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Top 5 Nintendo cutscenes

Relive some memorable moments from classic games

Many Nintendo developers seem to prioritise gameplay above story telling. Indeed, earlier this year, Eiji Aonuma said that the story shouldn't stand out in a Zelda game, while it takes about 10 seconds to tell the story of a New Super Mario Bros game. However, this attitude hasn't held Nintendo back when it comes to producing some fantastic cutscenes which do a great job of telling stories. I've compiled a list of five cutscenes from relatively recent Nintendo games that really stood out to me. So get ready for explosions, implosions, disco dancing, nightmarish visions, and flashbacks. Warning! Contains spoilers!

1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - History of the Twili

I was speechless. What had I just witnessed? What had just happened? Why had the magical and enchanting world of Hyrule that had given me so many happy childhood memories descended into the stuff of nightmares so suddenly and brutally, leaving me with an overwhelming desire to adopt the foetal position and question the point of my very existence?

If I'm honest, I could have filled the entire article with cutscenes from Twilight Princess because it's full of fantastic cinematic moments. However, I'm sure you'll all agree that this one stands out simply because it is so chilling.

One of the things that really resonates with me is how it opens with the familiar Sacred Realm theme. Fans of Ocarina of Time will have instantly recognised the music and associated it with the story of the three Goddesses, the creation of the Triforce and the Sacred Realm.

So, with this music playing in the opening and what would initially appear to be another reminder of that story in the accompanying text, it makes fans believe that they know how it's going to play out. So you go along with it and, sure enough, that familiar story about the Triforce and Sacred Realm is told again. However, the camera pans down on Ilia as the haunting music plays to reveal her holding a dagger.

Then everything changes. You've been lured into a false sense of security. What follows? Just a series of absolutely bizarre and freaky visual metaphors which represent an equally strange extension to the Sacred Realm tale; about murder, betrayal, corruption and the imprisonment of the people who would eventually become the Twili. The scene ends with clones of Ilia floating upside down. Is she crying or laughing? I... I don't even know. The final words of this scene are: "Never forget that..." which is rather scary. Did someone want to ensure the emotional trauma of this scene was everlasting through subliminal messaging?

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20 comments so far...
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  1. IPecksU Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 14:30

    My favourite is in Elite Beat agents before you start jumping jack flash. I get goosebumps every time I see everyone cheering for the agents.

  2. Commandervideo Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 14:37

    Can't agree more with the Smash Brothers, SMG and Other M scenes, epic doesn't even begin to describe the ones you mentioned. Awesome top 5!
    I like the opening to Monster Hunter Tri myself and the opening/closing senes of Epic Mickey 1 are brilliant too.

  3. Tamzily01 Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 14:40

    I'm surprised that The Great Invasion isn't higher on the list. Though I personally think that any of the cutscenes from the Gen V Pokemon games would be welcome additions to the selection, particularly the one where N's Castle appears.

  4. LBDNytetrayn Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 14:54

    Great list, I especially agree with the Brawl and Galaxy choices.

  5. lrwr14 Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 15:32

    For Metroid Other M, I would have gone for the cut scene when Adam sacrifices himself, that was an emotional scene. I also liked the ending scene, probably because Samus was wearing proper cloths for a change and it suited her.

  6. Pyron12 Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 16:38

    For Metroid Other M, I would have gone for the cut scene when Adam sacrifices himself, that was an emotional scene. I also liked the ending scene, probably because Samus was wearing proper cloths for a change and it suited her.

    Agree. Adam's sacrifice was heartbreaking. You see Samus' stepfather die to save the universe. How is that not sad?

  7. TheNUKEnukeM Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 16:49

    For Metroid Other M, I would have gone for the cut scene when Adam sacrifices himself, that was an emotional scene. I also liked the ending scene, probably because Samus was wearing proper cloths for a change and it suited her.

    Yeah. That Game had some awesome cutscenes. The beginning but I always found to be a bit jarring. Just the way Samus kept saying "The Baby" brings a shiver down my spine.

  8. Xenobladeperson Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 17:16

    1/10 needs more xenoblade

  9. ThePokekid78 Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 17:37

    Actually a great article for once, and good choices too!

  10. Lego master Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 18:12

    I think these are good but skyward sword has some better in my opinion, Here are 2 examples (spoilers btw)
    This scene is just so heartwarming, if you didn't feel like crying at the end then you have no heart...Just look at links face!!!
    Just EPIC!!!

  11. Zelda000 Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 18:47

    You see the best cutscene in the world is in twighlight princess when Midna uses the fused shadows on the twighlight barrier on Hyrule castle................. :twisted: :D :twisted: :D :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

  12. shy guy 64 Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 19:50

    good choices

  13. Waldy565 Friday 14th Dec 2012 at 22:34

    Some amazing choices - especially smash bros, only completed the Subspace a couple of weeks ago (been moving house) so that cutscene is in my mind, awesome fan service. Also, I remember the Twilight Princess *shivers*, don't want to watch again... Didn't look at F-Zero cuz I wanna do that challenege myself when I get the game, also didn't look at Mario Galaxy cuz spoilers, haven't got round to completing that either... Other M I looked at though, and it's only reconfirmed itself on my list of Wii games to get hehe

  14. vtheyoshi Saturday 15th Dec 2012 at 09:11

    It's amazing how powerful the SMG cut scene is, it's one of the first times that you really feel that the characters are living, thinking things. The part with Bowser on his planet/star thing always makes me feel pity. Though it still isn't as emotive as Okami's penultimate cut scene.
    Tha F-Zero one is just plain weird, though it was quie funny at points. Some of the girls' cut scenes kind of turned me on........

  15. LOZanges Saturday 15th Dec 2012 at 09:16

    I loooooved the subspace emissary cutscenes. It's filled with a juicy plot in which you can follow your favourite characters on their journey. Buy Brawl for the SUBSPACE CUTSCENES ALONE.

  16. wghtmf Saturday 15th Dec 2012 at 14:07

    You gotta love the opening, closing and 3-second-in-between-microgames clips of 'Feline Fever' (Jimmy's first level) in WarioWare: Smooth Moves. Kittens in the street, kittens with umbrellas, kittens dancing at a disco, kittens inside bisected disco-balls, kittens doing some other stuff which I cannot remember specifically except the for the fact that it's heart-warming and hilarious.

  17. Dan-the-Wii-man Saturday 15th Dec 2012 at 17:59

    Other M's cut scenes were amazing. Literally couldn't believe it was running on the Wii

  18. cthesupergenius Saturday 15th Dec 2012 at 23:00

    I'm not too great at games. I love them, and play them all the time, but I don't usually get very far. One of the few I've completed is Ocarina of Time 3D, which I played on my little bro's 3DS and am hopefully getting for my birthday next month. The end of that game is my favourite cutscene. I cried the whole way through, it was so emotional! That's a bit cheesy, but there you are.

  19. Starman64O Sunday 16th Dec 2012 at 15:21

    The Smash Bros. scene is fantastic!

    Although due to the Game being made by Masahiro Sakurai, it comes as no surprise that he made Kirby the most badass pink blob of all time!

  20. MartinIsAwesome Monday 17th Dec 2012 at 13:20

    Some of my favourite Nintnedo cutscenes come from Wind Waker.
    There's the sequence where Link "infiltrates" the Forbidden Fortress -
    Then there's the shen when Link places the orbs in the statues to reveal the Tower of Gods -
    And to show that Link isn't always getting hurt, there's this moment when Tetra learns her true identity -

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