Wherever you may find yourself, the moon will follow you. While constellations may change in different hemispheres, and days may become longer or shorter, the moon is something we can all see and share. There’s a reason that “when you look up at the moon, I’m looking at the same one” is a cliché line, after all.
In video games, a moon’s presence can extend far beyond its natural status as a planet’s satellite, becoming a space for gameplay or a plot device, or both. Mysterious entities in the sky that can be harbingers of doom just as easily as sources of power are just compelling, regardless of whether you explore them.
10 Dead Space
There are countless horrors in Dead Space, sculpted from the organic tissue of people Isaac Clarke may have known. And while your sneak and fight your way through dark hallways, stalked by the corrupted corpses of those who once lived, you may wonder how such cruelly twisted creatures came to be.
The answer waits in the endless sky. Brother Moons, introduced in the controversial Dead Space 3, are not moons in the traditional sense despite their appearance. Instead, they are thinking beings who exist only to consume living matter, sending signals into space to corrupt the living. A far cry from a rock in the sky.
9 The Sims
Debuting in The Sims 3: Supernatural and then making its triumphant reappearance in a free update leading up to The Sims 4: Werewolves, the lunar phase in The Sims fleshes out your sim's world. If you have packs that add occult sims, then the moon's phases may influence them in exciting ways. If not, you can still reap the benefits by moon-gazing or moon-bathing.
With the Werewolves pack, however, the story-building significance of the moon is integral to the gameplay. What fun is a werewolf if you don’t have to factor in uncontrollable transformations and consequences?
8 The Quarry
Glimpsed through the waving leaves of branches, you will see the full moon of The Quarry, uncaring hovering high above you. It will be your only constant companion. A constant observer of what will come to pass during your night at Hackett's Camp. In a way, it's almost like you, the player – influencing the story while entirely immune to its effects.
It's beautiful, cold, and distant, ignorant to the havoc its mere presence is causing the counselors. You should hope to be lucky enough to see another moon as beautiful as this.
7 Wolfenstein: The New Order
BJ Blazkowicz may not think too highly of Earth's celestial neighbor, but, frankly, he's right to be upset. Seeing something beautiful that humanity once shared be tainted by fascist expansionism, put plainly, sucks. Luckily Wolfenstein: The New Order lets you pretend to be Neil Armstrong taking his first step on the moon, and right the wrongs done to it – with a lot of guns.
To eliminate Nazis, while uncovering their dirty secrets and messing up all their carefully laid plans. The early moon landing, and construction of moon bases, are major parts of Wolfenstein's alternate history. But you can make sure the Nazis on the moon meet the same deserved fate as those on Earth.
6 Elden Ring
While there are many striking images in Elden Ring, Queen Rennala basking in the full moon's light over a shimmering sea of water is certainly one of the most beautiful. The moon and, more directly, lunar magic plays a key part in Rennala's backstory and ascension to leadership at Raya Lucaria Academy.
Strange to think a glowing orb in the sky could exert such control, yet through Rennala's effects on history, it can even influence the story you end up telling.
Who could possibly forget the wizard that came from the moon? The moon in Destiny is Earth’s moon, with a population of aggressive aliens known as the Hive, who burrow beneath the surface. The moon doesn't just play a part in the game itself, but carries a deep history that you'll uncover over time.
The moon was once integral to humanity’s expansion into the stars, though now it is a hollow monument to a golden age, long since passed and the home of the ever-present threat of the Hive.
4 Mass Effect 3
Menae, a moon of Palaven, is the site of the fierce last stand of the Turians during the Reaper invasion in Mass Effect 3. Overrun with husks, Commander Shepard is forced to navigate through a violent, rocky surface to search for the Turian Primarch, all while the gasping moans of husks and the intense gunfire haunt his every step.
Turians have a highly militarized society. To see them being effortlessly decimated by an opposing force, to see Palaven burning in the distance so early into Mass Effect 3, sets the stage for how dire the situation is.
The Hunter's Moon hangs over you, awake and alight with terrible promise. Bloodborne's moon, and the night itself, is a marker for your progress, shifting in brightness as you fight your way through Yharnam. It's almost comforting, a constant, familiar presence that is not unlike the moon we know.
The insight you gain will rip down the veil between worlds, revealing cosmic monstrosities to your now unclouded eyes. Now hovering above you is a moon that has abandoned its familiar white glow, instead drenched in a red as vibrant as the blood you've shed through the night. The moon is alive, in a way, and it is always watching.
2 Prey: Mooncrash
From the windows of Talos 1 in Prey, you can see the bright light of the moon as the space station orbits around it. In Prey's DLC, Mooncrash, you'll get up close and personal with Earth's natural satellite. Taking the form of a roguelike, Mooncrash gradually unlocks characters with different skillsets, as you try to piece together what, exactly, happened on the lunar base.
You'll find the moon base utterly overrun with Typhon, though where they are and how large the threat is will vary from run to run. This is another instance of the moon being used to accomplish unsavory goals, tainting its ethereal image with mundane evil.
1 Majora’s Mask
No matter where you are or what you're doing, if you gaze up into the sky in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, the eerie image of a grimacing moon will meet you. Beckoned to the ground by a twisted, corrupted Skull Kid, the moon itself sheds tears for its terrible fate and the horrors it will soon cause. It is an ever-present, haunting threat from which there is no escape.
Every day, you will watch it rumble closer as more and more people flee Clock Town in the vain hope of finding safety. And every day, you will be reminded that you are in a race against time, a sliver of faith punctuating every beat of your heart. So be fast. Everyone is counting on you, whether they know it or not.
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