On the zone

YES, I’m still talking about this.

I’m most of the way through my third playthrough of Nioh 2, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to learn that I’ve got close to 200 hours into the game by now. This has been, for the one or two of you who cares, a switchglaive-and-tonfas build, and last night I finally got to the mystic arts fight for the tonfas, leaving me with only one more Achievement needed to platinum the game.

Let me back up a bit: you have the option of using several different weapons in Nioh 2, and toward the end of the game, if you have used a weapon enough and built enough proficiency with it, a one-on-one fight opens up against another user of that same weapon. If you win that fight, you unlock “mystic arts,” which are basically top-tier abilities for that weapon. There’s an achievement associated with each of them, but that fight can be brutal.

And the tonfas are the fastest weapon in the game, and the mystic arts fight is against Hattori goddamned Hanzo, who is a brutal bastard regardless of the circumstances. This fight is made especially difficult by the fact that my playstyle for this character has been significantly less aggressive and more methodical than usual.

And here’s the deal with Nioh 2, and with a lot of the games that I’ve been enjoying lately: if you fuck up, you’re gonna pay for it. So you are fighting the fastest boss in the game, with the fastest weapon in the game, and if you screw up even once during the fight he’s gonna beat you to death on the spot. I fought this bastard for an hour last night, on a playthrough where I’ve been dispatching most bosses on the first try, and most of my fights were ending with me still having heals left, because you don’t have time to heal if dude hits you once and you die. I had half a dozen fights where I got him down to maybe a third of his health bar and then boom bap dead because of one tiny slip-up.

And then … click.

And all the damn sudden I could see the Matrix.

And I beat the bastard and he hit me one time, and only because I very slightly mistimed what ended up being the killing blow and he clipped me for a tiny bit of damage as I was taking him out. One. Fucking. Hit.

After a solid hour of him annihilating me, over and over again.

I love this damn game.


10:59 AM, Saturday May 16: 1,445,867 confirmed cases and 87,643 American deaths. The death rate really has been slowing down lately, but we should have an idea by mid-week whether states opening up prematurely was as bad an idea as I think it was.

Published by

Luther M. Siler

The author of SKYLIGHTS, THE BENEVOLENCE ARCHIVES and several other books.