- It's kinda minor, but if you do all the Quick Time Events right, Jess absolutely destroys Mike in a snowball fight. Considering everything he accomplishes over the course of the game, it's a real shame she was taken out of events so quickly.
- Mike rushing through the forest to save Jessica from Hannah!Wendigo in a wife-beater and wielding a hunting rifle. There's a chance he has never operated a firearm before this point, but that doesn't stop him from trying to save his girlfriend.
- In the second death trap, when confronted with the sadistic choice of shooting himself or Ashley in order to stop a pair of blades from killing the both of them, Chris tries to Take a Third Option and shoot the blades themselves to stop them. It doesn't work, but points for trying. Also points to Josh for setting up the light to pop when shot with the blanks. He somehow managed to predict that's what Chris would do and set it up so that he wouldn't give away the prank early. That's serious forethought!
- Sam's very likely Heroic Sacrifice of continuously stalling Hannah's Wendigo until her friends can escape the lodge, even though it's very likely she will be murdered and eaten. At one point, Hannah's Wendigo even screams directly into Sam's ear and Sam, depending on whether or not you move the controller, may not move a muscle, which is even more impressive taking into account that minutes earlier she waded neck deep in ice cold water while wearing clothes not fit for cold weather, so she must be freezing and her muscles aching to tremble. She's got nerves of steel.
- Sam and Mike don't just keep their cool, they improvise a way to finally destroy the monsters while under severe pressure and unable to speak, with the damn things just a few meters away. The plan in question? Turn the entire building into a giant firebomb via a gas explosion. It took guts to commit to that line of action, especially since whoever trigged the blast would almost certainly be committing a Heroic Sacrifice. The best part? With a little help from the player, their plan can work perfectly. The stunned look of horrified disbelief on the Alpha Wendigo's corpse is one of the best moments of the game. And even if the player fails and Sam is killed, Mike gets a Moment of Awesome all his own by going out like a boss and making sure that the damn things fry alongside him..
- Mike holding his own against several Wendigos in the sanatorium. He's never even seen a Wendigo before and has never fired a shotgun at a hostile target in his life, yet he keeps his cool, refuses to panic, and survives a hellish gauntlet packed with traps, obstacles, and monsters in a manner that would have made Ashley Williams proud. And if Mike gets in over his head, Sam bails him out by engaging a wendigo in melee with a steel pipe or shovel. To reiterate, a teenage girl with zero combat training attacks a lightning fast, nigh-invulnerable predator with a blunt instrument and knocks it flat on its ass. It's even more awesome if you play your cards right as Mike. First, he outright kills most of the wendigos chasing him by blowing the crap out of them with an improvised fuel-drum. The lone survivor has its skin burnt, so when Sam saves Mike she's able to kill it herself.
- Depending on the choices made earlier, Mike may be forced to handle the gun while missing two of his fingers. Considering the recoil and weight of a shotgun, it must have been a severe hindrance, yet he is still is able to score a direct hit with every shot.
- When Emily is attacked by the wendigos in the mine, her entire escape counts as this. By this point she's the first one to genuinely encounter them (Jessica being the first one attacked but was injured, dragged away, and possibly outright killed, and the same can happen to Matt if he doesn't jump to safety or doesn't have the flare gun to spook the wendigo), and even in her panic on being attacked by these monsters she's still emotionally strong enough to think of proper ways to escape, setting obstacles for them while never hesitating to take any possible route out and away. Even at one point, a wendigo can latch on to the elevator she's taking, and her first instinct is to not move, which proves to be exactly the way to evade the wendigos, who can only see movement, which she and the others find out later. Two more awesome moments stand out during Emily's escape; the first is when she stands her ground and headshots the monster chasing her with a flare gun (provided she has one). The second is having the guts to use a lift car's cable as a zipline, and managing to keep her grip until the handle she's holding on to reaches the end of the line and breaks off due to the speed it's going. Even after she falls from the cable a good fifty feet or so, she gets right back up and keeps running, even though she's obviously hurt.
- After Ashley demands that Emily be thrown out of the lodge to save her own skin, she then discovers that the Wendigo bite isn't actually contagious - on the very next page, no less! If the player chooses to have her reveal the truth, she pleads with Emily to "try to understand". Emily's response is an Armor-Piercing Slap.Emily: Understand the palm of my hand, bitch.
- When Chris and the Stranger go to try rescue Josh, the Stranger smirks at Chris, saying he knows Chris doesn't know how to use a shotgun. As they get attacked and the Stranger is killed, Chris actually proves to be highly efficient with the shotgun, blowing away any wendigo he comes across until he's finally safe inside the lodge. Of particular note is the sequence where he somersaults under a fallen tree, spins around, and blasts a wendigo back into the tree he had just rolled under. Not bad for someone who by his own admission needed more time in "climbing class".
- If both are alive, Matt encounters a badly injured Jessica in the mines, and then they promptly get stalked and chased by some wendigo. His decision to refuse to abandon her despite her being badly injured and barely able to keep up with him, all while being defenseless and menaced by incredibly fast, nigh invulnerable cannibalistic monsters, is just inherently badass. Increasing the badass factor, at this point Matt and Jessica are the only ones left Locked Out of the Loop. They don't know any of the sordid affair behind the Wendigos, have no idea who the psycho is, don't know anything except "We're trapped in the mines, Jessica can barely move under her own power, there's something nasty down here with us, and we are not going to die today." Even if Matt is dead by this point, though, Jessica can still survive all by herself. She will be scared to death and the most badly injured still-living character, to the point she can barely even walk, yet she can still hide and remain perfectly still as the wendigo stalk her. She can't even run, but that does not stop her from tackling and breaking right through several wooden planks out to safety, where she yet again evades a wendigo, this despite her not even knowing about how remaining still is the best way to evade them.
- You kind of have to know what to do in advance to get this moment, but as Matt, if you get caught by a wendigo in the mines due to trying to save Emily at the collapsing radio tower twice instead of jumping to safety, it IS possible to survive. If you disagreed with Em's plan to head for the radio tower earlier, and gave Matt the flare gun when playing as Em, he'll recall that moment in the present as he's being dragged to his death. He'll then pull out the flare gun and, assuming you don't screw up the QTE, damn near put a flare right through the ugly bastard's head, scaring it off and saving his life.
- A bit of Fridge awesome for the Stranger. When the friends first arrive, the Wendigos could have slaughtered them all with contemptuous ease, yet the monsters only gradually reveal themselves and don't commit to a full-on attack until late into the night. For example, the first Wendigo to attack Jess and Mike could have slaughtered them at its leisure, yet he was only bold enough to launch a sneak attack, fled immediately thereafter, and may retreat from Mike without a shot being fired. Why? Because they fear humanity. The Stranger had them dead-to-rights for over half a century, exploiting their every weakness, and rendering them utterly helpless and imprisoned within their current bodies. After just one human caused them so much grief, they would naturally be wary when eight more of the damn things show up! The stranger didn't just corral a swarm of cannibalistic, nigh invulnerable killing machines; he put the fear of man in them.
- More Fridge Awesome; the stranger casually notes in his journal that, among other things, wendigos are completely immune to knives. How in the world would he know that? Given his refusal to make assumptions or take anything for granted, the most likely answer in that he got close enough to a wendigo to knife it and somehow lived to tell the tale.
- To make that even more awesome. That's probably when he was bitten (as he mentions in the journal). So, he engaged in melee combat with a wendigo, tried to knife it, discovered that didn't work, was bitten by said wendigo (which, considering their teeth, could not have been pleasant), and STILL managed to fight it off. This dude is made of badass.
- On a more antagonistic side of the scale the one Wendigo absolutely destroying all the others in the lodge right near the end. It rips the head off one like it was a doll. It really doesn't like sharing its prey. Bonus points: that Wendigo is Hannah, infused with the spirit of Makkapitew. The youngest of the Wendigos, and also the strongest.
- After most of the friends have reunited and Emily encountered the wendigos, the Stranger visits them to inform them about the wendigos. When he knocks on the door, Chris and Mike open the door with the latter ready to hold the Stranger at gunpoint. The Stranger simply kicks open the door after Chris unlocks it and calmly walks towards Mike and effortlessly disarms him. The friends realize that this is reason enough for them to back down and listen to what he has to say.
- When it is finally revealed exactly what happened to Beth and Hannah, we learn that The Stranger was trying to save them after the Makkapitew hunted them to the edge of the cliff face. When they slip from his grasp and he fails to save them, he decides instead to avenge them and turns to face the Makkapitew, burning it to death without any hesitation. It does release the Makkapitew's spirit to seek out a new host, but it also firmly establishes not only that deep down The Stranger was a noble person, but also that, provided they were on equal ground, even the fiercest of the Wendigos wasn't invincible if he decided they needed to die.
- Josh deserves a mention due to the sheer scope and scale of his grand plan for revenge, which involved wiring basically every part of the lodge and the complex around it to be controlled remotely and under surveillance, concocting a detailed fake narrative supported by numerous planted clues and pieces of evidence that his friends may or may not even find, buying and assembling numerous extremely complex props and mechanical devices and rigging them to be controlled wirelessly, and setting up basically all of this by himself. Josh may be crazy, but he's also a genius.
- Probably helps with the fact that Josh is the eldest of three children, whose father is a film director/producer. If he grew up going to film sets to visit his father, he may have picked up some lessons in effects throughout his life.
- The players get one for managing to have all eight characters survive until dawn. True, its definitely not the happiest of endings, especially considering what becomes of Josh, but still. You managed to do everything right and survive all the game threw at you, defying more than a dozen death Tropes along the way. That takes some guts.
Awesome / Until Dawn