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scarritt avatar 7:47 PM on 02.04.2013  (server time)
Okami's Toughest Challenge

Spoilers abound (for a 7-year-old game, but still).

I finished Okami last week! I loved almost every minute of it, and I can honestly say that it's one of my favorite games. The game is positively gorgeous (especially the HD port on the PS3), and it just oozes charm. It's also my first Platinumed game! I bought myself a PS3 for Christmas this past year, after having wanted one for a while now, and Okami HD was one of the games I had been looking forward to playing on it.

This was one of those rare games which had me wanting to do everything there is to do the first time I played it. Fishing, treasure-hunting, filling my bestiary, everything. What was the hardest part?

Was it finding all of the fish? No, that just took a while. I think I seahorses are now extinct in the Sea of Japan, considering how many of them I caught.

Was it beating Kai in a race in Yoshpet Forest? Not quite, though she can be quite aggravating. So many damned obstacles that get in your way and freeze you in your tracks while she runs ahead, gracefully dodging everything in her way.

Was it the Devil Gate trials, in which you have to fight enemy after enemy without leaving? Close, but not quite. Though I will say that the final trial took me a good 5 hours (died first time, accidentally left 3/4 of the way through second time).

Was it even the final boss, Yami? Nope, Yami was a cinch. Though I must say that Yami is one of the coolest looking final bosses I've ever seen.

No, the toughest challenge in all of Okami comes down to one enemy, tucked away in a corner of Kamui (Hokkaido):

Blockhead Grande.

(just imagine that he's saying Grande)

Blockheads are demons that look like walls, and in order to defeat them, you must find their weak points. Head butt them, and 4 points show up in rapid succession. You have to hit all 4 in the order they appeared with your paint brush to defeat them. If you fail, he mocks you and rains rocks down on your head. This can be a bit of a challenge, especially if your memory isn't all that great.

Now, as difficult as remembering four points can be, Blockhead Grande has eight. Eight that show up in about two second's time. This is incredibly difficult, even if you were to have a great memory!

I spent about an hour trying to do this with no outside help, growing more and more frustrated with each attempt. I spent most of my night at work trying to figure out how I was going to defeat him. My boyfriend had told me how much trouble he had had with Blockhead Grande, and that his efforts involved a friend, cut-up pieces of a Post-It, and eventually marker on his screen. During a slow period at work, I was looking through our pen and marker aisle, trying to think of what wouldn't leave a permanent mark on my screen, when it dawned on me: I have a camera in my phone.

I was excited for the rest of the night at work, and as soon as I got home, I sat down and booted up the game, ready to try my idea. With my phone's camera at the ready, I head butted Blockhead Grande, and recorded the points that showed up. Playing back the video, I carefully entered each point on the demon with my brush. And success!

One more Stray Bead was in my possession, on the way to collecting all 99 (100 if you count the bead you get after beating the game, but that one doesn't really count). A wave of relief and satisfaction washed over me as I reveled in my victory.

What about you? Any one else have a story of a particularly tough challenge from a game they loved? Other than Demon's/Dark Souls?

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