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  • Ace Combat
  • Ao Oni: The jail scene.
  • Assassin's Creed II: Brawling with Rodrigo Borgia in the Vatican, which is immediately followed by the game's equally memorable Mind Screw ending.
  • Assassin's Creed: Unity: This texture bug, an infamous Special Effect Failure. So infamous, it became the image for the work's Nightmare Fuel page.
  • Asura's Wrath:
  • Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Furnace Fun.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: The Scarecrow hallucination sequences. Especially the final one where it makes it appear like the game has crashed on the player.
  • Batman: Arkham City:
    • The opening, with Bruce Wayne kicking the collective crap out of the Penguin's goons and donning his costume.
    • The fight with Mr. Freeze.
    • The Joker's death.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: The opening scene, with the player as Batman cremating the Joker's corpse.
  • Battle Garegga:
    • In Stage 2, the Easter Egg scene of flamingoes flying out of the castle near the beginning of the stage and producing an extremely large amount of points when hit with bombs rather than shots.
    • The battle with Black Heart in Stage 5 and its upgraded form Black Heart mk.2 in Stage 7. The former because it's by far the toughest boss in the game up to that point, and the latter because of some Score Milking tricks. Both are even more well-known than the Final Boss, Glow Squid.
    • Stage 6, otherwise known as the stage that propels into That One Level territory if you managed the Dynamic Difficulty in the first five stages poorly.
  • Battle Toads: Level 3: Turbo Tunnel, because for many gamers it is That One Level that they have never beaten.
  • Bayonetta: Bayonetta finishing off Jubileus by punching her soul into the sun.
    • Bayonetta 2: Gomorrah turning on you and dragging Jeanne to hell in the prologue.
  • Master D's head exploding in Bionic Commando.
  • BioShock:
  • If it's a Bullet Hell game, the Final Boss, the True Final Boss, or the Bonus Boss will most likely be this due to the mind-numbing bullet count. Their theme songs are often the games' Signature Songs, inverting Level One Music Represents. Such examples include:
    • DoDonPachi and its sequels: Hibachi
      • DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu Black Label: Zatsuza
      • DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou: Hibachi and Inbachi
    • Mushihime Sama: Aki
      • Mushihime-sama Futari: Queen Larsa
      • Mushihime-sama Futari Black Label: Spiritual Larsa
    • Touhou Koumakyou: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: Flandre Scarlet
    • Touhou Youyoumu: Perfect Cherry Blossom: Yukari Yakumo
  • Call of Duty
  • Castlevania
    • The main character standing in front of Dracula's castle.
    • The final staircase to Dracula's room, to the point that, despite the ever-changing nature of Dracula's castle it's almost guaranteed that the staircase will still be there somewhere at the top.
    • The battle with Dracula where he always in his human form first, then before morphs into a giant monster.
    • The endings where the castle implodes while the main character looks on.
    • Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
      • The constant annoying transition from day to night.
      • The part where Simon has to kneel at a dead end wall with the red crystal so he can be taken away by a tornado.
    • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
      • The opening with Trevor kneeling before the cross, then turning to face the player with a dramatic, lightning-accompanied cape flip.
    • Super Castlevania IV
      • After enduring the Sequential Boss fights that immediately precedes it, reaching Dracula's room and wearing him down to his second form, at which point his face becomes a skull and Simon's Theme kicks in.
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
      • The opening sequence with Richter, including the "Die, monster!" speech and the ensuing fight.
      • Alucard advancing through the first castle corridor, as the lights come on and "Dracula's Castle" starts playing.
  • Chrono Trigger
    • "But... the future refused to change."
    • The trial scene greatly impacted players because, at the time, no one would suspect that their apparently random and meaningless actions in the beginning of the game would have moral consequences later.
    • The campfire scene and the ensuing backstory of Luca's crippled mother, mostly because whether the woman is crippled or not in the present is entirely the player's decision.
  • Clock Tower:
  • Even people who have never played Conker's Bad Fur Day know about the boss fight against The Great Mighty Poo.
  • Contra series:
    • Contra III: The Alien Wars: The player characters riding on and jumping between missiles to get to the enemy ship at the end of stage 4.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
  • Cuphead: The Die House, where Mr. King Dice's theme song plays and he blocks the boys' progress until they've done everything in the area.
  • Darius:
    • Darius Gaiden: Zone M, which prominently features a boss battle against Titanic Lance. To add insult to injury, you're still three stages away from the end of the game at this point.
    • Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours:
      • The very first mission's first scene in CS Mode, which features a high-speed skirmish over an ocean while "Freedom", the only track in the series with actual lyrics, plays in the background.
      • The Final Boss battle with Gigantic Bite on Suriaha.
  • Dark Souls:
  • Dawn of War:
    • From Soulstorm, we have Indrick Boreale's "SPESS MEHREENS TODEH THE ENEMEH IS AT OUR DOOR" speech, as well as Carron's "Metal BAWKSES!" rant, both on the same level (if you're playing as Chaos).
    • Retribution has the epic New Era Speech delivered by Azariah Kyras, as well as a glorious cutscene depicting a planet undergoing Exterminatus.
  • Diablo: The scene where your character sticks Diablo's soulstone into their head.
  • Diablo II: The destruction of the Worldstone.
  • Diablo III: Deckard Cain's death, Adria's betrayal and Diablo's invasion of Heaven.
  • Donkey Kong:
  • Marian getting punched in the gut and carried away at the start of Double Dragon.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Any of the dragon fights in Dragon Age: Origins, especially the last one.
    • The betrayal at Ostagar in Dragon Age: Origins.
    • The final sequence of Dragon Age II, mostly the destruction of the Kirkwall Chantry but the sheer implications of the simmering Mage/Templar conflict finally exploding into open war.
    • "The Dawn Will Come", arriving at Skyhold, and walking up to find Solas in the Trespasser DLC from Dragon Age: Inquisition.
  • Dragon Quest
    • Dragon Quest V
      • The Hero's father silently enduring the savage beating by Bishop Ladja's henchmen for the sake of his son's life.
  • Duck Hunt: The dog laughing at you if you miss the duck(s).
  • The Moon stage from DuckTales, made famous by its music.
  • The Shout-Out to The Oprah Winfrey Show in the opening of Duke Nukem I is the one part that most remember from it. It's to the point where the screen is framed in Duke Nukem Forever in all its DOS glory.
  • Dr. Maximillian Roivas' chapter in Eternal Darkness, for being the most purely Lovecraftian element of the game from beginning to end.
  • Eversion:
    • That moment in World 4 when the player hits the first smiling block, only for the game to abruptly shift to World 4-5, triggering a much creepier atmosphere and going from "kind of eerie" to an outright horror game.
    • Both endings, which involve Nehema turning out to be an Eldritch Abomination. She eats you in the bad ending, but in the good ending, you become a monster as well and get the girl.
  • F-Zero GX: Chapter 7 of Story Mode, which features the F-Zero Grand Prix and, on Very Hard, is agreed by many players to be the hardest challenge in the entire game.
  • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy
    • Final Fantasy IV
    • Final Fantasy V
      • The Big Bridge sequence, up to where the main party fights Gilgamesh.
      • Galuf refusing to relent against an uncomprehending Exdeath, despite having 0 HP, fueled by the power of love. And then dying afterwards and the rest of the party trying to avert Gameplay and Story Segregation with healing spells, to no effect.
      • The fight with Necrophobe, particularly when Gilgamesh shows up to help.
    • Final Fantasy VI
    • Final Fantasy VII
      • The opening FMV, where a extended starfield fades to Aerith looking at magic sparks coming out of a pipe, followed by a slow zoom out from her to a massive Cyberpunk city, and then back to a train arriving at a station.
      • Cloud crossdressing to save Tifa.
      • Possibly the scene where Cloud and the party sneak into Shinra HQ, only to find the place littered with corpses, including President Shinra's, and a trail of blood. It's at that point that the cast and players realize the story's real Big Bad is someone far more sinister.
      • The motorcycle chase.
      • Sephiroth in the middle of Cloud's burning hometown while in a Psychotic Smirk.
      • Aerith's death.
      • Omega, Ultima, Ruby and Emerald Weapons being released.
      • Cloud being Mind Raped.
      • Cloud killing Sephiroth with the Omnislash attack.
    • Final Fantasy VIII
      • Squall and Seifer's duel in the opening.
      • The SeeD candidates Storming The Beach of Dollet.
      • The entire scene where Squall, Zell and Selphie are tying to escape from a Spider Tank, concluding with Quistis gunning it down till it's destroyed.
      • The ballroom scene.
      • Squall, Zell and Selphie having a headache and "dreaming" themselves as Laguna, Kiros and Ward.
      • Lagun, Kiros and Ward fighting Esthar soldiers at the Centra excavation site.
      • Edea getting prep for her speech in Deling City after Rinoa failed assassination attempt.
      • The entire Deling City parade sequence.
      • Squall charging Edea and Seifer at the Deling City parade.
      • Squall being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice via Edea's "Ice Strike".
      • Laguna, Raine and Ellone's conversations in Winhill.
      • Squall and party turning Balamb Garden into a mobile base to avoid the incoming missiles.
      • The basketball court scene.
      • Balamb vs. Galbadia Gardens.
      • The Lunar Cry.
      • Squall rescuing Rinoa in space and finding the Ragnarok.
      • Squall and Rinoa's conversation in Ragnarok's cockpit.
      • Odin getting killed by Seifer (if you acquired him before the end of Disc 3, that is).
      • Squall and Rinoa embracing immediately after he rescues her from the Sorceress' Memorial.
      • Rinoa finding the unconscious Squall after Ultimecia's defeat.
    • Final Fantasy IX
    • Final Fantasy X
      • Tidus attempting to get Yuna to laugh by doing awful fake laughing off a balcony. ("HA HA HA HA HA.")
      • The kiss in Macalania Forest as well as the battle against Yunalesca, and the scene immediately preceding this.
      • Also, the scene where the party storms Bevelle with an airship to stop Yuna's wedding.
      • Yuna's sending dance on the water in Kilika is probably the most famous FMV in the series (after Sephiroth's fire walk).
      • Tidus' painful discovery of Yuna's fate should she use the Final Summoning.
      • The doomed Operation Mi'ihen.
    • Final Fantasy X-2
      • The fake Yuna's opening song and dance number.
      • Yuna sporting Guns Akimbo.
      • Yuna's concert in the Thunder Planes.
      • The reunion with Tidus.
    • Final Fantasy XII
      • The scene in which Vaan runs around Bhujerba pretending to be Captain Basch.
    • Final Fantasy XIII
    • Final Fantasy XIV
      • The Calamity, which serves as the ending of the original 1.0 version of the game and the backstory for the game's relaunch as A Realm Reborn.
      • The ending of the 2.0 storyline: the sultana's assassination, and the heroes' forced into exile.
      • In the beginning of Heavensward, the Warrior of Light arriving at Ishgard.
      • Also from Heavensward, Haurchefaunt dying in the Warrior of Light's arms after Taking the Bullet for them, marking the first and most tragic permanent death in the game.
      • In Stormblood, the Warrior of Light sparring with Lyse.
    • Final Fantasy XV
      • The Battle against Leviathan.
      • The death of Lunafreya.
      • Noctis' nightmare.
      • The train sequence.
  • Fire Emblem:
  • Freedom Planet: Lilac's torture at the hands of Brevon and Lilac continuing to threaten him during it.
  • FreeSpace: "DIVE! DIVE! DIVE! HIT YOUR BURNERS, PILOT!"
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins:
  • The Hydra fight from the first God of War, the colossus fight and the Mount Olympus climb at the end of the second.
  • The famous and memetic drive-thru scene from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • Halo
  • Heavy Rain
  • Hotline Miami
    • All of your meetings with Richard, Don Juan and Rasmus, but especially the one at the start of Part Two.
    Richard: Do you like hurting other people?
    • Jacket saving the Hooker from her boss.
    • The hospital escape.
    • The Biker interrogating the Janitors.
  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
    • The Proscenium Reveal in the tutorial.
    • The introduction of the Fans at a party, which does a good job of showing how, unlike Jacket or the Biker, these are just ordinary people killing for attention.
    • Martin Brown being Accidentally Murdered by his co-star.
    • Beard saving Jacket in Hawaii, telling him "It's on the house."
    • Miami being nuked.
  • Hunt Down The Freeman
  • Ib
    • The Doll Room, more precisely when Garry gets locked inside and starts ripping open the dolls' belly for the key as the Giant Doll starts coming out of the painting to do... things to his sanity.
    • Ib burning of Mary's painting and Mary's subsequence death.
  • Infamous 2: Cole and Zeke's moment near the end where they relax on a roof with beer and watching TV.
  • I Wanna Be the Guy:
    • The screen you access by going up from the start of the game, well-known for the first time that players will run into the lethal-on-contact Delicious Fruit that will fall upwards in order to kill the player.
    • The The Legend of Zelda intro cave spoof scene: "It's dangerous to go alone! Take this. YOU JUMPED INTO A SWORD. YOU RETARD!"
    • Dracula ending his speech by throwing his glass of wine at you. Which will kill you
    • The moon falling from the sky and chasing you.
  • killer7":
    • MASK De Smith headbutting a bullet.
    • Andrei Ulmeyda's rant
    • Kun Lan catching Harman's bullet and using it to fly onto a distant tower.
    • Russian Roulette
  • Killer Instinct:
    • "ULTRA COMBO!"
  • The King of Fighters '94: The Final Boss Rugal mopping the floor with your team.
  • Kirby series:
  • Kiseki Series: As the Kiseki Series loves its wham episodes, these end up being the most remembered moments by the fans.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: The Reveal. Still considered one of the best twists in any video game ever.
  • La-Mulana: Lemeza in the Skimpy Swimsuit at the end of the Hell Temple in the original, non-remake version of the game.
  • The Last of Us: Sarah's death scene.
    • The giraffe scene.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Life Is Strange:
    • Chloe and Max holding hands and walking on the train tracks in Episode 2, an image that's iconic for the game.
    • The ending of Episode 2, where Max tries to talk down the suicidal Kate Marsh. Especially if she doesn't succeed.
    • The ending of Episode 3, and the alternate reality sequence of Episode 4, where Chloe is paralyzed with a heart wrenching choice in the end whether to grant her request to die or not.
    • When Max and Chloe find Rachel's body in the junkyard.
    • The cliffhanger twist reveal at the end of Episode 4 where Mr. Jefferson drugs Max and kills Chloe.
    • The endings.
  • Lunar
    • Lunar Silver Star Story:
      • Alex and Luna performing at the spring.
      • The part of the opening scene with Luna walking on water beneath the blue star (this scene was used heavily in promotional material.)
      • Luna singing on the boat.
      • Dark Althena's song.
    • Lunar: Eternal Blue:
      • The introduction with Lucia walking on ice.
      • Lucia leaving Hiro for the Blue Star.
  • Maniac Mansion: The part where you can explode a hamster in the microwave.
  • Mass Effect
    • Virmire (especially Sovereign and the confrontation with Saren) in Mass Effect.
    • The destruction of the Normandy, the final level and possibly the loyalty missions in Mass Effect 2.
    • For Mass Effect 3, the Reapers arriving on Earth.
  • Mega Man:
  • Mega Man X
  • Mega Man Zero:
    • First game: The fights against the first boss and Copy X.
    • Second game: The first level, remembered for its music.
    • Third game: The fight against Omega and The Reveal that he is in Zero's original body.
    • Fourth game: Zero's "World of Cardboard" Speech, the final battle against Dr. Weil, and the final scene, a shot of Zero's broken helmet to confirm his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Metal Gear 1: Snake getting around the base by stowing inside a truck.
    "Oh no! The truck have (sic) begun to move!"
  • Metal Gear Solid
    • Solid Snake spotting "a surveillance camera(?)". Which camera in the base varies exactly, but it's one of the most remembered cutscenes in the game.
    • Solid Snake and Meryl's first encounter.
    • The Revolver Ocelot boss fight, as well as the cutscene that follows.
    • Otacon pissing his pants, followed by Solid Snake vs. Gray Fox.
    • The Psycho Mantis boss fight, as well as its 4th-Wall breaking cutscene just prior.
    • The torture scene.
    • The Helicopter boss fight.
    • The second Sniper Wolf boss fight and the cutscene that follows.
    • The Reveal that "Master Miller" is actually Liquid Snake in disguise.
    • Solid Snake vs. REX, particularly Grey Fox's Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Solid Snake vs. Liquid Snake on top of REX.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
    • The End boss fight.
    • Naked Snake climbing the very, very tall ladder while a haunting, vocal-only version of the game's theme song plays.
    • The torture scene, particularly Naked Snake's Eye Scream.
    • The Sorrow "boss fight".
    • The Shagohod chase and boss fight.
    • Naked Snake vs. The Boss, especially the moment when the game forces the player to kill The Boss.
    • Naked Snake tearfully saluting during the last scene.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
    • Jonathan's death (moreso, the effect it has on Big Boss]].
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
    • Raiden vs. Vamp II
    • The split screen of Old Snake vs. Geckos and Raiden vs. Vamp III on top of REX.
    • REX vs. RAY.
    • The microwave scene.
    • Old Snake vs. Ocelot.
    • Old Snake and Big Boss face-to-face for the first time in many years.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
    • Snake's line at the end of the first stinger:
    — Snake: From now on, call me... Big Boss.
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
    • Venom Snake waking up in a hospital to learn that 1.) he's in a coma for nine years, and 2.) his left arm is destroyed.
    • Snake trudging through a hallway filled with the corpses of his men, who he had been forced to kill in order to contain an virally-spreading infection, before collapsing in utter despair.
      • The following morning also qualifies, where Snake ultimately decides not to spread the ashes of said-men to the sea, before coating his face with the ashes of one of said-men.
    • Skull Face's long Motive Rant, while on a car ride with Snake. Who completely fails to react, leaving them to sit in awkward silence until the journey was over. This is also technically the same scene as Skull Face's (in)famous "Such a lust for revenge! WHOOOOO!?" line.
    • The Reveal that Venom Snake is a Body Double for the real Big Boss. In particular, Venom punching the mirror he is looking at after seeing himself as a bloodied, hellish-looking demon in said-mirror.
  • Metroid
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Tri and 3 Ultimate have the battle with the Ceadeus, the source of Moga Island's life-threatening earthquakes.
    • 4 has the first (full) battle with the Gore Magala and later the Shagaru Magala.
    • 4 Ultimate, especially for those who played 4 first, has the battle with the Apex Seregios. There's also the "Sculptural Seltas" G1 quest, infamous for starting off as a simple Desert Seltas quest only to introduce the player to Apex Rajang.
  • Mortal Kombat
    • Sub-Zero's fatality... which was actually disturbing back then.
    • The final shot of a match, with your character posing after a finisher. "Fatality!"
    • The Idle Animation Pit scene that has the game camera slowly panning down revealing the corpses of past fighters impaled on the blades below.
    • Goro's introduction, including his lair.
    • Almost EVERYTHING in Mortal Kombat 9. However, the one scene that garners the most buzz (a lot of it negative) was that of a Brainwashed and Crazy Sindel killing no less than eight heroes in mere minutes. Kung Lao getting his neck snapped by Shao Kahn was unexpected enough, and there was certainly more Wham to come, but this was the moment where MK9 seems to tell you, "This is the extent of how utterly screwed you all are."
    • Done once more in Mortal Kombat X with Dark Raiden presenting the still very much alive head of Shinnok to Liu Kang and Kitana, the new rulers of Netherrealm, as a warning.
    • Also from X: (Your Head A-Splode) "QUITALITY."
  • MOTHER
    • The final battles, due to them breaking formula and relying on emotion rather than strength, alongside the Nightmare Fuel factor and the fact that You Cannot Grasp the True Form of Giygas's/Porky's attack.
    • Ninten's Lamp coming to life and attacking him in EarthBound Beginnings.
    • Buzz Buzz rising from the meteor in EarthBound.
    • The dancing scene from MOTHER 3, if only because of how famous the music became after it got used in that Bear Animation video.
    • The revelation of Hinawa's murder and Flint's reaction to it.
    • Claus's suicide.
  • No More Heroes:
  • Oddworld:
    • Abe's Oddysee: Abe seeing the Mudokon moon and putting his hand over the crater. His first transformation into the Shrykul is another one.
    • Stranger's Wrath: The Stranger releasing a proud roar after defeating Sekto.
  • Outlast
    • From the main game: Miles getting his fingers chopped off.
    • From the DLC: The Dicksaw.
  • The opera scene from Parasite Eve.
  • Pokémon
    • The regional Professor asking the player what their gender is.
      "Are you a boy? Or are you a girl?"
    • Discovering that the Rival in Pokémon Red and Blue beat the Elite Four before the player and became the Champion.
    • The True Final Boss against Red in Pokémon Gold and Silver.
    • Groudon and Kyogre spreading destruction in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and Rayquaza calming the battle between them in Emerald.
      • The remakes also have the climax of the Delta Episode, in which Mega Rayquaza destroys the meteor, only for Deoxys to suddenly emerge from it and face the player in battle.
    • The Distortion World from Pokémon Platinum.
    • The Ferris Wheel ride with N in Pokémon Black and White
    • Hugh's "I'm about to unleash my rage" line in the sequels, uttered when they're on the Plasma Frigate.
    • AZ explaining his history in Pokémon X and Y, along with his reunion with Floette in the ending. "It's been 3000 years..."
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon
      • The flute duet between the protagonist and Lillie, which results in Lillie's comatose Nebby evolving into the game's mascot Legendary, Solgaleo/Lunala. Especially since this is the very first time that a Legendary Pokémon evolves.
      • The confrontation with the Big Bad in Ultra Space, where she transforms.
  • Professor Layton series:
    • Running from the Ferris Wheel in the first game.
    • Each game's Gainax Ending. Because every game had one, and they each made less sense than the last.
  • Portal
    • The grafitti-covered room, with the phrase "the cake is a lie." Both creepy and memetic.
    • The first room where the portals open.
    • When GlaDOS tries to kill you after the final test chamber.
    • The battle with GlaDOS
    • The song 'Still Alive'.
  • Portal 2
    • The introduction where Wheatley is introduced.
    • GlaDOS's awakening.
    • The core transfer followed by Wheatley's Face–Heel Turn.
    • The "Lemons" rant.
    • Shooting a portal at the moon in the final boss battle, and the subsequent ending scene with SPACE!!!
    • The turret opera and the song 'Want You Gone'.
  • Resident Evil
  • Ristar: The scene that plays after each world's boss, where Ristar launches himself into space and flies to the next world whilst the game tabulates your score.
  • Ride to Hell: Retribution: The bizarre fully clothed sex scenes and Jake's needlessly complicated method of disabling an electric fence.
  • R-Type: Stage 3, one of the earliest examples of Battleship Raid in scrolling shooters.
  • Rhythm Heaven: Fever's Remix 10.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island: Insult swordfighting. "You fight like a dairy farmer!" "How appropriate... you fight like a cow!"
  • Shin Megami Tensei
    • Shin Megami Tensei I
      • Your mother being eaten and impersonated by a demon within the first fifteen minutes pretty much sets the atmosphere for the rest of the franchise.
      • Thorman setting off a nuclear apocalypse which you cannot escape from, much less prevent.
      • Alice asking if you will die for her, which nearly every later game featuring her references via her unique move.
    • Shin Megami Tensei II
      • The battle against YHVH.
    • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne
      • The battle against Matador.
      • The Conception.
      • The True Demon Ending's battle against Lucifer.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV
      • Isabeau revealing herself as a complete and utter manga fangirl.
      • The White tossing you to alternate realities where each alignment won the previous cycle.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse
      • The battle against YHVH.
      • "Messiahs in the Diamond Realm", the DLC mission where previous protagonists return.
    • Persona 2: The entire finale of Innocent Sin is the most well-known part of the duology.
      • The first of the two final battles of Innocent Sin is among the most famous parts of the series entirely due to the fact that the boss is Adolf Hitler wielding Nyarlathotep as his Persona and the Lance of Longinus as his weapon. Even though it's actually just Nyarlathotep posing as Hitler, who really did die at the end of World War II, it's still presented as Hitler until his defeat.
      • The second fight and actual Final Boss, the Great Father, is remembered by fans for how insanely difficult it is.
      • The actual ending, widely considered one of the darkest moments in any Shin Megami Tensei game, in which Maya Okamura kills Maya Amano, which allows Nyarlathotep to destroy all existence outside of the final dungeon. This comes with the revelation that Philemon agreed to a bet with Nyarlathotep that led to this happening and that the only way to bring back Maya and restore the world is for the party to have never met as kids, which is what Nyarlathotep used as a starting point.
    • Persona 3:
      • From The Journey: the October 4th Full Moon incident, a.k.a Shinjiro's death.
      • The final battle, or more specifically, when the main character goes up against Nyx on their own and sacrifices their life to seal it away.
      • The ending of The Journey, when the main character passes away in Aigis' arms on Graduation Day.
      • From The Answer, when disagreements erupt over how to use the Keys of Time, eventually leading to the party splitting into factions and fighting each other.
    • Persona 4:
      • King's Game!
      • The Rank 10 event in Yosuke's Social Link, where, after he confesses that he's always been jealous of you, the two of you solidify your friendship with a fistfight.
      • December 3, in which Nanako suddenly dies from lingering side-effects from being in the TV World, and you must talk Yosuke and the rest of your party out of throwing the person responsible into the TV.
      • From Golden, the new Accomplice Ending, which, like the name implies, involves the MC betraying his friends to protect the killer.
    • Persona 5:
      • The bad ending, in which the traitor murders the protagonist.note 
      • The confrontation with the traitor, which ends with the traitor sacrificing himself to allow you to escape from his Cognitive self.
      • The revelation that Igor, your spiritual mentor, is actually an imposter and the final boss of the game. How you defeat him? By summoning a Persona even bigger than him.
    • Digital Devil Saga features the notoriously hard Bonus Boss battle against the Demi-Fiend.
  • Silent Hill
  • SkiFree: The Abominable Snowman capturing and devouring the player.
  • It may be a testament to the story-writing in Skullgirls that pretty much every character's Story Mode could be said to contain at least one Signature Scene:
    • Filia: Painwheel meeting her new class.
    • Cerebella: Vice Versas crushing Ms. Fortune between its hands.
    • Peacock: The view of Peacock's eyes being put out - in first person.
      • Peacock and Marie's final conversation.
    • Parasoul: The Bittersweet Ending.
    • Ms. Fortune: Ms. Fortune having her head cut off in the opening before gameplay even begins (don't worry, this happens a lot).
    • Painwheel: The Downer Ending.
    • Valentine: The Reveal that Valentine is actually an undercover good guy.
      • "Skull Heart, I wish to become the Skullgirl."
    • Double: The consumption scene in the ending.
      • Aeon revealing that none of the game's storylines are technically canon.
    • Squigly: Black Dahlia holding a gun to a crying Squigly's head.
      • The team-up for the last fight.
    • Big Band: Big Band and Peacock arguing.
    • Fukua: The Filia fight.
    • Eliza: The fight in Gehenna.
      • The death of Cerebella, where it became clear just what Eliza is willing to do.
      • Squigly and Filia's Big Damn Heroes attempt - where you control the villain.
    • Beowulf: Beowulf's showdown with Double, and Annie coming back to save him.
    • Robo-Fortune: The robot apocalypse ending with all the DLC characters that didn't make it into the game by the time of 2nd Encore.
    • Possibly the game's most iconic moment was actually a meta one - the Indiegogo fundraiser. The developers set out to raise $150,000 to fund Squigly as a DLC character - they got $829,829 and funded a total of five new characters instead.
  • SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos: Athena and Red Arremer turning their defeated opponents into animals and demons respectively.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
    • Green Hill Zone from the first game. For a specific moment, running the first vertical loop. The action of running the loop epitomizes the high-speed gameplay, while the item on top of it evinces rewards for exploration.
    • The Chaos Emeralds circling and spinning in the air in the aforementioned game's True Ending. It was next seen in Sonic 3 & Knuckles during their upgrade process to Super Emeralds, then in a Sonic Adventure commercial, and from Sonic Adventure 2 onwards, they usually do that during Super transformations.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2:
      • The ending, which has been redone in a handful of his other games.
      • Sonic running across the corkscrew bridges in Emerald Hill Zone.
      • The ant lion boss fight in the Game Gear version.
      • The inescapable spike pit in Mystic Cave Zone Act 2, well-known enough that in the 2013 smartphone ports, it got replaced with the entrance to Hidden Palace Zone.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles:
      • The intro featuring Super Sonic flying through Angel Island Zone and getting hit by Knuckles, who takes the emeralds, laughs at him, and runs away.
      • The infamous Barrel of Doom in Carnival Night Act 2, for prematurely ending several playthroughs.
      • That moment in a Sonic and/or Tails playthrough of Sandopolis Zone Act 2 when the player character(s) break open a capsule full of ghosts, leading to a potent source of Nightmare Fuel for many players.
    • Sonic racing against Metal Sonic in Sonic CD.
    • Sonic Adventure:
    • The truck chase in City Escape from Sonic Adventure 2. Recreated in Sonic Generations. City Escape itself could also be considered a Signature Scene.
    • Metal Sonic transforming (twice!) in Sonic Heroes.
    • Princess Elise bringing Sonic back to life by kissing him in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). With some help from the Chaos Emeralds...
    • In Sonic Unleashed, Sonic's transformation into the Werehog.
      • Sonic smashing through Dark Gaia's eyes.
    • Sonic Colors:
    • Sonic Mania:
      • The Chemical Plant Act 2 boss, in which the player faces off against Eggman in Mean Bean Machine. Even players who aren't good at puzzle games such as Puyo Puyo fell in love with this fight and see this as one of the game's big highlights.
      • Both the regular and secret versions of the true ending, for different reasons. In the regular version, it's for the heavily implied Sequel Hook to Sonic Forces. The secret version gets this for being the end result of an entire unlockable mode that exists solely as a Meme Acknowledgement for "and Knuckles," requiring to beat the game as Knuckles with an AI controlled Knuckles helping him to see that this version of the game is just a storybook by Knuckles.
  • Spec Ops: The Line
    • The White Phosphorus incident and its horrific aftermath, specifically the reveal that the civilians that Walker was trying to rescue were killed along with the 33rd soldiers.
    • The ending where Walker finds that Konrad has been Dead All Along and the Big Bad he's been dealing with all game was a figment of Walker's imagination to justify his atrocities.
  • Splatoon 2: The final battle, particularly Marie's "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight to free Callie from her brainwashing and the climax of Agent 4 riding on Inkrails high above the arena, battling DJ Octavio with a modified Rainmaker.
  • Star Fox 64:
    • Peppy telling Fox to Do a Barrel Roll.
    • The Star Wolf's arrival on Fichina, heralded by Wolf's immortal line.
    • Destroying the train on Macbeth.
    • The fight with the Star Wolf on Venom.
    • Brain Andross. "Only I have the brains to rule Lylat!"
  • Star Wars Battlefront II (2017): The campaign mission with Luke Skywalker.
  • Street Fighter II codified many elements still used in fighting games.
    • The "Vs." screen.
    • "ROUND 1, FIGHT!"
    • Chun-Li's win pose where she excitedly jumps in the air and says "YATTA!" ("I did it!")
    • Akuma's Establishing Character Moment where he beats up M. Bison and takes his place as the final boss.
  • Suikoden
    • Suikoden:
      • Gremio's death scene where he protects Tir McDohl from the Spores of Agony.
    • Suikoden II has two:
      • The destruction of Ryube Village, where Luca Blight forces a villager to beg for her life by walking around on all fours and acting like a pig, and then killing her anyway.
      • The epic boss battle against Luca during his raid on your headquarters, where you fight him with three different parties, and then finish him off in a one-on-one duel.
  • Superman 64 has the first Pass Through the Rings stage, which has become how the game has been remembered by most people. It's such an awful level that many people assume the whole game is like that. It's not—the other levels are, if anything, even worse.
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Robot Wars
    • Debut of the Cybuster in Super Robot Wars 2
    • Forming the Super Robot Type-X (SRX) in Super Robot Wars Alpha
    • Debut of the Dygenguard in Super Robot Wars Alpha 2
    • Debut of the DaiRaiOh in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3
  • Syphon Filter: Killing enemies with the air taser.
  • Pathetic creatures of flesh and bone, you cannot reference System Shock without failing to fathom the perfection of SHODAN, but particularly that speech of hers. Similarly, are you afraid? What is it that you fear? The end of your trivial existence?
  • The Tale of ALLTYNEX:
    • One of the most well remembered scenes throughout the series is whenever a ZODIAC Unit spreads it's wings.
    • The Phoenix and its pilot getting totaled by ZODIAC Virgo in Area 7 of RefleX.
  • Tales of Graces
    • Asbel's final conversation with Lambda.
    • Richard murdering the guard at Wallbridge, and his TOMODACHIIII scene in the desert.
    • Sophie waking up in the field of flowers on Lhant Hill.
  • Tales of Symphonia
    • The coffee scene, in which Lloyd tricks Colette into confirming that she's lost her sense of touch.
    • Any time an angel shows their iconic wings for the first time - namely, Colette's first stage of the angel transformation, Kratos's betrayal, and Zelos fighting you to the death.
    • The duel with Kratos by Origin's seal.
  • Tales of the Abyss
  • Tales of Vesperia
    • Estelle healing Halure's tree.
    • The Fighting Your Friend duels with Estelle and Flynn, and their aftermath scenes.
    • Yuri murdering Ragou on the bridge.
  • Tekken series:
    • Tekken 1:
      • Kazuya throwing Heihachi into a ravine.
    • Tekken 2:
      • Heihachi climbing up from the ravine Kazuya threw him off in the previous game.
      • Heihachi throwing Kazuya into a volcano.
    • Tekken 3:
      • Nina waking from her cryogenic sleep.
      • Heihachi betraying Jin and the latter transforming into Devil form.
    • Tekken 4:
      • Kazuya kicking the Tekken Force's asses and revealing to Heihachi that He's Back.
      • Jin defeating both Kazuya and Heihachi then transforming into Devil form and leaving them. Specifically, the shot of the feathers of his wings falling to the ground.
    • Tekken 5/Dark Resurrection:
      • Kazuya and Heihachi teaming-up against the Jack robots sent to kill them, concluding with the former betraying the latter to his (supposed) death.
      • Raven One Hit Killing a Jack robot and reporting to his superiors that "Heihachi Mishima is dead".
      • Asuka launching her bike from the Tokyo Tower.
      • Jin accidentally falling onto Asuka's boobs.
      • Jin's Evil Costume Switch and Power Walk as the new head of the Mishima Zaibatsu.
    • Tekken 6/Bloodline Rebellion:
      • The (supposed) deaths of Baek Doosan and Wang Jinrei.
    • Tekken 7/Fated Retribution:
      • Kazumi asking someone to kill Heihachi and Kazuya if she dies. Doubles as a Wham Shot, as it later turns out to be Akuma.
      • Heihachi VS. Akuma in a burning dojo. You're welcome.
      • Heihachi VS. Kazuya: The Final Showdown, in an erupting volcano.
  • Tetris: The Absolute - The Grand Master 2 PLUS and Tetris: The Grand Master 3 - Terror Instinct: Their respective credit roll "Invisible Tetris" sequences.
  • From the first Tomb Raider, everyone remembers falling off the broken bridge into a pit with a bear in it. And the T-Rex. Tomb Raider II and III have locking the butler in the freezer in Lara's Home, which many people played with even more than the main game.
  • Touhou in particular has a signature scene in most games, but most memorable fights are usually the ones when your fights are depending on your playable character choice. Some other scenes are;
    • Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream: Yumemi threatening to destroy both Gensokyo and the Outside World with nukes after losing her boss fight, forcing her Number Two Chiyuri to smack her in the head with a folding chair.
    • Lotus Land Story: Yuuka strolls in her boss fight still in her pajamas and Gengetsu's time-out phase.
    • Mystic Square: Shinki burning down Makai in her One-Winged Angel spell. So famous, Byakuren later copies the spell.
    • Embodiment of Scarlet Devil: The Misty Lake along its certain ice fairy and first demonstration of Sakuya's power.
    • Immaterial and Missing Power: Suika destroying the game's interface and HUD through sheer brute force.
    • Imperishable Night: Kaguya breaking the eternal night spell casted by the protagonists with her power in the middle of her boss fight and Mokou goes on dying every time her spellcards expire.
    • Scarlet Weather Rhapsody: Both times Hakurei Shrine got destroyed, caused by Tenshi directly and indirectly, especially Reimu's reaction in the second one.
    • Subterranean Animism: Utsuho's ☢ CAUTION ☢ Boss Warning Siren.
    • Double Dealing Character: The beginning of Stage 5; the Shining Needle Castle in background suddenly turns upside down.
  • The train level in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
  • Undertale:
  • The Ocean House Hotel from Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.
  • Warcraft
    • Third game:
    • World of Warcraft
      • Wrath of the Lich King: The end of the fight with the Lich King, particularly being revived to take the Lich King down, the Lich King reverting back to Arthas in his dying moments, and Bolvar becoming the new Lich King to keep the Scourge in check.
      • Cataclysm: Garrosh kills Overlord Krom'Gar for killing innocent people in Stonetalon Mountains.
      • Warlords of Draenor: Thrall and Garrosh's mak'gora.
  • The Witch's House: The True Ending, mainly due to the fact that it's one hell of a twist.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order: Hijacking a giant Nazi mecha and using it to rampage through a concentration camp, mowing down hundreds of Nazis and causing a mass breakout, all to the awesome sounds of Frederik Thordendal's "Herr Faust".
  • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus: Infiltrating an audition for a Nazi propaganda film on a secret Nazi base on Venus. And meeting an insane, geriatric Adolf Hitler who pukes, pisses blood and randomly shoots the actors. Alternatively, the B.J getting captured, being executed via decapitation and then brought back to life by the Resistance putting his head on an Ubersoldaten body. Plus the courthouse rampage, nuff said.
  • Xenogears:
  • You Have to Burn the Rope: The Grinning Colossus boss fight. He also appears in Death vs Monstars, Anti-Idle: The Game, and Pickory.
  • Uboa from Yume Nikki.
  • The opening to Zero Wing. "All Your Base Are Belong to Us."


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