EVE Online, the massively multiplayer online 401(k) simulator set in outer space, is going to be a TV show soon. Video game adaptations are nothing new, but the twist here is that the show is based on players' stories: their anecdotes, wars, alliances, and dramas that popped up organically -- wholly independent of any kind of pre-existing plot. Every bone in my comedian body wants to mock Online Role Playing Game: The Show, but the gamer in me knows that I can't. It's a brilliant idea.
That's the best part of gaming, after all: those unscripted, unplanned moments that stick with you, even when the story is lost to a hazy blur. So I asked the question in this thread, and I'm asking you folks now: What's your most memorable unscripted video game moment? Here are just a few of my favorite responses, as well as my own loosely related experiences in similar situations -- because I'm an uncompromising narcissist, and of course I found a way for this to be all about me, me, me. Hey, speaking of me, I'll go first with my own category:
Perfectly Timed Glitches
A Television's Viking Funeral, by Brockway
Sometimes a broken product is far better than a fully functional one. Anybody who called for their horse in Red Dead Redemption, only to find a confused Swedish immigrant responding in its stead -- still totally ready and willing to be mounted up and ridden about -- understands this to be true. Possibly my best gaming moment ever was brought to me by a broken product, even though the game itself worked fine. It was a magnificent, epic hardware failure that I will never forget:
I had just bought Brutal Legend, and I was loving every second of it. If people tell you that game wasn't worth playing, do not listen to them. They do not see epic van murals every time they close their eyes; they do not understand awesomeness; they are terminally deficient in vitamin rock. It's not perfect, but it is a fantastic experience, and you should be ashamed of yourself if you let a few less than stellar reviews stop you from playing 1980s High School Burnout: The Video Game.
But I digress.
I had just gotten a new super move -- one that let me play a guitar solo to bring a flaming zeppelin down on my enemies -- but I hadn't used it yet. I'm no philistine: I don't cough at the opera, I don't wear white after Labor Day, and I don't play my bitchin' murderous magical guitar solos anywhere but on a lightning-ravaged mountaintop. After driving to the top of the largest, spikiest, most appropriately metal peak I could find, I got out of my hot rod and played the solo. As advertised, a giant burning zeppelin came screeching out of the sky and slammed into the ground, setting the world aflame. The screen inverted from the impact. Random colors spewed out in every direction. The whole image shook and swayed and went to static, then did that old school "powering down" blip. Everything went black. It was perfect.
I thought it was all part of the special effects for the super move.
It was not.
My TV, an old CRT model, had exploded right at the climax of the zeppelin crash. I had to drop $500 on an entirely new television that day, all because of one use of one super move in a single video game -- and I wasn't even mad about it. The timing was just too perfect. That appliance could've gone out while watching Judge Judy disapprove of somebody's baby daddy, but no: It was the Viking funeral of televisions -- it died showing me a flaming, screaming blimp explosion while electric guitars wailed on a mountain top. I hope I die half as metal.
Awesome Cinematic Saves
If we're honest, most of us spend our gaming time hopping in a corner until we're unceremoniously butchered by a mutant bunny. But every once in a while the stars align, and you come kicking in the door like a digital Bruce Willis, ready, willing, and surprisingly able to save the day.
Black Hawk Down of the Dead, by BlueNirvanna
Off the top of my head, one time while playing DayZ jumps to mind. For anyone who doesn't know what DayZ is, it is a mod for the military simulator game ARMA2. It's one big map with tons of places to go and zombies are everywhere. Also bandits are always trying to kill you for your beans. Surviving as long as possible is the goal.
So while playing DayZ with the Skype group, Reverend and I were the only ones on at the time and decided to fly around in the helicopter and shoot shit up with the big guns. Shooting zombies or hopefully some other players. While flying around, though, we ran into a group of survivors being mauled by zombies from a nearby town. They had a car and must have stopped it near the town to try and loot it but attracted all the zombies. Now, we had set out to kill people, but we knew this group of people and that they were friendly, we had given them guns and stuff before. So here we are, swooping in with a helicopter, guns blazing and killing zombies left and right before landing. I jumped out of the pilot's seat to bandage one of them who was telling us they didn't have any medical supplies and that one of their friends had passed out and was being eaten. After bandaging him I ran over to about four or five zombies that were chewing on some corpse and sprayed them till they dropped. The guy was still alive somehow and I managed to save him with blood bags and bandages. They didn't want to leave their car behind so they instead jumped in that and drove off while Rev and I flew off into the sunset, having just saved the day.
You Win the Medal of Honor for Heroic Spasms, by Dickdastardly4
I was playing co-op mode of Medal of Honor: Rising Sun with a friend of mine and there was this mission where we had to infiltrate some city without being detected. You started out the mission with these bitchin' silenced pistols that were essentially one-shot kills but only had a one-bullet capacity and took about 10 to 15 seconds to reload, I guess to encourage you to be stealthy.
So we started off the mission perfectly, making our way into the city without raising any alarms until (since we were 15) this started to bore us and we just started running around pistol-whipping dudes. When the alarm went off, me and my friend got separated because the level was essentially all narrow, twisting alleyways.
Anyway, all the enemy soldiers had followed me and I was being overwhelmed. All the while, my friend was running around in circles, looking for me. I ran into a dead end and two soldiers chased after me. I shot one with the aforementioned bitchin' pistol, but the other one stepped up to me while I was struggling to reload, raised his rifle, and was just about to shoot me ... when my friend stepped out of a nearby alley, put his gun to the soldier's temple, and blew his head off.
It all looked so cinematic. Me helpless, struggling to load my gun as the enemy raised his barrel to blow me away, my mate stepping out of the darkness, right beside him, at the very last moment, and blowing his head off.
In reality, my mate hadn't meant to do it at all. He was still running around in circles and only ran out of that alley by chance. When he ran into the soldier, he panicked and pressed the "fire" button instinctively.
James Bond's Psychopathic Murdering Cousin, by Brockway
I was playing Team Fortress 2 on the Xbox 360 (boooooo, I know, I know -- but in my defense, the video card for my PC had just fried from playing too much TF2). My team was, as usual, appreciably terrible (myself included). See, most multiplayer matches are made up of two teams: one elite, experienced, uniquely themed fighting force ... and a bunch of random schmoes still trying to figure out which button jumps. You know that feeling when the lobby loads and the opposing team is:
Charles, Bronn's Son
Bronn, Charles' Son
Good Grief, Charley Bron
And your team is:
You're fucking doomed, and the game hasn't even started! They're so organized that their team has a cutesy theme, and you've got a stoner, somebody's dad, a 10-year-old kid, and a Dicknob. But what can you do about it? You have to try ...
And trying we were. But as expected, we were getting butchered. Their armed sentries were tearing us up, and we were all so terrible that nobody wanted to play as the spy -- the one class that excels at taking out sentries. I'm bad at all games, in general, but I'm particularly awful at shooters, and even worse at shooters that involve a lot of complicated gadgets and subterfuge. But there was nothing to be done for it: I could try to do my best as the class we needed, or we could just sit there and die with our thumbs up each other's asses in a giant conga line of incompetence.
I chose to spawn as the spy, sneaked up behind enemy lines, and dramatically, ominously ... loitered. I lacked murder-confidence. Suddenly the entire enemy team came charging past me. I knew they didn't see me, because I wasn't on fire, but I also knew I couldn't do shit about it unless I wanted to be on fire. Then I saw it -- the spy Holy Grail. The line. Just as I got within stabbing range, the whole team went single file to get through a doorway, and I butchered every single one of them, sequentially. Even better, it was right as they were coming through the last doorway to attack our capture point. So my teammates guarding the point saw a line of soldiers, heavies, pyros, demo men, and two medics -- fully powered up and ready to unleash hell -- coming straight for them, and justifiably lost all hope. Then name after impossible name starts popping up, all dead. Just a mishmash of different tones of screaming and spurts of blood, and then I jog out from behind the doorway, alone.
"You're the best spy I've ever seen," said one teammate. Thirty seconds later, I died trying to knife fight a missile turret because I couldn't remember which button places a sapper, but for that one beautiful, shining half-moment, I was James Bond's murderous psychopathic cousin.