Monday, April 20, 2015

Awful gaming memories - Lightning strikes...200 times?

They say lightning strikes once. Maybe twice.

But what about 200 times? And you having to avoid them all in a row without failure?

Final Fantasy X is one of my most favorite games of all time. I have so many amazing memories from playing that game. From the incredible graphics, to the amazing cutscenes, the great script, the memorable characters and that emotional connection with the world and everything. My best saved game had over 100 hours played. I don't remember having dedicated so much time in any game but Football Manager or Pokemon back then when i was young, ugly and antisocial. Quite the contrast now that i am a handsome man, playboy and philanthropist right? Oh wait...

I remember being so obsessed with that game that we were for vacations in a hotel in Petalidi called Hotel Sunrise. If you find yourselves in Messinia in Greece please check it out. It is amazing. I actually carried my PS2 with me so i could play this game. I ended up playing a hard boss over some disappearing platforms over and over again. I could not find my glasses but i kept playing. People that know me know very well that i am as blind as a bat without my glasses. But i kept going. And going. In the end i found out that my glasses were lost in the swimming pool and some kind soul brought them to the reception desk for me.

So what is this lightning talk about? Well i was also obsessed with maxing out my character stats. All of them. So that meant endless grinding and uncovering all their secrets. That also included their secret ultimate weapons. I got most of them quite easily but there was one that made me want to gouge my eyes out with a pitchfork. There was a dark valley with cliffs and cracks and a very dark evil tone. It was called the Thunder Plains. Guess what, there was lightning dropping every few seconds. In order to get a piece of Lulu's ultimate weapon, which was a creepy old ventriloquist doll, you had to dodge 200 of them by pressing X just as the screen flashed. It was not so hard to do it a few times, but after a while you lost count and it was rather hard to keep focus and concentration. So there was little Kostas at home repeating over and over the same dodging pattern, losing count every few minutes.

Once I was almost there I could taste it. When I finally counted 200 I tossed his controller in relief.

"I did it!" I screamed almost with tears of joy.

But where was the chest? In the midst of my joy I forgot that the lightning kept going. And then the character got struck by one. He miscounted by one. That meant that I had to start all over again.

Fuming with flames of hell, with steam coming out of his ears and ready to summon the hounds of Balthazar and the spawns of Lucifer I tried to recover and not smash the controller. I decided to start again and not stop at 200 but count to 220 to make sure.

So i started again. It took me hours to do it again. Resetting time and again, again and again. I was reaching boiling point. Then it was THAT try. That try where i could feel everything was clicking and i would do it. 1, 20, 50,100, 150, 170 lightnings dodged. I made sure i counted correctly. I was at 197.

I could taste victory. I was playing for at least 5 hours straight. And then while i was ready to gloat and boast and drink a ...pepsi twist i guess because i was just 12 the unthinkable happened. A power outage. A FREAKING power outage. My screen went black, my PS2 stopped working. What could i do but explode. I started freaking out and swearing in any possible way with all those creative Greek swear words that we have. And believe me we have many. I went completely berserk walking around furiously in the house from one side to another cursing uncontrollably.

It was horrific. For a kid that his mother used to cut his hair like he has a bowl on his head straight out of the dumb and dumber movie and his best friend was another nerd that played Pokemon it meant a lot to me.

It took me days to relax and even more to play the game again.

Eventually i did it and i got everything i wanted. Sucks being a completionist and perfectionist some times.

So what are the morals and conclusions after this? Lets make a recap.

A) My childhood was shallow
B) I was a nerd
C) I was not well known for style. Not in hair, not in clothes
D) Women? Is that an alien breed?
E) If you are obsessed with something you will maybe eventually get it. But you will lose your sanity and the reward ends up being less exciting than you expected.
F) It also marks the beginning of this new series that will hopefully relate to some fellow nerds there.
G) I am a vampire and i only wake up during the night.

The source of all evil - Thunder Plains
 Well, have a good week Sweden. Goodnight!


  1. You have such an insightful blog. Thanks for sharing. Reading blogs is my hobby and I randomly found your blog. I enjoyed reading your posts. Interesting! All the best for your future blogging journey.

    1. Thank you very much. I had a look at your blog as well and found it very interesting. NLP techniques and all the little subtle things you can do to improve yourself, your speech and presenting is a very helpful tool in this world nowadays. All the best from sunny Sweden!