It’s the gift-giving season and what better way to get into the festive mood than to be reminiscent of some of our favorite gifts of video games’ past.
Sometimes a gift can make all the difference in our journeys through these virtual worlds. Something as simple as an iron dagger gifted to us by our father could help us train to reach the dragon who killed our entire town.
These gift-givers weren’t looking to be rewarded, they were just out helping the next generation as they prepared to contribute in their own way. Without further ado, let’s unwrap the first gift on our list.
10. Stardew Valley – Mom’s Cookies
You have just left your life in the big city for a life on a farm. There’s so much to see and learn as you begin to get your hands dirty and meet everyone from the community. However, no matter how far into your new life that you get, there is usually a reminder that someone back home is still thinking about you.
Your mom will routinely send little gifts or letters to cheer you up or remind you that she is thinking about you but the most memorable is one of the first gifts that you receive which is a batch of her homemade cookies. Nothing better than mom’s baking.
9. Assassin’s Creed 2 – Family Armor
Continuing with the theme of family, Assassin’s Creed 2 is Ezio’s origin story where he learns that he is actually among a line of trained assassins. As shocking as this is, for players that were familiar with Altair, they might feel a little naked with Ezio’s fine Italian leathers compared to Altair’s armor and hidden knife.
It’s not until Ezio stumbles to his home and uses his Eagle Vision that he finds where his father kept his own armor and knife. It’s here that Ezio accepts his destiny and dons the armor that has been passed through his family. While it might not be as ceremonial as his father might have intended, it certainly does feel like a passing of a torch.
8. God of War – Blades of Chaos
Kratos swore an oath to the god of war, Aries in order to save his life while he was in battle with some barbarians. He pledged his loyalty and while it would lead to some unforeseen circumstances Aries gifted Kratos the Blades of Chaos. These legendary weapons were attached to Kratos’ arms binding him to his weapons by the chains.
They were a mark of the servant of Aries and one that wasn’t to be trifled with. In the end, these blades would be both a gift and a curse as he would live but his family and the gods would all fall before his wrath.
7. The Legend of Zelda – Sword
There is nothing more legendary than the original NES Legend of Zelda game. However, Hyrule can be very dangerous for a young Link who is just getting his bearings in this world. Luckily, a kindly old man realizes the road that Link is about to embark on and says, “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this.”
And presents Link with a sword that will save him countless times in the proceeding adventure. Not only does this little sword swing and send enemies flying backward but it can even send energy blasts when Link is at full health. Where would Hyrule be without the generosity of this man?
6. Dishonored – Corvo’s Mask
After escaping prison, Corvo is the most wanted man in Dunwall, so his face is easily recognized. After reaching the safety of the Loyalists, he is introduced to Piero Joplin who is hard at work fashioning a mask for Corvo to help hide his true identity while he is out carrying out the will of the Loyalists.
The mask is made of a tough metal so it acts as armor and allows for magnification which allows Corvo to more easily scout faraway locations. Styled in the fashion of a human skull, this mask would eventually become known as the terror of Dunwall and legends would arise around his skill with a blade and friendship with the shadow.
5. The Last of Us – Joel and Sarah’s Picture
Witnessing Ellie and Joel’s relationship blossom as they traveled together was heartwarming to see and there are dozens of tiny moments that can melt your heart. However, there is one moment that will force you to wipe away tears as Ellie asks to speak to Joel quickly.
She says that she grabbed something important at the Lakeside Resort and offers it to Joel. It turns out to be a photograph of Joel and Sarah from long ago. In this moment, Joel comes to terms with Sarah’s death while also coming a little closer to Ellie.
4. Half-Life 2 – Gravity Gun
The most iconic weapon in Half-Life 2 is hands down the Gravity Gun which Gordon receives from Alyx. It was “designed” for heavy lifting but Gordon can put it to better use. As he will throw enemy grenades back at people, throw explosives, or even solve physics puzzles.
There is no better weapon for Raveholm than the Gravity Gun as the zombified masses approach and you use saw blades that are lying around as ammunition for the Gravity gun. It’s immensely satisfying and makes me wish we had had a moment to write Alyx a “thank you” card for the gift.
3. Portal – Companion Cube
Working at Aperture Science under the gaze of GLaDOS can be a little stressful and a lot lonely. However, partway through your shift, GLaDOS is kind enough to gift you a little companion cube to bring along on your journey.
You get to solve puzzles together and bond over the experience of testing. That is until GLaDOS commands you to throw it in the incinerator.
What she once gave, she has taken away but the companion cube-sized hole in your heart is replaced with rage and a desire for revenge on that robotic voice who took your only friend away. Plus, it’s pretty rude to ask for a gift back after you have already given it to the recipient.
2. Pokemon – Starter Pokemon
In the Pokemon world, I can’t think of a better gift than to give someone a Pokemon for their Pokemon journey. And every time one of these games comes out we get a new starter as a gift from a local professor. I guess for this one it really would come down to your favorite generation of these games as to which would be your favorite gift.
For me, that would ultimately be receiving my Cyndaquil from Professor Elm all those years ago. It was a formative experience in my gaming identity and very few moments match up for me. So thanks, Professor Elm!
1. Fallout 3 – Pipboy and BB Gun
Fallout 3 was the series’ first outing into 3D and first-person. You start as a tiny vault dweller as a baby and eventually are introduced to the vault at large on your 10th birthday where everyone has gathered to celebrate.
The Overseer gives you a Pipboy-3000 so you can start pulling your own weight around the vault and your father gives you a little bb-gun to help take care of those pesky radroaches.
The bb-gun will be your first foray into combat and act as a nice training ground while the Pipboy will be invaluable through your entire journey. What’s even better is that you get to actually have a party in this one even if some of the guests were less than pleasant.