In response to a few recent games that appear to be lacking in the criteria. This is a short list and thoughts on some stand out game mechanics that developers seem to be ignoring and need to build upon.
Bottom 5 Legend of Zelda Bosses
A little while back, I did a post on my top 5 Legend of Zelda Bosses. Feeling a little more devious, I decided to put together my bottom 5. Compiling a list like this is a little tough. There really aren’t many bosses that I hate. So, I am forced to get a bit nit-picky and put together the battles that bothered me the most.
If you wish to read something a little cheerier, you can find my top 5 here: http://leviathyn.com/games-2/opinion/2012/12/29/top-5-legend-of-zelda-bosses/
5. Gannon (Legend of Zelda)
I’m sure some of you will give me some flack for this, being that it’s the great Ganon. Mind you, I am only referring to Ganon as he appears in the first game. Unfortunately, I played A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time first, where Ganon made a great final boss. After that, facing off against Gannon (commonly mispelled form) felt underwhelming. It wasn’t necessarily a bad fight. But after a game as difficult as Zelda‘s first entry, you’d think the last boss of the game would have a little more crack to his whip. He roams around the room, invisible, shooting fireballs at you, leaving you to figure out his pattern and hit him as he passes. This is pretty innovative for the time, I guess, but it only takes maybe five hits to kill him, and it’s not very hard to dodge his attacks. It left the “Is that it?” type of impression on me. Reasonably, the NES was limited on resources, and this was their first game, so Gannon isn’t higher up on my hit list. Plus, he does explode pretty grusomely. If that’s not worth something, I don’t know what is.
4. Morpha (Ocarina of Time)
Ocarina of Time, as many would say, is the pivotal Zelda game. There were many strong bosses, a few that didn’t make much of an impression on me, but the only one that really irked me was Morpha. Maybe it was getting thrown into spikes, maybe it was shooting your Longshot a dozen times trying to grab its nucleus, but the mechanics of this fight I always found troublesome. It has a nice point-of-view entrance and it being the pool was neat, but besides that, I find it kind of blah. It’s not as if Morpha is one worth seeing, either. Overall, it’s just not up to par with the other bosses in OoT.
3. Moldorm (A Link to the Past/Link’s Awakening)
This battle is the first real headache I can recall having during my run of Zelda games. Getting knocked off the ledge and having to restart the battle is probably one of the most degrading ways to lose, and that’s without dying. I can’t recall how many times I got knocked off the ledge and sent two floors down by this squirmy asshole, but it was enough leave an impression on me strong enough to warrant putting Moldorm on here. Not only was he a bother having to face him twice in ALttP, but he returns in LA! Fortunately, he’s the first boss, getting him out of the way quickly and never to be dealt with again.
2. Demon Train (Spirit Tracks)
I don’t like rail games, which is essentially what this battle is. You alternate between four tracks, having to maintain your speed so you don’t get too far ahead of the Demon Train. It can end up behind you, basically ending you. The track can run out, shooting you into an Abyss. There are plenty of ways to go down in this battle. You fight the Demon Train in the Dark Realm, which is a plus (I like the Dark Realm). Here’s the minus. If you lose, you have start back from before you entered the Dark Realm. There’s a mini-battle before the Demon Train where you have go around the tracks and take out little demon trains. This was another process that I found not so pleasant.
1. The Imprisoned (Skyward Sword)
If you’ve been reading all this, you can tell that Moldorm and Demon Train are the only ones on this list thus far that I hate. Well, to put my feelings on the The Imprisoned into perspective, I’d rather they make a game based solely off fighting Moldorm and Demon Train together at the end of each dungeon then face The Imprisoned again. That’s probably a little too strong, but man, that battle was aggravating. I enjoyed Skyward Sword, but The Imprison really hindered some of that experience for me. You have to fight this goofy-looking Moby Dick three times! It’s six times if you’re a completionist and want to go through Thunder Dragon’s Lightning Round, and that’s assuming you can get through all the challenges in one shot. I like challenges, but I found this battle to be much more tedious than anything. It made it very hard for me to go through the Lightning Round. I still wonder why Nintendo had to make this fight repeat and repeat.