Well, this certainly didn’t happen over night, but it finally happened nonetheless:
Perfection (15G): Earn all the Seals in every level.
For those that don’t know, Seals are basically optional objectives, and there are three for every level in Mark of the Ninja. Some require you to reach a specific spot within a certain time limit and others are more tricky, requiring restraint and patience. Such as the last one that I got to unlock the above Achievement, which tasked our ninja friend with pickpocketing two keys instead of killing the guards holding them and taking them from their sliced up bodies. Well, that’s how I did it my first time through, but going the stealthier route forced me to move more slowly and be very aware of my surroundings. Which is fine, because this game is so dang rewarding, making one feel like he or she really is the shadow in the night, the hand from the darkness, the unseen that moves like the wind.
In the end, none of the Seals were too painful to get, just time-consuming. I tried to get what I could during my first playthrough of Mark of the Ninja, but due to tiny text syndrome, my bad eyes, and an iffy font choice, I had a hard time reading most of the instructions. So I skipped a lot of Seal tasks or just plain missed doing something because I didn’t know it could be done. And so, long after the fact, I did something I haven’t done in a while and don’t do often just from a sheer dislike in following along instead of figuring things out on my own: printed out a checklist from an online guide. The last time I did this? Hmm. Probably the alchemy recipes for Dragon Quest VIII. Well, I also began to record some item collecting in Borderlands, but that fizzled out fast as soon as Borderlands 2 dropped. Regardless, it really helped a lot to know exactly what tasks were in each level beforehand and then cross them off as I accomplished them.
Still working on completing all the Challenge Rooms, finding all the hidden haiku thingies, earning all upgrades for the ninja, and acquiring a ranking of three stars for each level. Yeah, all those tasks–at once. I’m pretty close on each of ’em, but it’s a slow creep, with constant checking and sometimes having to replay the entire level to make ends meet. After this, all that’s left for me to experience in Mark of the Ninja is a New Game+ playthrough, which I’m hesitant about doing. I like to pretend I’m a great ninja, but truthfully, I’m great ninja because of all the systems already in place; remove those, and I’m just a dude in a funny costume hopping off walls like a madman. At least, that’s what I suspect. I’ll probably give it a try, but if the early levels prove troublesome, then there’s no way I’ll get through the final ones on my skills alone.