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Blockhead Grande = A Big PITA (It's an acronym, people)

My prediction wasn't that far off. Woo. I've been out in the living room playing Okami since 6:00, and I figured "I'll probably get everything done and beat Yami by 10", and guess what? :p I really only had two stray beads left to get, being from Blockhead Grande and the last battle marathon type thing, located in the hole inside the waterfall in Kamui. In that, I was getting through it pretty good, and all of a sudden, I see two Wakas. I was pretty much thinking "what the hell?", but the strategy that I eventually worked out worked well. Use the slow down time brushstroke, and wait for Waka to throw his sword at you. Power Slash it, and it'll hit him instead, knocking him into temporary vulnerability. Use that opportunity to hit him with everything you've got. Same thing goes for the Evil Raos, except there it's more using the slowed down time to spot the flaming swords before she (he, it?) throws them at you. Hold R1, then rotate the camera until it's aligned so that you can hit all the swords with one Power Slash. Do so, then attack with whatever you can, and repeat the process. It wasn't until I got to the last battle that I was worried. Hell, as soon as I walked through the Demon Gate and heard the different music, I was thinking "uh oh, what could this be", and lo and behold, three Nagis, with an insane amount of health each. Of course, I'd used up all my Vengance Slips, Travellers / Godly Charms (I think those are the names), most of my Inkfinity Stones, and other such things. I had something like 17 Golden Peaches saved up, along with having all 4 of my Astral Pouches full, and those alone are what got me through the battle. Thank God that getting revived with one doesn't actually count as a death, because otherwise, my Deaths rating at the end of the game would've been horrible :x

Interesting note though. When I started those battles, I had just over 2,000,000 yen, and when I finished, I had double that amount :p

The other Stray Bead was the one you get from fighting Blockhead Grande, and it was a pain to get. The way I finally got it was drawing a 4x4 grid on a piece of paper, then tackling blockhead, so the sequence would start. I'd wait for the first two dots to appear, then pop the disc cover open, write down the locations of said dots on the piece of paper, close the disc cover, and continue. I wish we still had our scanner, because the piece of paper I was using is testament to the frustration I was facing :s The pattern that I finally got right though was this:

5 7 

Right beside that, in big capital letters is "OMG IT'S ABOUT TIME!" XD

I was contemplating filling up the Animal Tome to 100% after that, as if the Praising Yen theory (1000 yen for every 1 point of praise earned, once you complete the Animal Tome) is in fact true, it would've seen quite a bit of yen added to my total. I've at least 4000 praise on that file right now, and at that amount, it'd give me 4,000,000. I didn't have the patience though. I promptly made my way back to the Ark of Yamato, fought all the bosses again, then fought Yami, and I'm happy to say that I got an S ranking on every single thing at the end of the game :D I've now got all the Karmic Transformers (pity the one that makes you look like Shiranui doesn't actually give you all the flowing fur on your back), the Secret Theater, and Invincibility that I've yet to test. Now the only things I have left to do are feeding all the animals, finding the last *@*#@ Sun Fragment that I need to have all the health Solar Energy attainable in the game, and fishing. Yay.

I suppose it's rather bad timing that just a couple days ago an announcement was made that Clover Studios was being dissolved. I'd've loved to see a second Okami (possibly find out more of the story behind Waka, see just what exactly happened to make the Ark of Yamato a monster house (so to speak) and so on), and although the chance of that is still there, it seems that it'd be a lot less likely now. Heck, even if one were to be made, it'd probably be for the PS3 exclusively, and I don't plan on buying one of those.

Anyways, I'm gonna end this here, as I have a feeling that if I don't, I'll end up closing Firefox, and only the stuff saved as a draft will remain.