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Over the years, certain quotes from video games have etched their own place in pop culture legend. With each knowing repetition of “Would you kindly…” or “…until I took an arrow to the knee” these popular phrases only see their legend expand as they become greater and more heralded pieces of video game lore.
Of course, for every “The cake is a lie” there are hundreds of great lines that fail to transcend their origin and quickly fade into obscurity – and that’s why we’re here. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite lines from video games that, owing to their wisdom, hilarity or impact, just deserve a little more respect.
“Mr. Zurkon does not need bolts. His currency is pain!”
By: Mr. Zurkon
For fans of the Ratchet and Clank series, this line is probably pretty familiar, but for those unacquainted with the franchise, the pearls of wisdom uttered by Mr. Zurkon are too often unknown.
Mr. Zurkon is the greatest weapon in video game history (sorry Dubstep Gun). The smack-talking, no-nonsense robot follows the player around blasting enemies while reminding everyone how pathetic they are compared to Mr. Zurkon.
Some of Mr. Zurkon's finest moments come when chastising Ratchet for stopping to smash crates in order to collect bolts used as currency, at which point he will unleash lines like “Crates! You dare waste Mr. Zurkon's time with crates!?” or this line setting out just why bolts mean so little to Mr. Zurkon.
“Do not feel bad about it. We are alive, after all. And being alive is pretty much a constant stream of embarrassment.”
By: Pod 153
A lot of people will read this quote and just think it as dour, but for many of us, this sentiment is all too relatable. This line is easy to miss, what with it being spoken in one of the 26 possible endings to 2017's NieR: Automata. In this ending, accompanying AI characters Pod 153 and Pod 042 discuss the events that transpired as the story neared its conclusion, with Pod 153 consoling its teammate with this darkly humourus pick-me-up.
While this can certainly be viewed as pessimistic, there's also a positive message that we can take into our own lives – if ever you feel awkward or embarrassed, don't dwell, it's happened to everyone.
“Booker, are you afraid of God?” “No, but I'm afraid of you.”
By: Booker DeWitt
This exchange between Booker and Elizabeth is the very first thing you'll hear after starting Bioshock Infinite (2013), acting initially as a precursor to the themes covered in the story to come, such as the fear instilled by the idea of a higher power and the terrifying capability of humans claiming to act in their name. However, this line takes on a whole new meaning when repeated late in the story.
Bioshock Infinite is filled with memorable exchanges between Booker and Elizabeth, so you could ask twenty fans of the game for their favourite moment and likely get a dozen different answers. For us though, the ominous and multifaceted quality of this dialogue means it resonated like little else.
“Look into my eyes...You're going to like me, you're going to like me...Did it work?”
By: Rinoa Heartilly
Spoken during the pivotal first meeting between Rinoa and protagonist Squall in Final Fantasy VIII (1999). This line actually stands in the shadow of immortality, being uttered practically in the same breath as Rinoa's much-meme'd “You're the best looking guy here” comment.
Rinoa uses this line while staring intensely at Squall and circling her hand around his face in a pseudo-hypnotic fashion causing the cold and distant hero to break his usually stony facade and burst into hysterics. This not only showed a new side to Squall and established Rinoa as a kooky and endearing new character, but also gave players a great icebreaker to take into the real world.
“Look at you, soaring through the sky like an eagle...piloting a blimp”
While everyone remembers GLaDOS for her murderous intent and false promises of cake, far fewer remember her ability to tell a good fat joke. GLaDOS peppers protagonist Chell with these insults, despite Chell not being overweight at all – a fact that GLaDOS herself is all too keen to point out when the bumbling Wheatley tries to move in on her shtick.
This particular joke from Portal 2 (2011) is special though, not just for being a solid joke that conjures an adorable mental image, but because its structure essentially mirrors GLaDOS' actions in the first game: Two thirds encouraging, before turning to malevolence toward the end by attempting to inflict a wicked burn.
“Did I do the right thing?”
This one will take some explanation. In order to understand why this seemingly unremarkable line from Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (2010) takes this on our list, we need to talk about The Last of Us (2013).
The Last of Us borrowed a lot from this game, including its ending. While we'll make the comparison in fairly vague terms, you should probably skip ahead if you want to avoid spoilers for either story.
Both games end with the protagonists finally reaching their destination after a long and arduous trek, only to learn a shocking truth that calls the entire reason for their journey into question. In both cases, the hero reacts in a selfish, emotional and violent way that could drastically alter the future of humanity. Both games end in the wake of this decision, leaving the audience to speculate on the effect of these actions.
The difference is that the final moments of The Last of Us were revered and discussed at great length in the years that followed, whereas Enslaved's pioneering subversion of narrative expectations in video games faded into obscurity.
So the inclusion of this quote is partly because it was groundbreaking and underappreciated, but mostly due to the sheer impact caused by the way these words are used. When Trip looks up in the wake of her actions and remorsefully asks “Did I do the right thing?”, this all-important question is left hanging in the air as the credits start to roll, leaving the player with this question and the potential answers rattling around their head for days to come.
“Well, you know what William Shakespeare said” “Something about the whole world being a stage, so you may as well act the F*** out of it”
By: Chloe Price
We could fill an entire list with great quotes from Chloe Price, but choosing just one we'd have to go with this line from Life is Strange: Before the Storm (2017). Here, the Bard of Arcadia Bay puts a 21st century spin on one of Shakespeare's best known lines and stumbles onto an oddly inspirational sentiment.
What makes this line stand out is that it's almost a complete contrast to the often cynical and angry dialogue that's more associated with the character. While her statements like “Everybody lies. No exceptions” are characteristic of what the Chloe Price would become, this glimmer of optimism makes a more hopeful credo to take into life.
If ever you want to follow a dream but feel held back by your own insecurities, just think of Chloe Price and remember – all the world's a stage, so you may as well act the F*** out of it.
“Everyone calls me 'Aloy of the Nora', it should be 'Aloy despite the Nora'”
This line from 2017's Horizon: Zero Dawn is an excellent example of the power that a single word can hold. Upon being told by an NPC that she's heard tales of 'Aloy of the Nora', our hero responds by explaining how irksome it is to be known that way considering the Nora people always saw her as an outcast and never treated her as a member of the tribe, before ending on this succinct summary.
The word 'despite' holds so much power in this quote, changing from simply her name and place of origin to outlying her history and everything she's accomplished since.
It magnifies the meaning of 'Aloy', not just as her given name but a legend; the name of a renowned hero whose reputation precedes her presence wherever she goes, whereas 'despite the Nora' tells of the adversity she had to overcome growing up in order to craft this legend, forced to struggle against the people who should have supported her most.
On a side note, there's just something poetic about the words “Aloy despite the Nora”, don't you think?
“How can someone with such a big, smart brain get hypnotised like a little b****, huh?! 'Oh Shadowlord! I love you, Shadowlord! Come over here and give Weiss a big sloppy kiss, Shadowlord!”
If ever they make a Mt Rushmore for underappreciated games, NieR (2010) would take up at least two heads (and yes, we could not be more excited for the recently announced remake).
Perhaps the most exceptional aspect of this game is its writing, particularly in the dialogue between its major characters. The relationship between Kaine and Grimoire Weiss is especially compelling, with the two taking an instant dislike to each other and trade barbs that vary between subtle and vicious for much of the game, creating a dynamic rarely found in RPGs.
Perhaps the best moment between the two comes after Weiss is briefly controlled by the villainous Shadowlord, at which point Kaine unleashes a furious, expletive-filled tirade against her travelling companion. The whole thing is worth checking out, but it's this section when threats and rage gives way to schoolyard mockery that stands out, adding a sudden, unexpected levity to an otherwise tense situation.
“Alright men, it's two kids and a duck, so be careful!”
By: Random City Guard
For our money, there's no better example of a game expertly mocking not only itself but the ludicrous nature of the tropes of its genre than this little-known line in PS2 JRPG Suikoden 3 (2002).
Coming at a point in the game where your party is hiding from authorities in a house in the middle of the city, a group of armed guards shows up at the door, but before bursting through, their leader stops them and delivers this fantastic line.
Upon reading it, the player is forced to step back and think that yes, these two displaced teens and a wacky anthropomorphic duck have overpowered scores of well trained soldiers over the last few hours – how did that happen?
The surreal quality of this line makes it hilarious when playing the game but the way that it cheekily but lovingly lampoons the inherent ridiculousness of most JRPGs makes it an all time great.
That's it for our list, but what are your most beloved overlooked quotes from video games? Let us know in the comments section below.
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