That’s it, it’s over! Summer Brutality 2017 has come to an end, and what an end!
For the folks who may have just gotten here, Summer Brutality is an annual livestream event where I typically gave myself 2 hours to beat a historically difficult video game. Whether it be Ninja Gaiden, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, or Mega Man, no stone was left unturned and no quarter was given as I gave each stream everything I had…and typically fell short.
However, this year, I wanted to do something bigger. Something mind-blowing. Something unprecedented since the inception of what would become Summer Brutality way back in 2014. Thus was birthed a Castlevania-themed event that I forever dubbed: The Unholy Trinity.
This time around, there would be no time limit, and no set number of lives to work with. Just me and sweet victory, separated by a black ocean of three seemingly impossible games.
The Castlevania series has long been regaled (and reviled), for its punishing difficulty. The three titles I had chosen, two of which I previously had little experience with, include:
- Super Castlevania IV
- Castlevania Adventure ReBirth
- Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
So how did I do? Prepare your anus, because full stream uploads are included below (highlight reels coming soon)!
Super Castlevania IV
To set the appropriate tone, I kicked off Summer Brutality 2017 on July 10th, 2017 with a community favorite: Super Castlevania IV. The kicker? I had no real previous experience with it. Yup, with no fond childhood memories/nightmares to reflect on, I literally went in as a blank slate with no idea what I was in for.
Luckily, the community was quick to remind me that Super Castlevania IV is perhaps the easiest of the three titles I had announced beforehand, which helped calm my frayed nerves. After almost five hours, I was finally able to put Drac away without invoking the full subweapon loadout cheat at the bottom of the chamber stairs. Yay, me!
Castlevania Adventure ReBirth
By now, it was clear that running away was not an option. But that isn’t necessarily true, when in my hubris, I made the dumbass decision to attempt Castlevania Adventure ReBirth on Hard Classic the first time around…and promptly quit 3/4 of the way through Stage 4 in absolute frustration. Since the video no longer exists, you’ll just have to take my word on it: I got my full ass handed to me.
Not to worry, though! I was able to return on August 7th, 2017 and beat ReBirth on Normal Classic like a mouth-breathing pleb, but I honestly felt like it was only half a victory, given my previous stream on Hard Classic was well past the 6 hour mark. Now it’s personal!
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
This last one, however, had been a long-festering thorn in my side. I had first attempted Castlevania III in what is the first unofficial Summer Brutality in 2014, and again. And again. And again. One thing they all had in common? Me losing my ass.
I’ve always had a deep set need to complete a canonical run of Castlevania III with Sypha as my battle partner. The long and short of it all: I finally beat it…after 8+ hours! Put that in your weiner-shaped bong and smoke it!
Complications Throughout the Event
Shortly after my attempt of Adventure ReBirth on Hard Classic, on a #TacoTuesday to be exact, I sliced the absolute shit out of my left thumb with a can lid. Since I’m a broke ass with shit insurance, I opted to super glue my new gaping flap shut and tape it.
The only problem? We as gamers tend to use our thumbs a lot, and even after a couple weeks of healing, using it still felt like turning a rusty hinge filled with blood and cleaved flesh. The resulting scar still feels kind of funny to the touch, but at least I didn’t lose it, which was beginning to seem like a real possibility at times.
And as for Castlevania III? Try stream dropouts, which hadn’t happened at any other point throughout the entire event. It’s like the gaming gods were conspiring against me, but luckily, my awesome viewers were quick to tell me about any problems with the stream so I could rapidly address them.
The culprit? My area had been getting hit with these crazy hailstorms the week prior, which seemed to solely focus on my ISP’s transmitter box. Who would’ve known that 20 year old wires would falter so quickly when literal iceballs are falling from the sky in rapid Last Samurai-esque succession?
In the end, the stream continued, and it’s all been recorded in the annals of YouTube history! I FINALLY beat Castlevania III, baby!
I can finally say that I’ve laid The Unholy Trinity of Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania Adventure ReBirth, and Castlevania III to rest. I’m now more determined than ever to complete my backlog of insanely challenging games, knowing that I’ve conquered some of the most unforgiving titles around.
Mega Man? You’re next. Thank you all so much for being a part of Summer Brutality 2017, and I can’t wait for next year. Lumpz the Clown OUT!
Curious about what other insanely challenging games I’ve played for Summer Brutality? Go here and find out!