“A hero is only as good as the villain.” See? Video games and DC comics understand that. Why can’t Marvelites? Haha! Nothing tops off an excellent video game experience like a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry like a jaw-dropping boss battle. Heart-pounding, skill-testing, stressful and delightful, boss battles push everything to the limit, often the hardest challenge in the entire game. We need boss fights as the final climax, if only so we can get our kicks in without actually fighting our real life bosses. The hero shines all the brighter, the darker the backdrop, the bigger the threat.
Boss fights are crucial! Don’t agree with me? Don’t make me assume my ultimate form!! The Blood-Red Mage!
“What is your Favorite Boss Fight?“
The Timely Mage
I struggled between Gaius and Avion in Shadow of the Colossus, Gray Fox and Rex in Metal Gear Solid, and MAWLR in Killzone 3 but I think I’ll settle on Gaius. Facing one of the largest Colossi in the game on an open platform with nowhere to hide while he attempts to crush you with his sword-like arm was one of the most thrilling boss battles I have ever fought.
The Black Humor Mage
Malus, the final boss in a game with nothing but boss battles, is my favorite boss battle. In Shadow of the Colossus you fight through 16 colossi, and the final one feels like a true triumph. He’s the biggest out of all of them, and the dark, stormy setting adds to the terror of trying to defeat the last one.
The Rage Mage
Nothing beat shoving victory in your Rival’s (Gary’s) gloating face on Pokemon Red/Blue, except for maybe beating him with a baseball bat afterward while his Pokemon look on, crying, “Noooo, don’t hurt my Daddy…!”
The Green Screen Mage
This one took me a while to figure out. There’s quite a few boss battles that I enjoyed and a lot more that I hated. Luckily, writing the Undertale review gave me my answer. The final boss during the True Pacifist run is by far my absolute favorite. You essentially get to battle through all of the old bosses and it’s hilarious and a little bit heartbreaking. And that song??? Come on! I won’t put up a picture, so I don’t spoil it for anyone who might play it. But listen to that music!
The White Out Mage
I’m going to go with Bowser in Super Mario 64. I just love grabbing him by the tail and spinning him around. It’s such a funny idea. And it’s so stinking cute when Mario says “so long dear Bowser”. I can’t really decide which level is the funnest one, they are all essentially teh same with a few changes in your surroundings and the landscaping. Bowser in his low polygon form just seems to have a certain cuteness to him in Mario 64. It’s almost upsetting to “kill” him… but thankfully he’s invincible.
The Well-Red Mage
Again, so many awesome and unique-in-their-own-right choices to choose from: Mike Tyson (a funny name to start any list with, Bowser, Dr. Wily, Metal Man, Sephiroth, Psycho Mantis, Onslaught, Dark Samus, Master Hand, Sin, the Wall of Flesh, The End, The Sorrow, Ganon, Andross, Deathevan, Virgil, Sigma, Orochi, Culex, Barthandelus, Krang, Emerald Weapon, Yiazmat, Metal Gear Rays, Vega, Yellow Devil, Mr. Freeze, Queen Zeal, Giygas, any of the colossi (as my colleagues pointed out), Queen Pulsating Bloated Festering Sweaty Puss-Filled Malformed Slug for a Butt… *out of breath*
I love boss fights that make my heart race, sitting on the edge of the sofa. For that reason, I was almost about to place the final boss on Downwell (some kind of tubular sandworm thing) as my favorite. That’s a really hectic fight. But I’ve got to stick to my roots and choose a tie. It’s the first challenge I’ve ever had to do that for. The tie is between the final battle with an omnipotent “Emperor Joker” Kefka on FFVI AND the apocalyptic alien chrysalis Lavos from Chrono Trigger.
Uematsu claimed that “Dancing Mad” which plays over the Kefka fight was his favorite composition but the music that accompanies Lavos’s final form, “Last Battle”, cannot be missed. Both are epic battle-ballads that encompass multiple themes and movements. The former is an operatic, religious, percussive giant and the latter is a fast-paced, SNES rock star spanning across time. Plus Lavos’ roar and Kefka’s laugh.
They’re marathon bosses with “ultimate forms” and stages at the climax of two of the greatest games ever made. I couldn’t pick just one.