Glorious Gaming Victories
Anyone who has played video games long enough can tell you a story. A story of one of their most glorious victories achieved in the realms found in our digital entertainment medium. Some have finished a wonderful adventure for the first time and it filled their soul with pure contentment that lasts to this very day.
Others have faced fearsome foes and overcome undefeatable obstacles, making them feel as if they have climbed the peak of the most treacherous of mountains. Perhaps some of the greatest tales come from those who have faced the human opponents in competitive play and emerged victorious after long, gruelling battles.
This week, the crew at Non-Fiction Gaming share some of our most glorious gaming victories.
I’ve had several glorious moments with all of the gaming I’ve done. If there is one that sticks out, it was when I was playing Metro 2033. In one section you need to plant explosives to collapse two subway tunnels where mutants are flowing through in droves. And they do show up in droves.
I found myself without ammo and I only had my knife to rely on. Every wave of tough mutants (I should mention I was playing on hard mode) left me tense, but that trusty knife saw me through to the end as I slashed through the beasts. Even though the victory left me beat up, it felt like glory knowing I fought it out to the end with just the bare minimum.
Mine probably isn’t actually all that hard. But for the me when I did it, the greatest sense of accomplishment came over me. Defeat after defeat had seen me learning to bosses moves, getting my timings closer and closer. After the epicness that was the adventure, all the questing and dungeons had led up to this point.
Looking back with nostalgia I remember it being the hardest thing I had ever done in a video game. But there, finally after the last swing of my sword I had become the Hero of Time. Gannon was defeated and the end credits started to roll.
When I watch speed runners or even anyone else for that matter play Zelda: Ocarina of Time these days it doesn’t look that hard. But for me, the young gamer, this was the biggest game I’d ever played. Bowser was nothing compared to this master of magic and evil. These days I think I prefer Majora’s Mask when it comes to that generation of Zelda games, I was a little bit older and knew the ropes by then.
However, I will always remember the feeling of beating Ocarina of Time to restore peace to the land of Hyrule.
Kingdom Hearts has always been known for its incredibly tough secret extra bosses that you could take on, especially as they’re usually a certain iconic Final Fantasy character. Sephiroth being the super-secret boss of Kingdom Hearts I and II, had me pretty excited as I always liked Final Fantasy VII and liked tough boss fights even better.
However, I found that both version of Sephiroth actually weren’t all that hard to beat once you started to memorize his attack patterns and used the skills you gained effectively. Needless to say I was slightly disappointed but still satisfied after beating him in both games.
Years later I was playing Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep and had just finished the game. Poking around online I found out there were two secret bosses: The Lingering Spirit and the Mysterious Figure.
The Lingering Spirit was a black and white replica of one of the games antagonists, Vanitas, and he was actually really freaking hard to beat. I actually had to use a guide to figure out what attacks actually hurt him as all the ones I used bounced off him. However, once I did figure it out, and after some pattern recognition I managed to beat him, this time feeling that defeating the boss was quite a difficult accomplishment. I was actually really pleased and thought to myself, “They don’t get much harder than that.”
Needless to say, I was severely mistaken and the Mysterious Figure made me pay for ever being naïve enough to believe that for even a second.
Every single attack in his arsenal was a one hit kill move. EVERY. SINGLE. ATTACK. It didn’t matter what level your character was, all attacks killed you instantly unless you had an ability to leave you with one HP. There was no room for error. NONE.
Like the boss before him, he had very few weaknesses and he gave you no time to recover energy at all, mercilessly wiping you away with an attack the second you dropped your guard down. And it wasn’t just that he had attacks that killed you, but he also had abilities that would: dispel all your special moves; turn invisible making him impossible to target; and the power to clone himself (and yes, all five of his doppelgangers had access to all his attacks).
But finally, after literally months of trying to defeat him again and again had passed I finally emerged victorious. Blisters on my thumbs, blood pouring onto my PSP, and a tear running down my cheek as looked into the ocean as the sun dawned on a new day. I knew I was a true keyblade master from that day forth.
My best friend, Reggie and I have a long-standing rivalry when it comes to fighting games. Usually his abilities far surpass my own and I end up on the receiving end of a thorough beat-down. One night though, back in 2011 after some beverages we sat down for a few rounds of Super Street Fighter IV using two characters that we can stand our ground with but neither can call our fighter of choice.
He picked Dudley and I picked Sagat.
We took our controllers and sat down for a best of 5 fights scenario (2 rounds for the win, no time limit) and that came down to a 3-2 win for him. Our blood lust had not been satiated as yet so we bumped it up to best of 7. I’m not entirely clear as to who was the victor then but still we weren’t satisfied.
We kept bumping up the win number, going back and forth staying within a single win of each other the whole time, never getting a win that didn’t play out for the full 3 round limit. Eventually he broke away by 2 wins and we made an agreement that we would simply continue to battle it out until one of us got to 20 wins.
And so our battle raged on. A flurry of Tiger Uppercuts and Machine Gun Blows. In the wee hours of the morning we got there, the very last round. We both stood on 19 wins each (if you do the maths, that’s 38 fights), a single round separated us from the sweet taste of victory. The winner would be showered with praise, the loser would be booed until my lungs were sore. Thus began the most nail-biting battle of my many years playing fighting games.
There we were, sitting on the edge of our seats, our fingers blistered, sweaty and sore, our respective avatars bounced back and forth, dodging, countering, combos strung together in a hail of feet and fists. There so many curses uttered in that final round it would make Tarantino blush. Finally with both our Ultra bars at full, our Super bars depleted and only a miniscule fraction of health remaining, a single mistake separated us from victory.
Then it happened, my friend Reggie executed his Ultra Move knowing full well that even if I blocked it the likelihood of my survival was extremely low. With reflexes I have never known before, I executed my own Ultra Move… And in what felt like the longest second of gaming history we clashed, my attack took priority and it was all over in a bright flash of swirling yellow and orange. Dudley fell limply to the ground as Sagat stood triumphantly over him.
All I could do was sit in awe that I had bested my friend in such an epic fashion, after so many years of him generally dominating when it came to fighting games. We shook hands, said cheers and continued to drink beer whilst agreeing that this would go down as our greatest showdown ever.
It really is a shame that online has become so prevalent as words really can’t express the sheer excitement produced from a nail-biting victory against someone in the very same room.
From high scores in an arcade to personal rivalries, what gaming victories have you taken that were hard-earned?