GamerSushi Asks: Boss Battles?

Lords of Shadow

It’s sad that more and more these days, the phrase “boss battle” seem to be getting removed from our vocabulary as avid gamers. Really, with so many shooters getting the green light over traditional games, there just doesn’t seem to be room left for great boss fights in most of the titles that we play. There’s something to be said for tackling a well designed boss, which is why I think Batman: Arkham Asylum resonated so strongly with me as an old school gamer.

Well, consider me stoked up on boss battles again, since I just spent most of the weekend marathon-ing Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. The game is not shy about throwing boss after boss at you, and I was in geek heaven because of it. I’ll save some more details for the incoming review, but let’s just say I liked them.

So, since it’s fresh in my mind after completing the game, I thought I’d bring the question here: what are some of your favorite boss battles you’ve faced in games? Any that were particularly memorable because they were frustratingly hard? Sound off!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

9 thoughts on “GamerSushi Asks: Boss Battles?”

  1. I love all of the Zelda ones, and I hate any boss battle that is hard and the boss taunts you as you constantly die. One boss I can think of off the top of my head that I hated soooooo much was the final boss from Prototype, on hardest difficulty. That nearly drove me to suicide.

  2. I’ve got a few that stand out for me.

    – Bowser – Super Mario 64. The first one had the shock and awe of how big Bowser was compared to Mario. The second one had the “Holy crap Bowser can teleport?!?!?!” moment. And then in the last fight when the stage starts falling apart, awesome.

    – Bongo Bongo – Ocarina of Time. This thing… Actually, this whole temple scared the hell out of me when I first played it. A giant disembodied eye that turns invisible and lives underneath a cemetery, gave 10-year-old me nightmares for at least a month.

    – Metal Gear Ray – Metal Gear Solid 2. This is the only PS2 game I’ve played to completion, and even then it was at a friend’s place over the course of 3 months or more. This boss battle pissed me off something severe, I couldn’t get my fingers around constantly switching back and forth with the stinger missile launcher.

    – Gruntilda – Banjo Kazooie. This boss was fantastic. The way you were forced to use a lot of the different moves you picked up during the games was brilliant. It really did prove that you had played through the entire game. Awesome music too.

    – Thardus – Metroid Prime. I only played through this game recently, the Wii version. Its strange, I couldn’t handle switching weapons in MGS2 but switching between visors in this fight felt as easy as sneezing. I got took a lot of damage during this fight but I was surprised how little health I lost overall, because the rocks he throws at you all gave up health packs. One of the best boss battles in the game in my opinion.

  3. Well one of my favorite boss battles was against The Boss in MGS3, Dracula in Super Castlevania 4 was great. I would put in the Colossi but I never played SoTC. How can their be memorable boss battles without The End, which kind took me awhile to finally beat him. Every single boss in Contra 3. Super Mario Rpg had some awesome bosses as well. I can go on and on about all of the bosses, but there are way to many for me to list.

  4. The Sixteenth Colossus in Shadow of the Colossus was awesome simply because of how unexpected it was. Unlike most bosses, this last guy was just a stationary tower that threw lightning at you. Beyond the incredible challenge of trying to stay on, the story is really what makes this battle outstanding. Wander (and the player) is a exhausted and turning into some kind of demon. He’s so close to goal, and the surmounting of the final obstacle is full of emotion and intensity, even if the final boss isn’t some fast moving kinda dealio. It’s a somber battle, and very fitting for the tone of the ending of Shadow of the Colossus.

    I loved all of the final bosses in the Mario RPG’s I played (Superstar Saga, Partners in Time, and Thousand Year Door) because they really put your reflexes and strategy to the test. I loved all the Mario RPG’s because of their humor and puzzles and exciting combat, and the boss battles were always challenging. Man, I gotta replay them now!

    I’ve been playing the Nuzlocke Challenge (Hard “Mode”) on my Pokemon Blue Version and I remembered how much fun the Elite Four always were. They truly put your Pokemon to the test. I wonder how the hell I’m going to beat them now that I’m playing Nuzlocke Challenge…

    The Master from Fallout 1 is just so freaking cool because he’s so freaking hideous. Plus, I love any enemy that you can talk them into suiciding. Because I’m evil. His plan to evolve humanity in the Super Mutants is probably some awesome analogy to humanism’s faults, so I’ll contemplate it more. Intriguing!

    As for Zelda, I love em all, but I seriously can’t think of just one good one, so I’ll go with Volvoga simply because she’s an awesome fire dragon.

    I would definitely like to see boss battles in games. Honestly, I feel like there’s going to be a big paradigm shift (cwutididthar?) from FPS’s back to RPG’s and RTS’s and all that some-such. I want to see games deliver more of the awesomeness we got from games in our childhood generations, and non-FPS games just have a tendency of involving more skill and cooperation. I’m looking forward to more epic boss battles, too.

  5. There are many great boss battles, but the first thing that came to mind was the fist fight with Liquid on top of Metal Gear Rex.

    I don’t even remember if it was a good battle; it was just so epic.

  6. Mother Brain from Super Metroid. Man, the fight, the metroid saving you, almost dying, than whooping ass again with the new beam weapon. So memorable.

    This may be cheating, but the last fight in Half Life 2: Episode 2 when you have to kill all those striders that are being protected by the Hunters. So intense. Also, the first time you fight the Hunters in that game is kind of like a boss battle.

    Psycho Mantis, Ninja and Metal Gear Rex from MGS also stand out to me. Metal Gear Rex was so hard the first time I played that. Ninja was just an awesome, mysterious and intimidating figure when you fought him. Crazy as hell too. Than Psycho Mantis, with the controller switching to fight him and him reading your memory card. Kojima really broke the fourth wall to introduce some new game mechanics into the game.

  7. Yeah everything MGS…

    I also just finished the first Half-Life for the first time 2 nights ago, and wasn’t expecting the boss. Lots of fun.

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