Life is a culmination of successes and failures, hopes and dreams. The moments that stand out amidst the foggy zenith of recollection are usually flashes of the proudest instants; succeeding in the face of adversity. This could be a philosophical discussion about life, but don’t worry it isn’t. This article is a look into some of my greatest gaming accomplishments, from childhood triumph to current gen success.
Completing the Fierce Deity’s Mask Goron Challenge
Description: The Fierce Deity’s Mask is quite possibly the most powerful item in the history of the Legend of Zelda series. When worn, Link is transformed into a god-like being, complete with new abilities, a Double Helix sword, and a badass new façade. The upgrade is a welcomed departure from the green tunic and master sword combo. All that awesomeness paired with my completionist spirit, made obtaining the Fierce Deity’s Mask a necessity. My 10-year-old self could not pass up the opportunity, and to this day I remember the level of difficulty associated with a particular challenge required to gain the mask.
In order to obtain the supreme powers of the Fierce Deity’s mask, players are required to complete four mini-dungeons that correlate to Link’s main transformations: Deku, Zora, Goron, and Giant. For the most part, the tests are simple, but one assessment in particular overshadows the other three. The challenge in which I speak is the Goron trial. This test forces players to utilize the Goron’s rolling ability to traverse a course where the slightest mistake means failure. Going too slow? FAIL. Run out of magic? FAIL. Not located in the exact center of the track. FAIL. I cannot describe to you how frustrating this course is so I’d rather show you. Take a look at the challenge in question below, and take special note to the many angry comments:
Maxing My Character’s Stats in Skyrim
Description: Skyrim is a title that sets the standard in open-world gaming. Hundreds of locations, diverse storylines, countless missions, and sheer customizability are the features that elevate Skyrim into the realms of video game honors and beyond. With so much to do, it’s no wonder so many players have accrued hundreds of hours in the shoes of the Dragonborn. Completing all the quests, activities, and faction missions in a world that just doesn’t seem to end is a feat in itself, but my real pride and joy is the level 81, Breton who I’ve raised since she was just a wee level 1 warrior.
Achieving the max level in a game like Skyrim is not like your typical RPG monster farming. Players are required to use skill sets in order to level them up rather than just killing enemies and gaining experience. Reaching level 81 is a culmination of raising a total of 18 skills to level 100. I’ve come up with quite a few creative ways to upgrade my character along the way and thus, maxing my characters stats in under 80 hours fulfills another prized accolade.
Acquiring Knights of the Round in Final Fantasy 7
Description: Knights of the Round, also known as Ultimate End, is regarded as the most powerful summon a player can obtain in Final Fantasy VII. The minute and a half cutscene depicting thirteen mythical knights attacking the target in succession is only surpassed by the feats required to attain it. Located on a seemingly insignificant island in the far northeast corner of the world map, resides Knights of the Round. If finding the island isn’t enough of a chore, players are required to ride on a golden Chocobo to access it.
How do you acquire a golden Chocobo might you ask? Well, it’s a long arduous process involving mating an S-Class Black Chocobo with an S-Class “Wonderful” Chocobo using a Zeio Nut. While the latter can be eventually found by wandering through the Chocobo tracks at the Icicle Area, the former can only be produced as the offspring of a Mountain (Green) and River (Blue) Chocobo with the aid of a Carob Nut. It is mandatory that both of these, as well as their parents, which are simply two yellow Chocobos (one “Great” and one “Good”), be S-Class as well. Phew. Once you witness the epicness of the cutscene, the ridiculousness of breeding giant colored birds for hours on end seems to fade away. Take a look at the cinematic glory that is Knights of the Round:
Collecting all 120 Power Stars in Super Mario 64
Description: Super Mario 64 is one of my all-time favorite games. The reimagining of Mario into a 3D space revolutionized the 5th generation of consoles and redefined the adventure/platforming genre. The tried and true formula of the early Mario titles, the linear journey from left to right, ending with a glorious flagpole, was expanded upon. Simply completing a level was no longer enough, players now would be required to collect a series of 7 Stars per level (paired with a total of 15 hidden stars) all to save insufferable Princess Peach.
My brothers and I played Super Mario 64 with feverish passion. Even though only 70 stars were needed to complete the game, in our minds, it was not truly complete. Picture three little kids huddling around a tiny TV set after their parents had gone to sleep, all taking turns attempting to reach perfection. Who knows how long it took us, but eventually those 120 Stars were ours. We succeeded in a pretty sizable task and the family memories we now share aren’t bad either. Oh and did I mention that shortly after collecting all of the Stars, my brother accidentally erased our saved file. I guess we still have those memories!
Completing “Free bird” on Expert in Guitar Hero II
Description: I am not a musician. I do not possess the musical talent of Link or the guitar skills of Dante. I cannot play any of Beethoven’s symphonies or read most sheet music but within me resides the spirit of a rockstar. Luckily, video games provide an avenue for all the non-virtuosos out there to play the part. Guitar Hero awoke a nimble-fingered, musical genius in me.
For someone who initially held the guitar-controller backwards (I’m right handed and initially played it left-handed because I didn’t know better lol), moving beyond the threshold of easy mode was a stroke of luck. Within short weeks I progressed through the ranks and graced the ever-challenging Expert difficulty. Before long, I attempted the deceptively difficult Free bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd. For those who haven’t heard the southern rock classic, it is truly a deceiving masterpiece. The song is literally 10 minutes in length with the first half reflecting an easy-to-play, melodic tune. The second half is a five minute, finger-flexing, guitar solo that probably damaged my hands for life. Despite a moment of success, I’ve never attempted to retry Freebird and as long as I want my fingers intact, I probably never will.
What are some of your greatest video game accomplishments? Have you ever tried so hard to complete a gaming feat that your head almost exploded?
Editor’s Note: The image showing a maxed out Skyrim character above is not mine. Also, the video of Free Bird from Guitar Hero II is not me playing.