You’re a gamer. But video games are not just idle pastimes for you. They are full of profound and meaningful commentaries on life. In fact, you can quote from them at length, because the phrases have become iconic. Take these, for instance.
Half-Life: “The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So wake up Mister Freeman. Wake up and… smell the ashes.”
These are the opening lines of the science fiction, first-person shooter game. In Half-Life, players assume the role of Dr. Gordon Freeman, who must fight his way out of a secret research facility after a teleportation experiment goes wrong. A mysterious figure known as the “G-Man” regularly appears, and seems to be monitoring Freeman’s progress. This quote is said to chill players to the bone.
Portal: “This is all your fault. I’m going to kill you. And the cake is gone. You don’t even care, do you?”
The elusive “cake” in the quote is sought by main character Chell throughout the first-person platform game. It is suspected to be an illusion, sparking the internet meme “the cake is a lie”. In fact, the creators were so tired of fans’ cake jokes, they toned it down in the second version of Portal.
Chell is a young woman who has to play various tests and puzzles set by the rogue synthetic intelligence, GlaDOS. She has a device allowing her to handily move between portals. The quote is from near the end of the game where GlaDOS attempts to lure our hero back with the promise of cake and a party.
Fallout: “War. War never changes.”
Fallout is a series of games set in a futuristic battle-ground. After a cinematic intro, this is the first line. Protagonist The Vault Dweller is tasked with recovering a water chip in “the wasteland” to replace a broken one. Then the plans of a group of mutants must be thwarted. The memorable phrase is spoken with gravitas by actor Ron Perlman, the narrator.
Halo: “When the game is over, the king and pawn go into the same box.”
Cortana is a synthetic artificial intelligence character in the immensely successful military sci-fi first person shooter Halo series (yes, she is the inspiration for Microsoft’s Windows assistant – but don’t be afraid). These words are the first thing Cortana says as an AI in the game.
Created by Doctor Halsey, who cloned her own brain to make her, Cortana utters the words in Latin. The series focuses on an interstellar war between humanity and an alliance of aliens known as The Covenant. This is an iconic quote as it can be applied to class differences and discrimination.
Super Mario Brothers: “Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!”
This popular and classic line occurs when Mario completes an impressive battle to save damsel in distress Princess Peach Toadstool, but instead finds a lowly toad. Thanks to sarcastic teenagers around the globe, the quote is often paraphrased as a mocking response to long-suffering friends and foes. It is also used in image macros and parodies, as seen in many a YouTube clip.