Discover more from Eye of the Storm
and how to approach it
It seems that addressing the points in the Psychopath Manifesto has been very beneficial for you guys as my readers, and I thought I would continue the series. This one is about failure. It seems that failure has a massive impact on people that can halt them in their path. They don’t want to continue trying new things because they don’t want to deal with the fallout of failing at whatever it is that they tried.
I will never understand the preoccupation with failure and why it has so much power over people, but I thought I would address both Dutton’s position on failure, and how that translates to a psychopath’s life.
About failure, Dutton states:
The first thing is to fail fast. That sounds crazy, but a lot of people are frightened of failure, but actually, the quicker you fail the quicker you find out what is going to succeed. So, don’t take failure personally. That’s the first thing I would say.”
Failure is a necessary part of life. It is the only way that you are going to learn anything and it is also what makes life interesting. When people say that they fear failure or that they want to avoid it in any way possible, I can’t imagine how they derive much enjoyment from the world. A great deal of the benefits to be found on this planet are found through failure and it is a crucial part of a person’s development.
A child will thrive the most when they are able to observe themselves mastering something. Be it something simple like getting the right blocks into the right shaped holes, or something more complex, like learning how to bake cookies for the first time. There is a great deal of benefit that comes from not succeeding but persevering through that failure until success is achieved.
When you meet failure head-on you have to shift your thinking about how you are approaching a problem. This improves your ability to critically consider the situation that you are confronted in, it allows you to understand your own power and agency for finding a way through it, and it also builds your sense of who you are and what you can accomplish when pushed to do so.
When people are paralyzed by the emotional impact of failure I often wonder if they were made to suffer in their lives for failures by those that should be encouraging a person to keep going. Someone like their parents, for instance. If that is the case, those parents suck and clearly do not have a concept of the high value that failure really does have.
The image at the top of the post is of Resident Evil 4 the remake. It came out recently and I have been playing it quite a lot. RE4 was easily the best in the entire RE series, but it isn’t without its challenges. The remake is exactly the same way, though they made some adjustments that improve on the original design which we will be discussing.
Back when the original came out I had it on Gamecube, but not just any Gamecube, but rather a modded one. It was great, I could go into the firmware of the system and alter the way any game played. It was built-in cheat codes, more or less. I could make both main characters so that they were unable to be hurt, and Leon, the protagonist, would have unlimited ammo.
In Resident Evil games resource management and health management are rather important. You run out of ammo, you’re pretty f*cked. Another aspect that they put into the original was to make you the player responsible for the health of the ball and chain… I mean Ashley, the NPC, that you have to haul around with you for a good part of the game and have to protect. It was kind of a pain and she was… less than helpful at keeping herself from getting hurt, or worse, getting carried off. When Ashley is carried off by the bad guys, you get a game over. You failed, and if I remember correctly, the game gleefully told you in big red letters, YOU FAILED. It may be that it says YOU ARE DEAD, but I could have sworn that it told you that you failed. I can’t find a screenshot of that currently, and I don’t want to go load my game just to find this out.
As I mentioned, I had the fun modded Gamecube that would allow me to bypass all that noise and not have Ashley carried off every five and a half seconds had I wanted to use it. I also had Gamesharks for my PS1 and PS2 games as well. However, I have a rule with such things. I don’t get to use them until I earn them, and that means that I have to beat the game without using any of those, on all of the difficulty levels, before I get to play around with the cheats.
Now, as I said, I don’t get to use cheats, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t cheating present. If you have ever played a Resident Evil game on one of the highest difficulties, let me tell you, the damn things cheat like crazy. The enemies are bullet sponges, you get hit even when you blocked perfectly, and in the most recent iteration of the game, it rolled back some of my weapon upgrades, because apparently… why not? In other words, they can be an absolute slog to get through. Anyone that has played RE7 through on Madhouse difficulty will roll their eyes with annoyance when you mention the Mia fight at the beginning, or the Heisenberg fight in Resident Evil Village.
Now, you have to understand, as much as the games cheat on higher difficulties, and as much as they are a slog to get through, there is a method that is present that makes it possible to beat them, even if you feel like finding every developer that ever laid a finger on the game’s production and kicking them swiftly and firmly in the shins, they did leave you a path to success. It won’t be an easy path, and they still deserve to be kicked, but it’s there. You just have to be able to find it, and they meet that challenge.
In this new release of RE4, you don’t have to babysit Ashley’s health, but she can still be carried away. Trying to not get pulverized by the chainsaw guy or the new hammer dudes, while trying to make sure she isn’t carried off like a camper in a sleeping bag by Jason Voorhees is not exactly easy, so you start the first playthrough on the assisted mode. You have to learn the game, the mechanics, the terrain, and everything else on the most generous setting. You are still going to die a fair amount, but you won’t think that your console is possessed by the devil.
Next, you are going to want to work your way through a standard playthrough. Again, this is about knowing the game very well, and also challenging yourself on inventory management on the higher difficulty. This is necessary training for what you are going to have to do next. Now it is time for a Hardcore playthrough. This playthrough has a specific reward at the end of it, that is, if you beat it within ten hours. The previous playthroughs have familiarized you with the maps and the fastest route if you were paying attention. Don’t get too distracted by the shinies (treasure), but you do have to pick up as much as you can, and also note where all of them are along the way.
Once you hit $2,000,000 pesetas, and yes, this is going to take you a while even if you are grabbing every single treasure on the map and selling it to our rather shady merchant, you can buy the almighty:
The Infinite Rocket Launcher. It takes down everything like it is a hot knife cutting through butter. Yay! You might think, nothing will stop me now!
Yes, but no. Ashley is still going to stop you, because while it cuts down all enemies like they are the tall grass in Hank Hill’s lawn, it will take Ashley out in a second. It’s too powerful and that girl gets in your way as much as humanly possible… or AI possible… whatever, you get what I mean. This brings us back to running the Hardcore mode and beating it in ten hours. Remember that reward at the end? The whole reason for the playthrough to begin with?
If you make it through this playthrough, you will be rewarded with the Ashley armor:
Cue heavenly music and the angelic choir. Ashley is now invincible and is too heavy for almost every enemy to even think about picking her up, save for one, Bitores Méndez, and he’s just a d*ck for many reasons. He can also still carry her off, and will because you know… he’s a d*ck.
All right, now you have the armor, and Ashley is a running tank. You can shoot her in the face with your handy dandy infinite launcher and she’ll be just fine. She’ll complain about it, but she complains about a lot of things that I ignore, but she can’t and won’t die. Now it is time for the next challenge. Now you have to run the game through on Professional. This is the hardest difficulty in the game, and you have to beat it in under seven hours. Not one second more. What will this reward you with?
The wonderful thing about this lovely gun is that it can be upgraded so you can have unlimited ammo for it. It is a Tommy Gun, which is an automatic .45, and when fully upgraded has really good stopping power. It is considered, in the game of course, a “bonus weapon”. That means that you don’t get it through the events of the game, but rather it lives in your weapons storage to be used on any playthrough.
I can hear you now wondering what all this has to do with failure and being fairly convinced that I have spent WAY too much time playing this game recently, and you are probably right about that, but I have a point. Just hang with me.
The ultimate prize in the Resident Evil 4 Remake is these:
Does Leon look silly? Yes, yes of course he does. He’s wearing cat ears after all. Why, for the love of all that is holy, would anyone want to put Leon in cat ears unless they are taking him to an anime convention, which I assure you I am not? Because the cat ears bestow unlimited ammo for every single weapon in the game. No more resource management, no more crafting except for health items, no more worrying about the next fight you’re going to be in and wondering if you can melee this guy:
Trust me, you don’t want to be faced with having to melee that guy. He will mess you up, and there is a part in the game where you have to fight two of them.
For those of you that are completionists, like I am, the cat ears are a must. They are basically a callback to the days of giving the cheat code reward after beating the game on all the difficulties. I am getting those damn ears… I don’t have them yet. To get the cat ears, you have to beat the game without using a New Game+ save. For those unindoctrinated in the world of gaming, NG+ means that everything from your previous playthroughs is available to you. All your money, weapons, and health items, as well as your crafting inventory items. This is remarkably helpful when obtaining the infinite launcher with its steep price, as well as getting that Sweeper.
However, to get the cat ears, you have to play the game through on Professional with a brand new save. You go from having a sexy time case:
You can hear the sadness in that image. Professional also make the enemies have a desperate lead deficiency that apparently is only rectified by you pumping every last one of your bullets into them before they finally take a little nap. It’s… kind of a lot. The enemies also really really really want you to get acquainted with their favorite implements:
They’re not… they’re not nice is what I’m saying. They do a lot of damage, and you have to get through this in five and a half hours. Let me tell you, that is a challenge. I have been playing Resident Evil for a long time and none of their top difficulties is a cakewalk, but that time limit is crazy difficult. It’s crazy difficult on one of the easiest difficulties, but Professional?
The devs are so nice though. Like I said, they don’t want you to hate the game, they just want to torture you… a lot, so they gave you an item that will help you out a little bit, and to acquire that item you are going to have to beat it on Hardcore, in five and a half hours, with a brand-new save. It’s training for the real run-through to get your cat ears. Did I mention that you can only save it fifteen times to get the cat ears and that it’s a sixteen-chapter game? I didn’t? Yeah, you get fifteen saves. Your best bet is to run the first several chapters without saving once and hold them all for later in the game, but there is no checkpoint system on Professional, and no autosave either. You die in chapter five because you were trying to keep all your saves? Say hello to the opening screen of the game, because you’re back at chapter one again. Neat huh?
So I did it. I ran the game, on a new save, on Hardcore, in under five and a half hours. You might think, five and a half hours? You can do that in a single night. No. No, I can’t. Five and a half hours on the game clock does not translate to five and a half hours in real life. It’s at least double that, and believe me when I say that I relied on the autosave and checkpoints that Hardcore allows. That won’t be there for the cat ear run.
That Hardcore run was… well aptly named, let me tell you. I made it with minutes, and I mean like my finishing time was four hours, fifty-five minutes, and thirty-one seconds on my clock. It was every bit of a slog that I thought it was, and throughout the whole playthrough, I was pretty convinced that nothing this side of direct threats against my life that would make me undertake that Professional run-through. The cat ears cannot be worth it. I failed so many times, on so many things, and I had to repeat so many places just to shave a little more time off. It was nothing but failure after failure, and even after finishing it, the entire thing was just work. Games are supposed to be fun, but nothing about that run was. Even sitting here now there isn’t a great deal of motivation to embark on my journey for cat ears.
However, I will do it. I will fail so many times and I will think that there is nothing worth that kind of time and effort when I do it. In the end though, I will have my cat ears. Yes, it will be funny to see Leon look ridiculous in them, but that isn’t the point. The point is that I want that challenge, and as unpleasant as it will be to undertake and overcome it, I will do it because if I don’t, I haven’t given myself enough difficulty to persevere through. That is the point of the run. It isn’t because of anything more than proving to myself that I can do it.
Why haven’t I don’t it yet considering that this entire post is about leading up to a difficult challenge, knowing that I am going to fail multiple times, yet the point of this post is to encourage you to not be deterred by challenges? Because I am working on another, which is the image at the very top. The shooting gallery challenges are also quite difficult, and I am down to three that I don’t have the Superior ranking on. Believe me, there are a lot of failures there too. I will spend hours on one of them to get the ranking that I want. Fail, reload, fail, reload, fail, reload, over and over and over again. Giving up isn’t in my DNA, and failure is something that makes me double down and try harder.
Don’t be afraid of failure. Embrace it, make it a part of your soul, and let it light that internal drive that is your competitiveness. You are competing against the person you were yesterday. Show that person how much you’ve grown and what you are capable of. The person you will be tomorrow will have even more to show you, so try to keep up. Failure is the key to a door, and that door lets you into the next version of yourself. Keep going, and the person you will become is going to be far more resilient and able to take on the world than who you were when failure struck fear into your heart.
Oh, and what was that item that I got for the Hardcore run that I needed for the Professional one? I am so glad you asked. It reduces the damage Leon takes by half. Impressive, right? It should make the ultimate run a little easier. Leon isn’t thrilled with it though.
Would you be?