The Most Memorable Opening Stages in Gaming History Chosen by Japanese

The “first scene” everyone will encounter playing any game.

Out of the thousand of them just which of them will be choose as the most beautiful, most memorable one?

Recently the topic “The Most Beautiful Opening Stages in Video Games” became popular on Japanese online news, so this time lets see the topic and some responses from the Japanese users.

Then let’s see what the American gamer decided on!

“The Most Beautiful Opening Stages in Video Games” (from Kotaku JAPAN)

*Click on the picture to see the video

  • Green Hill Zone in Sonic the HedgehogSonic the Hedgehog
  • Central Highway in Mega Man XMega Man X
  • Welcome to Rapture in Bio ShockWelcome to Rapture
  • Contra III Stage 1Contra III
  • Metal Slug Mission 1Metal Slug
  • City 17 in Half-Life 2City 17
  • Make Eggs, Throw Eggs in Yoshi’s IslandYoshi's Island
  • Comix Zone Episode 1Comix Zone
  • Ikaruga Chapter 1 -Ideal-Ikaruga


This selection is quite a delight to Japanese gamer. Personally finding Contra III on the list also put a smile on my face.

Now just how did the Japanese response to this? Let’s see what kind of stage they choose.

“The 9th Most Beautiful Opening Stages in Video Games” (from Niconico News)
  • I’m surprise that foreigners understand the beauty of Ikaruga @mak1244
  • You gotta hand it to Sonic @wonderblack46
  • Only Yoshi’s Island is kinda out of place @ryou0829ma
  • I don’t think many Japanese knows about Comix Zone…
    It was made extremly rare at the time, you can’t find it anywhere @tukiumiyuu
  • Stage 1 of Contra is a a big impact for me, I was stuck on the boss turtle lol  @Wave_0825
  • I’m surprise ICO or Shadow of the Colossus isn’t on there! @HaLhico_005
  • Hey hey, forgot Ghouls ‘N Ghosts there @nonakaaiaipon
  • I’m suprise Super Mario Bro isn’t on there @go_go_kitchen
  • If it were up to the Japanese the original Mario is a must, hitting a Goomba while B dashing lol… @TrueHeartArkRay
  • While “Super Mario Bro.” is a must, I can’t left “Super Metriod” out myself, when Ridley abduct the baby at the opening @detsu_m
  • For me is the Kirby series. Like Green Green or Fountain of Dream @Taroshowtime
  • Is amazing how you can understand what kind of game it is after cleaning Sonic Stage 1-1 @yoppy_0409
  • I think the Stage in Sonic Adventure 2 “City Escape is really godly. Although it’s not a retro game @karasuno0402
  • I can understand Contra, Sonic, and Mega Man, but the ‘merican who like Ikaruga is quite a surpirse @yukitaka5029
  • It’s quite an impact in Ikaruga, It’s so beautiful @sugushinu
  • Ikaruga is awesome. Most shooting game’s stage 1 is mostly very detail @salyutBT02
  • If you go down to Stage 1 then I choose Gradius 2
    I was about to piss my pants when the BurningHeat, the BGM on Stage 1, start playing lol @OisoS!!!
  • Fantasy Zone and Ghouls ‘N Ghosts for me.
    The BGM in both game really depict the world view in the game well @ryo365
  • Stage 1 in Ghouls ‘N Ghosts. Red arremer come out even though it’s stage one, I was having hard time clearing.
    But that’s why Capcom is amazing because it’s not a sucky game at all. It’s a famous game even it’s hard. @dreamonsen
  • The sound of explosion and helicopter flying in Mega Man X made me think “Capcom really gets it!” and “it’s very different from the comical Mega Man up till now”  @yoshitsuki_
  • Yep I get you there, Mega Man X is pretty strong impact.
    But I thought foreigner didn’t like losing at cut scene? Is that why it was memorable? @worldofknife
  • I was thinking Mega Man X at first, but then I remember in Castlevania the music change into Simon’s Theme from prologue to entering the castle was like an artwork itself @takumaro1122
  • Opening of Dead Space2 was pretty memorable too. Playing the video log of the harsh truth main character still don’t want to face, and brought back into reality by a sand strom is pretty memorable to me @Tomy_Jiroro
  • It’s Demon Soul’s Boletarian Palace 1-1 for sure. If you take the whole game-play in consider it’s the best @errorsoul000
  • If you’re comparing the worst then Mystery of Convoy right? You die after the starting 2 second @sakkurusan
  • You meant “The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy” right?
    Enemy’s attack blend in with background so you lost a life around 4 second @shiryu581208


Just by looking the comment “Ikaruga” being in the list is pretty impressive.

Being describe as having beautiful western style graphic, “Ikaruga” was viewed as innovative game by the Japanese STG game fans. However listing together with all these other big titles somehow it’s inferior to them. And because of that, its appearance in foreign country must come as a surprise to the fans out there.

The Transformers: Mystery of Convoy” being memorable, in another meaning…

It was infamous in Japan as the worst game of the century, just as the comment above you lost a life within 2 second int the game. It must have made a strong impact to the young gamer. If it were up to Japanese to pick the most “memorable” game, the game would made the list undoubtedly.

So no matter how good or bad the game is, the first stage or appearance of the game is a very important part of the game.

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