The Bosses own the Night

The Bosses own the Night
Art Credit: Stephen718

First thing First

Shout out to Carlos, who texted me today asking if everything was ok because it's been 12 days since my last post. It has been a very big season, but things are good. But I need a pep talk, so here it is

Cuphead is a very hard video game. If you are like me and used to play video games in the late 80s and early 90s, you would remember what they were like. No saves, so you would have to get good at the game to advance further and further, only to get to a boss battle and get destroyed. Then you would have to start from the start hoping to get just a little bit further. This mechanic doesn't exist today; even Nintendo, in their retro game systems all of the games you can save at any time and even rewind your mistakes. No more missing a jump and starting again; you can rewind and try time and time again.

Well, Cuphead brought back the extreme difficulty without all the long set-up. Basically it's just boss battles. In each stage, you fight a boss with several phrases and just struggle through it. And I do mean struggle. There were many times I would play a stage and think to myself: 'this is not possible.' But something happened when I didn't give up. Over time I got better and better and better. In fact not only did I finish the game, but I also beat it again on expert mode and then again in expert mode, getting a perfect score for every level.

So what is the point of this story besides I am an epic gamer? The difference between when I started and where I ended up is so incredibly different. I found a particular part of the game that let you know how many times you were defeated. My number was 1700, and that is not counting the resets; the old lose a life or two too early, and there is no point going on trick. Probably add another 3300 to that number. Now before you judge me, each round is less than 2 minutes...

Stop it. I see you are about to change to the calculator app to calculate how many hours, days, or weeks I have spent on this game.  It's not a number that I want anyone to know, including me.

Hey, I am serious. If I get any math sent to me, I will find you and grab your phone and show you how much time you spent on Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, Candy Crush, or whatever your app of choice is. Let's just both live in blissful ignorance. You can't have a problem if you don't know about it, right?

Here is the thing about Cuphead, I was unorganised, unqualified, unskilled and under-resourced, but I still did it. I didn't come up with a clever plan to train my skills in gaming to optimise my upskilling, so I would only die 800 times; I just threw myself in a struggled my way through it. On the outside, it looked like I was failing and failing, but I knew I was getting better, even when I wasn't.

That is the tricky thing, you have a good run, get to the final stage and get defeated, and then you have 5, 10, 83 runs and get nowhere near the same place. It's frustrating because you forget one thing. We are getting better at the whole game, not just trying to get the further ahead we can. What if we get lucky? What if everything goes our way? Is this really getting better at the game?

If you only remember this one thing, it's this quote from a wise man

'One step forward and 2 steps back is still three steps. If your aim is to get somewhere quickly, this is frustrating, but if your aim is to learn how to walk, then each step is as important as the other - Dan Lee-Archer 2022

I am starting down the barrel of a season where I don't have the skill, experience or connections to make it work. But I don't care. Bring it on. I want it to be hard, I want it to be a struggle, I want to face bosses that I have no idea how to defeat.

There is a cup head song on the internet, only with 138 million views, and the chorus has this line that has stuck with me. 'The bosses own the night'. This paints such an epic picture of our challenges,  standing there smugly, waiting for someone foolish enough to stand up to them.

Well to the bosses that I will be facing in my future, please accept this as a declaration of war. You may own the night, but I am coming for you, and I am bringing the daylight.