Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Okay Miyazaki, I get what you're doing but you're really fucking with my spirit

This is the first game that I really fell in love with, so of course it would end up being a From Software story.

Something about this game speaks to me. Maybe it was the time in my life when I first discovered it. Maybe it was the single player aspect of it that meant I could progress on my own and not have to deal with others. Maybe it was something that I could not attribute my love for that game to.

Even as I smash my keys and forehead in frustration because "That should have parried!", something about this game is so satisfying. Defeating an boss or miniboss is just elation when the deathblow marker comes up. A rare occurence for me because I am a relatively bad gamer and brute force a fight until it is in my short term memory, hoping that one of these fights, I will get the killing blow instead of being killed... again.

It took me over two years to beat this game, thought I was not playing continuously, letting it sit on the shelf for a while and run in the background over night, I did spent well over the 60 hours that this game is rated for. So, at the end of the day, I very much got my money's worth in playtime.

The intention behind the high difficulty of the games I direct is to evoke a feeling of joy and accomplishment in the player when they overcome these challenges.

- Hidetaka Miyazaki

That really does come across. But there are plenty of difficult games. What sets Sekiro apart isn't just the game play but the story that it tells. Even more so that those component individually, but how the mechanics of the game are represented in the story itself.


Sekiro is set in the Sengoku era of Japan, roughly between 1467 to 1615, following a nameless shinobi plucked from a lost battlefield as a child.

Raised by the Owl, Wolf is raised under this duplicitous father figure, before he is tasked with the protection of a young boy named Kuro.

But how is Sekiro able to die twice. Because his young master, to whom his father has pledged Sekiro's allegiance is the Divine Heir Kuro: the last of a clan whose bloodline confers immortality. We see later that this is part of the crooked Owl's plot to obtain Kuro's immortality for himself. The desire for immortality is a common one, particularly as as a motivation for the antagonists of the story.

But the cost of immortality is one that only Kuro has considered. It gives him his unique perspective on the soul of Ashina, the land where this conflict takes place. He has seen the effect which his bloodline, the Dragon's Heritage, has wrought on the people: dragon rot.

The price which is paid when Sekiro returns to life, when he dies twice: death is not paid by Sekiro but those who have the misfortune of interacting with him. Dying repeatedly causes the non-player characters (NPC's) to halt their quest progression.

interestingly enough the player starts off with 2 nodes of resurrection but it is possible to earn another node of resurrection. Afterwards, Sekiro can die 3 false deaths before a real game over screen

Sekiro's blade is Kusabimaru

His father, the Great Shinobi Owl trains him to obey the Iron Code. In his boss fight for the good endings, we see how Sekiro was raised:

  • First Death: "One! The parent is absolute. Their will must be obeyed. ...Yet I'm sensing some insubordination"

  • Second Death:"Two! The master is absolute. You give your life to keep him safe. You bring him back at any cost. ...At this rate, you'll lose him again"

  • Third Death: (only possible by Jizo Statue) "Three! Fear is absolute. There is no shame in losing one battle. But you must take revenge by any means necessary! ...I wonder if you've got it in you - to bring me down."

Parody Videos

A less serious take on this game is Sekirot, which accepted that we're gonna die... a lot... CalebCity also had a great short video as well.

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