> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
How Sekiro Bolstered My Confidence (Not Just in Gaming!)

How Sekiro Bolstered My Confidence (Not Just in Gaming!)

This August marks one year since I beat Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for the first time, and I felt a bit inspired to regale why and how. It all started when my wife — a huge fan of FromSoftware's work — showed me an article about a man's gruelling story of trying to conquer Sekiro. The gist of the article was that it took him a bit over two years (and many tries) to actually finish it. 

I sat there and read the story of his constant beatings and losses, and an admiration for him began growing in me. I was too scared to try it (or even DARK SOULS, for that matter), but it was so incredibly inspiring that he battled over and over until he got it. My wife immediately jumped at the glimmer of determination that grew in me; she told me to play the game until I could no longer. She said I would lose nothing by trying to get as far as possible, and after a moment of consideration, I figured she was right. I set off to try and finish Sekiro with as few deaths as possible. 

20210809094633 1

Yes, I took pictures of even the most measly achievements

There are no words to describe how gut-wrenching the anxiety was as I took my first few steps in-game; I was determined to really try and give it my all, so I began slowly, took my time, and tried out the controls. I fought through one enemy, then the next, and the next. With my wife right beside me on the couch, I slowly approached the first mini-boss: Leader Shigenori Yamauchi. I remember I was so hideously anxious that the adrenaline-induced tachycardia was climbing up my throat, causing me to feel sick. I died once, twice, thrice... I had told my wife not to give me any tips; "You passed it without help," I said to her, "I don't want any either." She listened and didn't say a peep at first. After a while, she said I was making a huge mistake that I might not realise I was making: I was dodging and jumping out of the way. She told me that in Sekiro, the enemy tries to overwhelm you with blows, and you must be brave enough to stand your ground. She mentioned that you fail if you play like you've been taught in other games (stand back and learn the pattern, take advantage of their mistakes). I tried to beat that habit out of myself — instead, I began trying to guide the fight. Soon enough, that first mini-boss lost to me, and I was rushing from the excitement. 

My confidence grew as I slashed through enemies. The better I felt about how well I had done, the more determination I felt to see the game through. I wanted to have that same honour badge the journalist had — I, too, dreamt of fighting tooth and nail until I could beat it and I say that I hadn't been scared off, hadn't given up. My anxiety improved until I got to my first boss fight, Lady Butterfly. Her barrage of attacks and quick movements were incredibly intimidating, and I began feeling that anxious dread again — that dream to finish Sekiro felt heavy on my shoulders. Would this be my end? Was this as far as I'd get? Well, thankfully, I beat her too. And the next, and then the next. I even have a folder full of screenshots of every boss win, including my very own GIF of me decapitating Saint Sword Isshin.

20210813092844 1

This is indeed MY decapitation of Isshin!

The anxiety and doubt accompanied me as loyally as my wife throughout the journey. I thought I would be at my end in every difficult boss fight and every stagnation point. There were several, too, such as the Mikiri Counter. I was always so into the fight that I wouldn't notice the subtle animation hints when I had to jump on them or counter, which got me stuck for a good while. That's when I began training my weaknesses against the smaller enemies, so I sought out particularly tough ones, such as the Blue Spear Monk; through fighting him over and over near the checkpoint in Ashina Castle, I began getting the hang of the counter. 

My wife sat there for minutes on end as I fought the same enemy, ran away to save and heal, and then returned to fight again; I knew this was the only way I could ingrain some of the tougher abilities and learn the muscle memory. Doing this, I began noticing the differences between the animations, and through that, I slowly continued my endless climb towards the last boss. When I would start getting frustrated (mostly because I'd feel incompetent compared to my wife), I would back off and take breaks or even just go to sleep and leave it for the next day. I did all I could to apply discipline and determination because beating Sekiro had become more than just a bragging right — it was a statement of my will, patience, and perseverance. 

20210813094016 1

So, when I finally beat Sword Saint Isshin and sat there staring at the ending screen, an enormous wave of peace wafted over me. I was glad I had managed to finish the game, but it went beyond that now — I had proven to myself I could do it without raging or giving up. I had proven to myself that I had the determination it took to conquer something many couldn't. 

Finishing Sekiro was an enormous win because I had been struggling with many personal issues, and conquering that mountain lifted my morale. In fact, the benefits of having finished it continue even now, as my confidence in gaming has grown, causing me to enjoy games so much more!

20210813093345 1


So, reader, I encourage you to try too because I can only hope to inspire people as much as that article inspired me. The journey might be long and frustrating, but once you're out the other side, you'll thank yourself for it. 

Violet Plata

Violet Plata

Staff Writer

Liable to jump at her own shadow.

Share this: