What follows is a collection of media related to Brandon Cole’s complete Nemesis/penance run of Final Fantasy X.
Brandon Cole, a totally blind gamer and accessibility advocate, completed a Final Fantasy X Nemesis/Penance run with the help of a community of Twitch viewers who grew out of the event. Both Nemesis and Penance are by far the toughest optional bosses in the game, but they were no match for the extraordinary group of people who banded together to see that Brandon could finish this run. It was completed on his Twitch channel on January 21, 2019, and serves to demonstrate the tenacity of the blind gaming community. Brandon’s desire to play this game for his stream, though he had personally completed the main story before, and his passion to achieve things this time that he had never been able to do alone, is part of what made this extraordinary community spawn. This is only the beginning.
The conclusion to the whole event was a moving affair, and I knew at once that I had to write about it. You can find that blog, which contains a far more detailed explanation of the event and its origins, here.
Videos and Highlights
As the whole event took place on Twitch, it’s all archived. You can find the entire Youtube playlist here, however I had my incredible Twitch community create some easily digestible highlights, which you can find below, all nice and embedded. Yay! It is worth mentioning that viewing these highlights will result in major spoilers if you don’t know the story of the game, nevertheless I believe these are an important part of this story.
This first clip is pretty simple, but also very important. It is a clip of me explaining just how we blind people do all the things we are able to do in this game. Even the explanation sounds simple, but it’s also the truth.
Seymour’s always gotta have the last word. Seymour is already dead when this clip begins, but that’s just not enough for this secondary antagonist. This clip is here to show the sillier side of the playthrough, which I believe was also an important part, as it kept the viewers entertained.
Speaking of being silly, this is another rather silly clip. I am building up Bahamut’s overdrive, which is boring on its own, so I try to inject a little laughter.
This clip shows how the community stepped up to help when we started doing bigger things. Here, a wonderful viewer tries to guide me through the Omega Ruins, a secret dungeon in the game, without ever having been there themselves.
While this next clip is a bit silly, it serves the secondary purpose of showing me frantically navigating through combat menus, trying desperately not to die.
Sphere Gridding blind is hard. Please note, this clip doesn’t show much of this, but I am being guided through sphere gridding to level my characters, and I still make a mistake. Whoops!
I get Tidas’s final overdrive for the first time. This was after learning it even existed earlier in the same session.
This next clip shows off my defeat of Dark Ifrit, one of the game’s challenging Dark Aeon bosses. It features Boozel, who often entered a PS4 party chat with me to shareplay anything I needed sighted help for, such as sphere gridding, or setting up gear for a fight like this. Note how he exhilarates in the defeat too. This was common among my group.
We cut to one of the far more difficult battles for this clip, which is the defeat of the Dark Magus sisters. We discuss strategy in chat, which was also common, and my buddy Anima executes that final attack!
This next clip shows the defeat of an extremely tough dark Aeon as well. This time, it’s Dark Bahamut, but fittingly, he is defeated by the light version of himself.
Next up, the defeat of Dark Anima. While he’s mostly a hitpoint sponge, dealing with all that can take it out of you. I approach this victory with some trepidation, as the party doesn’t have much left to give.
As this clip proves, it’s hard to keep track of all these stats and affects in your brain. Luckily I had my chat, who reminded me that Lulu did, in fact, already have the Ribbon affect on her armor, something I completely forgot.
This clip demonstrates more community involvement. We played Jackbox Party Pack for the wright to rename all my Final Fantasy X aeons, and rename them they did. This shows you poor Ixion, who was renamed to… Butts.
Here come the big ones. First, we head to the arena to take on the arena master’s most devious creation, and the second most difficult boss in the game, Nemesis. You can hear my own shock, as well as a couple exclamations from chat. This was one of the biggest moments of the playthrough.
Now, the biggest, toughest boss in the entire game, only accessible after defeating all of the Dark Aeons, Penance. We struggled with this one a bit, but again, my viewership community comes through, providing everything from alternate strategies to mix guides for Riku. This clip is the final result of that battle. I find it difficult to express how I felt when this happened even now, just as I can hardly do so in the clip.
Once we wrapped up the big baddies, it was time to close out the game, and we did it in epic fashion. The bit this clip doesn’t capture is that Sin, the game’s final boss, was finished off with Tidas’s ultimate overdrive. This is poetic justice, considering Sin inhabits the body of Tidas’s father.
The story doesn’t quite end with Sin, though. Sin is the shell, the armor, which contains a sort of parasite within. This is the defeat of that entity, which at last, closes out the game. Wow.
That about covers all the media from this event. You can find out more about me and the work I do on my media page. Thanks for checking this out, and know that I am more than willing to discuss this and anything else. Feel free to use the social bar above to contact me. Last but not least, continue to be awesome!