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Heartwarming / The Angry Video Game Nerd

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  • The end of his Wii Salute, as well as the end of The Nerd Christmas Carol. The latter got lampshaded by his declaration of only reviewing good games lasting for about four seconds before he counterdeclared "Fuck that, let's do some shitty ones!", complete with holding up a Virtual Boy.
    • And before that, when the Nerd is taken back to the past, there is actual late 1980s-early 1990s home video footage of him and his sister playing video games (with his father taking out the trash in his underwear); his playing Super Mario Bros. 2 and losing, with his "This isn't fair!"; and his family gathering together for gift-unwrapping, when he got a Super Nintendo console and squealed in glee, "My first 16-bit machine!" Awww.
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  • The moment in the Independence Day episode where the Nerd admits that he would rather be playing Top Gun on the NES, and that at least that game had nostalgia value.
    Nerd: Top Gun may be a piece of shit, but at least, has a nostalgia factor to it. It's a piece of shit, I might have some affection for.
  • The short scene with James and Kyle watching and laughing at all the nerd theme song remixes at the end of the The Wizard review intro.
    • The intro card saying 'Thanks to all the fans!'.
  • The behind-the-scenes video of the first AVGN vs Nostalgia Critic "Final" Battle are both heartwarming and hilarious. Watching the two actors getting along and laughing together is strangely aww-inducing. Especially when the Nerd sics a kitten on the Critic.
  • At the end of his four-part review of the Castlevania series, the Nerd notes that "The credits sequence [of Castlevania IV] shows little replays of each level. It's like watching old memories. And that's what the Castlevania games are to me: Memories that will last forever." The credits sequence of the video then does exactly this, showing scenes from all of the various classic Castlevania games, right up to different renditions of Dracula's keep. In the final screen of the video, as we watch Dracula's castle from the original NES Castlevania crumble in the distance, the following words appear: "You played the greatest role in this video. Thank you for watching."
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  • In his Godzilla review, he praises the newer Godzilla games, saying he should have been born later for these games. Even better is that it is rather obvious that it isn't the Nerd speaking, but James himself. This becomes especially heartwarming in hindsight when you see the James and Mike episode on Godzilla Unleashed, where the praise hasn't waned at all.
  • The 100th Episode ends with him hugging all his shitty games, having fought for them beforehand. To top it off, the last shot of the review is that of Simon's Quest, which reminds us where it all began.
    • To elaborate, ROB tells him that he aims to destroy every bad game, except for Gyromite and Stack Up. The Nerd realizes that all his troubles will be over...but he decides to stop ROB anyway - not only will this mean he won't have any more games to review, but also that there'll be nothing to compare the good games to if all the bad ones are gone.
    AVGN: No more shitty games... No more... Karate Kid?' No more Top Gun? No more Ghostbusters? No more Fester's Quest? No more Virtual Boy? No more Dick Tracy? No more Little Red Hood? No more... Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde...? ...I WON'T FUCKING HAVE IT!!
    • On top of this, the memory to suddenly snap him back to life and make him realize he doesn't want the shitty games to be gone is his first ever on-screen appearance when first reviewing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a game he's repeatedly said is among the absolute worst ever made and had driven him to Hyde-esque madness upon reviewing it a second time.
    AVGN: You're no hero! THIS IS MY HERO! [Grabs Mario plush]
    • And a Heartwarming in Hindsight moment: one of the games that he's seen hugging at the end is Ghosts 'n Goblins, the very first NES game James ever played.
  • Also, during the Battletoads review, after Kyle Justin tearfully tells The Nerd about how he's been behind the couch the whole time, you see for a split second that AVGN was actually touched before he grudgingly allows Kyle to join in the review.
  • Him going off at "Your mother sucks cocks in Hell!"
  • The entire Swordquest review. It's notably a lot more respectful than many of his other reviews, and the ending really cements it.
  • A meta one, but for the Angry Video Game Nerd movie, James asked his fans to help contribute a small portion of the budget, $75,000, through here. ...and in less than a month after posting that video, over $100,000 was raised, and rising.
    • The donations proceeded to exceed even this by a further $75,000, less than a month after James posted a video video thanking donators for their incredible support. To put this into perspective, the total donations have exceeded the original goal by $100,000, and it's possible that the movie may end up being completely fan-funded.
      • Ultimately, they made over four times the intended goal.
  • The "Contra Memories" review, where James speaks independently of his "Nerd" character and tells the story of his first time he beat Contra. He talks about how the ending of any game was a lot more special back then due to games in general being harder, not being able to look up the ending on the internet, and not even knowing what the game's villain and/or last boss is exactly. He actually finished the game in the morning before school one day, with his parents watching, and he apparently still tells people "I beat Contra before breakfast!" Seeing James do a nice, positive review praising a game and seeing him fondly look back on his childhood like this is not exactly funny like the other reviews, but definitely adorable and "aww"-inducing.
  • The Schwarzenegger games review has a genuinely sad moment near the end of the video when you see for a brief second the skeleton of the Guitar Guy behind the Nerd's couch. While sad in itself, if you examine the shot close enough, You'll see that the guitar that he is holding is intact, and is also located behind the Nerd's new futon, both previous ones who were broken during his last appearance. This implies that the Nerd actually went ahead and bought new ones for him before he died.
  • His absolute glee after beating Ghosts and Goblins, the very first NES game he ever played, and in turn, the one he had been trying to beat the longest. Then he finds out you have to beat the game twice in a row to complete it.
  • The fact that James is living his dream as a film-maker by making a movie with so much support from his fanbase is enough to earn this.
  • In the trailer, a military man interrogates the Nerd remarks, in an inverse of Your Approval Fills Me with Shame:
    I see now your greatest weakness is not the hate you have for that game...but the love you have for your fans.
  • From Ikari Warriors. The Nerd revives the Guitar Guy so he has a second player. He starts out in a pretty bad mood, but it doesn't take long for him and the Nerd to be cracking jokes and just hanging out like best friends. The best part would have to be the Nerd struggling to not crack up when Guitar Guy starts obsessively singing about the 'Scrotum Guns.'
    • Also The Stinger, which takes the form of a Blooper in which Guitar Guy sings the "Scrotum Guns" song. The Nerd corpses and loses his shit. You can also hear Mike Matei laughing in the background! It's genuinely nice to see some old friends just having fun and laughing at a stupid game.
  • While Lloyd Kaufman is co-hosting an episode The Nerd is visibly happy, and laughing. It seems the whole episode that it is James in The Angry Video Game Nerd costume; he isn't swearing as much as other videos; he is more of a fan of Kaufman and letting him joke about it.
  • The Nerd screaming with joy when he finds out that LJN made a game that isn't shit: "Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage".
    • The effect is lessened once you learn that LJN never made a game inhouse. Instead, they always outsourced their games to different developers. Instead of finally making a decent game, they finally got a decent developer. The moment still counts, however.
    "Oh my god... Oh. My. God! They did it. They pulled through! Oh my god! They made a game that's not a steaming pile of fucking shit! OH MY GOD! THEY DID IT! THEY MADE A GAME THAT'S NOT SHIT!"
  • When the Nerd finally plays Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, one of the most notoriously bad games of all time...he actually has the time of his life, driving through buildings and up walls, and discovering a new glitch every few seconds. He's dumbfounded at how the game managed to get released, but he actually manages to have a good time with one of the worst games ever made.
  • The Nerd announces his retirement from making videos, believing his mission to warn the world about shitty games to be a failure due to the fact that the Desert Bus exists, people are playing it, and someone even made an Atari 2600 version of it. The entire episode is heartrending until he then plays a romhack of Simon's Quest that for the most part fixes all of his complaints with the original game, which is enough to lift his spirits and cancel his retirement since he did make a difference after all. It cheers him up so much in fact, that he declares he has to do something bigger than he's ever done before.
  • He clearly has a love for Godzilla and while he found the new Godzilla movie a bit flawed he enjoyed it and decrees that the Japanese are more creative with their monster designs.
  • The Nerd's 10th anniversary party. Any fan of the series, diehard or not, will relish in how far he's gone from such humble beginnings.
    • Especially this moment when Kyle Justin (the Guitar Guy) sings the full Nerd theme:
    Kyle: They [the games] make him [the Nerd] so mad he could spit! Or say, 'Cowabunga?'
  • In a similar vein, the AVGN Movie audience at the Regent Landmark theater singing the Nerd's theme song.
  • After reviewing the LJN Video Art in his final episode of Twelve Days of Shitsmas, The Nerd gives a speech about how the stuff we hate we end up giving worth, and even says he hopes the fans are having a good holiday, and even if they aren't, he hopes they had a good laugh or chuckle. It feels as if it's James giving the speech.
  • At the end of his "Seaman" review, he includes a "Dedicated to Leonard Nimoy" title, who provided the narration for the game, and passed away months earlier. Despite being creeped out through the near entirety of the review and eventually having an existential crisis, the Nerd repeatedly musters the strength to do it for Nimoy.
    • A smaller example at the beginning with the Dreamcast itself. He says he hasn't featured the system before because he generally only reviews bad things, and that there isn't anything particularly shitty about it or any of its games. Even Seaman was reviewed because it was strange, not bad. The worst thing he offers about the system is an accepting concern over the controller's odd cord.
  • The outtakes for the Atari Jaguar episode has thirty seconds dedicated to Boo the Death Kitty just doings his thing and being the cute and adorable kitty he is. Even better, not only are most of the people in the comments section of the video mentioning how beautiful he is, but watch how The Nerd brings him in; he's not carrying him, but rather cradling him, like you would a baby.
  • The Mega Man episode has the talk between 2004 Nerd and his present self. The past Nerd claims that the indefinite hiatus of the Mega Man games is actually a good thing because just making games for the sake of consumer demand only leads to shit. Still, Present Nerd misses Mega Man, and asks what Past Nerd would do if he had a series. He replies by saying you can't do the same thing or else it gets stale, "but sometimes, it's good to bring it back." James himself clearly addressing the audience regarding his Schedule Slip and accusations of a perceived drop in quality or his lack of interest in the series, and this becomes Heartwarming in Hindsight when he started making episodes more frequently again in 2017, showing he didn't give up on the series after all.
  • After the passing of LJN founder Jack Friedman, James posted a brief but sincere tribute thanking him for the games that made so many AVGN episodes possible, revealing that there were never any hard feelings towards the company behind-the-scenes despite all the insults the Nerd hurls at it on camera.
  • Though the video is not a part of the actual AVGN series, the Nerd playing Bubble Bobble for PatTheNESPunk's Charity Marathon counts as this. He actually thought it was a really good game, and seeing him being happy and enjoying it is oddly sweet. Considering the Nerd often put himself to play terrible games, it's rare to see that he's been given a break, and actually enjoy something good for once.
  • AVGN Games is just heartwarming both in a fiction and Meta example. Like with Bubble Bobble, the Nerd enjoys some good games for once, but these are made by his own fans. Not once in the video the Nerd ever bashes them like the others since they are all pretty good to him. From the games made for actual consoles, to PC games, an actual board game based on Monopoly and even AVGN Adventures, this video demonstrates on how dedicated and passionate the fanbase is. In another sense, it feels like James himself is flattered with the fangames and wanted to thank the fans for their support over the years.
  • Episode 156 had the Nerd play EarthBound and unlike the times where he's raging or fuming, he's actually surprisingly calm and spent most of the time praising the game's quirky nature and innovations, but still presented genuine arguments about certain mechanics that were frustrating. Considering the amount of torture the Nerd goes through, it's pretty endearing to see him enjoy a game.
    • Add to that, he also rips into the argument that the game flopped due to the infamous Nintendo Power ads, stating how is it that ruined whatever success EarthBound would have had if the 90s were all about gross-out humor.
    • His theory that Buzz Buzz arriving in Onett from ten years in the future represents the spirit of the players who discovered EarthBound a decade after it had flopped in North America.
    • Reliving his memories of doing the show in his own version of Magicant, and getting encouragement from a talking poop and the Big Rigs guy.
    • Beating Giygas with the help of his fans.
    • In the description of the video, "If you’re wondering about the characters’ names such as “Milly” and “Lilly”, my 4 year old daughter named them." James Rolfe playing games with his daughter is a very touching image.
    • The setup to the whole video is amazing too. The Nerd never played Earthbound as a kid and all he knows about it was the gross-out ads and the fact that it flopped. In his mind, Earthbound is the ultimate bad game for him to play and to his shock it's great. You'd expect the video to end on that gag right? Well, in a nice twist on things the Nerd keeps going. He finds himself legitimately enjoying the game and praising its most imaginative moments with genuine glee. We even get to see a rare genuine smile from him when he's thinking about the "mandatory happy town music" before he catches himself.
  • In the review of the other Home Alone games, it's pretty nice to see the Nerd bonding with Macaulay Culkin. Particularly notable is the end, where the Nerd helps Culkin vent his frustrations at seeing so many shitty video games featuring him, and then the two of them brutalize said terrible games with traps from the movies.
  • Episode 167, Aladdin Deck Enhancer. After the Nerd wishes for the Genie to jump into a septic tank just because, he decides that if the Genie comes back, he'll subject him to an even more horrible third wish. When the Genie does return to reluctantly grant the Nerd's last wish, the Nerd actually decides to be merciful for once, and instead simply wishes for the destruction of all Aladdin Deck Enhancers, which the Genie grants with joy.
  • Episode 169, Superman 64 Returns!! - After repeatedly struggling through one of the game's many Rings levels, the Nerd seeks guidance, coming across the head from Cybermorph, who can still only repeat the phrase "Where did you learn to fly?" After having an epiphany about the game, he sincerely apologises to the head for shooting it in the Atari Jaguar episode.
  • Episode 171, the Nerd reviews Chex Quest, and surprisingly has a good time with the game (probably because it is essentially a DOOM mod).
  • In Episode 172, Seamus Blackley, a lead developer on the ill-fated Jurassic Park: Trespasser mentions that despite the team being too inexperienced for the overly ambitious project they were attempting, Richard Attenborough took them seriously and was great to work with, never giving the impression that voiceover work for a game was beneath his stature. Additionally, despite being savaged critically and commercially to the point Blackley thought his career was over, he admitted to being moved to tears by the dedicated fanbase of modders who have worked hard to improve the game.
  • Episode 174: The first half of Spawn Games, the games range from just okay (the Game Boy and Super Nintendo games) to terrible (PS One). But then Nerd plays the Dreamcast version of In the Demon's Hand and genuinely enjoys it!
    Nerd: ...Did I get the right game? 'Cos THIS IS AWESOME!
  • Episode 175: The Nerd makes no apologies for hating the gameplay segments of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, but its story, characters, and art direction genuinely impress him. It's not every day you see the infamously ill-tempered geek express genuine sympathy for the characters from the game he's spitting venom at.
  • There's something wonderful at seeing someone who's given us so many laughs absolutely crack up himself over the infamous "live like a windrammer" email in Cinemassacre Mailbag 3.
  • Episode 186: He reviews the games on Taito Legends 1 & 2, when he gets to Operation Wolf, he doesn’t show any footage out of health and safety for the viewers since the game has seizure enducing flashes.
  • Episode 187: When the Nerd realized that the Bartman vs Radioactive Man was made by Acclaim, which acquired LJN in that time, he lamented that "Why couldn't it have been Konami??", citing that they made good Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games and The Simpsons Arcade game. Considering Konami's down in the dumps status at the date of the video creation, it shows that the Nerd has a good sense to differentiate the past Konami (which was respected, made kick ass games, especially some licensed ones) and the more modern Konami (which was considered insulting to gamers), and unashamedly showed adoration to it.note 


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