herself from the timeline. It's only marred by the fact that the cliffhanger at the very end will stay unresolved.
Yoriko Anno of Forbidden Siren has one of these. After spending the game going from a frightened, somewhat whiny character to one who gradually toughens up, she has a moment in the ending where, after discovering her university professor and crush, Tamon Takeuchi, inside a house with his undead parents, proceeds to kick the door down, wearing a thoroughly pissed off facial expression, and take out the undead by whacking them around the heads with a baseball bat, before forcefully dragging Tamon out of there.
Spoiler-laden entry coming up: Two of the playable characters in the game are a little girl (who can't even be close to an enemy without causing a Non-Standard Game Over) and her teacher, who is very protective of her. Well, by the end of the game, the teacher has been turned into a Shibito, but is still ready and willing to do whatever it takes to protect her, ultimately sacrificing herself to save her from the mutated principal of the school in the village, ensuring that the girl is one of the few survivors of the incident.
Kai of Heavenly Sword has one of these towards the end of the game. After going from a childlike, cheery (yet still very deadly) girl to becoming scared out of her wits due to a traumatic repressed memory (her mother's murder at the hands of Flying Fox) coming back to haunt her, and then being supposedly killed by Flying Fox after he hangs her by the neck from a great height, she suddenly and unexpectly wakes up partway through the ensuing boss battle between Nariko and Fox, and manages to fire a crossbow bolt right into the latter's forehead.
King Bohan deserves a mention for when he attempts to make an inspirational Big Bad speech to his troops before the final big battle and mentions that he's certain Nariko intends to bite off his genitals.
In Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2, there is an immensely satisfying scene that involves Master Asia giving a verbal and physical smackdown to SEED's Kira Yamato. When fellow SEED protagonist Athrun tries to interfere, Domon drops in quite literally to block him off. Then the two G Gundam character promptly engage in dramatic posing, ending with Master Asia demanding that Kira and Athrun SHOWS HIM THEIR SKILLS.
Technically a Real Life example, but directly related to video games: The year is 2006. Nintendo has been lagging behind the competition since 1995, when Sony Playstation overtook the video game industry. The PSX beat Nintendo 64 by a landslide, and the somewhat more popular Gamecube was still no match for the PS2 and Microsoft's Xbox. People were wondering what Nintendo had up their sleeve next, and about a week before E3 2006, Nintendo finally announced their long-awaited new console. It was called Wii. It was only slightly more powerful than Gamecube. It used a freaking remote control instead of a traditional gamepad. Many laughed it off as marketing suicide. Then E3 came along, and now that everyone had gotten the laughter out of their system, they were starting to admit that it could be pretty cool. September 2006 comes along and the Wii outsells every other console and is basically the biggest mainstream success for the video game industry to date, putting Nintendo at the top of the heap for the first time in a decade. And two years later, it's still the top seller. This wasn't marketing suicide; it was marketing genius. It's a Crowning Moment of Awesome that most likely resulted in some big fat raises for all involved.
One should also note that most consoles (both versions of the Xbox, PS2, PS3, Gamecube) sell at a loss, making a profit on the games themselves. Each Wii console sold at $250, while costing only $150 to make, giving Nintendo a $100 profit per console.
Also in there has to be Nintendo's 1984 decimation of Universal Studios in court, then. Nintendo, a small maker of games, has a bona-fide hit with Donkey Kong, a game clearly inspired by King Kong. Universal Studios lets them quietly go ahead for a while, then sends in the lawyers, demanding that Nintendo wholly cease the production, turn over all profits to Universal, and basically crawl back with their tail between their legs. Nintendo, in response, tells Universal Studios, a massively larger company, that they're ready to see them in court. (Purportedly, the announcement of this over a business dinner caused the Universal reps to heatedly storm out of the room.) Nintendo's clever legal strategy consisted of a single fact: Universal Studios didn't ownKing Kong, as the property had in entered public domain. In fact, Universal Studios themselves had gone to lengths to prove this in a previous court case. Needless to say, Nintendo won, and they quickly earned a reputation as a tough company to push around.
Then there's the story of when Microsoft tried to buy out Nintendo. In 2005, before the Wii was announced, Nintendo was of course dead last in the console race. Microsoft, who almost literally have their US headquarters right across the street from Nintendo's US headquarters, decided to take some time off during lunch and walked over to try to buy out Nintendo. The response was to send them to Japan to talk to Satoru Iwata, president of Nintendo, to talk about it (quite a reasonable course of action given what was happening). So they did, and during the meeting Iwata did something so bizarre, so offensive, so unspeakably against all normal code of conduct for Japanese (and American) businessmen that the Microsoft representatives left out of sheer confusion. The best part? We don't know what he did.
Nintendo's E3 2010 Conference has become the stuff of industry legend, due in no small part to their drastic change in how they presented their games that year. After two years of focusing heavily on casual games at E3 (and having several Narm-worthy live demos with Nintendo staff members who looked embarrassed and out of place), the company ditched the Powerpoint presentations and went back to basics. The 2010 conference consisted of Reggie Fils-Aime, Shigeru Miyamoto and Satoru Iwata announcing triple-AAA franchise after triple-AAA franchise, along with several sequels to classic Nintendo games of yore. They included a new Legend of Zelda title with Wii Motion Plus control, a new Kirby reimagining, an updated port of GoldenEye (starring Daniel Craig's voice and likeness in the title role), a new Metroid and a new Donkey Kong Country game. They followed these announcements up with the unveiling of the Nintendo 3DS, the first 3D gaming system not to require special glasses, and its platform of launch and upcoming titles (which included, among several others, a new Kid Icarus game (lampshaded by main character Pit in a trailer when he proclaims, "Sorry to keep you waiting!"), a 3D port of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and a new Assassin's Creed title). The whole presentation ended with a commercial where Fils-Aime laughs at Miyamoto and Iwata (who have been digitized into the 3DS) before having his face burned off by Bowser, and then booth babes walking into the audience to let them play the portable 3DS for the first time, along with ''Legend of Zelda'' demos rising from just below the stage. What truely made the 2010 conference brilliant is that you just know Nintendo was probably waiting three years for Sony and Microsoft to jump onto the "casual" bandwagon, and THEN they went into an all-out hardcore frenzy, practically reviving every single franchise that fans were thinking they'd forgotten.
Lost Magic plays the Squishy Wizard rather well in its story, and justifies it, giving you Monster Allies. However, if the right Sadistic Choice was taken, you can get a powerful upgrade to your spellcasting, which allows you to call for the "[Element] Dance" spells, in which Isaac charges his wand with elemental energy, rushes up to an enemy and beats the shit out of them.
In Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, Roxis's speech to Vayne after the first part of the final boss battle if you did all of his character quests is pure awesome. Your expecting him to tell Vayne not to commit suicide, but instead, Roxis EGGS HIM ON to do so, giving a long, well deserved, and pretty damn well thought out brow beating. But in case you might confuse this with simply being a jerk, the speech instead makes Vayne snap out of it, which is what Roxis had planned. Even Vayne's dark side is taken aback by this result. And keep in mind that said dark side has just been playing Vayne like a violin, almost manipulating him into killing all his friends as well. Not to mention it know's what Vayne's thinking. With that taken into account, Roxis is pretty badass indeed. Also, say what you will about Mana-Khemia's English voice acting (which has been criticised by some), but some would say it increased the awesomeness of the scene.
Being an open-ended space combat/trade sim, X3: Reunion has ample opportunities for do-it-yourself awesome. For example, taking on M3+ class superfighters (which are arguably gamebreakers and for good reason) in a little M4 class standard fighter. For those unfamiliar with the game, it's about like an X-wing taking on a Star Destroyer that can maneuver like a TIE Fighter—no magic-bullet special attacks here, just pure dogfighting.
M4s can be armed with medium guns that are fairly decent at killing heavy fighters; the only real problem are their rear turrets, which most M4s can resist for long enough to get the kill. Try taking out M3+ s with M5 scout ships. Enemy lands a few lucky shots, you die. Enemy fires you a missile, you die. Enemy turret tracks you for more than a second, you die. Oh, and your light guns are barely enough to nibble at the other's shields, so good luck with that. But: managing to land enough subsequent missile hits to blow the heavy out of space? Awesome. Managing to do just enough damage to cause him to eject without destroying the ship, netting you a damaged, stripped-down hull that's worth several times the fully equipped one you're flying? Awesome squared.
Jumping in an enemy sector with a fleet of destroyers and blasting the hell out of everything in sight = priceless awesome. Also framerate killer, but mostly awesome.
The Expansion Pack, X3: Terran Conflict, had a bug at release that caused Xenon invasions to spawn literally thousands of ships. Taking one of the new M6+ (the bigger, badder, shooty-er version of a M3+ ) up against 50 M2 Battleships (which have GUNS bigger than a M3+ ) — along with entire armadas of M4/M3+ /M6/M6+ s and winning? Awesome.
Playing freemode in the custom starts can be considered CMOA-worthy as well. Starting out with literally no money, a crappy M4 with 1 gun, and brass balls; flying into a Pirate sector; flying out with 1 or 2 mostly broken M3s; then using that to bankroll your way into an international trading empire? Also awesome.
Pretty much possible in any trading game, such as Wing Commander Privateer, Tradewinds: Legends, and Taipei constantly. Meet pirate ship. Beat pirate ship. Loot contraband. Sell. (Since you're so weak and feeble, even if you're caught the fines are usually pretty small. Just keep trying til ya get a successful sale, then brutally stomp everyone else.) On Sid Meier's Pirates, pick swordfighting or navigation, run around recruiting crewmen, then make your very first capture a frigate or royal sloop. (You can also pick dancing so you earn the swordfighting boosts from the governor's daughters as you wander around recruiting.) A little bit of fighting skill goes a surprisingly long way on merchanting games!
Discworld. "Dragon! DRAGON! DRAGON!" This part of the intro was awesome in spades.
Mirror's Edge features the parkour ninja cops that are rather good at chasing you down and beating you up in close range. However, if you can maneuver around them and disarm them from behind, you are treated to Faith chopping in the victim's larynx and turning his stungun on himself, causing him to convulse painfully into a heap.
In Punch-Out!! Wii, all of the opponents get short showcase movies before their fights, as well as prefight taunts or introductions and such. These range from funny (Von Kaiser, Bald Bull), to very awesome.
Piston Hondo's Title Defense movie shows him outrunning a train.
The one who takes the cake, however, is Mr. Sandman, who, in his movie, shows us exactly why he's the champ in a few seconds. What follows is a montage of him KOing all the opponents you're fought hard to defeat to get there, ending with him standing over a thoroughly defeated Super Macho Man.
Immediately followed by Little Mac's Crowning Moment: Sandman dramatically walks into the Stadium, glaring down at the ring. Doc Louis is definitely intimidated, but Mac, completely unfazed, just stands up and gets ready to fight.
The KO animation on Sandy, with Mac giving him not one, not two, but three back to back face punches as the big guy, who's as intimidating as Tyson in his heyday, FALLS DOWN FOR THE COUNT.
Killing Myrkul in Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer was quite awesome, doubly so because he was killed by the power he created to make him survive. The most evil ending might also count, since you become a god-killing abomination, and when several gods tried to kill you, they were reported to returned, thinned in numbers.
This may seem a bit lame compared to the others on this page, but if your character is female, the first time you talk to Bishop he tells you that he doesn't want a prostitute right now and you should go back to the brothel. One of the possible responses is "Great idea. I'll say hi to your mother while I'm there, shall I?"
There's another in the original Neverwinter Nights: the fight with Aribeth. Unless you bring along Linu, who just uses "Harm" and ends the battle in two seconds. And then there's the grand finale against Morag.
Hordes Of The Underdark. You can order the 2nd most powerful devil in the multiverse to drop dead!
This one is more a Crowning Moment of Funny, but ordering the devil in charge of the ice quarry to be good for the rest of his days might count.
Earth Defense Force 2017 is so unabashedly over the top with its AT-AT like megawalker to its Independence Day-esque saucers and mothership, but blowing up a Hector just down the street, only to see one of its brothers emerging from the huge fiery smoke, guns blazing and bearing down on you, is pretty damn epic.
Ninja Gaiden. Most notably, in Ninja Gaiden II, in Chapter 11 shortly before fighting Genshin for the second to last time, a certain someone shows up in a cutscene, face obscured and slicing Spider Clan ninja to pieces in one quick movement, and then proceeds to hand you two rice balls. It's Muramasa.
On that same note, beating any of the NES games definitely counts. Bonus points if you do it on an actual console.
The second fight against Genshin made the friggin Air station THEY WERE FIGHTING IN split in two, BETWEEN THEM!
In Muse's Dream if she is in your party, at the end of the battle with the Dream Devil, he will try and trick Muse by transforming into her father, but she looks beyond that and delivers the final blow. Better if she is using a weapons class that has not sparked a technique, or a class where a technique hasn't been learned, often it will be a high level technique; especially if she unleashes Dragon Inferno (Fists) as the finishing move.
In the Divine tower, when chasing Maximus, your allies either are stuck operating switches or fall into traps; when you reach Maximus and fight him alone, gradually your allies return to assist you.
Fighting Byunei while riding Gwayne (Dragon) and using the Twin Spike ability.
The War Minigame in the later segments of it.
Tomb Raider: Underworld - Near the end of the game, you acquire Thor's Hammer — and you actually get to use it. The next level has you running around on a boat wreaking absolute havoc on the enemies, zapping them and sending them flying through the air. The icing on the cake is the fact that Lara Croft is a sophisticated British gal, slaughtering people with Thor's freaking hammer. (Of course, this does lend credence to the idea that Lara is not exactly an ideal heroine, in addition to the fact that she also brutally kills animals that don't even seem to be doing anything to her in pursuit of treasures that she doesn't necessarily have any more of a right to than her enemies... but it doesn't make it any less awesome.)
And in Tomb Raider: Lara takes on an entire army of undead samurai warriors. And wins. But the real crowner is that when Lara sees what she's up against, all she has to say is this:
In Episode 2, Kanon's swordfight (even if he loses), and Rosa's final defense of Maria, in which she starts threatening demons.
Rosa: Just try laying one finger on Maria in front of me. I'll show you just how lukewarm the hell you came from is."
Episode 3. Where to begin? The fight between Beato and Virgilia, Eva solving the epitaph (Even if we're never told the actual answer), the whole thing about Beato turning over a new leaf being an ingenious ruse - but still, the undeniable winner in terms of awesome has to be Kyrie and Rudolf each defeating one of the Seven Stakes of Purgatory singlehandedly, a feat even Kanon couldn't manage.
To expand on that last point further, Kyrie is undoubtedly the most awesome, simply for some of the incredible lines she pulls during the fight.
Leviathan: C-can you pull it? That trigger!!
Kyrie: You know, I can be pretty brutal when my husband isn't around.
Not to mention her final putdown to Leviathan and her power of envy:
Kyrie: You say you were jealous of your sisters for seven days and seven nights?
Leviathan: Th...That's right...
Kyrie: ...Don't make me laugh, girl. How could you understand the madness of a woman whose man was stolen from her, and who has burned with envy for 18 years...!
This awesome scene only makes it more irritating that Rudolf and Kyrie are killed only minutes after by the Siesta Sisters, in a glaring example of The Worf Effect.
Ange's Heroic Sacrifice also counts. Imagine trying not to cry and not to let your brother see you as you're being ripped apart, and at the same time, trying to give a Rousing Speech to get said brother up off the ground after he's been convinced that he's not who he thought he was.
Ange : ... I'll be letting go now... It's been painful, right... I've hugged you so tight... I'm sorry... I'm okay... Don't turn around... Just let me see... for the last time... your most dashing moment... Stand up... Point your finger at the witch in front of you... and declare the restart of the game...
Near the end of Episode 4, when Battler denies Beatrice using the blue truth. Made even more awesome with the shotgun like effects and dreamenddischarger playing in the background.
When that scene is read in the proper context, it is a Tear Jerker
In Episode 4, George's fight with Gaap. "You didn't seriously think you could take my parents, Natsuhi oba-san, Rudolf oji-san, Rosa oba-san, and Genji-san's lives and hope I'd overlook it, right?"
Actually, it should be pointed out that When Ronove, Virgilia, Gaap, and the Seven Sisters come to help him, he doesn't actually need their help. That's because by the time they appear, he's already reached the truth of the game so he would have pretty much won anyway.
"Sorry, but, even is you join us, there are 17 people."
In Episode 6, Battler wasn't losing. No, he's losing on purpose to revive Beatrice. Yep he got the villains fooled. Yep he ALSO got YOU fooled.
GUN. Protagonist Colton has tracked down a sunken boat on which a safe containing a MacGuffin was in, utilizing shifting water levels to find it. He has his companion Sopay open the safe, only for dragon Reed, who was responsible for the circumstances that ended up killing your adopted father, as well as slitting the throat of your potential love interest, to show up, aim a gun at you, and thank you for saving him the trouble of opening the safe himself. Colton's response? Tossing the retrieved item back into the safe and slamming it closed. Not the best or most memorable game, but that moment ruled.
Lock's Quest. Lock is an Archineer, someone who builds defences between enemy waves and uses them to get the advantage in combat. As a trainee, armed with a wrench and with less that half of a professional's skillset, he comes face-to-face with the Big Bad, backed up by a powerful boss and a handful of specialized Mooks. The battle-hardened professional soldiers escorting Lock panic and run. Lock's response? "Right here, right now. Let's do this."
Emma Honeywell's last stand in The Last Remnant. Watch it here and see for yourself. After the Conqueror lures Rush, David, and the others to the Nest of Eagles to deal with his army, the Conqueror marches on Athlum alone, forces his way through the gate, and is opposed by Emma, who meets him sword to sword. Despite being outmatched by the Conqueror's strength, Emma manages to spill his blood before he strikes her down.
Hearts of Iron II allows players to create their own in droves. Try defeating Nazi Germany as Poland in 1939.
It's possible to beat Germany as Poland in 1937 if you know what you're doing. As Poland, unlike Britain and France, is a dictatorship it doesn't have to wait for Hitler to start sabre-rattling and annexing Austria and Czechoslovakia before declaring war, but if you can join the Allies then Britain and France will hop in on your side anyway.
In Gradius Gaiden's final stage, the first midboss, Booster Core, doesn't explode right away like most other bosses do when you defeat it. Instead, it starts to slowly dismantle, your ship starts to slow down, Booster Core continues flying at full speed past your ship and off the right side of the screen, and a few seconds later, you hear a satisfying "KABOOOOOOM", a white flash, and pieces of the boss go flying back in your direction. A few seconds later, you begin the next part of the stage, wtih this playing in the background.
In the obscure Gradius title "Nemesis II/Gradius: The Interstellar Assault", the game begins with a large ship destroying several friendly freighters and chasing a rather helpless Vic Viper into an asteroid. Prior to the final battle of the game, Vic Viper chases the Big Bad responsible for it through a graveyard of similar freighters, after said boss has lost his base, forces, and everything else to the eponymous starfighter. It's a revenge made even sweeter if you happen to have lasers and a few options.
Don't when U-1 keeps from fighting Kira by replaying the Legendary Theme. The part where Kirah stops trying to fighting U-1 and joins him in a duet was most awesome and doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Endorph: Burning soul! Awaken the sleeping beast! The power of truth...Psycho Burgundy!
The final moments of the Normal Path.Drazil and the Gods of Life and Death, after defeating them in the final battle, are Not Quite Dead yet and to spoil your victory, they summon copies of themselves and blow one of your more powerful allies away. Even Revya with the extra power he / she gained from defeating Gestahl cannot stand against them, so what does he / she do? He / she finally decides to take Gig up on his deal and give up his / her body to Gig in exchange for the power to defeat the gods. What follows is the scene that firmly cements Gig as Nippon Ichi's biggest badass.
Drazil: You have much to learn, child. Now, to battle!
Gig:You don't gotta tell me twice! Your ass is mine!
Danette:Yeah! We can do it!
And with one swift swing of his scythe, Gig kills all three gods. That's right, three gods fell to a singleMaster of Death that's been confined to a sword for the entire game in one swipe. All set to Gig's Theme Music Power-UpRock 'N Rocks.
To the single-digit number of people who have attained Grand Master rank on Tetris: The Grand Master 3 - Terror-Instinct: Congratulations.
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones has one that sticks out and lends itself into a heartwarming moment as well: In the ending, after the Prince has not only beaten back the Vizier, but also his Dark Prince alter ego, Farah, who has been suspicious of the Prince knowing her since the Prince's actions in both Sands of Time and Warrior Within erased their meetings from the timeline, finally calls him out on it. The Prince's response, bringing the story full circle:
Most people think time is like a river that flows swift and sure in one direction. But I have seen the face of Time, and I can tell you they are wrong. Time is an ocean in a storm. You may wonder who I really am, and why I say this. Come and I will tell you a tale like none you have ever heard.
During Lunar: Eternal Blue, Lemina proves to be an annoying character throughout, useful only for the additional combat stats she brings to the party. Then she reverses it all and makes the player love her in one stroke, calling an annoying villain (the most powerful mage in the world) an "Oversized Fecal Factory".
Hiro gets his own a little later. When being asked sincerely if Lucia (a woman from another world with immense magic powers) is The Destroyer, his flippant answer is "Only once a month."
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean had an awesome one at the turning point of Kalas's character when he realizes what exactly he's doing as Melodia's, and thus Malpercio's servant. Granted, the party has to beat it into him first, but when the Big Bad starts threatening him to obey or else suffer the consequences, and starts using everyone's power to fuel the rebirth of the god, and orders him to slay his former friends...Kalas finally decides he's had enough: he reaches over his shoulder, to the wing that his Face-Heel Turn gave him, and bodily rips it off through sheer force of will, cementing his return to the forces of good and his place among the pantheon of badass RPG protagonists.
Guild Wars: Eye of The North has Kilroy's Punch-Out Extravaganza, a quest where you slip on a pair of Brass-Knuckles, and raid an enemy Dwarf base to beat the day-lights out of Irontoe, a Stone Summit Boss. The fact that you're beating up practically a small army of Dwarves that are using Swords and Bows with Brass Knuckles and winning, is extremely satisfying, and unbelievably fun.
Attacking the Pirate Ship while riding a rocket in Rayman 2 was pretty badass.
From Origins, Rayman being created, especially the way he poses.
Given all the awesome things you're capable of in inFAMOUS, it's far too easy to just call Cole a walking CMoA. Then you get the Lightning Storm ability. And then you whip it out for the first time. Two words: Kill Sat. That, my friends, is what pure awesometanium looks like. Cole's commentary following the second half of that mission only adds to the awesomey goodness.
Somehow Sony UK managed to put together a piece of advertising that pulled one of these. The goosebump-inducing "double-life" ad for the original PlayStation tried to sell the value of gaming culture to viewers, to great success.
Mercenaries 2. Steal a Crocodile Gunboat belonging to the VZ (the main enemy faction). Stay in 'disguise' until you're near a beach absolutely packed with VZ troops and machine guns. Beep the horn (thereby breaking the disguise), and blast the beach with gunfire, rocket fire, or whatever, until your ship starts flaming from too much damage. Gun it towards the beach, hit the closest heavy machine gun with your ship, leave the ship just before the thing blows up, and proceed to clear away the remaining soldiers. Bad. Ass.
From the original ''Mercenaries, the Ace missions were spectacular.
Deus Ex. JC Denton escapes from Bad Guy HQ and still spares the time to tell The Dragon what a corrupt asshole he is. Badass, party of one, your table is ready.
JC Denton: "Well, since that makes you my new boss, take a good look at Manderley's dead body. Consider that my resignation. I don't have time to write a letter."
Also, after managing to avert an enemy atomic strike by capturing the silo just before its ICBM launches, does Denton chalk up this victory and call it a day like his allies suggest? Hell no. Denton retargets the missile himself to wipe the Big Bad's surface defenses off the map, has his chopper pilot drop him off right at ground zero, and enters the Big Bad's underground lair through the nuked wreckage!
When you get to Area 51, if you ran from Walton Simons rather than confronting him at the Ocean Lab, he'll be there to greet you. JC's response is one of the coolest things ever.
Walton Simons:"You take another step forward and here I am again, like your own reflection in a hall of mirrors."
JC Denton:"That makes me one ugly son of a bitch."
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. The setting: Plaza del Ă�ngel. The situation: Captain Mitchell and his Ghosts pinned down in the smoking remains of the US Embassy, defending the gaggle of surviving dignitaries and the "nuclear football" from a seemingly endless onslaught of insurgent forces. The threat: is that a stolen Abrams tank in your radar? Is that its cannon rotating directly towards you? Cue the telltale whirl of rotor blades. Cue the tank vaporizing. Cue the Gunship Rescue.
Prototype is freaking awesome normally. But after being infected by a parasite that negates most of your powers and finally curing it Alex reveals TWO new forms (both of which are probably the most powerful forms available in the game) and just says to himself.
Also, the entire first level. The entire game is a flashback, the first level is after all of this happens, when Alex has complete control over all of his powers. EVERYTHING DIES.
On the last level on the Air Craft Carrier, the CMOA comes from the bridge crew, who despite knowing there is a nuke onboard their ship, tells the rest of the crew to abandon station, and they'll remain at their stations until the end. Now that is dedication to their duty.
You can also use the whip thingie to fly from helicopter to helicopter. See how many you can get before you have to touch the ground. Race your friends!
Grabbing an enemy soldier, running to the very top of the Empire State Building, and powerbombing him all the way down to street level.
The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, the game that Prototype is a Spiritual Successor of. In one of the mid-level boss battles, you are betrayed by the only person you've trusted up to this point, and led into a trap. Your opponent is a twelve-story-tall Super Robot, backed up by as many tanks as the army can muster. In what is quite possibly the game's Crowning Boss of Awesome, you beat the robots by hammer-throwing their own tanks into it.
In the Crash Bandicoot series, his CMOA comes in Warped where, after you beat the fourth boss, Crash gets a bazooka. Admittedly, it fires fruit instead of missles, but it pretty much kills every enemy in the game, excluding bosses, and makes it a lot easier to get through some of the tougher areas.
Speaking of the Crash Bandicoot series, the final confrontation in Crash Twinsanity gives us a moment in which your respect for Cortex might (temporarily) shoot through the roof, thanks to the voice acting.
Another great moment in Warped is where we first meet Uka Uka talking with Cortex. Up to this point, Cortex had been the Big Bad but Uka Uka makes him cower with fear immediately. Uka Uka's last line in the speech is particularly awesome thanks to voice acting.
Uka Uka: This time... this time the great UKA UKA WILL MAKE SURE YOU DO IT RIGHT!
In Crash Bash it's actually possible for Uka Uka to WIN the game. Playing the Adventure Mode as an evil character gives you a bad ending where Uka Uka gets hold of all of the crystals, "AND ALL OF THE POWER!" exiling Crash and Coco into hiding and putting Aku Aku into a Heroic BSOD.
This is especially notable if you play the game with a good and evil player, giving you access to extra deathmatch where the two of you fight to determine the ending. As much as you may like Crash, it's a rather cathartic experience to be able to kick his ass as Dr Cortex.
In the first Splatterhouse game, Rick is forced to kill a monster that's inhabited his girlfriend Jennifer's body. In the second game, he finds out that her soul can be saved and she can be brought back to life...but only if he can bring it back from the depths of Hell itself. So what does Rick do? He goes through a second possessed mansion to reach a gateway to Hell, uses said gateway to travel to Hell, frees Jennifer's soul from the monsters guarding it, and reemerges from Hell to defeat the latest incarnation of the Evil One and bring Jennifer back to life. HE LITERALLY WENT THROUGH HELL TO GET HIS GIRLFRIEND BACK. Now that's love.
In Fable II, Reaver is a complete jackass. But, he shows his power as the Hero of Skill when you're running through his smuggler caves. While telling you that you can tell your grandchildren about "the great Reaver", you enter another chamber, only to find that it's full of enemies. Before you can do anything, Reaver headshots each one with little effort, and says that "you can tell your grandchildren about that too, if they believe you."
After the grief he gave you at several points during the game, watching Jacques beat the crap out of Ranmaru Mori with his BARE HANDS in Onimusha 3 is very satisfying indeed.
Yume Miru Kusuri, the end of Aeka's scenario. Kouhei is pinned down by Kyoka and three other girls with tasers and a knife, and he's being forced to watch Gaito beat up and rape Aeka...and flips. Kouhei tricks one girl into tazing herself, knocks another away, throws the last one down while grabbing her knife, and captures Kyoka. He then forces her at knifepoint to tell everyone to clear out, shallowly cutting her throat when Gaito initially insists that he's bluffing. After that happens, Kouhei points out that he's perfectly aware that Kyoka would just try to get revenge later, and he pragmatically starts strangling her, until Aeka stops him...then tells him to scoot over, and joins in. If anyone had the right to kill Kyoka, after all it was her biggest victim. All while "To the World of Dreams" plays.
Shadow Complex, the fantastic downloadable game on Xbox LIVE Arcade, gives its protagonist a moment near the end of the game. Up 'til this point, Jason seems like a guy thrown into the middle of things and is only fighting to get out and go home. Yet when he rescues Claire and takes her back to their jeep, he insists that she drive away and call for help, and leave him to deal with the villains himself.
Jason: These bastards are planning to invade San Francisco! Now, best-case scenario, I stop them cold. Worst-case scenario, I delay them long enough for you and whatever cavalry you can come up with to come in here and finish the job!
Claire: Are you sure?
Jason: No, I'm not sure! Now get out of here before I have a chance to think about it!
In Phantom Brave, Marona manages to complete another job, the second stop Raphael job (Again, the Raphael in this one is fake, though the real one does show up). When ready to collect her reward, the elder refuses to pay (Like much of her customers up to this point) through some misguided loophole and goes off on her for being a greedy Chroma. When the real Raphael hears of this, he starts causing trouble for this village, causing the elder to go back on what he said and promises to pay Marona if she were to take care of Raphael. Her response?
Marona:I'm sorry, sir. I cannot accept. Have a nice day.
Uncharted 2: Nathan is fighting some sort of Yeti creature and can't win. What does Tenzin do? He jumps on the Yeti's back and stabs it to death with his knife several times.
Nate's battle with Lazarevic, definetly. Lazarevic has drank the sap of the Tree of Life, making him virtually invincible. Does Nate run away in fear? No. He kicks his ass.
The Godfather: The Game: The first time you take over a warehouse for the Corleones, marking your rise to a new level of competence. Then followed by the first time you milk a six-digit figure out of a racket boss. There's also the part where you and Sonny charge in a car through a trainyard with barrels exploding along the way. Memorable.
The Yakuza games tend to be realistic when it comes to fighting. That is, except THAT level in the second one where Sega went "fuck it." So some high-rank yakuza kidnapped Haruka and dared Kazuma to rescue her. Bad idea. Kazuma arrives at the bad guy's castle... Which opens up for letting a golden replica takes its place. Then, Kazuma climbs up the castle, avoiding traps and beating up samurais and ninjas bare fisted, then with a fixed machine gun. And finally, he ends up beating up two feral tigers with his bare hands, finishing them by punching their skulls so hard he cracks them as the beasts were trying to jump on him. Holy. Shit.
Each of the six bodyguards in Yo-Jin-Bo has two potential Crowning Moments depending on which path you take through the game: one in which they face down and defeat Kasumimaru, and one in which they defeat Nobumasa. Of particular note:
Cute little Yo kicks Kasumimaru's arm off at the shoulder in Mon-Mon's path.
Ittosai doesn't kill Nobumasa himself, but he makes up for it by being the only one of the six who's not fazed for a moment by Kasumimaru's spell of blindness, as well as being the only one of the six who manages to dodge the hallucinogen that Harumoto throws.
In the DS Spaceship RPG Infinite Space, Niall Eremon, commander of a huge Lugovalian starship fleet, batters Mogilek Novikov's flagship, and him, in an effort to bring down Eremon with him, attempts to ram the carcass on Eremon's ship just to bounce off and explode, and later having Eremon killing Nia Lochlain, Yuri's(the protagonist) mentor and love interest, finds himself facing him 10 years later and Yuri gets his revenge on him by shooting his ship down to scrap metal, forcing Eremon to ram his ship onto Yuri's ship just to bounce off much like Novikov did with him, dying in the most humilliating way possible with the game's voiced theme song playing in the background during all the battle, is one of the most epic CMOA in all of history.
A rather minor one compared to the event above, but the Great Escape sequence in the beginning of Act 2 can qualify. Especially when Yuri shot through the plasma storm of the planet, revealing it was man-made all along.
In the trailer for the upcomming videogame Vanquish, there are two notable CMoAs:
The charater dashes to cover, runs up the wall and kicks an enemy on top of the wall so hard that he goes flying off.
At the end, the character is attacked by a Humongous Mecha. After dodging a Macross Missile Massacre, he jumps over it, catches a missile larger than he is, and turns it 180 to slam it into the launcher.
Restriction 666 released! Dimensional interference field deployed! Now engaging the Idea Engine! It's time I showed you...the TRUE...power of the Azure!
Bang Shishigami taking on Hakumen in mortal combat while the whole place is collapsing into a singularity around them. He actually survives.
In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Fayt awakening to his power... and blasting a Vendeeni ship out of the sky with a huge beam of energy. Keep in mind that Fayt is, for all intents and purposes, a 19-year-old boy, and he just destroyed a huge battle cruiser that several high-class ships couldn't damage. With ONE attack.
If you manage to beat Albel the first time you fight him, the resulting cutscene is both CMoA and CMoF, as Cliff (and the rest, but mainly Cliff) openly mock how weak Albel is, right in front of him, as he lies there glaring at them but too injured to do anything. It's a serious "Owned." moment.
The rescue scene later on in the game is a CMoA for whoever rescued you, though Albel's is probably the most stylish.
The ending to Vexx is also awesome through and through. All the torture of the game is well worth it to see that ending.
Raiding the final dungeon in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals when Maxim's team charges headlong at Doom Castle in their blimp-like airship. The Sinistrals actually manage to shoot it down by destroying the balloon with a laser. The ship begins to drop when it suddenly sprouts glider wings and reaches the entrance to the castle in a spectacular crash landing.
Every virtuaroid's ending in the first Virtual-ON game, especially Raiden's and Fei-Yen's. Just watching Raiden nuking the lunar cannon's core with its giant laser beams feels cool, and Fei-Yen blowing a kiss to the core...? Hmm~!!
Even Carn Evil gets one in the final battle with Baron von Tokkentaker and Umlaut. The Big Bad getting knocked off his feet and shredded by his airship's propellers is something that should be mentioned here.
Mario Party DS deserves a mention because unlike in the other Mario Party games, you can fight Bowser in the final mini-game with bare hands and feet instead of wands or any other items (not that they're uncool). Bowser has a magic belt and what does your character do? Beat him to a pulp of course!
The Demoscene game .kkrieger is a gorgeous looking 3D game with graphics only slightly below Doom 3's (with dynamic shadows and all) provding about 30 minutes of gameplay. Its size is 96 KB. That's right, less than this very HTML page not counting the images.
The intro video to the 2004 Punisher video game is an extended Crowning Moment of Awesome. It starts with Frank in a dark corridor, checking his magazine and remarking "Last bullet." As he narrates, a group of Yakuza quietly enter the area and begin creeping down the hall, looking for him. One steps on something and they all look down to find that the man is standing on an empty magazine. The Yakuza in lead turns back around just in time for the Punisher to blow him away. The other Yakuza freeze, unaware that the Punisher is out of ammo and unsure what to do. Frank suddenly flips his shotgun to one of them, who catches it out of reflex. Frank uses the distraction to stab him in the face and slash another man's throat, and when he takes their guns it turns into a massacre. After finishing them off, Castle continues narrating as he approaches the front of the building, only to eject the magazines from the pistols, raise them above his head, and step outside, where a massive police barricade is waiting to take him to Ryker's...
The Killer Penguin from Zoo Tycoon. It can kill pretty much any animal in the game. Even those that were much larger than it. From lions, killer whales, even the Tyrannosaurus rex. A penguin that can kill a friggin' T-Rex, talk about Killer Rabbit.
In SSX you can jump off a ramp and grab a low flying helicopter, which is cool enough. You can also grind it while it's in flight. Doing this is pretty much an I win button in trick events.
In X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse for the SNES, this happens the moment Gambit steps onto a motorized surfboard at the end of his stage. The epic boss music starts playing as the surfboard speeds up, all while the calm and collected Gambit just rides it without even staggering. Bonus points for the sound of the surfboard's motor roaring through the water and the sight (as well as sound) of the boss, a tandem rotor helicopter flying in the background. With all these elements, it's one of the greatest parts of the game.
A meta-example revolving around a developer instead of gameplay: Arcen Games, a company that makes a business model out of Perpetual Beta, decided that A Valley Without Wind had ended up too fundamentally divergent from their original plan to fit their ultimate vision for the project, so they ran one more stabilization update then declared the project done, and immediately announced they were working on the sequel. The awesome kicks in when they decided it wasn't the playerbase's fault the devs wanted a fresh start, so they also announced that everyone who owned the first AVWW would receive the sequel for free. Not discounted, for absolute free, with pre-version-1 beta access thrown in. Considering the company stays afloat solely from initial sales and expansion packs, the loyal playerbase considers this tremendously decent of them.
While probably another Real Life moment, the Reveal trailer for DuckTales at PAX East. Over a thousand fans are watching the beginning, which seems to be the start of some epic game... until the opening notes to the DuckTales theme starts playing. A bunch of people shoot up from their seats in shock, then everyone stands up and starts singing along.