Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (topic now 200% easier to find)


I guess by end game I mean the back 25-30 hours or so.


I fucking hate the Divine Dragon. This is the first boss fight that has me actually frustrated. It feels like it was meant to be super easy, but instead I keep screwing it up somehow and failing. I just feel clumsy like I’m bumping into corners. I’m failing, but I don’t know why. I’d take Genichiro or Owl again over this in a heartbeat.

Fuck puzzle bosses.


I am currently at Lady B. again, I get to the second phase, but not reliably. So I checked out some Dark Souls streamers like Lobos, Fightingcowboy, ENB… wow, they just do it. 1-2 attempts and done. I just don’t have the reflexes I guess… at least the fight is not frustrating me.


So I’m finally at the final boss and I’m beginning to feel that sense of fatigue mentioned upthread. This guy has four fucking phases! I’ve only been able to make it to his second. I just spent 90 mins on this guy and died probably 30-40 times and made it to his second phase maybe 8 times. I’m sure that Icouldeventually beat him given enough time but do I want to really sink that much of my gaming time into this one singular activity?

I don’t know why From thought it would be in any way rewarding for the player to have to fight what amounts to four of the toughest bosses in the game all in a row. The combat is great sure but the fact that you have to be almost perfect for so long and against such variety is getting frustrating. I’m not sure I have the energy to put into this. It feels like a job.


Hmm, after 90+ minutes that first part should feel laughably trivial. Are you optimizing all the attacks or are there still some that trip you up or that you avoid because you don’t want to deal with them? You’re smashing the hell out of his guard until he deflects you or does a perilous attack, right? Just like the first time you fought him.

I’ve been saying since release that if you’re not making linear progress in Sekiro you need to step back and re-evaluate.

I just encountered this all over again when I fought some other bosses in the Shura ending.


I just did that ending as well. Ultimately it wasn’t that difficult, but man did that little dodge Isshin does trip up my attack patterns.

But yeah, the first phase really shouldn’t be that difficult. Might be a good idea to take a break and get back to it with fresh eyes.


I’m not really sure what you mean by optimizing his attacks. There are definitely still a few that I fail to recognize and get punished for. Im standing in with him as much as I can, trying to stay aggressive. It’s usually a failed Mikiri Counter or a late jump on a perilous slash that gets me. But you’re right even now I can tell that eventually he will become trivial. But then I need to go through that cycle on the next phase, and the next, and the next!

My point wasn’t so much that I feel like I’ll never beat him, I’m pretty sure given enough time I will, it was more that I’m not sure I want to. Call it a gaming existential crisis. I heard Kirk Hamilton, on the Kotaku podcast, compare playing Sekiro to learning an instrument and I’ve heard others make this game as music comparison as well. Learning the moves and rhythms of a particularly difficult boss fight like this one does remind me of when I used to play cello and learning a new piece of music. The same repetition, the same slow growth in confidence and capability over time. The biggest difference however is that at the end of the process with the cello I’ve learned a new piece of music I can play over and over and enjoy every time, at the end of learning this boss…I’ll have beat the boss and will likely never touch the game again. All of the same frustration in the process, none of the repeated reward in mastery.


That’s fair. It’s not like you’re missing some awesome ending either. It’s the usual stuff.

Of course if you do master that part you’ll be able to demonstrate that over and over while you work on the other parts. That should be somewhat rewarding.

I totally understand wanting to give up though. Sometimes you just snap and you’re suddenly done with a game. At the very least you could take a break.


Ha over and over and over and over and over.

Well I’m going out of town in a few days so that will be a forced break if I haven’t beaten it by then. Of course I’ll likely lose all the progress I’ve made by the time I get back to it!

Like I said it’s more of an existential crisis than anything else. I’m sure I’ll eventually finish this damn game but this game more than any game ever has me asking Why?


Right. It’s like Guitar Hero. No one cares if you’re good at pushing buttons on a plastic instrument. It’s not the kind of mastery that translates into anything else in life. I enjoy playing the games for myself, but it’s not worth toiling away at it when I don’t enjoy it because I don’t get anything else out of it.


It is a challenge that feels good once overcome, like most challenges.

And like the hardest things, incremental progress feels good. Like you’re getting somewhere.

If we played games simply for the “fun” I doubt any of us would be playing Sekiro.


Yeah, I guess it depends on how you define “fun.” I’ve got a buddy who talks about the 3 types of fun. (He uses them for hiking excursions, but they’re broadly applicable.)

  • Type I fun is fun while you’re doing it: a roller coaster or being at a lively party with friends, etc. This is typically what people mean when they talk about fun.
  • Type II fun isn’t particularly enjoyable while you do it, but is fun when you think about it later or remember it and/or has moments of bliss: a tough hike, or grinding through a boss in a video game.
  • Type III fun is never fun, but is satisfying or presents an opportunity for growth in some way: running a marathon, or a particularly grueling hike, or reading War and Peace or whatever.

I love Type II fun. I kind of seek out that kind of activity. But, the problem is that after a hike I’m usually tired but elated. I feel worked out–improved in body and mind, even if there were moments during the hike when I was exhausted and wanted to quit. Playing a video game, though, never gives me that sense. I do, as you said, get a small sense of satisfaction from overcoming a difficult challenge. (Video games are usually very good and hitting up the skill-reward centers of our brains.) But aside from slightly stronger thumbs and maybe an incremental increase in reaction times, I’m not improved. My threshhold for frustration in video games is thus pretty low. (Also, despite being a lifelong gamer, I’m just not very good at them.)


Obviously there are different kind of highs. I can’t write off all games like that though. 90% of them feel like a waste of time afterwards. Beat ‘em ups satisfy me.


All this talk of the F word and we’re going to summon dark spirit Tom to invade our world.

I pretty much feel the same way. It’s become an existential thing for me, and looking into the void of “wasted” gameplay hours, I can’t come up with any satisfying justification. Gaming is a part of how I spend my leisure time. The best I can do is play games that offer me something other than an endless drip-feed reward system skinner box.

Playing, exploring, and beating Sekiro felt good in a way that grinding for apparel items in Division2 does not.


While I don’t think gaming is any less valid as a leisure activity than say binge-watching Game of Thrones or even reading, I do understand this sentiment of “wasted time”. I think that gets back to @Matt_W’s definitions of fun above, if something isn’t hitting one of those trigger points (if it’s not fun “fun”, not personally rewarding, or not so rarely challenging that it sets you apart) then I also quickly lose interest.

I don’t think Sekiro is enjoyable on a minute-to-minute basis, it’s too stressful and too difficult for that. I do however think it comes closest to that second definition, although I waved on whether or not I consider beating the game any kind of tangible progress. It’s certainly progress from the game’s perspective but I’m not sure I’ve gained anything in the end, which I guess is a criticism you could level at almost any game.


Yeah, I was careful to avoid talking about wasting time. I think video games are as legitimate an activity as anything else entertaining. I play and enjoy them quite a bit. I just am less willing to tolerate frustration and grind in them than in other activities because I see fewer tangible/persistent benefits. That’s all subjective though, and what doesn’t work for me may be great for other folks. The sense of completion you get from finally crushing a game after hours of trying is real and can be incredible.


Yeah I agree, I’d never try and tell someone their sense of enjoyment or accomplishment from games isn’t valid.

Sekiro is really the first game that’s made me question that in myself, which may be to its credit.


Just to be clear because my post may have come off as ambiguous on this issue, but yeah, I don’t see gaming as less valid, far from it.

But having spent a lot of what I now see as wasted hours grinding in MMOs, and MMO-likes, I’m acutely aware of when I feel a game is offering me a worthwhile challenge, and when it’s abusing/using me.


I finally finished all the achievements. I don’t recommend it because the skill point gain takes so long. I had to turn on a Three Moves Ahead podcast and farm for a couple hours.

I also think I wore out my left bumper playing this game. It’s a refurb Xbox Elite controller. It still sort of works but I’ll have to decide whether to get another one or something else.


I think there’s a good chance the final boss is where I stop with this. Six hours on him now, and I’m still enjoying the fight, but the load times are just taking too much of a toll.