An Ode to Gabriel Celeste

The Seraphic Gate was the icing on the cake. After watching Odin’s magnificent land of Asgard crumble and restore right before my eyes, the idea of an extracurricular dungeon boasting extra playtime was exciting. It was an interesting endeavor; multiple floors with enemies more difficult than the last, and eight auspicious doors locked with very little clue on how to open, rife with grand treasure (and sometimes unexpected assistance from familiar faces) inside as well. During my first trip here, I lacked the proper keys to open them. What was inside of each room would have made my meeting with you all the more easier, but I digress.

By the time I ventured far enough into your territory, a common skirmish with the average monster made Lenneth Valkyrie’s final adversary look like a choir boy. I should have listened to my trusty strategy guide. Despite saving the world a few hours earlier, I couldn’t hope to stand on even ground with you. Even so, I didn’t care. I was a plucky young boy, bright eyed with an iron clad resolve. Lenneth, Lucian, Mystina and Arngrim had no equal. This was a fact, since Normal Mode never posed a threat for them. Still, when Lenneth paused her relentless flight through the depths of the “Green Floor” to stare you down, I knew something was up. It was strange seeing an angelic figure after taking a sword to weedwhack through a haven of the worst demons this side of the universe. You even had a crescent moon scepter and halo to boot!

“Vulgar beings! You have not met true terror… Repent!”

I thought you were taking the theatrics to a new level, but you had your own boss music, and as it came thundering out of my speakers, I finally knew. This was NOT going to end well. Any lingering belief I still had that Omnislash was the most over the top attack ever had been shattered. As you ripped through Lucian with your most powerful move, Empress Massacre, the most important member of my team had already faded into oblivion as the match began.

Not even a minute passed before our battle became a lost cause. My nerves hadn’t been trained yet, and this was obvious by how much my hands were shaking. I was going toe to toe with you, a celestial being!  I mashed the buttons on my controller in hopes that blindly rushing at you would prove fruitful. It never is. Arngrim was the next to fall. Apparently, even though the brute was spinning a sword twice your size, a calculated strike to your torso barely left a scratch. In a flash, he too was a broken mess on the ground.  Before I knew it, you moved on to Mystina and Lenneth. You left no prisoners, and I figured you were going to bust out of the television and come after me next. I wish I at least saved my game first! The rest is a blur, but you get the idea. Your name is synonymous with domination and anguish, and whenever I come across you in the other worlds you inhabit, my memory of this first encounter always plays in my mind.

Still, years later, whenever I cross your path on a different adventure, I always seem to get the same reaction. I can’t help but shiver for a moment. Fighting with you is an experience. Emerging victorious after finally defeating you is such a reward in and of itself, and knowing that you’ll never just be confined to a footnote in the history books leaves me hopeful in the end. Regardless, it’s nice to know that your days terrorizing won’t be over anytime soon. You’ll continue to show up time and time again, presenting a new challenge to me, and anyone else with the fortune of discovering you. Perhaps I’m just a little masochistic; maybe I just enjoy a good boss fight. I suppose it goes without saying that you’re one of the hardest working superbosses in RPG’s as a whole. Whether it’s in the Maze of Tribulations, Seven Star Ruins, or the Seraphic Gate again, you’ll be waiting for anyone brave enough to seek out a new challenge.

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