Let's Gush: Awesome Bosses

So, with @spaceyroach’s blessing, I’ve decided to make a little counterpart to their “Let’s Vent: Horrible Bosses” thread.

So, as Spaceyroach has already said, there are some bosses that are absolutely godawful, poorly programmed, terribly set or just plain disappointing. If you have a boss you want to vent about, check this thread.

This thread, on the contrary, is for when you just need to talk about how absolutely astounding one of your favourite boss fights is, whether it’s because it’s a really satisfying fight, a very fulfilling conclusion, be it an astounding victory or a tearjerking conclusion, or indeed if it just has an awesome soundtrack you can’t stop thinking about (This can certainly include final bosses, though there’s already a thread for final boss music over here!)

Much like the partner thread, tag/blur your spoilers!

So I’ll share a couple of my favourite boss fights to start us off.

First off, the entire reason I made this thread, Dark Souls 3 has one of my favourite boss fights, namely The Abyss Watchers. Starting with a one-on-one duel, then turning into a crowd fight with another couple of Abyss watchers, one who helps the boss and another who just attacks anyone nearby, friend or foe. It then turns into a secondary stage where the last surviving knight becomes a Lord of Cinder and you have to fight them alone, with their newfound flame powers. I think what really drives it home for me is the melancholy music in the first phase of the fight, to the point that I love prolonging the fight just to hear the whole first phase music before I continue the fight. The fact that the Abyss Watchers can be parried and riposted as well makes for a fun swordfight experience for seasoned Dark Souls players.

Second of all, this one’s a bit more unusual, in the recently-released indie game Creepy Castle, the penultimate boss of the first episode, [spoiler]Darking. While the boss fights in Creepy Castle alternate between trading blows, eating food and inflicting damage via minigames, Darking in partricular starts out very aggressively, alternating between a fast ‘Parry’ minigame (Where you place your cursor over incoming attacks to block them) a ‘shell game’ attack where he moves very quickly, and a button-mashing struggle attack. All the while, a pumping boss theme plays in the background.

However, the turning point of the fight comes around, and it’s clear that Darking is starting to doubt his own motives, as the music turns melancholy and Darking himself looks visibly upset, and eventually starts deliberately throwing the fight, attacking more slowly in his Parry minigame, moving more sluggishly if you miss him the first time in each shell game attack, and last but not least outright giving up halfway through a long button-mashing struggle, leaving you to strike the final blow. Truly a heartbreaker of a fight.[/spoiler]

I’m gonna say one of my favorite boss battles is the final bosses from the Portal games. The whole game feels like an adventure that builds up to the final conflict, and it always makes me feel like a bad ass. Plus, shooting a portal at the moon in Portal 2 is such a hilarious moment, and the perfect way to cap off the madness before it.

One that immediately leaps to mind for me is Credo from Devil May Cry 4. The mano-a-mano fights where you’re fighting a more normal-sized boss are always fantastic in the DMC series (see also Virgil) but Credo showcases so many of the things that makes Nero fun to play. From his aggressive plays to the different ways you can use your Buster to counter his attacks, every moment feels fun as hell, especially when you learn how he plays and how to shut him down. It’s frantic and fun and fulfilling when you get it down and for me it’s easily a high point of the game.

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Monsoon from Metal Gear Rising. Fast-paced and challenging without feeling unfair.

I’d like to give a small shoutout to The Tree Of Men from Salt & Sanctuary. It’s one of the few bosses to really capitalize on the platforming aspects of the platformer-RPG. The design is also creepy in this weird stop-motiony way that reinforces the horror of a thing that shouldn’t be alive & moving. The only bad part of it is it’s easy to fall into a pit if you’re not aware of them.

edit; Immediately after posting this I go to read the awful bosses thread and see Tree in there. I feel you, but I disagree.

Elpizo from Mega Man Zero 2. His first form, at least, is actually really fun to fight. It can be tough at first; his attacks are punishing if they hit, and he’s fairly fast as well. That being said, once you get used to him, he’s really not that bad. It’s also a battle that encourages you to stay close; it’s harder to see his tells, of course, but one of his attacks is made specifically to be harder to dodge if you’re farther away. So overall, it’s a fast-paced fight that’s really good at keeping the player in a specific range. It’s also not a bad one to repeat if you happen to die.
His second form is eh. Mostly due to teleporting. But it’s not quite as fun as form one.

I can’t decide on my favourite boss, but I’ve just recently seen a really cool one. I’m playing Skyward Sword for the first time and I’ve reached the Ancient Cistern yesterday.

The entire dungeon is bright and built around a huge Buddha-ish statue bathed in water. Then as you reach the lower part of the dungeon, everything changes - you are greeted by a huge skeleton quad-wielding weapons in a dark room, different and much dirtier than the rest of the dungeon. Then you reach a mass grave with zombies around it. When you finally get to the boss, it’s Koloktos, a six-armed Buddha-ish giant robot, which you fight by ripping parts of it apart with a whip like you’re Master Asia, and eventually cut apart using its own swords like it’s Zelda Revengeance.

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I’m gonna go with Albus from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia.

Depending on what ending you get, he’s either the final boss or the midway boss. Either way, fighting him is always quite satisfying to me. Up to that point, you’ve been pursuing this guy and it’s time for the showdown. The fight is fast-paced, fun and it has awesome music.

Also, I’m probably looking like a Resident Evil shill lately, but I have to give a shout-out to the Jack chainsaw fight from RE7.

After being chased by chainsaw wielding maniacs throughout the later series, it was so cathartic to have your own and engage in a good ole fashioned chainsaw dual with Jack. The whole thing was so Evil Dead / Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (the gloriously ridiculous one), right down to Jack saying “groovy”.

Honestly like every boss from Ōkami is excellent, but the final boss, Yami is easily my favourite boss in any video game.

The build up of the entire game until this point, Issun leaving you, the Ark itself and then Yami’s reveal, Ammy’s powers being stolen and Waka sacraficing himself all the st the tone for an amazing battle that starts with you, powerless, having to fight in your disempowered state and slowly reclaim and utilize all the Celestial Brush abilities you’ve gained through the game, over a series of phases where the boss repeatedly changes form through several cool designs and then when it looks like in spite of Ammy’s best effort you can’t win - the reveal that Issun has been travelling the land spreading the revelation that Ammy is a goddess to everyone they’ve helped over the course of the game, and the scene one by one showing like every one of those people putting their faith in Ammy resulting in a power of friendship type power-up that’s entirely justified given Ammy is a literal goddess and draws her power from people’s faith and the climatic phase of the fight of the Ruler of Darkness and against the God of the Sun backed by a ridiculously good song - it’s all just so good both narratively and to actually play.

It’s also strong themeatically, like the reveal of Yami’s design being a giant mechanical construct in juxatposition to Ammy’s powers all being about nature in some way, and the way this mechanical lord of darkness eclipses both the literal sun - and represents the wavering face of people in the face of solving their own problems through artifices and no longer really needing the gods, and in turn Ammy overpowering Yami and the sun rising again only because people believed in Ammy because she went throughout the world helping people.

Also again, Yami’s design is amazing: http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/okami/images/9/9b/Yami.jpg

I’d like to show some support for Cortez from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.

[spoiler]He’s the ghost of an infamous pirate that you fight at the end of one of the game’s cooler dungeons. Unlike every boss up until that point, he’s a multi-phase boss that requires a different strategy for each phase. Each phase has 20 HP, which sounds small for a boss so far in the game, but the number of phases makes the fight one of the most exciting in the game.

His first form is fairly simple to deal with, essentially a big enemy with one attack per round that can’t be jumped on due to the spikes on his bone pile. However his second form changes his attack pattern and occasionally boosts his power for a supercharged move that will tear through your HP unless you have Vivian active and use her Veil ability. His final phase drops the charging attacks, but gives him five attacks per turn. His weapons can be gotten rid of with Fiery Jinx or Gale Force, but Cortez himself must be dealt with by fighting it out. Not to mention, once his third form runs out of HP, he’ll take a page out of Hooktail’s playbook and devour the souls of half of the audience to heal himself by 10 HP. Knocking him down to 0 one more time will finish the fight for good.

Most of the game’s bosses are good, but Cortez’s shifting fighting styles and great fight music really made the battle with him a special experience in my eyes.[/spoiler]