This is a very personal post about perseverance and gaming. Specifically, once called Dark Souls 3, very famous for its unfair and punishing game mechanics
Finally beat the Nameless King on my first DS3 play-through. Gotta say, now I can finally breathe and move forward with my life.
My PS4 has been stored in the closet for months at a time because between work, personal life and activities, I barely have time to play videogames. So, I never got to play ‘punishing’ games because I didn’t want to be raging in the small amount of time I will actually play them.
But I said to myself: “Make time. Embark on the project and finally do it. It’s time.”
The goal was to beat every boss (even optional ones) in the From Software games (sans Sekiro, that comes later) before starting Elden Ring with a good friend of mine -or Morrowind + Oblivion, depending on my friend’s schedule.
Decided on DS1 (excellent game), DS2 (everything bad I read was on point, but got through it), DS3 (hard work, but loved it) and Bloodborne (damn, this one got me hooked. Even breezed through NG+1, adore this game and will keep going back to it. The lore is magnificent).
I confess, some moments were hard. Got frustrated a couple of times in DS2, mostly game mechanics, and DS1, mostly learning curve. Once I got the hang of it, and with some help from online forums, I beat every one of them consecutively without much problems.
Then came the first real test: Pontiff Sulyvahn. Before him, only Abyss Watchers made me stop playing to relax and zen out. Usually after a couple of hours, maybe half a day, I would come back and beat them. That was the process, and it was working to perfection until The Nameless King. (Google him, read about him, watch the youtube streamers to get a general idea.)
I must’ve died like 50 times in 3 days playing 50-minute sessions (to limit aggravation). I’m an adult, I’ll admit, I was raging bad. Seeing red.
My work life is suffering, was barely working from home. Just letting deadlines pile up then doing mediocre work to clear them out. Was ranting to my other gamer friends with 1 minute voice messages in the group chats.
My mood was bad throughout the day. I even dreamt about him! The guy was haunting me even in my sleep. All I cared about was doing the minimum amount of work, drinking coffee and beating this godforsaken boss that was TORTURING ME.
My best friend told me she has never seen me like this before. I told her this is the real me, and I’m not gonna let some group arrangement of code, programming and graphics get the best of me.
“Just play another game. Is it worth all this grief?” She said.-I ain’t no fucking quitter. I’m won’t b!tch out. I responded.
It’s getting personal.
The goal was to beat EVERY SINGLE BOSS before starting Elden Ring (or Morrowind + Oblivion). And I meant to keep my word.
I went to dark places during those 3 days. The guy was hitting me while I was trying to get up from the floor, recuperating from being staggered, and my personal favorite, moving out of the screen, getting out of target lock, then hitting me from the back (thank you, game camera). I was stuck around the 30%-40% health bar, couldn’t get any further.
I was over level 100, with various maxed-weapons options, none of them worked. I couldn’t beat him for the life of me. Most the times I didn’t even have time to use more than 4-5 Estus flasks.
There were 3 attempts where I had perfect runs, no hits, no damage, no flasks, perfection (just like the guys in youtube), then one mistaken roll threw my timing away, and he would combo my whole health bar in 4 seconds.
That last one got to me, really got to me. I disconnected the PS4, and didn’t even looked at it for 2 days.
Today I woke up, walked my dog, had some coffee and a loaded PB&J sandwich. Something was right. I felt it in the atmosphere. “Let me grind a little bit, maybe raise my health bar, and I’ll beat him in the weekend”.
Game loaded, and I was already at the Great Belfry Bonfire. “One time won’t hurt, I’ll just study his moves and die. Let me even try a weapon I’ve never used before and I’ve seen guys on Youtube use it a lot.”
First try, very nonchalant: “Holy shit, 20% left. I almost got him. This has been the farthest I’ve ever gotten. Let me try again.”
Second try: Beat him. Even made a few mistakes.
Thank you, Hidetaka Miyazaki. I hate you, yet I love you. I know myself better after experiencing your work. I’m a better person because of you.
I’ll never forget this week.