It had been six months since Light Entities had been released. For six months—gamers tried to beat the game. For six months—gamers had failed.
Gamers weren't hunting for a faster speed-run or a 100% completion achievement: they just wanted to beat the damn thing.
The top of the Playstation 8 console lifted up and the upper half of John's body was exposed. "That wasn't so bad John, I've seen you do worse." Ryan said
"I'm done Ryan, I'm done. I'm not playing this garbage anymore," John said while exiting the console.
"You can't quit!?! That's insanity John! You're on the final boss. There aren't a lot of gamers that can even say that. You gotta keep trying, please! For me?!?"
"If you want it done so badly, you can do it yourself Ryan. The system is yours—because I'm fucking done."
"Are you serious? I can have it? No man, I don't want it, not like this. You're so close." Ryan said in the hopes that John would calm down and tell him he'll be back at it again tomorrow. This wasn't the first time John threatened to quit but this felt like it had some weight behind it.
"I'm going to go outside and get some sun, seriously, you can use it. I don't care anymore." John said while leaving the room.
Ryan watched him exit the room and slowly panned back to the Playstation rig sitting all alone in the middle of the room with his brother's permission. John sold his mint 1st edition Charizard their father had handed down to him so he could afford it, now he was leaving it to me?
John had never let his little brother use the virtual reality system from fear of Ryan breaking it. He no longer cared.
Ryan was excited but disappointed at the same time. What if John really is done?
Six more months had passed since Light Entities' release: still unbeaten. John was outside of the console, with the video feed of Ryan's gameplay up on his tablet. John was still curious of his brother's progress, even if he himself had stopped trying.
Ryan had made it to the final boss, which impressed John. He was where John had given up, fighting the same final boss that he had died to a thousand times.
Ryan had opted for a slower but tanky warrior style. He was getting hit far too often even for his armor to help though. It wouldn't be long before Ryan would lose this round.
Something caught John's eye. Something he had never noticed before. Every time the final boss breathed out fire, the dragon closed his eyes. Maybe to protect his eyes from the heat?
It may seem like a small detail but if John could guarantee two maybe three seconds of the boss being blinded—this could be enough to make the difference. John thought for a moment: he could win. If I knew this 6 months ago... I would have beat the game.
John usually peaced out before Ryan came out of the console but he was lost in thought: pondering this new found information. Ryan had logged out and was staring at his brother who seemed to be a million light-years away.
"How long were you watching?" Ryan said while stepping out of the console and laying the suit down on the desk. Still no response from John, just him staring off into the abyss. "What's up?" asked Ryan.
John's eyes finally unlocked and met Ryan's stare. A smile crept up, slowly forming a grin from ear to ear.
"Wait, did you figure something out? What is it?" Ryan asked.
John walked over and grabbed the suit Ryan had just laid down, reverting it back to his old adjustments he still knew by heart.
"I'm going to give it one more fucking try, you're going to want to watch this one." Ryan moved over to the tablet John had put down and booted up the feed.
John entered the console and loaded his profile. He opted to continue where he left off: loading into the final boss.
In front of him roared the dragon Drakoseam: Breaker of Wills. The arena was a wide open desert arena—boundaries on the outskirts of his vision formed by mountains.
Drakoseam wasted no time and leapt up, eclipsing the Sun and making the entire battle arena noticeably darker before angling its momentum at John. The dragon was spiraling downward and John kept his composure. He had seen this move a thousand times from both his and his brother's games.
John rolled back and left to dodge the claws, paused for a moment waiting for the follow-up tail slam, and rolled forward and right. The boss was vulnerable on the under-belly and John threw one, two, now three of his poison laced throwing stars. They lodged themselves into the boss and the dragon's health started to slowly tick down before John took out his scimitar and got a solid heavy swing in.
This was all standard play so far. Many players were doing this. It was great to get the poison to sink in early on. Originally John's strategy—adopted by many.
The attacks from the dragon were randomized. Based off the distance John's champion was, it would change the dragon's behavior, making it difficult to predict. It wasn't until the beginning of each animation that would indicate what was to come. John had seen every move. It was like riding a bike—at least—in the beginning.
It had gone like this for a solid half-hour. Everything had been standard so far except for the fact that whenever Drakoseam would pepper in fire here and there, John would swap to his bow and fire a steel tipped arrow at the Dragon's eyes. He had failed all 10 opportunities so far but he just needed to hit one and he had a feeling: he could win.
Drakoseam's health was almost half gone. John couldn't keep this up much longer, he had gotten lucky on some close calls. His luck was bound to end soon and the dragon was as agitated as ever. Claws slammed down and John rolled, the dragon went for the bite, and John dashed forward through the jaws before they could shut. He heard the teeth grind together where he stood moments ago. He knew what was next and he swapped to his bow. He also noticed the tale was laying to the left of him as if asking him if he needed a ride.
This wasn't part of the plan, but he knew the dragon was about to take off into the sky. He had his bow out, all he needed was a vantage point. He jumped onto the tail right as Drakoseam leapt into the air. This was it. This was when Drakoseam was about to do the full circle flame around the entire arena. This animation was rare.
John kept his balance but he didn't have a lot of time. He started running up the dragon's scales, along the backside. He made sure to only come in contact with the thickest scales, where the nerves couldn't warn the beast.
Drakoseum began engulfing the whole arena while turning, the fire would end when the full 360 was finished. He only had 3 or 4 more seconds of Dragon blindness.
John was struggling to get up the dragon's back when he decided to throw his bow off the side of the dragon, now his scimitar. His weight went down and he felt a burst of speed and agility. I don't have time.
He finally made it to the head and Drakoseum was almost finished with his flame attack when John took out his last 2 poison tipped throwing stars, jumped straight up like a professional diver, and came down with arms fully extended—jamming both of them into the eye's of the beast.
He held on tight as his throwing stars became handles while the Dragon whimpered and began crashing down to the ground. Because he was gripping the stars so tightly, the poison edges sank into John. Shit.
John had lost the grip on one of the embedded throwing stars but was so determined to see this through he would not let go of the second. It seemed like he was in the air for an eternity but finally: they both landed. John was at 5% hp, now 4%, the poison was ticking down about to end him, but he was still moving and Drakoseum was not.
The poison must have gotten into the dragon's brain.
The dragon disintegrated into the desert adding to the thousand miles of sand. A victory screen lay across his vision. John had done it. John had won. John was the first in the world to beat the game.
He'd wake up famous tomorrow.