I beat the first level of Radiant Dawn after failing only once or twice. Then playtime was over. I probably died 12-15 times on the second stage, and things only got worse after that. I was at a loss for what to pair with it, but I happened to come into possession of a bottle of Orin Swift's The Prisoner, a red blend from Napa that lovers of Californian wine seem to go nuts over. The Prisoner is little more jammy, oaky and boozy than I care for, although it did go nicely with a wedge of Colston Bassett Stilton. Well over 15% ABV, The Prisoner failed to help me focus on strategy, and I don't think I beat a single level while drinking it.
Following this frustrating experience, I shelved Radiant Dawn for a while. However, I ended up feeling guilty, and being stuck at home sick this morning, I decided to give it one last chance. Because I was sick and it was before noon, drinking booze was not an option. It occurred to me that (dare I say it?) delicious coffee might actually be a better pairing for the game anyway. So I brewed up a French press of Metropolis Coffee Company's Falstaff Winter Blend, and with fear in my heart, I fired up Radiant Dawn.
Falstaff Winter Blend is a nicely balanced, medium-roast blend. Metropolis does not divulge the origin of Falstaff's beans on their website, unfortunately. It is full-bodied with a subtle chocolatey, nutty aroma and delicious notes of mature plum (that's what those of us in the booze industry call prune). After a few sips of the coffee, I felt reasonably alert and proceeded to vanquish my enemy with relative ease. The level I beat had given me some trouble in the past, and my spirits were greatly heightened after finishing it. I immediately took on the next stage, which proved to be extremely difficult. On my fourth try, I lost the battle because some NPC's on the other side of the map from my party failed to fight off the enemy. This very large and heavy straw broke the camel's back, possibly in several places. The fraction of Radiant Dawn that I played through was a humbling experience, but unfortunately, I don't come close to having the patience to play through it. Some might call me a quitter for drinking stuff that's not booze with this game. Some might call me a quitter for quitting. But at least I'm a caffeinated quitter.