The game is Persona 5. I’ve been playing the game for what was probably months. Last year I had failed to finish the game and was now making a second attempt. After several months, with several hiatuses in between to play other games, I finally reached the final boss. I was gunning for the true ending. The boss fight that plays out is a long, stressful war of attrition. The entire team lends a hand. Ryuji, Ann, Morgana, Makoto, Yusuke, Futaba, and Haru all play key roles in earning victory. After patiently draining his health, victory is in reach. Then suddenly, tragedy strikes. I used a Nuclear attack that hits all of his arms. One of the arms reflected the powerful attack back and kills me in one hit. Game over. A long, dramatic “no” escapes my mouth. A feeling of anger and confusion overcomes me. I shut off the PlayStation 4 and go to sleep.
The next day, I give it another go. This time I am extra careful not to do anything stupid. Victory achieved! The final cutscene begins to play out and a feeling of triumph wells up inside, ignorant to the tragedy about to strike. Suddenly, the power goes out, leaving me sitting in a dark room with nothing but my own despair. All I can do is sit there with my mouth agape, helpless to do anything. How could this happen? I won fair and square. I played smart and emerged victorious, only to have it snatched from my grasp. Talk about stealing defeat from the jaws of victory.
After a few days, I decide to make a third attempt at beating the final boss. Once again, I manage to defeat the evil god and restore peace to Shibuya. The cutscene plays out in full with no interruptions. My mind is at peace with the world. The Phantom Thieves have truly realized their justice. The people of Shibuya lend their support along with those you have helped. The end game plays out. Its time to say goodbye to all the friends I’ve made on this incredible journey. Now you must return to your hometown. Everyone in the Phantom Thieves is there to bring you home. We then watch them cruising down the highway until the van is out of sight. The credits begin to roll. The only way to describe this feeling is bittersweet. I feel triumphant and proud of completing this emotional rollercoaster of a journey, but at the same time sad that it’s over. Its time to say goodbye to these characters you’ve established relationships with and spent so much time with. The Persona series does an excellent job of getting you attached to the characters, making it sad when the journey finally comes to an end. Persona 5 was such a good game that it feels like a void has been left in its place. A void that needs to be filled.
That feeling of a void being left is what I search for when playing a game. When I reach the end of a fantastic game, there’s always that bittersweet feeling left in its wake. I certainly feel proud and triumphant about emerging victorious after an arduous journey. Yet, I’m somewhat sad that its over. I will be parting with these characters soon. How do I fill this void? Will the next game I play give me this feeling? That to me is the mark of a truly great game. You can’t imagine life without it and feel sad to move on from it. A great game will leave you wanting to play it more. Are there any game you’ve played recently that gave you that feeling? Feel free to tell me in the comments.