The Return of Talking Time

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  #241  
Old 03-23-2019, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Torzelbaum View Post
That is definitely a boss way to go out.
Yes! It is so good. Ah, the sadness, the rain!!

Flying swordsman Ganondorf is the best.
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  #242  
Old 03-23-2019, 09:09 PM
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I guess my Undertale pick won't make it but this is good too.
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  #243  
Old 03-23-2019, 10:03 PM
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Default #8

#8
Luca Blight - Suikoden II


'Look at me! I am sublime! I am the true face of evil!'

147 Points

It took all of them combined to defeat him: clarice, Doctor Nerd, Issun, Mogri, ozacrot

Luca Blight was perhaps the biggest long shot to make the top ten, but true to form, he simply refused to be ignored, and the last few lists that came in catapulted him from barely making the list at all straight to the top.

Luca Blight is the Prince of Highland and the primary villain of Suikoden II. He is an utterly insane tyrant with an absolutely insatiable lust for bloodshed, regarding the cries of terror and pleas for mercy of those around him as humorous at best. One of his earliest scenes in which he murders a terrified woman for the lulz has oft been imitated but never truly recaptured. After becoming the leader of Highland's military, he decides he just has to have himself a war, having his own country's Youth Brigade slaughtered in a false flag operation to justify military action. Pretty much all of Suikoden II's plot is the fallout of this event, with two heroes who survived the event each try to face the coming conflict in their own way.

Luca hates...well, just about everyone, but he especially hates his father Agares, who he blames for fleeing a bandit attack and leaving his mother to be raped, while a young Luca was forced to watch. It's hard to say if this is what resulted in turning Luca into a murderous psychopath, but it probably didn't help. Luca eventually has his father murdered and more or less becomes the ruler of Highland, since most of Highland's other nobles are terrified of him. Luca's sister Jillia is pretty much the only human whose presence he tolerates, but despite his obvious personality flaws, his personal military unit, the White Wolves, are unfailingly loyal to him.

When it becomes clear that the only way to end the war is to dump pieces of Luca into several different lakes, the heroes and their allies arrange an elaborate trap to ensnare Luca and his men. What follows is a particularly brutal endurance match as Luca demonstrates just how strong he really is. It takes no less than eighteen party members working together to bring him down, and that's after he's taken a volley of arrows to the face. Even then, he's ready for one last duel with the hero, Riou, before he'll admit defeat.

The Suikoden universe is a world of magic and monsters where war is fought using incredible powers and most conflicts are centered around wielders of near-sentient magical super-weapons called True Runes capable of miraculous feats. So it speaks volumes that Luca Blight, an ordinary human, is able to walk into a battle with only a sword and the simplest fire magic and still be the undisputed biggest badass in the game, maybe the series.


Last edited by Solitayre; Yesterday at 10:44 AM.
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  #244  
Old 03-23-2019, 10:14 PM
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My own head canon is that WW Ganon is the last human(?) Ganon, only managing to manifest as the Pig demon seen in the original LoZ, before giving up and reverting to a malevolent force as seen in BotW.
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  #245  
Old 03-23-2019, 10:17 PM
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Huh. I would have been shocked if Luca had not made the top ten, considering the forum. He was my number 3, and my #1 JRPG boss fight.
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  #246  
Old 03-23-2019, 10:38 PM
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I voted for Ganondorf, but not Wind Waker's. But it's my second favorite fight with him in the series, so it's definitely one I am happy to see make it.

Luca was a contender for my list but missed the cut in the end. But he was definitely the most memorable antagonist in the first two games, and his tenacious nature proves itself again as a strong pick for a lot of people here.
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  #247  
Old 03-23-2019, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
It takes no less than eighteen party members
I did it with eight - I made a mistake with who I put in my first party, so I rushed through the other two thinking it would give me an option to confirm/redo at the end and wound up doing the fight with one character in each of the second two parties (thatís how I remember it, maybe it was the six characters at the top of the list going into each). That sort of undercut Luca as a tough guy.

Nothing on my list has made it so far. I guess Iím out of touch.
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  #248  
Old Yesterday, 07:14 AM
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Undertale: Flowey is one of my favorite fourth-wall breaks in all of gaming, and the way the final fight begins elevates the entire game up to that point. What a nightmare.

Luca Blight was my #1 pick - he's the chief antagonist for most of the game, and doesn't have any particular runic powers, he's just a sadist. The Liberation Army takes him seriously as a threat, and they force you to do the same as a player. Fighting him in all three battle systems makes the fight feel more epic than anything before or afterward, and it seems to me to be the climax of the game. (Tells you something about war, too, in that his death doesn't end the atrocities that happen afterward, including the one that hits home most, just a couple hours later.)
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  #249  
Old Yesterday, 07:17 AM
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I would have put money down on Luca being number 1. You've made a fool of me again, Talking-Time.net.
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  #250  
Old Yesterday, 07:21 AM
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As usual with Suikoden, my favorite moment from this battle is the quiet one - the moment where Luca Blight opens the amulet and watches the fireflies fly, which would signal where he is. For a brief moment, despite his words, you know his human side is there, on display. It makes killing him a sad thing - necessary, but... Suikoden understands the value of life.

(Luca Blight was my #3 pick. A lot of my picks made the list. I think there are still two boss fights from it that will make it...)
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  #251  
Old Yesterday, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
Luca Blight is the Prince of Highland and the primary villain of Suikoden II.
I don't feel great with this description. Because while he's billed as this, and is the primary mover of the plot on the enemy side for quite some time, it feels like calling Emperor Gestahl the primary villain of FF6. Still a great iconic baddie and a great fight though. Definitely would have made my top 10. Though if I'm being honest with myself, I would have personally rated Neclord and Jowy higher.

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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
It's hard to say if this is what resulted in turning Luca into a murderous psychopath, but it probably didn't help.
It's heavily implicated that this is the big reason. It's his moment where he loses faith in humanity. The bandits were also from the City-States, so his desire for revenge on faceless bandits from [nebulous region] gets turned into a quest for ethnic cleansing over the years. Also of note, it's not just that his father turned tail, it's that his father refused to pay the ransom to get him and his mother back, which resulted in their torture.

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Originally Posted by Solitayre View Post
...it speaks volumes that Luca Blight, an ordinary human, is able to walk into a battle with only a sword and the simplest fire magic and still be the undisputed biggest badass in the game, maybe the series.
I would not attribute badassery to such a despicable villain, but it's an impressive feat that he is so menacing in the plot, despite his stature as just a regular character with a regular character model. The confrontation with him serves to achieve something really hard, which is to both undermine his aura of invincibility, while also serving to show just how he got that aura to begin with. Side note: Luca is not remotely the most badass character in this game, let alone the series. Especially not in a game that includes Flik, Viktor, Elza, and mother effing Georg Prime.
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  #252  
Old Yesterday, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
I don't feel great with this description. Because while he's billed as this, and is the primary mover of the plot on the enemy side for quite some time, it feels like calling Emperor Gestahl the primary villain of FF6.
I must have missed the bit where Gestahl forces a woman to oink like a pig before laughing maniacally and killing her in the burning remains of her village. Like, you're calling Luca a Gestahl when the parallels with Kefka, the primary antagonist of that game, could not be move obvious. Anyone playing FF6 knows Kefka is the primary villain because he's set up as soon as that first flashback in Narshe. Gestahl is given way less attention and focus throughout the whole game. Just because Luca's not the final boss doesn't make him anything other than the primary villain, and I'm well aware who you'd consider to be in his place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WisteriaHysteria View Post
Side note: Luca is not remotely the most badass character in this game, let alone the series. Especially not in a game that includes Flik, Viktor, Elza, and mother effing Georg Prime.
Disagree!
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  #253  
Old Yesterday, 08:59 AM
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Gestahl orders the empire to commit many atrocities in his name, including systematic genocide, during the course of FF6. But that's neither here nor there. The point of my comparison here is a formal one. Gestahl sets into motion the events of his game and is thoroughly villainous in his own right, but is not the primary source of conflict, his defeat is not the story's conclusion, and there are bigger/badder enemies to fight afterwards that use what Gestahl built in order to wreak further havoc. We do not consider Gestahl to be the primary villain in FF6, I propose we shouldn't view Luca Blight the primary villain in S2 either for similar reasons.

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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
Just because Luca's not the final boss doesn't make him anything other than the primary villain, and I'm well aware who you'd consider to be in his place.
You probably don't, since I don't even consider the primary villain of Suikoden II to even be a person but rather an abstraction: The Beast Rune.

Suikoden supposes that war and conflict are not necessarily natural states of humanity, rather that people are often compelled to war by forces outside of their control. This is typified by several relationships in the game such as Jowy and Riou, or Genkaku and Han Cunningham - best friends who are forced to fight one another because their nations and runes compel them to do so against their wishes.

The world of Suikoden postulates that Chaos and Order are fundamental cosmic forces diametrically opposed to each other and perpetually at war. And they are not just primal forces, but forces that act directly through the True Runes which have wills of their own that can influence the hearts of man and bend destiny. Acts of war are then not purely chosen by the hearts of man, but influenced by these cosmic forces. Luca Blight worshiped the Beast Rune in his quest for power and let his mind be influenced and corrupted by it. And the Beast Rune, as an agent of Chaos, drove the vulnerable mind of Luca Blight to madness so that he would start wars that would spread Chaos and spill blood to further power itself.

The entire purpose of the Stars of Destiny aligning and converging in Suikoden games then, is that the other side of the equation - Order - exerts its cosmic forces to convene heroes to stop Chaos and restore the balance of the universe.

Luca Blight may have been the primary instrument with which the Beast Rune exerted its will across the City States, but Luca Blight was not the source of conflict. He was just a tool, and the war doesn't end when Luca is slain because the Beast Rune's tools for sewing chaos are not extinguished when Luca passes. Rather, Luca provided enough chaos and blood for the Beast Rune to take a corporeal form of its own to further spread carnage beyond Luca's personal goals of cleansing the City States. Jowy takes control of the Highland Army in an attempt to quell the Beast Rune on his own, but the Beast Rune had grown too powerful for him to stop by himself, and he is also being subconsciously driven by the Black Sword Rune to continue to oppose the Bright Shield Rune and the forces of Order, perpetuating the war. The war only ends when the royal family is thought dead, the will of the Highland people is broken, and the Beast Rune is forcibly suppressed into dormancy and escapes into hiding.

Riou and the New State Army, just like Jowy & Luca & The Highland Army, are just avatars for Order and the True Runes guiding that conflict. Luca Blight is just the most visible human face put on the cosmic forces of this fight.


This is actually something I've thought about a lot over the years and a big reason why this probably one of my favorite games there are. Because it adds a layer of depth and is far more interesting than simply "dude was evil". And it helps build a mythology and a world that's rich and vibrant that we simply don't see in other games.
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  #254  
Old Yesterday, 11:01 AM
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I don't have time to play every game.
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  #255  
Old Yesterday, 12:48 PM
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Default #7

#7
Ganon - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time




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Just used Biggoron's Sword: Adrenaline, Dracula, Gerad, FelixSH, Johnny Unusual, ozacrot, WidcatJF

The King of Evil was so indisputably awesome that making it onto the Top 10 only once just wasn't enough for him. Some people voted specifically for Ganon, some voted for the preceding battle with Ganondorf, and some voted for both together, so this entry includes the two.

There were already so many Zelda games out before Ocarina of Time came along that we try to forget that three of them even exist. But of the four that remained, Ganon only actually appeared as the principle villain in two of them. But while Ocarina certainly didn't create Ganon, it was the first game in which Ganondorf actually appeared, and it was unquestionably the game that codified everything that Ganon would come to be in the games that followed.

Ganondorf was the King of the Gerudos, a race of all-women desert bandits to whom a king is born only rarely. You'd think being the king and only man in a land of all women would be enough for him, but Ganondorf desired all of Hyrule, and thus made an alliance with the King of Hyrule, but eventually betrayed him when an opportunity to claim the Triforce appeared. Ganondorf is an intimidating yet regal figure in this game, a skilled warrior and horseman, trained in sorcery by two old witches who unfortunately did not make it onto this list themselves.

After securing the Triforce of Power for himself, seven years pass in which he is the undisputed ruler of all Hyrule, until Link, the Hero of Time appears, wielding the Master Sword, a weapon which is bane to all evil. Since 'evil' is pretty much all Ganondorf is, this weapon proves to be his greatest weakness, although depending on which game you're playing you might need one magical arrow or another to finish the job.

Upon meeting the King of Evil, Link can defeat him by bouncing his own magical attacks back at him, a mechanic introduced by the wizard Agahnim in A Link to the Past in another instance of Ocarina melding elements of the previous games into Ganondorf's identity. Besting Ganondorf results in the collapse of his castle and a thrilling escape scene where Link and Zelda must work together to flee the tower before it falls.

But while Ganondorf seems beaten, the real battle is only beginning, as Ganondorf uses the Triforce of Power to transform himself into a monster without peer; Ganon, which later games would call the Dark Beast. Until now, we've only seen the man. Now, we see the monster. While previous versions of Ganon wielded fierce magical abilities, Ganon here is savage and bestial, a monster of incredible size, strength, and ferocity. He also disarms Link of the Master Sword, meaning you must initially face Ganon without it.

Ganon is only vulnerable in his face or in his tail, and luring and baiting the monster in order to get a clean shot is necessary, while dodging his enormous swords which even are capable of smashing the terrain. The atmosphere of the battle is intense, punctuated occasionally by Zelda's screams if Link takes a particularly bad hit. Vanquishing requires the Master Sword, the Light Arrows, the aid of Princess Zelda, and the six sages of Hyrule, and even then all they can manage to do is seal him away.

Whether you're talking about Ganondorf, the King of Thieves, or Ganon, the King of Evil, his appearance in Ocarina without a doubt set the stage for everything that came after.


Last edited by Solitayre; Yesterday at 09:25 PM.
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  #256  
Old Yesterday, 01:14 PM
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I should have had that battle with Ganon on my list and I don't know why I didn't. Like so much of Ocarina, it is a defining moment for the entire medium.
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  #257  
Old Yesterday, 01:38 PM
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Like everyone has made this observation before, but: every single boss in Ocarina is accompanied by and introduced with an extravagant title, ones like "Parasitic Armored Arachnid" or "Bio-electric Anemone." It's great showpersonship on part of the game, and firmly establishes a convention carried consistently throughout. Even Ganondorf himself is part of it, as his phantom incarnation and in the initial duel against a Great King of Evil. The transformation into a chimeric beast is then punctuated by the accompanying transformation in how the bosses are presented by the game, where there is no descriptive subtitle in place anymore, only a self-defining GANON. It's breaking established rules at a climactic moment for maximum dramatic effect, contrasting the creature against everything--even his prior self--that preceded, and leaning into the externally-from-the-game grave reputation of his traditional moniker all at once. It's by far the best part of the whole thing, for a battle that's presented well in other ways besides.
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  #258  
Old Yesterday, 04:35 PM
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Default #6

#6
The 13th Colossus, Phalanx - Shadow of the Colossus


The vast desert lands....a giant trail drifts through the sky...

161 Points

Size Matters: Adrenaline, Issun, Patrick, Positronic Brain, Yimothy

Y'all didn't really think we were done with the Colossi, did you?

The 13th Colossus -called Phalanx by most sources, though like all the Colossi it has no official name- resembles a great sea serpent or dragon, that dwells both beneath the sands of the desert it calls home as well as flying through the air, apparently by means of some manner of gas-filled bladders. Or magic, since Phalanx is far too large to fly via any mundane means.

All of the Colossi are enormous, but Phalanx, the largest by far, puts all the others to shame. It is over 550 feet long, making it comparable in size to a 60 floor skyscraper, and its wingspan is approximately 200 feet. Its back is the width of a four lane highway. It is over five times larger than the blue whale, the largest animal on Earth. Phalanx is gigantic.

Despite its size, Phalanx is extremely fast, and Wander has no chance of catching up to Phalanx without the aid of his trusty horse, Agro. With her aid, Wander can follow Phalanx around and attempt to puncture its gas bladders with arrows until it loses enough altitude for Wander to climb on.

Shadow of the Colossus is a fairly quiet game, and the music and camera often invite the player to reflect on what they're doing. Perhaps nowhere in the game is this brought into starker relief than when you fight Phalanx. The behemoth barely seems to acknowledge Wander's presence at all, and will not make any attempt to attack or harm him save to try to shake him off while he is being attacked. While some of the Colossi at least appear dangerous, Phalanx seems to be a totally peaceful, benign creature there is no justification for killing.


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  #259  
Old Yesterday, 06:15 PM
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Ocarina of Time was a revelation to teenage WildcatJF. I yearned for this game, and even had an unofficial competition with my best friend in high school who could beat it first (I barely did and he had a week's head start on me lol). The showdown with Ganondorf remains one of the most iconic boss fights of all time in my view, and my personal favorite of all of the confrontations he has had with Link over the years.

While Ganondorf himself was a great distillation of mechanics of the boss fights that came before, the tension of escaping his crumbling castle and the masterful mood established when he rises from the wreckage with overwhelming hatred infused with the Triforce of Power, to seeing your key weapon knocked away and rendered moot for the initial phase of this battle...it was a resonating moment locked into memory.

Ocarina may have been outclassed in some ways by later games in the series (or earlier ones, depending on your outlook), but this epic clash between Link and Zelda versus Ganon is my third favorite fight in all of gaming to this day.
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  #260  
Old Yesterday, 07:51 PM
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Phalanx is absolutely deserving of its top 10 spot. Maybe it should be even higher.
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  #261  
Old Yesterday, 09:00 PM
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I'm still waiting for a Ganon fight that might top the one in Ocarina. It was a sweet and immediately fleeting time when everyone understood the Dorf was just a preamble to the big pig.
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  #262  
Old Yesterday, 09:44 PM
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I don't think OoT's Ganon would make its way onto my top 25 list. But when OoT first came out it absolutely rocked my world. Part of what made it so good was just the build up. In a lot of games, the final boss doesn't even make an appearance until way late in the story. OoT had you being chased, and chasing Ganondorf the entire time, and the final fight truly felt like an epic culmination of something big. As far as set-piece battles and interesting boss mechanics I actually think it's one of the least interesting final boss encounters in the franchise with lots of hindsight. But I ain't gonna blame anyone for thinking highly of this as it was fairly foundational for not just further Zelda games but for games in general there after.
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  #263  
Old Today, 05:47 AM
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Ah, the 13th colossus.
A battle I have mixed feelings for, despite myself.

Everything positive and spectacular about it has been described by Solitayre, and it's all true. I really wanted to love this fight and this only made my continuous failures and endless necessary reattempts at jumping from Agro onto the wing all the more frustrating.
It ended up being a chore that I was endlessly relieved to finally put behind me.

Don't be clumsy at videogames, kids, it ruins plenty of cool experiences.
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  #264  
Old Today, 05:54 AM
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This list is good
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