I don’t like losing. Actually, it’s probably my least favourite thing along with being wrong. Good thing I’m never wrong.
I do lose sometimes though, and I really, really don’t like it.
Supergiant Games’ incredible Bastion was released on PS Vita and PS4 last month, and I was eager to jump in. After having some problems getting around to it, I finally began playing and loved everything. The gameplay, art style, music and that brilliant narrator were all perfect.
After beating the game, I had a look at the Trophy list and liked what I saw. “This will be a piece of cake. I’ve just got to play through the game again, really. No big deal.” I thought. And for the most part, I thought right. Most of the game’s Trophies are easily achieved.
For the uninitiated, the Stranger’s Dream is a challenge room that requires you to survive 30 waves of the game’s hardest enemies. It’s the fourth of these challenge rooms, and the most difficult. Shrine Idols are things that you can invoke (turn on) to make the game harder in a number different ways and also help you gain more currency and XP. Examples of the increased difficulty being enemies have regenerating health, drop bombs when they’re defeated, their attacks slow you down, they never drop health pickups, have increased attack damage, move faster etc.
Surviving 30 waves of enemies is a pretty easy task without the Shrine Idols invoked. I cut through it like a hot knife through butter. With five Shrine Idols invoked, it’s not particularly easy but it’s definitely attainable. With 10, though? It feels like an impossible goal.
As stated at the beginning, I don’t like losing, and I lost a lot. For days, I got my ass handed to me over and over again, and the results were completely inconsistent. I didn’t feel like I was doing better with each attempt. Sometimes I’d die six waves in, and other times I’d die 23 waves in. Frustration was setting in.
I’m Scottish, so naturally I swear a lot. Bastion made me ashamed of myself.
I’d attempted the Stranger’s Dream a ridiculous number of times over the course of three days, and I was starting to lose faith. In these situations, I turn desperate. I watched a number of walkthrough videos and read a number of strategies online, and I learned some new tips that I thought could help me achieve the seemingly unachievable. Armed with this new knowledge, I was ready to give it another go.
I still failed. Time and time again I got squashed by these fucking arseholes. On that Wednesday evening, I was done. Fuck this game. I’m going to go play Nintendogs or something, fuck this shit.
I wouldn’t stop though. After a good night’s sleep, I woke up and went back into the whipping room. This time, I had a plan though. I was going to stream it on Twitch. There’s only one thing I hate more than losing, and that’s losing in front of other people. The logic was sound: I would play better if I knew people would be able to watch.
The pressure was on. I had three viewers on Twitch. Three people I probably didn’t know. Did I want them to think I was a fucking loser? Hell no. Let’s do this.
I got 23 waves in until disaster struck:
I died. Again. The stream sat idle on the ‘Defeated’ screen for about a minute. I was not idle though. I was squatting in front of my TV, ready to pick it up and suplex it through my fucking coffee table. This cannot be happening. The theory was sound!
I calmed down, and tried again. I made it to the final wave. This was it! I was doing it!
Just kidding! I wasn’t doing anything except losing, again. Hahahahahahahahaha!
I rage quit the game and the stream and just sat on my couch, sweating and seething. I was not playing this anymore. The PlayStation Gods can keep their fucking Trophy, I am finished.
I had things to do that day, I couldn’t sit and play this game forever. I have to leave my house in 30 minutes to go and….wait. 30 minutes? That’s about how long it takes to do a run through these waves.
Okay, one more time:
And it’s all over! Somehow, someway, I did it. Fuck you, Bastion. Fuck you, Supergiant Games. I am a God! A God that probably couldn’t do this again if he tried!
That one challenge room is significantly harder than anything else in the game, and I won’t be attempting it again anytime soon. For the most part, I really loved my time with Bastion. It’s a great game with a great story, but I can’t remember the last time a game made me literally want to suplex my fucking TV.