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Rewarding Moments in Gaming

Back in the day, long before we got those fancy "achievements" or "trophies" as bragging rights for performing certain tasks in video games, the only way you could confirm that you've done so was telling your friends about it, or taking a photo of your television screen in a dimly lit room to show it. It was like a whole new experience in satisfaction when you would play a game, and you would unlock something out of a means of doing a necessary task or quest, whether it be obtaining the strongest weapon in an RPG, or becoming some kind of overpowered god, these are my top rewarding moments in gaming.


Super Sonic - Sonic the Hedgehog 2

While its predecessor only had six of the Chaos Emeralds, Sonic 2 had a seventh, and the Special Stages having this tunnel-like area where you had to memorize where the rings would appear, as well as avoiding bombs. The first few were easy for sure, but once you got to the second half you really had to be on your toes with the constant bombs. Master all of them, and you're rewarded with becoming Super Sonic when collecting 50 rings. Your ring count depletes over time, but you're completely invincible except for being squashed, falling into a pit or losing time. If you really memorized the game enough, you could get all of the emeralds in just the first two levels!

Metal Sonic's Defeat - Sonic CD

I know it might feel cheap to include two Sonic games on this list, but I really do feel as if the iconic race between Sonic and Metal Sonic just doesn't get enough praise as a memorable gaming moment. In a very late part of the game, Robotnik has Sonic pitted against his metallic doppelganger in a race to the death, and as you would expect from the diabolical madman, he had some tricks up his sleeve. Metal Sonic will have a temporary barrier on him when he's in the lead, but when you're farther than him, he'll attempt to blast his way through, while Robotnik will have a one hit death laser waiting for you if you're far behind in the race. This took several tries for me to beat, but once I did it felt like one of the best achievements I scored.

Unlocking Smoke - Mortal Kombat 3

While Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 had its full roster of characters, the original MK3 was still very much a rental for me and my siblings back in the day, and with a special cheat code booklet that I received from Blockbuster video, I finally had the code input in unlocking Smoke. There was a catch though, you had to input the code quickly during the MK3 logo screen.The screen turned red, and a digitized voice saying "Smoke!" was heard. It was a bit of a bummer having to put in the code again after shutting off the game, but Smoke was an interesting new character, and that was the fun of unlocking him!

The Elsydeon Sword - Phantasy Star IV

In Phantasy Star IV you had the option to take sidequests in the Hunter's Guild, and upon completing them over the course of the game, one last quest had Chaz and his friends overcome trials in the cavern of the Esper Mansion. The heroes of previous Phantasy Star games that protected the solar system of Algo were also said to be laid to rest in the cavern as they strengthened the Elsydeon's power, and the hero of the first game, Alis Landale communicated with Chaz on his new responsibility of using the sword to defeat the Profound Darkness, the ultimate evil and final boss. Not only is it the strongest weapon in the game, but combining it with the "Megid" magic technique, it made the final boss a bit easier too.

Star Road - Super Mario World

In the overworld of Dinosaur Land, Mario and Luigi could uncover Star icons on the map, taking them to the Star Road where they would face challenging levels with the different colored Yoshis to completion. Upon finishing them and opening up one more Star path, the "SPECIAL" world is open featuring some of the most challenging levels in the game. If you got to the last stretch of the last level there, a trail of coins spelling out "YOU ARE A SUPER PLAYER!!" is your reward as you make it to the end, and an even more interesting surprise unlocks. Now the map of Dinosaur Land is a different color going from green to brown, and the enemies even change, with the Koopa Troopas now being walking Mario heads!

Dragon Shores - Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!

Spyro 2 certainly had far more going for it as a sequel with the variety of missions you were doing in the different worlds you went to, and as a bonus for completing the game, you were then given the chance to go to Dragon Shores, a theme park with a handful of carnival games, and, if you collected every world Talisman, orb and all of the gems, you would be rewarded with a neat permanent fireball power up replacing the flame breath. Even better, if you started a new save file on the same memory card, you would have the permanent fireball power up transferred to it!

New Game + - Chrono Trigger

Chrono Trigger had a rather unique feature unheard of in RPGs at the time, in which after completing the game, you could start a new game with all of the characters being at the level and stats that they finished the game with, and having all of the previously obtained weapons, equipment and items from the finished game all transferred over, making for a bigger twist of the game: multiple endings! By finishing off the final boss, Lavos in certain spots of the story, a different ending would be shown.

Easy Mode - Mega Man Legends

Speaking of new game experiences, Mega Man Legends on the Playstation had an interesting idea for its unlockable Easy Mode, after completing the game, the difficulty unlocks and it gives you a more walk-in-the-park experience as you start the game with a Buster upgrade making your Buster shot very big, and devastating to enemies AND bosses as a result!

Richter Mode - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

One more game completion unlock mentioned here is being able to play as Richter Belmont after finishing the main game at any percentage of the two maps. Since Symphony of the Night was focused on exploration through a castle with RPG elements, it was interesting to see a mode where you're back to the basics playing as a whip toting, vampire killing human in a different gameplay format. That's not to say playing as Richter isn't difficult, because of his limitations in combat fighting an onslaught of enemies onscreen could be quite the chore.


What are some of your favorite rewarding video game moments? Leave a comment and as always, see you next article!

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onipar Posted on Aug 28, 2021 at 03:08 PM

Wow, I've never heard of any of these, except maybe the Star Road one. I used to suck at video games and never really got very far in most. I can count on one hand the ones I actually beat, and a couple were only because of the Konami Code. I'd beat Lifeforce a lot, but again, only because of the code. All of my memories of special stuff were the well known things like warp zones in Mario games.

Mr Magic Posted on Aug 27, 2021 at 11:22 PM

I still got memories of the secret stage in Gex.

Gex: Secrets?! I just loooooovvvvvvvveeeee secrets!

Benjanime Posted on Aug 27, 2021 at 11:03 PM


always a pleasure to provide articles full of nostalgia, especially for you, my wondrous love of my life julie ❤

Julie Posted on Aug 27, 2021 at 10:57 PM

I get emotional whenever I read these articles full of a unique and wonderful charisma, which made me deeply fall in love with @Benjanime, my soon to be husband with whom I'm completely in love with.❤❤
Can't remember now the games that surprised me that way, but they do exist and I agree with that list. Played some of those games listed here and I do agree with the excitement and novelty that such surprises bring. Impossible not to love video games!
I love you, my wondrous @Benjanime.❤❤

Benjanime Posted on Aug 27, 2021 at 09:45 PM


nice! i have that game for my xbox one!

Vaporman87 Posted on Aug 27, 2021 at 05:36 PM

One of my favorite rewards for a playthrough of a game came from Guardian Heroes. Being able to play any of the unlocked NPC Characters from the story mode in an all-out battle royale of sorts was super fun. Who wouldn't want to have 15 fighters on a tiny screen going at it while you are some giant plant monster squishing them all. It was a blast.

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