When thinking of memorable bosses, both conventional and unconventional baddies come to mind. I think the term “boss” can be loosely applied to many characters in video games (and to people whose name you can’t remember…if you are “that guy”), and I intend to exercise that liberty here.
Please note: MAJOR SPOILERS for Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Borderlands, Far Cry 3, House of the Dead: Overkill, and Super Mario Bros. 2.
I had wanted to play Animal Crossing New Leaf so badly that I actually bought at 3DS to do so. I wasn’t disappointed. In just over a year, I had clocked in over 700 hours. My town looked amazing. My Main Street was glorious.
But that flingin’ flangin’ museum.
For anyone unfamiliar, the museum is only “complete” after you have donated one of each possible specimen to it in the following categories: fossils, bugs, fish, and art.
Certain bugs and fish can only be caught at certain times of the year. Some can only be caught at certain times of the day or night. Since I have never once been wiling to “time travel” in the game (basically you mess with the settings to manually change the date and time), I painstakingly tuned in to this real-time game to do everything straight up.
I completed the fossils first. Hooray! The next to be completed was the bug section. Super hooray! The next was the fish section. Super duper hooray! As for the art…
I still need one more painting and one more statue.
Once I finally obtain those two things, my museum will be complete and I can finally claim that elusive museum statue for my house. (As a side note, when I tried to obtain an image of that museum statue reward, I could literally find none online. None. Let that be an indication of it’s exclusivity.)
So as you see, a year and a half later (and 700+ hours), that museum is the most elusive final boss yet.
Recognize what that weird thing is?
Neither did anyone who played the game. That’s the good ol’ messy crab dude from the end of Borderlands.
Oh wait, I’m sorry. It’s the “Vault.”
Good one, Gearbox.
The first time I played through the game, I was expecting (as was…just about everyone else who played it) a glorious vault full of loot. So when I finally got to the end of the game and found this…thing, I did a double-take and was like, “I’m sorry; what now?”
You watch a grody cutscene, and suddenly you see this “thing” plop out of the side of a cliff or something, and it becomes immediately apparent that you must kill it. It’s the final boss.
It wasn’t a difficult boss, and when it was finally slain, I was expecting merry piles of loot to come flying out of it’s crappy moist-crab self. But no no no. Why would they do that?
It ralphed up a sad little collection of items and that was that.
I remember looking over at my partner, he looking at me, and both of us making the same lackluster sound.
It was the weirdest and lamest boss to any game I can recall playing in the last long while. But it sure was memorable.
Vaas from Far Cry 3 needs no introduction. He announces himself.
I had never played a game where the villain was as ruthless, and gleefully so. From the start of the game, you know his act isn’t an act, and he won’t think twice about killing anyone.
But I suppose it was the drug-fueled “boss fight” that most stuck with me. The feeling that you almost weren’t in control at all. The visual feast of the experience. The music. It all came together for a moment I won’t soon forget.
And I was glad when that jerk was dead.
This one is so weird, I don’t even know how I’m going to recount it without putting someone off their Wheaties.
I first played House of the Dead: Overkill on the Wii, and I knew it was done in the Grindhouse style, but I wasn’t prepared for how over the top it was going to be (at the time it had the record for the game with the word “f*ck” in it more than any other).
It did quite well in the rail-shooter vein (it was perfectly suited to the Wiimote), and I was having a great time. And then my partner and I got to the final boss.
We fought our way through, beat her, and that was all fine and well. It was what happened after that I won’t ever forget.
After she lays defeated, the Warden Clement Darling is so distraught that he proclaims he wants to “go home.”
And he proceeds to crawl back up into his mother’s womb.
Complete with awful squishy noises.
I remember not being able to take my eyes off the screen no matter how much I wanted to. I literally couldn’t believe what I was seeing (or hearing). I was even more surprised that it was on the Wii.
Again, my partner and I played this game together, and we both looked at each other like, “Oh what the f*ck was that?!”
Truly. What the f*ck was that?
Super Mario Bros. 2 was the game for me. It’s what really turned me from, “I like games” to “I love games.” I was obsessed with it. And when I got to the final boss, I wasn’t let down.
Wart looks like he just needs a hug and for someone to reprimand him for his choice of accessories. But he’s a jerk and he’s trying to kill you so you have no choice but to take him out.
I can not only recall the music from this encounter vividly, but the wonderful “WHONNNKKK” sound he would make when one of those vegetables hit home. It was like some digital goose had been squeezed in a weird place.
When you finally defeated him, you were treated to the end of the game and the knowledge that it had all been a dream. But you also got to see the “credits” of each of the enemies in the game. I loved it.
So my friends, there you have it. Five of the bosses that stick out in my memory as remarkable in one way, shape, or form.
I do love video games. They’re so wonderfully weird.
When I started playing Destiny, one of the first things I noticed was the sound that the Harpy makes when it is defeated. It’s remarkably similar to the “WHONNNKKK” sound Wart makes. It would make me amused each time, and it only got better one day when I was fighting Atheon and one of the fireteam members referred to it as a “Spaghetti Monster.” When I asked why, he said, “Because it has NOODLES coming out of it!”
The fight against Vaas was pretty memorable.
Great post! Yeah, the “Vault”… I was glad to have beaten the game, but The Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC provided a much better “kill the boss, find the vault” moment by far.
Demon’s Souls had some great, memorable boss encounters…
I think my favorite boss of all time would have to be flying one from Shadow of the Colussus. Chasing after it across the sand on horseback, riding at full speed while taking aim with your bow. Then leaping from the saddle on to one of it’s wings after a successful hit, only to cling for your life as it rises back up into the air. The art style is so good at conveying the scale and power of these creatures, this battle nearly gave me honest to goodness vertigo! So great!
KNOXX!!! i loved that dlc (i mean, excepting the extended driving periods). did you ever glitch the armory? that was some fun stuff right there. there was also a brilliant glitch for the gun cache room in the claptrap dlc.
okay, you talking about that just made me want to play shadow of the colossus even more. that sounds amazing.
We did glitch the armory a few times, generally not something I like to do in games. Didn’t really get much worth having though, I think we were way to over-leveled by the time we played it so we already had better stuff for the most part. But still, the Knoxx battle was a great encounter and the first time you access the armory and see all the chests is exactly what the “Vault” should have felt like even if I didn’t find the loot there particularly useful.
Oh, PLEASE do! I don’t know how they did it, but the visual style somehow conveys so well that you are actually there, you are actually small, they are actually huge, and you are actually that high off the ground. I can’t explain how it works, but you’ll see. Oh, you’ll see.
i don’t often either, but for me, the armory was TOTALLY worth it. i ended up with a ton of orange weapons. good stuff.
and the way you have described SOTC has ensured that i will play it as soon as possible. your words were intriguing.
One of my favorites is the final battle in Portal 2. I’ll avoid details so that I do not spoil it for anyone, but I will say that I loved the way that it both used the game mechanics perfectly and delivered excellent writing all at the same time. For a boss battle I think that is pretty impressive.
Also, Wart is the best!
portal 2’s final boss fight was awesome. i don’t want to spoil it for anyone either, but i thought it was excellent.
wart was great. i love that sound. WHONK!