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Monday, October 22, 2018

Cheating Ōkami's Blockhead Grande With Nintendo Switch Video Capture

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Pity difficulty plus video capture equals possible to win!

I am thoroughly enjoying my time playing Ōkami HD on my Nintendo Switch. You know, enough to spell Ōkami correctly, as opposed to the incorrect “Okami” that people probably search for. (So if I didn't spell it wrong, then no one would be able to find this article.)

I am getting to the end of the game (at least, I think it's the end) with the Kamui area. (Not to be confused with anything from Fire Emblem.) There is a reoccurring clan of overconfident talking barrier wall characters named Blockhead. They appear in dungeons to prevent Amaterasu (the protagonist) from passing from either side. Amaterasu needs to tackle Blockhead's front side. Once that happens, flashes will appear — in a randomly-generated order — on Blockhead's body indicating where Amaterasu needs to draw dots using the Celestial Brush. Blockhead doesn't even know he has this weakness, and then it's too late and the wall crumbles.

The very last Blockhead is Blockhead Grande. Grande is an optional foe — he is literally in a secret hole in the Kamui ground that Amaterasu needs to dig up with a secret hole-digging skill. He guards some rare treasure, but unlike the Blockhead before him with three or four dots, Blockhead Grande has eight. That's more than I can comprehend. To counteract this a little bit, Ōkami HD has pity difficulty for non-combat puzzle sequences like this. (For all I know, it has the same for combat, but I've never gotten anywhere close to a game over.) The game makes timed sequences slower, for example.

But it's still really hard, or impossible. So using the Nintendo Switch's unique Video Capture and Screenshot abilities, here's my step-by-step guide for what I did:

Ōkami Okami Blockhead Grande Nintendo Switch Kamui
Step 1: I took this screenshot of Blockhead Grande using the Nintendo Switch screenshot button.

Step 2: I uploaded the screenshot of Blockhead Grande to a social media account so I could get it on my desktop computer and MS Paint.

Step 3: I had Amaterasu tackle Blockhead Grande and reveal his weakpoints.

Step 4: Then I held down the Nintendo Switch's Video Capture button. I immediately pressed the Home button after the video started saving. I needed to press the Home button quickly, because if one does nothing for long enough, Blockhead Grande laughs at Amaterasu and resets the sequence after dropping debris on her. (The sequence is different every time Amaterasu tackles Blockhead.)

Step 5: I went to the Nintendo Switch album and trimmed the saved video so it is just the part covering the sequence. The following is the successful sequence I had:

Step 6: In the Nintendo Switch Album, the trimmed video will keep looping by default. I had my MS Paint window and, after several loops, charted this game plan for where to paint and in what order:

Ōkami Okami Blockhead Grande paint dot Celestial Brush order
I chose orange in an attempt to have contrast (better than black given the cracks),
though once one is in Step 8, there's no time limit.

Step 7: On the Nintendo Switch, I closed the Home menu and returned to the game.

Step 8: I immediately held the Celestial Brush button down and did this while consulting my MS Paint guide:

And there you have it. Blockhead Grande was defeated. Now, let's note this: Even with this method, I still failed multiple times. The brush dots have to be precisely placed — the game is rather unforgiving in this regard. My MS Paint guide had to very closely correspond with where the actual hint dots were, and you can see in the video that I went very slowly to make sure they were being placed correctly. Failing meant starting all over again, since, as I mentioned, this is random every time. The final attempt must have taken over a dozen failures to do, so the dot order you see in the first video is slowed quite a bit from the very first time I tried Blockhead Grande.

Eight undistinguished things (they're just dots) to remember in a random order with no pattern is very, very tough. By comparison, remembering three distinct department names is very easy. (Try that for yourself here.) It even makes remembering nine burger items that are distinguishable by voice-acting rather trivial. (You can try that for yourself here.) Lesson for game designers: If you're going to have people memorise many things in a short period of time, they need to be very visually or auditorily (or both) distinct and in a pattern. Or on a system that lets people cheat.

On Ōkami's original releases on the PlayStation 2 and then the Wii, Blockhead Grande was impossible for everyone unless they took a camera to their television screen and recorded it. But with the Nintendo Switch port, everything can be handled without external equipment, and at pristine source quality!

Ōkami Okami Nintendo Switch Blockhead Grande defeated cracked image be burned into your eyes
May this image be burned into your eyes for all eternity!

Ludwig wrote this article primarily to show off his own ingenuity in tackling a normally impossible task, but if it ends up helping other players, that's okay, too. What do you think of Ludwig's method? Have you encountered Blockhead Grande in Ōkami, or have you encountered a similar situation in other games? Let KoopaTV know in the comments section!

You can do the same kind of cheating in the Clefairy Says minigame in Pokémon Stadium.


  1. Well done you. When I last played Okami I couldn't even get past the bit early on where you were supposed to make a bunch of flowers bloom in sequence, or something.

    1. Hey, it's not easy for me to draw a closed circle, that actually looks vaguely like a circle, with the Wii Remote! >_< And you gotta do it really fast too! D:

    2. I'm playing the game just with the Pro Controller, so no motion controls for me.

      Is it true then that motion controls actually makes the game worse?

    3. Probably? I never owned the Wii Pro Controller, only the Wii U one so I can't really say because I've never played it WITHOUT motion controls.

    4. This is about 3 years late, but yeah, motion controls make the game actively worse.

    5. Thanks for letting me (and future lurkers) know.


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