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In Spec Ops: The Line, every Crowning Moment of Awesome has a What the Hell, Hero? after-effect, but they still exist.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • For example, during the attack on the Dubai hotel, you have the option of shooting out a massive glass wall and dump ten thousand tons of sand on an enemy army. As soon as you're done high-fiving, you remember these are American soldiers, your own guys, that you've buried alive. This is thrown back at your face in the final chapter.

  • A minor one at the end of Chapter 5: Walker ends up plummeting out into the open, but he manages to save himself by grappling onto the end of a pole with one hand. Say what you want about the man, but you can't deny that he's got a surprising amount of upper body strength.
    • He also has reflexes good enough to quickly attach a rope to the pipe, which helps to break his fall as the Chapter ends.

  • Awesome Music: Almost everything the Radioman plays. From dementedly singing along with "Dies Irae" to "Nowhere To Run" and "Hush", whenever the radio fires up it almost always accompanies one of the most awesome parts of the game.
    • The non-diegetic music is pretty good as well, such as Mogwai's "Glasgow Mega Snake" for the Aquatic Colosseum battle, or Jimi Hendrix's "1983, A Merman I Should Turn to Be" which plays over the end credits. The opening menu's use of Hendrix's infamously eerie version of "The Star-Spangled Banner", coupled with the sight of an upside down American flag fluttering in the sand-choked wind over Dubai's beautiful and opulent wreckage, is instantly foreboding and striking in a way few horror games ever achieve.
    • Aforementioned Hush by Deep Purple is even more awesome retrospectively, as it is actually the FIRST chance for the player to feel that something is going positively wrong.
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    • "Truth Revealed" from... you can probably guess. Once those guitars kick in, you know it's The End for Walker - one way or another.
    • No Virtues, the theme of the last battle. It's so somber it might as well not be rock music, as sinister and dark as the path Martin has trodden to get to this point, and what's likely ahead still.
    • Sand Coffin, the music that plays during the escape from the Radioman's tower, is an understated rocking theme fitting for the scenario.
  • Say what you will about the horrible things that the ending of the game reveals (stuff that rightfully belongs in the Tear Jerker and Nightmare Fuel sections of this website) but the execution of the ending is very well done. Very few endings have such a massive impact on the way you see the overall story of a video game like what Spec Ops The Line has done, once you see it you can't look at the story in the same way. The Ending Changes Everything indeed.
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  • In a horrifying sort of way, the sheer number of hostiles your team tears through over the course of the game. This is a team of, count 'em, three dudes, and yet they shoot down hundreds of enemy soldiers over the course of a day or two with nothing able to stop them. Special operatives don't play around.
  • Topping that off, Walker, in the worst ending, tearing apart a squad of American soldiers like a One-Man Army, proving that Dubai and his delusions have swallowed him whole. Capped off with this menacing line:
    Walker: Gentlemen... welcome to Dubai.
  • An in-universe psyche evaluation of Colonel Konrad by the CIA confirms that the opinion of the Military community was that Konrad was one of the best military commanders since Patton's successes in World War II. To give you some idea of how high a compliment that is, Patton is considered to be one of the greatest Generals in American history and during his command his Army captured more land and defeated more enemies in the shortest number of years than any other commander in history. For a Colonel to be considered on par with one of the greatest Generals we ever produced speaks very highly of how talented this man is, and makes you wonder why he isn't a General himself.
  • Nolan North gets a moment when you realize just how much he was praised for some of his best acting yet. His voice acting in the final section is especially powerful, the way he puts across Walker's total transformation to an utterly bloodthirsty brute while still maintaining the same pitch. Watch the transformation for yourself here in a short 23 minutes of Walker’s command barks throughout the campaign. If you want an even shorter 5 minute showcase, this video of only Walker’s executions and combat barks.
    • Bruce Boxleitner's work as Konrad is extremely well-done as well, especially as he uses the same voice as John Sheridan to castigate Walker throughout the game. The end confrontation between him and Walker has Conrad vacillate between "friendly grandfather" to "quiet menace" simply by putting the lines in contrast with events on-screen.
      • To say nothing of everyone else's voice acting chops; Omid Abtahi showed an astounding amount of emotional torque as Lugo, ranging from humorous banter to sheer rage and panic. Christopher Reid offered a surprising amount of indignation whenever he called out Walker, clearly evidenced at the end of the game. And Jake Busey wasn't just a good source of comic relief; his deflating mood when the water trucks crashed were heartbreaking to listen to.
  • See the level set after the helicopter crash. Adams is wounded and confined to sitting down with just a pistol for his defense. Lugo is nowhere to be seen. It's up to you to mount a defense of the crash site pretty much single-handedly. With shades of Black Hawk Down, you come to fully embody the Special Forces credos of "Adapt and Overcome" and "No man left behind!". Especially on higher difficulties, this is hardcore. Peaking out for shots on the scale of microseconds, the enemy fire is so intense that death will be frequent for you. You come to develop an expertise with blindfire which few cover based shooters have relied on thus far. Badass headshots with the DMR make you feel like a real warrior. Along with just the usual Damned 33rd soldiers, they have several Zulu Squad members and the constant grenades they fling makes this even more tricky. You slowly whittle down their numbers, even managing to blow away the sneaky scum who come to flank you from a weak side. Finally, a Heavy comes out with two Zulus for support. Without your squadmates to distract him, his light machine gun will cut you to ribbons if you poke out of cover for any amount of time. So you quickly blindfire the Zulus dead, and unload all the remaining fire you have into him, from as far away as possible. Grenades throw him off with sand plumes, and his reloads also allow you to dump accurate shots into him. As he finally keels over, defeated, it's hard not to feel an epic sense of accomplishment after one of the most thrilling, challenging sections of the game.
  • A dark example in the White phosphorus scene. It's such a well crafted reveal that it remains highly talked about, even more than the actual game itself. It gives players such "My God, What Have I Done?" that some have been reported to just stop playing altogether.
  • The difficulties of the game. They are arranged thusly: Walk on the Beach, Combat Op, Suicide Mission, and FUBAR, the last of which is military slang for "Fucked Up Beyond All Repair". If you actually manage to beat it, you are awarded an achievement titled MFWIC, which is military slang for Motherfucker Who's In Charge. The achievement thumbnail is of a roach, because you've proved you're simply impossible to kill.