Best Video Game Moments is a series about memorable moments and mechanics in video games.

Spoiler alert: This post may contain spoilers for the video games it references.

“Music lives!” …For Elite Beat Agents

Year: 2006

A crowd claps and chants in Elite Beat Agents for Nintendo DS

The power of music helps revive the Elite Beat Agents.

This moment is one of the main reasons why Elite Beat Agents is so fondly remembered.

“Music lives” is the vignette preceding the game’s final battle. Here the entire motivational task force is petrified by an invading army of gnarly aliens, leaving Planet Earth at the mercy of music-hating tyranny. So uncool!

As the world mourns the apparent demise of our heroic trio, every NPC they’ve helped during the game suddenly comes together to restore hope. With an infectious chant catching like wildfire, their wave of positive emotion breaks open the stony prison, unleashing the Elite Beat Agents once more, and thrusting players straight into the game’s final song.

The number of people who say they’ve gotten emotional watching this scene just shows that no matter how silly the material may be, good characters and effective storytelling will always hit the mark.

“E-B-A!” “E-B-A!” “E-B-A!”


Virus …For TimeSplitters 2

Year: 2002

TimeSplitters 2 screenshot of a man shooting flaming zombies in a tunnel

Image: TimeSplitters Rewind

Virus is an inspired multiplayer mode for an equally inspired multiplayer shooter.

Essentially a game of tag featuring AI-controlled bots, the aim of Virus is to be the last person without the titular disease. Making contact with another player instantly spreads the infection of evil green flames. Things get increasingly hectic as more players fall, with weapons steadily losing their effectiveness against the growing horde.

Playing locally on the fort map with some buddies digging in (and inevitably fleeing) from a relentless surge of infected AI bots is a guaranteed good time for all.


Gloria’s Theatre …For Psychonauts

Year: 2005

The cast of Gloria's Theatre from Psychonauts.

Image: Psychonauts Wiki

The Milkman Conspiracy is often cited as the peak of creativity in Psychonauts, but I personally don’t like the gameplay in that chapter and instead prefer Gloria’s Theatre for its effective combination of action and narrative.

This level transports players into the mind of a moody diva struggling to silence her inner critic. There’s a considerable amount of dialogue featured here because players are treated to funny stage plays which unfold as they collect figments and solve puzzles in the rafters above.

It all culminates in a boss fight against an odious critic who shoots trite criticisms like “tedious!” and “crude!” from his evil reviewer’s warship.

I feel attacked!


Game Over …For Ground Zero: Texas

Year: 1993

A male army commander shouts at the camera.

A chopper is waiting in Ground Zero: Texas.

Calling Ground Zero: Texas one of the least offensive full motion video games for Sega Mega-CD is as faint as faint praise gets. But even I have to admit its game over screen is pretty damn funny.

Players immediately see a cutscene upon mission failure where their commander breaks into the war room and yells obscenities before punching the camera.



Devouring Myrkul’s spirit …For Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer

Year: 2007

A giant skull with flaming eyes in Neverwinter Nights 2

The God of the Dead awaits in NWN2.

The brilliant first expansion pack for Neverwinter Nights 2 casts players as a cursed eater of spirits. During a long and colourful journey of self-discovery, players track the source of their curse to a boneyard in the Astral realm where the decaying remains of Myrkul, God of the Dead await.

If chatting with a rotting god in an otherworldly dimension wasn’t unexpected enough, evil-aligned players can take things a step further by turning Myrkul’s “gift” back on him and devouring his own damned soul!

“A final irony…” he says, “even in this…”