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The greatest gaming moments may have passed you by - PC ZONE fills in the gaps with our own nostalgic ramblings

We've done a 'best gaming moments' feature before, and it was miles better than any other 'best gaming moments' piece you could have read elsewhere (if we do say so ourselves). But it was after a lengthy pub conversation that we stumbled across a strange new seam of game moments, so good we felt they deserved an article all of their own.

These moments are special, in that their greatness never made any real impact in 'best gaming moments' features the world over. They are forgotten moments, personal moments - moments that you'd tell your friends and family about around a roaring log fire, while you rocked gently back and forth in your chair.

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These are the personal moments that make us unique; without them, we'd be nothing but husks of meat, fit only for use as batteries and food by an aggressive alien race.

Here then are our most private gaming moments, our most intimate memories, and those things that made us feel like we were alone in the world. The stuff that made us feel special. We're not just talking about that bit in Duke Nukem 3D where you walk in on the alien having a shit, either -everybody's seen that.

We're on about bits of games that we all loved but never really spoke about. The ones that instantly dissolved into the disused parts of our cerebra, the ones we have to properly explain because everybody seems to have forgotten they happened. These are gaming's semi-forgotten triumphs, and we're ready to sing their praises...

The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
Standout Moment: The triple-max security prison level

"Cold storage for cons," reverberates Riddick's gruff voice as you awake from cryo-sleep in a white circular techno-chamber, hardly big enough to swing a robotic cat. The futuristic prison yard is decorated with four calming words - 'Ocean', 'Sunset', 'Tree' and 'Flow', and is dominated by an ominous mechanical arm in the centre that picks up and drops off prisoners from their cryo coffins.

I love this bizarre level in Escape From Butcher Bay - it jolts you out of your shooter comfort zone and into a waking nightmare, where you're only permitted two minutes of exercise before the drugs kick in again and you collapse to the floor asleep for another day.

After trying different things in your Groundhog Day window of consciousness, such as hitting the other prisoners you exercise with (you're quickly executed if you do that), you eventually hit on a plan. To escape, you have to hide in the other prisoner's cryo box just before the robo-grabber drops their lifeless body into it, then quickly push them onto the floor, allowing you to be transported to freedom. Well, to the Mech-guarded Cryo Pyramid storage facility in the next level anyway. Ingenious stuff.

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Condemned: Criminal Origins
Standout Moment: The shopping mall and its freaky mannequin inhabitants

Contrary to gender stereotypes, I detest shopping. So when my entrance to a run-down shopping centre is greeted by a blood-stained Christmas tree, eerie festive music being piped through the speakers and creepy mannequins adorning broken displays, I know things aren't going to turn out well.

After a period of sound effects which get my nerves jangling, and fleeting glimpses of what appears to be the store mannequins running past my peripheral vision, I eventually round a corner only to be confronted by another mannequin. Only this one's most definitely not static and appears intent on killing me. Disturbingly, when I head-butt it, the plastic face falls away to reveal flesh underneath.

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