downloaded the latest firmware recovery tool from EsponAs of this writing, it was " Recovery Mode Firmware Version LQ26J8"
I started the program and began to override the firmware. Technically, I was overriding it with the same version. (But that's not the point!)
While in the middle of the firmware flashing, where it specifically says on the screen "Do Not UnPlug Your Printer"..... I disconnected power from my printer. The point of this step is to purposely put the printer into RECOVERY MODE since there is no nice and easy manual way of putting this printer in recovery mode. This was my best idea and it worked.
Now turn your printer back on and the screen should say "RECOVERY MODE". This is how you want to be.
Go here and download an older firmware recovery tool - (Originally found on this page -Epson printer firmware reset
Connect your printer via USB to your computer. This only work via USB, not WiFI or Ethernet
Run the older Firmware Recovery Tool. It should find your printer via the USB port. Click Start or Next or Whatever to get the software going.
Once the firmware is uploaded to the printer, it takes a FULL 10 MINUTES for the printer to accept the new firmware. Be patient! It will just sit there and blink for a while. The printer should eventually shut itself off.
Press the Power button to start up the printer again and VIOLA! Your cloned cartridges are accepted again with the older firmware!
Conclusion: I literally figured this out a few minutes ago just from Epson printer support take full responsibility if you brick your printer.
How do I reset my Epson printer to factory settings?
To Factory Reset an Epson printer:
Turn off the printer.
Press and hold the reset button on the back of the printer (normally located to the right of the ethernet port).
Turn on the printer while holding the reset button.
Wait until a message prints indicating that the printer is resetting.