Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an action-adventure game by FromSoftware that’s considered difficult even when just playing normally, but one player has now cleared the game while playing on two screens simultaneously.
This two-screen challenge involves having two separate copies of the game running and controlling both of them at the same time with one controller. The feat was pulled off by a content creator named Mizuki Aihara. On August 2, Aihara streamed their speedrunning challenge to Twitch while playing on PS5 and PC at the same time. They later posted an edited version of the run with commentary in October and that video started getting traction on Twitter in Japan once November rolled around.
Latency, the biggest hurdle
In the full video of the run, Aihara explains that they discovered a way to connect a DualShock 4 to a PC and PS5 at the same time which led to them coming up with the challenge. They used a capture card and the preview window for OBS (Open Broadcast Software) to display the PS5 gameplay on their computer monitor. For that reason, there’s a slight delay in the output. If you check the above video, it’s clear that there’s a difference in timing between the two copies of the game when an input is made.
Sekiro is a game where timing is important, so even a tiny discrepancy can cause big problems. Of course, it’s also not guaranteed that enemies will make the same movements across both games either. Additionally, not just character movements, but the cameras in each copy of the game can also get out of alignment. For when this happens, Aihara used a technique that involves using the Grappling Hook to latch onto a roof and hanging there to reset the camera. Aihara says they adopted this technique from blindfolded speedruns of Sekiro, which are mainly performed by a speedrunner name Mitchriz.
In January of this year, Aihara provided Japanese commentary on a blindfolded run performed by Mitchriz at AGDQ2022 for the channel Japanese Restream. Aihara’s vast speedrunning knowledge was surely put to good use in their own two-screen challenge.
Aihara also explains that the lock on system can be deadly when playing on two screens. In Sekiro, performing certain actions causes the lock on to release from enemies. This can cause one copy of the game to be locked on while the other isn’t. When you’re controlling both games with one controller, trying to lock on again like normal in one will cause the other to release. When you do something to release a lock on in one, it’s important to make sure to release it in the other to keep them in sync.
The three toughest obstacles
Aihara says the hardest enemies in the run are the Lone Shadow Longswordsman, Ashina Elite – Jinsuke Saze, and Emma, the Gentle Blade boss battles. According to them, these enemies have fast attacks, high attack power, and will quickly break your posture if you don’t carefully deflect their attacks. And when you’re playing on two screens at the same time, deflecting attacks is tough. With that being said, your posture will also be broken if you guard.
For the run, Aihara changed their route to accommodate for these tough battles, deciding to prioritize acquiring the Mortal Blade weapon. After acquiring the Mortal Blade, it becomes possible to use a powerful skill. Aihara then went on to somehow defeat the bosses and finish the game in 5 hours 42 minutes and 52 seconds.
Why Aihara continues to take on new challenges
When asked why they take on self-imposed challenges, Aihara explains that it’s their curiosity to see if they’re possible that draws them to such difficult challenges. This curiosity has led them to try and clear a number of challenges, and Aihara says even this two-screen run was simply out of curiosity rather than wanting to show off impressive gameplay.
Aihara has taken on and completed numerous self-imposed challenges in Sekiro and uploaded them to YouTube. If you’re interested in the two-screen challenge, you might also enjoy Aihara’s run to beat all bosses without using Sculptor’s Idols or their run where they don’t use their left hand.
Written by. Nick Mosier based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2022-11-17 20:08 JST)