Rolling Up The Stairs is a new idea for a blog series I had over my weekend having the house to myself (I miss it already. Honestly, I missed it within 20 minutes). It originated as an idea to have a blog series about particularly challenging or creative boss battles titled "Boss Battles" (creativity isn't my strong point), but then I decided that I didn't want to be limited to just boss battles. I expanded it to any enemy/level that's difficult, different from the norm (example: The End in MGS3), creative, or notable in general. I asked my friends for a name, and Shoob came up with Rolling Up The Stairs. So here we are, with Challenge 50 in God Hands challenge mode chosen for its crushing difficulty.

First of all, I have to give you some background on God Hand. it's got an adaptive difficulty system where the better you do the harder the game gets, the worse the easier it gets. There are four difficulty levels, ranging from harder than average to brutal and merciless. The latter, my friend, is Die. For a more in depth look at the game, you can read my review here, and I'd recommend doing hat. It'll help you understand the rest better, because God Hand is very unique in everything from combos to the dodging system. In almost all challenges, the difficulty is locked into a single level.

Devil Hand/Azel is basically the Vergil to Gene's Dante, the Devil to Gene's God. Gene used the power of his God Hand to gain the power of a God, while Azel chose to gain the power of the Devil. Several of his moves are shared with you, and unlike most bosses he doesn't just block but also dodges.  

On Die, his moves come out at lightning speed, if he's blocking he'll counter any attack that isn't a Guard Breaker within two punches, he'll use a combination of high attacks, a highly damaging grab move, and occasional low attacks. He reacts to your own attacks with fast dodges, blocks, and if you aren't careful you'll find your attacks dodged and interrupted simultaneously by a roundhouse kick. Over all, he's the toughest boss I've ever beaten (still not quite as tough as Mike Tyson in Punch-Out!!, but he's close. I never beat Tyson, so my earlier statement is still correct).

I spent many hours going through the challenges in God Hand before I decided to take this on seriously. I skipped 47 and 49, but I had already completed the other 47 of the 50. I was warmed up to say the least, and I had maxed out Gene's health. God Hand has a custom combo system where you have ~110 moves to buy and create a customized moveset, and what this means is that there are a lot of different styles you can make, with differences ranging from subtle to drastic.

This is significant because of just how specific my strategy for beating him was. I had to dodge cancel to reset my combo at the third move repeatedly while using the God Hand (temporary boost that makes you invincible and very fast) so that I wouldn't make him dizzy too quickly, and only used my faster 4th when the time had almost ran out, so that I'd have enough time to use a slow attack that refills your God Hand meter quickly and still do the powerful Stun Move that making an enemy dizzy allows you to. This would let me get my God Hand meter filled quickly so I could use it again before long - assuming I manage to survive.

During the normal fighting, I'd rely heavily on the a number of moves many people might not have. I've never made another strategy that specific in any game, and it only works for my moveset or a similar one. Someone else could very well have fought him in a completely different way.

Despite the overcomplexity of the aforementioned strategy, I was still on my last legs as I finally finished him off. The weakest attack in the game would've been enough to be the end of me, and the Stun Move that finished him only did just enough damage to do the job. On reflection, had I done anything even slightly worse I'd have failed. The full extent of my ability was only barely enough to grant victory - and after countless failures at that.

Everything about the game just comes together perfectly in this battle. From the deceptively deep combat system and dodging that requires skill and thought, to the over  the top sound design and enemy reactions. A big part of what makes God Hand's boss battles so great is that they play by the same rules as normal enemies. Bosses are rarely invincible, their blocking can be broken, and unrelenting attack is at worst hypothetically possible.

You can still send them into the stratosphere, kick them between the legs, and even juggle many of them in the air. But out of all the great boss battles, Devil Hand stands as the best - and the most soul crushingly difficult, both reasons why it was the focus of this blog.


In conclusion, the music I listened to while writing this;

*This blog has not been edited to address the correct-statement move.

*This blog HAS been edited to address the conclusive-paragraph move.