Most Emotional Response/Surprise in a Game Besides Scared?


macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
The Misty Mountains
I'm specifically leaving out "scary" because there is a thread devoted to being scared in a game.

When I first started playing games on Windows (I was a late comer) I remember playing System Shock 2 and although that game also qualifies as scary (at least back then), it was when I reached the point I discovered spoiler>the person who had been directing me around the ship was really the Gosh Darn Computer!<end spoiler I was so shocked and pleased I blurted a couple of expletives! :)

More recently in Gears of War 2, I was really hit with sadness when Dom finally locates his wife. I think it qualifies for the most emotional scene I've ever seen portrayed in a video game.
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macrumors 68000
In Mass Effect 2 I really felt sorry for Tali Zorah during her personal quest. For me this whole quest was packed with emotions - first she is accused of treason, only to discover her father was doing illegal experiments, and in the end you find out that he only did this to get her a nice home on their abandoned homeworld... one of the most emotional moments in a computer game ever.

Nice thread, these are obviously very subjective things, I'm looking forward to other posts.


macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
Dallas, Texas
How about the most obvious and I'd say most common emotion experienced during gaming. Anger/Frustration :mad:

What the $@#% how did I die!
Wait, what do you mean that's not the right item?!?
How in the world do I finish this level?!?
Oh, yeah... of course the boss is immune to that kind of attack!?!
Aaarrgghh!!! I forgot to save the game!!!!


Mar 13, 2008
I won't deny it, the ending of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater had me fighting back tears.
Here's to Hollywood never staining a masterpiece like that with a movie adaption attempt..


macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
Warning - Spoilers ahead!

Standing in Tenpenny Tower, and detonating the nuclear bomb in Megaton. I was completely blown away by the beauty of that sequence. Amazing.

The point when John Marston is killed in Red Dead Redemption. The sense of betrayal mixed with the cinematic brilliance of that scene got me quite emotional, especially after playing through the game, and the empathy one develops for the plight of Marston.

I found the contrast in The Saboteur to be very touching, between the point of driving to Germany through the French countryside, chatting about an upcoming race, to the way back in which a German invasion is underway and everything is suddenly in black and white, with the only colour being the Nazi flags and the flames of burning houses. Quite a moving scene in an extremely underrated game.

Also, several scenes across all of the Metal Gear Solid games, but I don't feel it is particularly fair to mention those, as Metal Gear Solid isn't really a game as such. More a movie with some interactivity.

Edit: I forgot; each and every time in Bioshock another tidbit was added to the players knowledge of the fate of Rapture - also very moving.


macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
Probably the ending of Riven. Got the same feeling of awe, amazement and childlike wonder that you get when reading an awesome science fiction book, or when Steve announces new products. ;)


macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2004
In a cup of orange juice.
One area for me was The Dig, when Brinks has to cut off his own arm.

Of course System Shock more than scared me as it lead me towards the path of a nervous break down as it kept my anxiety levels high and then of course the feeling of complete rejoice and accomplishment, as if I had just saved the universe from the EVIL that is Shodan. I didn't get any of that from System Shock 2, but it was still a great game none the less.


macrumors 6502
Jan 21, 2007
Spoilers (I guess, it's a pretty old game)

Aeris/Aerith's death in Final Fantasy VII. Little tear there for me.


macrumors G3
Dec 29, 2007
"Samus is a girl?"

Maybe not my most emotional response, but certainly my first! I'm dating myself by saying this of course - there was probably only a period of six months between the time Metroid was released and the time Samus' gender was common knowledge.


macrumors member
Apr 27, 2010
Not sure what a concice way to describe a truly "OH ****" moment is ... perhaps shock and awe?

But yes, while playing Xenosaga part 2 and watching a planetary system get torn apart, I had to sit back and let the weight of the moment wash over me for a bit.

Another moment was Metal Gear Solid 2, near the end, when it is not clear what is real and what is not. You receive calls like "You've been playing a long time, shouldn't you take a rest? This is just a game after all." Not quite scary, but ... creepy.

And yes, I really had been playing for a very long time :p

Oh, and of course being forced to abandon Kerrigan to the Zerg in Starcraft 1. Heart wrenching.


macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2009

It's a pretty generic one, but when Aeris died it tore me up. Man that game had such a touching, thought provoking, and emotionally stressful story. They just dont make em that good anymore: /


Jan 18, 2005
The ending to Links Awakening. Was only 11 or so and it just blew me away. The song, the story, the outstanding boss battle... it just all combines in such an artful way.
The ending to any Zelda game gets me but LA was always a bit better than the rest.

Mario Galaxy 2 made me smile constantly.


macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
The Misty Mountains
How about the most obvious and I'd say most common emotion experienced during gaming. Anger/Frustration :mad:

What the $@#% how did I die!
Wait, what do you mean that's not the right item?!?
How in the world do I finish this level?!?
Oh, yeah... of course the boss is immune to that kind of attack!?!
Aaarrgghh!!! I forgot to save the game!!!!
Lol, priceless! :D


macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
The writing in Bizzard's games rarely rises above the level of cheese-fried schlock, but the sad tale of Pamela Redpath literally moved me to tears one night.

In a game world that doles out overwrought, facile melodrama and winking self-mockery by the metric ton, there's something about this lonely little girl who doesn't even realize she's dead that hit a little too close to home. I've never done the raid which finishes this quest chain, so I hope she gets something resembling a happy ending; I hate the thought of her waiting in that ruined village, alone and scared, forever.

Another Blizzard moment that really got me was Fenix's ultimate fate in StarCraft. While hardly subtle or unexpected, it still makes me want to do that slow-motion "NNNNOOOOOoooooooooo" thing, Darth Weenie fist-shake and all, because Fenix was JUST THAT AWESOME.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2009
SC and BW's storyline was epic, but the graphics didn't quite do it for me.

Bioshock 1, and 2. The immersion and storyline, especially once you get all the audio diaries; its pretty intense.

Gears of War 2. Besides having a fantastic campaign, it was pretty well written and executed.

Dead Space. Great atmosphere, and you had to feel bad for Isaac.

I have to say, however, that the most emotional response I've ever gotten out of a game comes from COD4, WaW, and Modern Warfare 2. It's not the multiplayer, its the incredible storyline... and veteran. Beating all three on veteran is a mixed bag of emotions; joy, anger, and a general vendetta against grenades (especially in WaW and 4) I found MW2 to be the easiest of the three, with WaW being the hardest. COD4 wasn't entirely rageworthy, it was actually a pretty easy walk in the park. Defending the ferris wheel though = win, as well as that general mission; the atmosphere was awesome.


macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
Heavy Rain, parts of that game took me through a whole bunch of emotions a bit like a good book does.


macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
Cork, Ireland.

Sadness - As already 'spoiled' above, the ending of Red Dead Redemption is very unusual, and sad.

Anger/Rage - In the middle of chasing someone in GTA3 and you hijack a car, and the driver pulls you out again and drives off. For some reason I was just furious, forgot the mission and just became obsessed with catching & killing him and getting the car back. Worrying. :p

Loneliness/Disappointment - Might sound a strange one, but in Unreal, reading the messages from the girl as you progress through the game, I thought we were going to find and save her, only to find her dead in a tower late in the game. :(

Is 'Horniness' an emotional response? - if so the Midnight Club in the Saboteur is worth mentioning! :p It's actually an underrated game, IMO. Average graphically, very "Oirish" accent on the main character, but great fun!

xi mezmerize ix

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2010
Maryland, USA
I could not stop laughing in Gears of War 2 when Dom shot his wife. That scene should have been sad, but the way it was presented was hilarious.

The end of Halo 3 made the Master Chief seem so badass that I myself felt like a badass.


macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2006
In a Mac box
In Modern Warfare 2 in the level "Of Their Own Accord" when you see Washington D.C. in flames being attacked by Russians as you are defending it. Sad, inspiring, and a little scary all at once. One of the most emotionally stirring levels (especially in an FPS) that i've played.