Shares Please go easy on me Fighting game bosses are built from the ground up to be the most unfair, cheap duels possible. Think about it in the context of a '90s arcade: You've sunk an outrageous amount of quarters and minutes of your time into this arcade machine, fighting tooth and nail to best every AI opponent in your path. Finally, you've come face to face with the ultimate opponent; this one last enemy is all that stands between you and glorious victory.
Until somewhat recently, it seemed as if the concept of the video-game boss was on its last legs.
Bosses were effectively bottlenecks at a time where games were expanding. Open-world and online games flourished, player choice became paramount, and boss fights in games that felt otherwise wide open — like the notoriously underwhelming boss confrontations in otherwise acclaimed games such as Bioshock or Deus Ex: Human Revolution — ended up feeling like dead weight.
Then a wave of nostalgia brought the boss back. Runaway sleeper hits like Shovel Knight and Hyper Light Drifter nakedly emulated and updated 8- and bit sensibilities, where challenging levels were par for the course and boss fights took center stage.
That goes most for these bosses, who have been providing gamers with shared war stories for more than 30 years. Most important, however, was how vividly they lingered in our minds.
Super Mario 64 changed up the classic series formula by giving Mario a 3-D world for the first time ever, but despite the gameplay changes, one thing was the same: Bowser was a jerk.
Then the boss needs to be tossed into a bomb with unholy precision. Yet the hardest and final boss is a spectacled, power-crazed politician named Senator Armstrong.
A caricature of American corruption and excess, Armstrong is also ridiculously strong.
Partway through the battle, Armstrong stops fighting and espouses some pretty messed-up beliefs about America and its political system, before launching some pesky timed-button-press attacks your way.
A powerful spirit created out of resentment and fear, she raises a small army of undead soldiers to attack the player. Killing her minions forces her to resummon them, leaving her vulnerable, but exploiting this weakness is tough to do while dodging both bullets and zombies.
And did we mention you have to do this three times? Defeating Lady Comstock and showing her the truth behind her death frees her from her bitterness, and frees you from one very annoying boss fight.
As the criminal tools around Lego Island, you fly high above in a helicopter, directing the police to his whereabouts and hoping to cut him off.
It just comes with the job. But few are as persistent and frustrating as Kai Leng, whose fight in Mass Effect 3 can make even the Reapers look like pushovers. The xenomorph-esque Vortex Queen presented friendly dolphin Ecco with his great challenge, thanks in part to insta-kill attacks that swallow him up.
Her facial parts need to be removed one by one, including a regenerating jaw, before Ecco can even charge her head-on.
And, of course, this being an era long before autosaves, the smallest mistake might result in having to begin the fight — or the entire game — all over again. Still, the sleek, unreal monstrosity is the primary focus of Alien: Isolation, and figuring out how to avoid and outsmart it takes up the majority of your time.
Bogeys moved slowly, enemy missile lock-ons were easy to dodge, and your F Tomcat plane somehow came loaded with 40 40!
But most players never saw the later missions, because most players just ended up slamming their jet into the ocean while attempting to land. The problem is that all these directions could come within seconds of each other, and you were never really sure if you were actually on a good flight path — you could be making an approach with no warnings and still hit the ocean.
The secret is ignoring the games exclamation points and making only small course corrections.
If nothing else, it reinforced what every gamer knows: Water levels suck. Tabuu Super Smash Bros. This makes the hardest part about Tabuu learning his patterns — which is at odds with the manic energy of Smash Bros.
As the boss of an ambitious mode in what, ultimately, was the least popular Smash Bros. That is, if you can reach him at all. Once you finally begin your ascent of Malus himself, falling off him is the easiest way to die.
Once you reach his head, be content with quick, short stabs rather than trying to land heavy blows, and retreat to his shoulders to regain stamina.