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Gaming's seven greatest save points

In a generation full of autosaves and games that let you record your progress wherever you are, it's easy to forget a world where you had to take your saves as and when you got them. The noble save point has been slaving away unsung for years, dutifully preserving our adventures in the event of death or those rare occasions when one needs to leave the house.

In honor of the save point, here is a list of the seven best ones, as judged by nobody of any importance. Can you think of any better? Feel free to tell us!


Resident Evil


If one's being honest, the typewriter save system for Resident Evil was kind of dreadful. Rationing out saves as if they were wartime pork pies might have added to the tension, but it did so in the wrong way. However, despite being an incredibly frustrating system, there's no denying that it was clever and incredibly iconic.

The Resident Evil typewriter is one of the few truly clever save points a videogame has boasted, and while it was indeed a pain in the arse to find and conserve precious ink ribbons in order to use the things, it remains a truly memorable way to save. A great idea until you have to fight a Tyrant and are all out of bastard ribbons.


Silent Hill


The psychological alternative to Resident Evil, Silent Hill's original save points were simple but elegant. They took the form of notepads in which Harry Mason jotted down his thoughts while traveling. While not the most inventive of save points, it was grounded and realistic, which managed to fit in well with the dark and gloomy world of Silent Hill.

The best part of the original Silent Hill's save points is that they make a later cameo in Silent Hill 3, as Harry's adoptive daughter Heather is able to uncover the notes left behind from the first game and get her father's perspective on the first game's events. A fantastic little callback that helped to make Silent Hill's save points some of the coolest around.


Final Fantasy IX


There are many who would disagree with the sentiment that Final Fantasy IX is the best Final Fantasy game ever made, but those people are heartless cretins who deserve to be thrown into a giant fire.  It was the endearing charm and sense of fun in IX that really set it apart from the brooding, emo-flavored entries that surrounded it, and this was typified by the save point -- an adorable little Moogle.

Moogles played the role of save points in Final Fantasy IX, armed with huge books that they slammed onto the ground before fluttering down with a posh quill. Rarely will you find a save point quite so cute. Every save's a treat!

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42 comments

  • deathrebellion - September 18, 2010 11:08 a.m.

    taking a nap against a stone wall with carvings and stuff on it in the middle of nowhere with the only thing that is remotely attached to u being a horse makes u feel all the lonelier and tinier in SOTC
  • blocpartier - September 18, 2010 7:22 a.m.

    What about SOTC?
  • SkyDragonc5 - September 16, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    No more heroes is my fav game ever! The save pint was just icing on the cake.
  • Fistly - September 15, 2010 4:40 p.m.

    @Pin316 ohh wow. I saw it as "FFXI", because they had a screenshot of a moogle from FFXI haha. So I saw the name once and it registered as the other.
  • pin316 - September 15, 2010 4:22 p.m.

    @Fistly - unfortunately, the article refers to FF IX, rather than FF XI... just saying ;P Gotta agree with the Resident Evil pick - the combination of limited locations AND having to have the ribbon item to use it really made you think for sheer awesomeness surely Earthbound deserves an honorable mention? Calling your a$$hole dad on the phone, only to have him try to make up for being a d*ck by offering you money and the opportunity to save your progress :D
  • FETALJUICE - September 15, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    I got a real kick out of the toilet save in No More Heroes the first time I played it lol. Definitely the best save point EVER!
  • philipshaw - September 15, 2010 1:55 p.m.

    Great list but where was the Ico save point, I have a great t-shirt based on it
  • MaynardJ - September 15, 2010 8:44 a.m.

    Crap... I was gonna mention Ico.
  • jmcgrotty - September 15, 2010 7:12 a.m.

    I am far from a great gamer, but I have to agree with someone, Symphony Of The Night was challenging, but not unfairly hard. Even I was able to get 200.6% completion and I don't consider myself a great gamer. That being said, I do remember relief at every save point.
  • irritatedming - September 15, 2010 6:01 a.m.

    Wrong picture for Chrono Trigger. The save point that got you attacked was in a sewer level, not the cathedral.
  • bugcatcherjason - September 15, 2010 5:44 a.m.

    Ico! You get to nap with a pale, pretty girl on what it seems to be a sofa of sorts. <3
  • reveffect - September 15, 2010 3:49 a.m.

    one of my favorite save points is from shadow of the collosus where you have to pray at these shrines scattered accross the map in order to save. never saw a save system like that before.
  • twewy13 - September 15, 2010 1:53 a.m.

    IMO, no more heroes has a SHITTY save system...eh...clever is it not?
  • mlbmlb - September 15, 2010 1:27 a.m.

    Um.... Dead Rising, anyone?
  • ventanger - September 15, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    It's worth mentioning that Shining Force had nearly the same save system as Dragon Warrior/Quest
  • EnragedTortoise1 - September 14, 2010 11:58 p.m.

    Damn it, as soon as you mentioned the church in dq, I started humming it. Bastard!
  • ViolentLee - September 14, 2010 11:16 p.m.

    I'm confused by the Chrono save-point text. I've played the game a bunch (on SNES, PSone, and DS) and never had anything remotely similar to what you're talking about happen. Ya sure about that?
  • FauxFurry - September 14, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    For an example that seemed clever for its time,there are the Grand Theft Auto Safe Houses. A Safe House can save the game. Hardy har har. The one that has grafitti on the wall reading "Jesus Saves" makes that corny visual pun worthwhile if only for a brief shining glinting fraction of a second.
  • FauxFurry - September 14, 2010 11:04 p.m.

    This article reminds me that 'Scott Pilgrim Versus the World: the game' didn't have any save points in it despite the comic it is based upon featuring Final Fantasy 7's save spot at one moment in the story. What a missed opportunity.
  • FauxFurry - September 14, 2010 11:01 p.m.

    The save points in XenoGears were floating golden obelisks that record user data both within the game and without, something that actually comes into play in the story itself later. Chrono Cross,written by the same people,had a similar (plot)device used by the casretakers of the timestream itself to spy on people and to check for any irregularities in history by examining everyday minutiae and major events alike. Savepoints which the story itself tries to justify...it's tough to beat that!

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