15 of the Most Memorable Lines in Video Game History

hey-listen.gif

This is an exceptionally hard list to write, as over the years there have been thousands of hours of written and recorded video game dialogue, but I had to finish this post before the sun dies, so I cut it down to fifteen.

Some lines are classics that are older than me. Some are internet memes based on hilarious mistranslation. Some are throwaway, but they stick in your head because of how frequently you heard them.

I’m sure I forgot your favorite as I’m so good at doing, but that’s why we have a comments section!

1) “War. War never changes” – Fallout

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mcJAI6oRYY

The opening and closing line to a large number of soliloquies describing the events that lead to the nuclear destruction of mankind. Even after hearing it a dozen odd times, I’m still not exactly sure what it is about war that never changes. The killing people? The irradiated mutants? Fill me in Ron Perlman.

2) “Stay awhile and listen!” – Diablo II

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMAbNFptzAA

You always had to go to Deckard Cain to identify your items, and this was the greeting you always heard. This is one of those lines that in itself is more or less meaningless, but the amount of times you heard it has hammered its way into your skull forever.

3) “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this.” – The Legend of Zelda

zelda.gif

I’m not exactly sure why this line became so famous and memorable, but it’s stuck in the lexicon of video game history forever. I think it may have been this lolcat that immortalized it for good.

4) “Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle!” – Super Mario Bros.

mario.jpg

How much did this piss you off each time you reached the end of all those Mario levels? It doesn’t help when you discover that Toad is actually flicking you off as well (zoom in).

5) “The President has been kidnapped by ninjas! Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?” – Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinja

president.gif

I never knew which game this was from specifically, but Bad Dudes vs. DragonNinja seems like an exceedingly logical title. Someone needs to make a movie adaptation of this, pronto.

6) “HEY!! LISTEN!!” – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmjppNkqszk

Do I really have to say anything here? Bonus: Drunk Navi

7) “You have died of dysentery” – Oregon Trail

oregon-trail.jpg

All of the “You have died from ______” lines from the Oregon Trail are pretty classic, but dysentery is the best, because it involves poo. Hah, poo. Actually, I was more of a fan of “accidental gunshot wound,” which was bullshit because it’s incredibly unlikely that a bullet would bounce of the pelvis of a buffalo and ricochet back and hit Susan in the face.

8 ) “Do a barrel roll!” – Star Fox

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIkJvY96i8w

There’s a bunch of good lines from Star Fox that have been turned into internet memes (“Can’t let you do that, Fox!”), but Peppy’s constant cry of of “Do a barrel roll!” takes the cake without a doubt. To be fair, it did always work.

9) “You require more vespene gas” – Starcraft

starcraft.jpg

Again, another throwaway line that’s been burned into my mind forever. Goddamn Lurkers and their massive gas consumption. There’s only one damn geyser in my base! No video, but here’s an audio refresher of the line.

10) “The cake is a lie” – Portal

portal.jpg

Not a spoken line, or even a texted bit of dialogue, “the cake is a lie” was found scrawled on the walls of Apeture Labs’ test facility be a former unwitting patient in GLaDDOS’s experiments. But in the end, it was all dream! The cake is real and companion cube is safe and sound! Or is that the dream?

11) “All your base are belong to us” – Zero Wing

zero-wing.jpg

The oldest meme on this list, a mistranslation from Zero Wing made the game exceptionally famous for its idiocy rather than its gameplay. The joke doesn’t really hold up that well over time though and only a small handful of people even get it in the first place.

12) “FINISH HIM!!!” – Mortal Kombat

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGfo5CjBSn8

Despite filling me with bloodlust for most of my adolescence, I did not grow up and murder a whole bunch of people by playing Mortal Kombat too much. Instead the only thing that’s stuck with me has been this line, telling me to do a Fatality that was way too damn hard to execute on the shitty Genesis controller.

13) “It’s not very effective…” – Pokemon

pokemon.jpg

No screenshot, but be content knowing Jigglypuff was never very effective against anything.

I’m not exactly sure why I chose this line from Pokemon out of everything in the game. It was alway so damn depressing when it popped up onscreen as you realized your Charmander was useless against Gary’s Squirtle. The “…” just makes it all the more sad.

14) “Halt! Halt!” – Daggerfall

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VADd_h_Ujzs

Those damn guards never let you get away with anything, and every time you heard those words, you knew you were either going to jail, paying some gold or killing some bitches.

15) “X-Men, welcome to die!” – X-Men

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdAmkx8eAos

Another prime example of mistranslation, but a particularly hilarious one. Only found in the arcade version of X-Men, Magneto cordially welcomes players to die. Many did, and lost thousands of quarters in the process.

Bonus: My new favorite quote, from Gundam creator (and game mogul) Yoshiyuki Tomino spoken during his keynote at the CEDEC, “Video games are evil.” Douche.


  • Byrd

    Forgot a big one there –

    “You spoony bard!” – Tellah from FF IV.

    I don’t know what “spoony” means, but I’m willing to be the Jonas Brothers are that.

  • IcemanD

    @ Byrd: http://www.dictionary.reference.com/browse/spoony

    Now you know…

    I’m gonna mess Toad up the next time I see him….cheeky bastard.

  • Madison

    Really nice list…you nailed all the ones that immediately came to mind. “Finish Him!” is my personal favorite.

    Although, maybe I would have included something from Street Fighter II. Maybe “sonic boom!” or “ha-do-ken!”

  • Lagrange

    Cool list. Alot of very good classics! But yes, you forgot some.
    Like…
    “Look behind you, a three-headed monkey!”
    “Fire in the hole!”
    “It’sa me. Mario!”
    Should be obvious from where they are from.

    Important lines to me are “Snake? Snaaaaaaake?!!?!?” from Metal Gear Solid and “Kupo!” from Final Fantasy.

  • Byrd

    ICEMAN –

    Interesting – my spell checker doesn’t recognize it as a word.

    I always thought is was a mistranslation of “moony” or “loony”.

    Thanks –

    And thus is completed this year’s cordial correction between two commenters on the internets. I’m sure we’ll have another one next year, internet!

  • ComfortableMadness

    Good list. One that stands out to me is NIPPON! via Bushido Blade. I don’t even know what it means but it just sticks in my head.

  • Crystal

    What about, “Elf needs food, badly” from Gauntlet? It is extremely versatile and can be used in so many different contexts (ie; Crystal needs bath, badly).

  • IcemanD

    @ Byrd: “And thus is completed this year’s cordial correction between two commenters on the internets. I’m sure we’ll have another one next year, internet!”

    Haha, nice.

    I had no idea what it meant either. Must be an old term as I have quite a few British friends and I’ve never heard any of them use spoony (I’m just assuming it’s British).

  • Tishy

    I concur with Crystal about Gauntlet. All the lines from that game are hilarious when used in everyday conversations.

  • Sanchez

    Get over here!!!!!
    Scorpion
    Mortal kombat

  • Adam

    I personally preferred “It’s a secret to everybody” from the legend of zelda.

    Also, “I am error” from the adventures of link was quite memorable.

    Great list though!

  • MizPiz

    What about:
    “Stop right there, criminal scum!”
    “Would you kindly…”
    “I’m here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of gum.”
    “I feel asleep.”

  • SirEdward

    “CONGLATURATION!!!

    YOU HAVE COMPLETED A GREAT GAME.

    AND PROOVED THE JUSTICE OF OUR CULTURE.

    NOW GO AND REST OUR HEROES!”

    http://www.screwattack.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=48255

  • Synnamin

    I’m with Crystal. 20 years later, I STILL quote “Green elf needs food – badly!” whenever I’m hungry.

  • Postmark

    Wizard needs food badly.

    @!#?@!?

    Mein Leben

  • Bob

    You have been eaten by a grue.

    My life for Aiur!

    Congratulation! (the ending scene from Karnov. One word against a black screen. You only get one congratulation.)

    A slime appears!

  • Warg

    Another one that should be on the list from Impossible Mission:

    “Another visitor. Stay a while… stay forever!”

  • Justin

    “lets play money making game”

    legend of zelda

  • Thompson

    “You know the difference between you and the you five minutes ago? The you five minutes ago had five minutes to live.”

    Sylvester ‘Sly Boots’ Bucceli

    Anachronox

  • IcemanD

    @ Warg:

    Holy shit did that bring back a wave of memories. I had all but forgotten about Impossible Mission. I used play that game for hours on the Commodore 64. Great Line.

  • LC

    You’re on fire! – NBA Jams

  • Madison

    @ LC

    Oh, come on. It’s “HE’S on fire!”

  • it’s also NBA Jam.

  • Zack

    For any of you who haven’t seen them yet, go to http://www.atom.com and check out the “Legend of Neil” videos (a running spoof of legend of Zelda). I nearly wet myself laughing. Warning- bad language.

  • Jim

    “It’s time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and I’m all out of bubble gum” – Duke Nukem

  • Jusus

    I am upon you—–from Halo 2

  • copophrogist

    EETAAAY! Goemon, mystical ninja

  • spinfreely

    It’s time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of gum.

    Duke nuke’em

  • Chris Lamb

    I’m afraid that’s a failed from me…

    No Altered Beast!?

    “RISE FROM YOUR GRAVE!”

  • Adam

    How is Duke Nukem “Its time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, but I’m all out of gum!” not on there?!?!?

  • Anchors Land

    What about the “master of unlocking” line from Resident Evil? That’s a horribly butchered translation and it’s practically legend now. The same game also had “You were almost a Jill sandwich” which is pretty memorable, in that it’s completely awful writing.

  • impyi

    I can’t believe there’s nothing from Metal Gear Solid in here.

  • Mik3h

    No “Snaaaaaake!?” or “Liquid!”, “Ocelot!” ?

    MGS reference?

  • thoreandan

    Let me tell you ’bout Thoreandan,
    The man who bit off the dragon’s hand.
    No blows from his sword ever did land,
    So he bit off the dragon’s hand.

    –Alternate Reality: The City

  • CMON!!!…”I’ll rip your head off and shit down your neck”…Duke Nukem…Best line by far…I scrolled down to write this immediately only to see “JIM” had included another badass line… Hell yeah, good stuff…

  • Doadidy

    “its time to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and I’m all out of bubble gum”

    is from They Live…

  • Johnson

    “I wanted orange. It gave me lemon-lime.”

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  • comrade

    Anything said by Barry in the original Resident Evil on playstation. Some of the best crappy voice acting and poor translating ever in a game.

  • Don

    I was GOING TO SAY THE KARNOV ENDING AS WELL !!

    Congratulations!!

    I think the original Rygar ending was pretty lame as well. it was like a book opening and a bird flying !!

    The worst ending was mario 2. He woke up and it was all a dream !

  • kursus

    Old school lines :

    – Consider it done ! (Command and Conquer)
    – Wow ! What a mansion.. (Resident Evil)
    – Penalty !! (Kick Off)
    – Try using a similar tool (CSI)
    – Ho ho ho ! I’ve got a machinegun !! (Die Hard Trilogy)
    – Attack me if you dare, I will crush you (SFII)
    – Let’s see… if we can do something with this free kick (Sega Soccer)

  • Will

    Definitely missing Gauntlet “… needs food, badly!”

    RE: “Master of unlocking”
    http://audioatrocities.com/games/residentevil/clip2.mp3

    RE: “Jill Sandwich”
    http://audioatrocities.com/games/residentevil/clip1.mp3

    House of the Dead 2 – “Don’t Come”
    From a woman running away from a zombie.
    http://audioatrocities.com/games/hotd2/clip6.mp3

  • Kneebiter

    What about Dragon Warrior
    Doest thou love me?
    No
    But thou must
    No
    But thou must
    No
    But thou must

  • Smeezor

    Deus Ex, Johnson, good call, try this
    “You must gather your party before venturing forth.”

  • Chase

    Yes! Thank you for giving a nod to do those damn Daggerfall guards.

  • Alex Rogan

    I know it’s not really IN the game, but nothing prepared me for Sonic The Hedgehog more than the, “Say…. GAAAH!!!” graphic and VO when firing up.

  • uracunt

    tomino doesn’t actually think video games are evil you illiterate faggot queer. oh wait maybe you aren’t illiterate. maybe you just didn’t read the article with the inaccurate digg headline. you fucking douche READ THE ARTICLES

  • bughunter

    Oh, come on:

    – “It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.”

    – “Do you want your possessions identified?

    – “Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!”

    – “Zug Zug”

  • Fast Eddy

    Would have gone with “Pyro will turn you to toast” from the X-Men arcade game. It would show a fight against him when no one was playing it and those words were usually loud. You would hear it over and over in the background while you were playing other games.

  • Xero

    “You must construct additional Pylons” I believe is more memorable than “You need more verpene gas” from Starcraft…

  • vilkit

    the fact that #4 is not #1 makes this entire list bullshit.

  • Madison

    @ vilkit

    It’s not presented in order. Relax.

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  • Sancho

    Good list. Thing I would add are:

    Beginning sequence to Castlevania: Symphony of Night.

    Richter Belmont: “Die, monster! You don’t belong in this world!”

    Dracula: “It is not by my hand that I am once again given flesh. I was brought here by humans who wish to pay me tribute.”

    Richter Belmont: “Tribute? You steal mens’ souls and make them your slaves!”

    Dracula: “Perhaps the same could be said of all religions…”

    Richter Belmont: “Your words are as empty as your soul. Mankind ill needs a savior such as you.”

    Dracula: “What is a man?”
    [tosses goblet, which breaks]

    Dracula: “A miserable little pile of secrets. But enough talk, HAVE AT YOU!”

    Or the title screen of “Blades of Steel”

  • Blah Blah

    What about other such classics from Duke Nukem as, “shake ’em baby!” and “I ain’t got time to play with myself”. Seriously, all the memorable quotes from Duke could make up at least half of this list.

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  • Snowbody

    With the poor sound digitization, Altered Beast sounded more like “Wise fwom youw gwave”.

    And X-Men Arcade Magneto “Welcome to Die” was most likely due to the designers running out of space to store digitized audio, and thus having to cobble together a quip from the existing clips.

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  • BluePojo

    @ComfortableMadness

    “Nippon” is Japanese for “Japan” when used in an exclamation…. for instance, a casual conversation would refer to “Nihon” (Japan), where a soccer fan would yell “NIPPON!!!!!” (JAPAN!!!!!) at a game.

  • inerd

    SPAWN MORE OVERLORDS.

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  • random

    “YOUR WINNER” – Big Rig Racing

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  • Ice Beam!

    Ice Beam!

    Ice Beam!

    Ice Beam!

    Ice Beam!

    All I ever heard in the arcades.

  • angel2devil

    this list lacks a miserable little pile of secrets

  • MGS fan

    If you have even played MGS once you will surely remember the way in which Snake used “Metal Gear” as a curse, an exclamation and a question just about as many times as is physically possible.

    “Metal Gear?!?!?!?!”

  • Mija24

    “That’s the second biggest monkey I ener seen” – Monkey Island

  • hfm

    Dead or Alive 2 Hardcore PS2 – Tengu : “You are ridiculous!” and “Everything.. is my.. delusion” (WTF .. weirdest boss ever.. this dude deserves his own top 10 list and should inhabit every rank of it)…

    Morrowind guards: “Keep Moving…” (for some reason this stuck in my head and I still say it to myself walking around the city)

    Wolfenstien 3D: “Mien Leben!!”

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  • JC

    Stop right there, criminal scum!

    Also, just about any unintelligible line from AoE.

  • BlasiuS

    Here’s a gem from Dragon Warrior 1:

    When you fight the boss of the game, the game treats him like a normal random monster encounter. So when the fight starts you get this:

    “A dragonlord draws near!”

  • John

    On the subject of MGS quotes, don’t forget FISSION MAILED from MGS2.
    Also, Tomino is awesome and you know it.

  • Marc

    ” Here come a new challenger!”

  • Myself

    “Before we destroy other thinking beings we share with them this comforting fact: This life of yours… which shall end immediately following this statement is but one of many lives you will live. Perhaps, in your next incarnation you will be born an Ur-Quan. You are filth. It is now your time to be cleansed.” — Star Control 2

    Or, more succinctly, “You are filth. We shall cleanse.”

  • Andrea

    “Sustenance” – Gauntlet
    “You require more minerals” – Starcraft
    “Failure” in Smash Bros Smackdown and Brawl in Target Practices
    “Whataya sellin’…whataya buyin?” from Resident Evil 4
    “Fire in the Hole – CS
    “Pills here” – Left 4 Dead

  • Brent the invisible

    I’ve got balls of steel.-Duke Nukem, MEDIC!-team fortress 2, Would you kindly- Bioshock, Danger close!- modern warfare 2, Aim down you sights- modern warfare 2, Everyone on me! – call of duty world at wat, your health is low- fable, Wort wort wort!- halo, Hadoken!- street fighter, stop right there criminal scum!- oblivion, Rawket Lawncher!- metal slug, I hate (insert random object name here)- left 4 dead, wait for me Dr. Freeman I’ll come with you!- Half life 2, Falcon PUNCH!!- super smash bros. I made that list in five minutes. It’s not hard to list things.

  • Pino

    STOP RIGHT THERE CRIMINAL SCUM.

    Also, that president game guy looks like Duke Nukem. Maybe some spinoff game?

  • yohoat9

    What about “Would you kindly”??????

  • Saint

    What about Assassin’s Creed II? When Ezio meets his uncle? “It’sa me, Mario!” Nearly crapped myself laughing at that one.

  • Porkchop

    Stop right there, criminal scum!

    How was this omitted?!?!

  • Kev

    How on earth is “GET OUT OF HERE STALKER” not on here?

  • EvilShadow777

    Holy shit, the Engineer has copyright claims on #6!

  • swnan.nan.com

    duke nukem is just to big in my head.

    you facwe your ass, whats the difference.

  • Dan

    “Another visitor! Stay a while. Staaaaay, FOREVER!”

    Impossible Mission

  • Dave

    ‘a challenger approaches!’ – Smash Bros.
    ‘that’s the second biggest monkey head i’ve ever seen!’ – Monkey Island
    ‘You were killed by a grue’ – Zork
    ‘The Aperture science labs are required to remind you that you will be baked, and then, there will be cake’ – Portal
    ‘Rise and shine, Mr. Freeman, rise and shine’ – Half-life 2

  • Mike

    I remember this great Avengers game on Genesis that had terrible lines. In one scene, Captain America says to the boss: ‘You will not escape!’

    To which the boss replies:

    ‘You will be the one escaping!’

    Classic. Still chuckle at that one.

  • I don’t think the fallout one is very memorable, seeing how I didn’t remember it.

    • BigRuss730

      What an idiotic comment

  • Psygnosis did a game called “Sentient” for PSone back in the day. One of the end-game quotes that stuck with me:

    “What is left of us when we are gone?
    Dust and memories, dancing in the minds of others.
    Take your life to the four corners.
    Fill the minds of others with your legacy.
    And dance in those places for all eternity.”