WTF (what the *ahem*) moments are the best parts of video games. Whether it’s an amazing twist that makes you stand back in awe or if it’s just a moment that has you so confused you can barely think about anything else, they make an amazing game that much more amazing. There are plenty of these moments strewn about the history of gaming, but we bring you the Top 5.
Warning: There are spoilers included both in the descriptions and in the videos. So please, if you want to play the game and enjoy the WTF moment for yourself, do not read on.
5 – Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Multi-platform)
Ok, most people knew this was coming before they had even played the game. A sneak peek of this section in Call of Duty 4 was shown in one of the trailers and it spread across the internet. But, the WTF factor in this section of the game, where your helicopter is destroyed by a nuclear explosion and you eventually die from radiation poisoning, is that it is unbelievably real. You actually feel as if you are stumbling through the city and finally collapsing to the ground. That’s one of the main reasons why the game is so great. It’s gritty. I mean, really gritty. It doesn’t hold back on the realism and this part of the game shows it. From the moment the explosion occurs to the moment when you die from radiation poisoning, it all seems so real and it brings the frightening realities of the threat of nuclear weapons and war right to your living room.
4 – Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2)
After being taken hostage by Solidus Snake and taken to the torture chamber, Raiden escapes to find Arsenal Gear. Whilst exploring the massive vessel, Raiden’s CO begins to act weird. Simply known as “The Colonel” (although he appears to be Colonel Campbell), the CO begins some truly weird CODEC conversations with Raiden. One part of the conversation includes “The Colonel” asking Raiden to switch off the games console and go to bed, which led to many gamers switching off their consoles only to realise they hadn’t saved and it was all a trick. Breaking the fourth wall is something you don’t see much in games, however the Metal Gear Solid series seems to do it a lot. Psycho Mantis, which we will look at later, also features a breaking of the fourth wall for another WTF effect. “The Colonel” turns out to be a part of a GW super computer that has been affected by a virus, leading to the strange behaviour and truly weird conversations. They even lead to a skull replacing “The Colonel’s” CODEC picture. It is very freaky and very unexpected.
3 – BioShock (Xbox 360)
You’ve fought through Rapture. You’ve met the gruesome resident cosmetic surgeon. You’ve created the Lazarus Vector after escaping wasps. You’ve met Sander Cohen. Finally, you come face to face with the creator of Rapture himself, Andrew Ryan, who has been tormenting you throughout the game. Then comes the realisation that your trip to Rapture has been more than a coincidence, making you really step back and think about the many hours you’ve just spent in the beautiful art-deco underwater city.
This truly is a brilliant twist and possibly one of the best parts of the whole game. BioShock excels in terms of story and this is the exact reason why. Spoilers are included in the video.
2 – Metal Gear Solid (PSOne/Gamecube)
Talk about freaking people out. The encounter with Psycho Mantis is one of the freakiest moments in a game so far. First of all, he takes control of Meryl before he reads your memory card to see what you’ve been playing. If you didn’t know that it would happen, it definitely freaks you out. If playing on PSOne, Mantis will find any Konami titles. If playing on Gamecube, Mantis will find any Nintendo titles on your memory card. Personally, I had no clue what was happening. And then it got weirder. Psycho Mantis asks you to place your controller on the ground so he can make it move. The controller’s rumble is then used to ‘move’ the controller across the floor. The Gamecube version also features 3 pictures at the back that laugh in a sort of chipmunk style, which is also very freaky. Two of the men in the pictures are head of Silicon Knights, Denis Dyack and more famously Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear series himself. The screen also goes black and just one word, HIDEO, is shown on the screen as if looking at a VIDEO input screen on your TV. Psycho Mantis is also able to read your movements making it harder to kill him. To make sure he can’t ‘read your mind’, you need to swap your controller to the second controller port. A true WTF moment that had many a gamer, including myself, unsure what the heck was going on. Easily one of the best and most memorable boss battles in the history of gaming and the image of that man in the gas mask is truly haunting.
The video below is taken from the Gamecube version of the game, Twin Snakes. The Psycho Mantis boss battle is almost identical to the PSOne version but with a few dialogue changes and the laughing pictures included.
1 – Ecco the Dolphin (Sega Genesis)
Ecco the Dolphin was one big WTF moment. One second you’re swimming around the lovely ocean with your pod, but then another dolphin asks you to jump out of the water as high as you can. Whilst doing that, everything in the ocean is sucked right out of the sea. Then you have to travel the ocean in search of a whale and then have to search for a time machine in the sunken city of Atlantis. Then the game gets extremely weird. You come face to face with the Vortex Queen, who looks remarkably like the aliens from Alien. This is why Ecco gains first place. It’s a very misleading game. The cover of the box is a happy dolphin and the first part of the game backs this up. Then as you play it gets increasingly dark and macabre. And you’re playing as a dolphin, one of the nicest creatures in the ocean! It just doesn’t make sense.
There you have it, the Top 5 WTF moments in gaming. After years of standing back at the screen confused and thinking hard about what just happened, these 5 shone above all others.
Are there any moments I have missed out or any you agree with in the list? Leave a comment below with your opinion.