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Old 03-08-2019, 01:38 PM
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Default Like a Boss! - Talking Time's Top 50 Bosses!


Art by Corey Belina

Talking Time's Top 50 Boss Fight Countdown

Welcome, Talking Time. I asked you, 'What are your top fifty favorite boss fights of all time?' I asked, and you answered.

In all 26 players entered.

Adrenaline
Beta Metroid
Bulgakov
clarice
Daikaiju
Dracula
Doctor Nerd
Erilex
FelixSH
Gerad
Issun
Ixo
JBear
Johnny Unusual
Kirin
Loki
Mogri
ozacrot
Patrick
Peklo
Positronic Brain
Solitayre
Thraeg
Torzelbaum
WildCatJF
Yimothy

Video games are a relatively young medium, and bosses have evolved a lot as video games have advanced and progressed. Thus, the definition of a 'boss fight' was kept somewhat fluid for the purposes of this list. Here, we'll take a look at some of the best boss fights of all time, and talk about just what makes them so great. We'll also be sharing some cool fan art!

While this list was for the top fifty bosses of all time, but I will be listing the top 52 bosses, as there were several entries that got the same number of points as our 50th place entry. I'll also be sharing some honorable mentions along the way.

Please be advised that this thread may contain spoilers for some games. I will do my best to mark spoilers where possible, but if I haven't played a game and nobody told me a particular boss was a spoiler, I'll post it right here in front of God and everybody. I also can't control what other people say in the thread. So consider this your warning.

Did your favorite boss make it? We're about to find out!

Last edited by Solitayre; 03-14-2019 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:49 PM
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FUUUUCKKK I LITERALLY JUST HIT SUBMIT ON MY LIST AND THEN WENT BACK TO THE TT HOMEPAGE AND FOUND I MISSED THE CUTOFF.

DAMMIT
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:56 PM
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I probably should have put the updated deadline in my OP of the nomination thread. Sorry, bro!
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Old 03-08-2019, 02:35 PM
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Default #52

#52
The Mana Beast - Secret of Mana


'YOU have the Mana Sword. YOU must save this world... You have no choice!'

54 Points

People who got whacked: Positronic Brain, Solitayre

The Mana Beast is the final boss of the SNES action RPG Secret of Mana and its recent remake. It is an ancient, primordial creature of pure mana called forth in times of great disaster to protect the world. When mankind abused the power of mana, eons ago, the Beast awoke and laid waste to the entire world. The game follows the quest of a young boy and his companions to protect the power of mana from an evil Empire which wishes to abuse it. They ultimately fail, and at the climax of the game, the Mana Beast returns to finish the job it started long ago, and the hero must destroy it or humanity will be annihilated.

The Mana Beast can only be harmed by the fully revived Mana Sword, when equipped by Randi, the game's hero (nameable by the player). Other weapons and magical attacks have little or no effect. The Mana beast will perform fly-by and swooping attacks as well as launching deadly breath attacks and powerful magic at the party, while they must endure its assault and wait for a window to strike back.

The Mana Beast represents a thread common in Japanese media, seen in places like Godzilla, Princess Mononoke and other films and literature; the idea that if mankind abuses nature, nature will fight back - hard. An undercurrent thread in the fight is Randi's hesitation to slay the Beast, knowing that it is not evil and is only trying to protect the world, and that destroying it will mean mana will disappear forever, and his friend the Sprite along with it. This is exacerbated by the implication that the Beast may in fact be Flammie, the party's adorable white dragon pal/airship, having absorbed the last of mana's power and now attacking his friends in a blind, feral rage in a desperate, final attempt to save a dying world. Nothing in the game ever explicitly confirms or denies that it is Flammie (future games in the series reveal that there is an entire race of Flammies, all descended from the original Mana Beast), but it does raise the stakes of the battle even higher.


Last edited by Solitayre; 03-10-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:13 PM
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Default #51

#51
The 16th Colossus, Malus - Shadow of the Colossus


'The ritual is nearly over... thy wish is nearly granted.'

54 Points

People who fell a lot: clarice, Johnny Unusual

Malus, the 16th Colossus, is the final opponent of Shadow of the Colossus. In this game, a young man named Wander and his horse must travel a bleak landscape, searching for 16 mighty and majestic creatures to kill. A creepy, disembodied voice tells him that if he slays them all, he can bring a dead girl who is important to him back to life.

As you play through Shadow of the Colossus, you may find yourself wondering if murdering these seemingly peaceful creatures is really such a great idea, but its too late to think about that by the time you reach Malus. He's the last one! For better or worse, there's no turning back now. And while he's not the largest Colossus overall, he still stands nearly 50M high- about the height of a five story building. Malus has the shape of a circular living structure with a humanoid head, arms, and torso atop, his arms wreathed in wicked flames. And wouldn't you know it, his primary weakpoint just happens to be on top of his head.

Shadow of the Colossus features many climbing challenges, but climbing to the top of Malus may be the most harrowing of them all. Navigating the maze of ledges and moving platforms that comprise his back, all in the dark and in the rain, is intense enough. But the only way to reach his head is to execute a series of daring leaps from his hands, arms, and shoulders, inflicting minor injuries along the way to trick him into moving his hands where you need them be.

Succeed, and maybe, just maybe you can make your wish come true.

Fail, and its a loooong way down.


Last edited by Solitayre; 03-12-2019 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 03:41 PM
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People who fell a lot:
Don't forget getting shot a lot! You get knocked back by explosions a lot, then you fall a lot.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2019, 04:11 PM
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Cue everyone talking about beating the Mana Beast the first time by charging the sword to 8 because Mana Magic was so poorly explained.

Malus is why I never want to play the HD versions of SotC. The shaking is enough to deal with without the extra frames. Great boss but infuriating as hell. I imagine this is not the last Colossus on this list.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:28 PM
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I didnít charge the sword to 8 but I did use a glitch that let you use the Mana Sword all the time without casting the spell.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:41 PM
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WHOOPS, I DROPPED YOUR LIST OF BOSSES, BOSS.

If the Princess Tomato protag doesnít wind up #1 then what are we even doing here.
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Old 03-08-2019, 04:47 PM
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Not one of my picks, but not for a lack of appreciation!
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Old 03-08-2019, 05:28 PM
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Malus!

Sooner or later, everyone playing playing Shadow Of The Colossus get sad, realizing you're killing for the sake of a personal, but very relatable, wish. For the final colossus, the game makes it even more explicit: he's immobile. He can't harm anyone. There is no possible justification for what you are about to do.

He's beautiful, it's raining, it's dark, it's windy, it's ominous, and you have plenty of time to think while running up to him, avoiding trivial obstacles for someone who made this far and listening to that music.

Then the rush of the final battle. And the rest is history.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:10 PM
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I probably should have put the updated deadline in my OP of the nomination thread. Sorry, bro!
I take solace in the fact that you just recieved a bunch of totally unsolicted words about how much I love SABU.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:41 PM
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Yay! I've been looking forward to this list! I'll contribute epic posts (maybe) on bosses I've encountered
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:43 PM
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Not one of my picks, but not for a lack of appreciation!
I always forget, as frustrated as I get with that Colossus, it's a goddamn visual marvel.
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:55 PM
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Art by Corey Belina
Answer me this, Spirit. Are these things you've shown me... are they the shadows of the things that will be, or of the things that may be?

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Yay! I've been looking forward to this list! I'll contribute epic posts (maybe) on bosses I've encountered
You were supposed to do that in your PMs to Solitayre. Didn't you get the message!?
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:25 PM
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Default #50

#50
Mantis Lords - Hollow Knight


'Wanderers seeking death, welcome. May you find swift end upon our claws.'

54 Points

People who got Double-Teamed: Beta Metroid, FelixSH

The Mantis Lords are are a boss in Hollow Knight, a 2017 platformer by Team Cherry. The game focuses on a nameless Knight exploring an insect kingdom called Hollownest, which has been ravaged by plague and darkness. Giving away much more about what's going on in the game would be a spoiler, but initially the Knight finds the Mantis Village to be xenophobic and hostile, as apparently they had a problem with some of their neighbors that ended...poorly. In order to win their trust, and gain access deeper into the game world, the Knight must challenge the three Mantis Lords in honorable combat to prove their worth.

The Mantis Lords, despite their masculine title, are all female, for reasons that likely become obvious if you know anything about the habits of real life mantises. The three are sisters and all three share the same combat tactics and abilities. All wield long nails an execute very powerful and quick jumping and dashing attacks that can make them a real challenge for the player. Upon defeating the first Mantis Lord in single combat, the player must then fend off the remaining two at once.

The Mantis Lords pose an interesting challenge because they can be encountered fairly early in the game; likely much earlier than a first time player will be prepared to deal with them. You can challenge them, but will likely lose. Upgrading your weapon and getting some health upgrades can go a long way towards making them more manageable.

Despite their initial distrust of outsiders, the Mantis Lords are honorable. After having bested them in combat, they will bow to the player out of respect whenever they pass, for the Knight has proved their own strength and honor, and the Mantis Lords' subjects will similarly no longer be hostile to them.

Harder difficulties let you challenge all three, at once, if you're feeling cocky. It appears there was once a fourth mantis lord, but she's probably nothing to worry about.


Last edited by Solitayre; 03-10-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:32 PM
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Answer me this, Spirit. Are these things you've shown me... are they the shadows of the things that will be, or of the things that may be?
Nobody voted for Black Waltz #3 except me, and I wanted to make sure you all know the depths of your failure every time you open the thread.
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Old 03-08-2019, 07:47 PM
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You were supposed to do that in your PMs to Solitayre. Didn't you get the message!?
A) I didn't have time to beforehand;
B) Sending multiple PMs didn't sound fun to me;
C) I might have more impetus to write about them if they appear on the list
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2019, 07:50 PM
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Ah, that is a memorable fight for me too. Not because of the fight per se, but for everything surrounding it: the idyllic moments in the village, then Vivi's kidnaping and subsequent angst; and then all the deaths of the black mages.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:23 PM
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Default #49

Spoilers for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

#49
The Boss - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater


'The foibles of politics and the march of time can turn friends into enemies as easily as the wind changes. Ridiculous, isn't it?'

54 Points

Gave their life; not for honor, but for you: clarice, Doctor Nerd

It really wouldn't have been much of a Boss list without The Boss, would it? In the end, she only just made with the fewest possible number of points, but somehow that seems fitting. The Boss is many things, but one of those things happens to be the final boss of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. A legendary super soldier, revered and feared by all, she was once a friend and mentor to the protagonist, Snake, until she betrays him during an operation for reasons he does not understand.

Throughout the game, Snake struggles to understand the motivations of the Boss, and what she is fighting for, but these motivations are not revealed until the very end of the game. Snake learns that the Boss was working undercover, but following an unauthorized nuclear attack, she was ordered to take the fall in order to deflect blame from the American government. Once a hero, she was now to die a traitor, abandoned by the government she had sacrificed everything for, and her courage and valor would be forgotten by history. She accepted this, but would only allow herself to be defeated by Snake, her protege, and the only one she thought might understand her.

The Boss is a master of CQC (Close Quarters Combat), and throughout the game effortlessly defeats Snake using this technique, although he gets a little better at fighting her each time. By the time the final battle rolls around, he's finally ready to take on the Boss in earnest, in a high stakes contest of hand-to-hand combat against the woman who trained him.

In the end, Snake manages to defeat the Boss, but after learning the truth about her actions, continued to respect and honor her, being one of the few who knew that she had died a hero. After her death, her beliefs on war, soldiers, and government would go on to influence, for better or worse, nearly every major character in the Metal Gear universe.


Last edited by Solitayre; 03-10-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
The Mantis Lords, despite their masculine title, are all female, for reasons that likely become obvious if you know anything about the habits of real life mantises.
But what you know about those habits might not be accurate.
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  #22  
Old 03-08-2019, 09:34 PM
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MGS3:

The Boss! So bittersweet. I can't do justice to this fight - it was my #1 pick -, but i'll comment some stuff.

1. The game is not afraid that the silliness may distract you from the feelings they are supposed to convey. Yes, the main theme that plays after a while in the battle - it starts with only diegetic sound - is cheesy, but it is there to remind you that this is the culmination of the story; this is it, this is the moment. Well, it was obvious already, but this is Metal Gear Solid. This is the Plastic Ono Band of games. Straight from the heart, as many times as possible.

2. There's some visual metaphors, like the field of flowers turning red and the scars in The Boss moving and disappearing. The first one is so obvious, but it still moves me. Just like Plastic Ono Band and things like 'love is real, real is love'.

3. The moment where the game forces you to shoot a defenseless Boss breaks my heart. MGS has a track record of making you feel the death of the soldiers. The weapons have weight; in MGS2, i remember a codec call from Rose after the first time you killed someone about how terrifying your action was. But the end of this fight... my god.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:43 AM
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Default #48

#48
Old King Allant - Demon's Souls


'Surely you have seen for yourself the pain and suffering that fills this world! But fight poison with poison...'

55 Points

No human has an appetite for souls such as they: Erilex, Patrick

Old King Allant is the final boss of Demon's Souls. He is also known as False King Allant and Fallen King Allant, and it turns out 'King Allant' actually refers to more than one individual within the game itself. Not that that was confusing when I was putting the list together or anything! He's fucking Ansem, that's who he is.

Demon's Souls is an action RPG staring an unnamed Demon Slayer exploring the cursed kingdom of Boletaria, shrouded in fog, where no one can truly die and demons feast on the souls of the innocent. It's not clear until later in the game what the true cause is, but most people seem to think it might have had something to do with Boletaria's King, Allant, using the power of souls to fuel his kingdom's prosperity, so seeking him out and kicking his ass just seems like the thing to do.

Old King Allant wears the guise of Boletaria's King, but is actually a being of demonic power, wielding the Soulbrandt, a powerful magical sword that is in itself a part of a larger, more powerful magical sword, because I guess that's how magic swords work. He is a powerful swordsman and waits in Boletaria Palace to engage the player in a sword duel to the death.

If the player has slain every other demon in the game, they'll have the opportunity to discover King Allant's true form at the game's ending, who serves less as a boss in of himself but more as a messenger to the player, offering them a choice for just what they'll do with all the power they've accumulated, and whether they'll follow in his footsteps or make a new path for themselves.


Last edited by Solitayre; 03-10-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:53 AM
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Yay! Allant isnít the most popular Souls boss, but he made a big impression on me when I first played Demonís Souls. Not only is it an epic fight, but he can actually steal levels from your character with one of his attacks. That really blew my mind.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:27 AM
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Mantis Lords are where my Hollow Knight run stopped. I just could not keep up with them, so I set the game aside for a few days and of course, it being a metroidvania and all, was completely lost.

The Boss is a great fight, but I think the original version's controls held it back. I need to play the HD version.

Allant is way hard if you don't know that you can easily interrupt his AOE attack. Knowing that and using a good bow can turn him into one of the easier bosses in the game.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:39 AM
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Default #47

#47
Bowser - Super Mario 64


'Go ahead - just try to grab me by the tail! You'll never be able to swing ME around!'

57 Points

Found all the Power Stars: Adrenaline, Johnny Unusual

I doubt there's anybody reading this list who doesn't know who Bowser is. He's been around for pretty much as long as video games have had bosses. The Koopa King debuted in 1985's Super Mario Bros, and his return in Super Mario Bros 3 cemented him as Mario's arch-nemesis and the primary villain of the Super Mario Universe. Super Mario 64 has Bowser up to his usual scheme of kidnapping Princess Peach, but this time he has imprisoned her within her own castle, and Mario must venture through the worlds of various enchanted paintings to free her.

Bowser is a gargantuan turtle with fiery red hair and a pompous, bullying personality. His primary methods of fighting tend to revolve around spewing fire at Mario and powerful jumping and stomping attacks. A common thread in fighting Bowser is that he tends to be defeated by his own hubris; the original Mario game allowed you to defeat him simply by running past him and cutting the bridge he is standing on, while in Mario 3, he can be defeated by tricking him into stomping through the floor of his own castle.

What's interesting about Bowser is that, while the medium of video games has evolved significantly around him, and Mario himself has evolved substantially with the times, Bowser himself has changed very little over the years. His primary color was changed from green to orange in Mario 3, but since then his appearance, abilities, and his blustering personality have remained fairly consistent.

Super Mario 64 was Mario and Bowser's first foray into the 3D realm, and the three battles with Bowser in this game play it for all its worth. Here, Bowser is defeated by Mario grabbing his tail and whirling him around and around, before sending him flying into one of the mines Bowser has surrounded his lair with. As usual, Bowser's own arrogance is his downfall, as he tempts fate in their first encounter by telling Mario exactly how to defeat him.


Last edited by Solitayre; 03-12-2019 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
Spoilers for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
One of the most heartbreaking moments in my young adult days was realizing that some people would just never get it - when I compared notes with some friends from college about the end of the fight against The Boss, they were annoyed that they had to pull the trigger at the end. What was the point of that, they asked? It was just a silly gimmick akin to a QTE to fill an "interactivity quota". A lot of angels lost their wings that day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
I doubt there's anybody reading this list who doesn't know who Bowser is.
As if we wouldn't know the name of the frickin' president of Nintendo of America.

(thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, try the frog legs)
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Old 03-09-2019, 04:21 PM
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Default #46

#46
Zeromus - Final Fantasy IV


'I am the Ultimate Dark Substance...'

57 Points

Sent their wishes to Cecil: Solitayre, Torzelbaum

Zeromus is the final boss of Final Fantasy IV. He is a being of pure, undying hatred, the ultimate evolution of an evil Lunarian called Zemus, who is revealed to be the true mastermind behind most of the game's events.

The game follows the adventures of a reformed Dark Knight named Cecil as he travels the world trying to set right all the wrongs he committed in the name of his kingdom, a plot which appears to have nothing to do with Zemus. But about 85% of the way through the game, we discover that the game's primary villain, the sublimely badass Golbez, is actually being mind-controlled by an evil wizard from the moon. Upon learning this, Golbez takes it upon himself to go to the moon and beat Zemus' ass personally, with no assistance from the player. However, destroying Zemus actually awakens his evolved state, the ultimate spirit of hatred; Zeromus, who appears to be some manner of terrible moon hate ghost. He has no stated motivation beyond hatred for all things. He isn't much of a character, much less a villain.

But oh my God.

He's

SO

GOD

DAMN

COOL.


Before the battle even begins, Cecil and his party are empowered by the hopes and prayers of all his allies back on his homeworld in a rousing sequence, and uses the power of a sacred artifact to reveal Zeromus' true form. From there, the true battle begins.

Most of FFIV's bosses make use of some sort of gimmick or trick that you have to learn and adapt to in order to survive. Zeromus does not. The only strategy is to kill him before he kills you, and it can be an uphill battle. In addition to wielding some of the most powerful magic in the game, Zeromus' devastating Big Bang can devastate your entire party. Only by employing your party's most powerful abilities can you deal enough damage to kill this mutant moon wizard.

It's clear the developers wanted this final battle to be a spectacle, and they surely succeeded. Even the battle background gets into the act, having an animated effect not used elsewhere in the game! And the music! My God, the music for this fight. It's the best battle music of all time, yeah, that's right, I said it, don't @ me.


Last edited by Solitayre; 03-10-2019 at 01:53 PM.
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  #29  
Old 03-09-2019, 06:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Zeromus
My name is Zeromus...
I am... the hatred...!!

Suffer... and perish... My hatred will last until I destroy all...
I had Zeromus at lucky #13. I could try to write my own words about why I like this boss fight but they would pale in comparison to what Brickroad said about the fight.

It's interesting that the Big Z (and Bowser 64 and #49) have already placed. Really makes me wonder how the rest of the list is going to shake out.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:40 PM
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Solitayre Solitayre is offline
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Default #45

Spoilers for Shovel Knight

#45
The Enchantress - Shovel Knight


'Let us dance together into the Abyss!'

57 Points

Caught her: Mogri, Positronic Brain

The Enchantress is the master of the Order of No Quarter and final boss of Shovel Knight. Years ago, treasure hunters Shovel Knight and Shield Knight explored the Tower of Fate, but during the expedition, Shield Knight was lost after discovering a magical amulet, and Shovel Knight was forced to continue his adventures alone. Now, a mysterious Enchantress has appeared in the Tower of Fate and assembled an order of knights to rule the lands, and only Shovel Knight can stop her.

However, throughout the game, Shovel Knight never stops thinking of Shield Knight, whom he loved dearly, and dreams constantly of saving her. After arriving at the Tower of Fate and defeating the Order of No Quarter, Shovel Knight is forced to confront the reality that the Enchantress is Shield Knight, warped by despair and the dark magics of the amulet (It's a bit unclear when he actually realizes this, as Shovel Knight is a bit dense.) Even confronted with what she has become, Shovel Knight still vows to save her.

Shovel Knight is an 8-Bit style game, with everything that implies. Including the brutal difficulty; and the Enchantress is no exception. She'll fly around the room at warp speed and her projectiles can destroy the very ground Shovel Knight stands on. If you manage to defeat her, Shield Knight is freed from the dark magic and Shovel Knight finally, at long last has the chance to save her.

After Shield Knight is saved, the two join forces against the Remnant of Fate; the final form of the Enchantress, which has taken on a life of its own. Shield Knight can block attacks, but cannot fight on her own, and Shovel Knight cannot jump high enough to reach the Enchantress' weak point on his own; only by combining their strengths, with Shovel Knight bouncing off of Shield Knight's shield, can they work together to bring down this dark and wretched soul and put the past behind them.



Last edited by Solitayre; 03-10-2019 at 11:32 AM.
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boss rush , bosses , bruce springsteen , hey boss , i dropped your list boss , like a boss , tony danza , top 50 countdown , who's the boss?

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