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Like a Boss! Part Two
Link to Part One: here
You’ve fought tooth and nail to get here! Victory and glory are just beyond your reach! What is standing in you’re way? Why it’s the boss of course! Welcome to part two of my spotlight on ten of my favorite video-game bosses of all time! I’m thinking I’m gonna start this one off with one of gaming’s most recognizable faces; one of Mother Brain’s right hand men:
Super Metroid was every Metroid fan’s wet dream. It took what players loved about the first one and gave us more of it! Collecting items, exploring the numerous corridors, and of course fighting off the legions of Mother Brain’s Space Pirates! The first installment contained only three bosses, Mother Brain herself, Kraid the protector of Brinstar, and Ridley the lord of Norfair. Super Metroid added some new faces but also gave the current bosses a make-over the likes of which hadn’t been seen before.
Just as the game begins, Samus comes face to face with the once believed to be dead Ridley. His appearance was a far cry for the 8-bit goblin-like sprite used in Metroid. Cross a pterodactyl, dragon, and a nightmare and you’ve got Ridley’s new look.
After stealing the last metroid, Samus tracks Ridley right back to planet Zebes. Making her way through Norfair a second time, Samus enters a hellish new area where Ridley has made his base of operations. The atmosphere of Ridley’s hideout is one of the best parts of the game. It really gives you the feeling that not only are you traveling through hell but are there for the purpose of taking down one of it’s chief demons. The music track used for this area is phenomenal and probably one of the only redeeming things about Metroid Prime is the fact that we got a remix of it.
The fight with Ridley in Super Metroid is one of the toughest. If Samus isn’t ready for the battle, Ridley will wipe the floor with her. Ridley will shoot fire balls from his mouth and use his spiked tail to test the player’s reflexes. A lot of bosses in Super Metroid have little tricks the player can utilize or extreme weakness to the super missiles but Ridley is not one of them. A constant barage of weapons while dodging and weaving are the key to bringing this giant space dragon down once and for all.
The new life that Super Metroid gave to the cast of characters was one of the things that made the game perfect. Out of all the new faces and revamped styles, Ridley stands out as truly the most terrifying. It is for these reasons ( Not to mention his cool Godzilla-esque roar! ) that Ridley is one of my favorite bosses!
The Umbrella corporation has been responsible for some terrifyingly twisted monsters. The hunters, Lickers, and Tyrant all pale in comparison to the relentless tempest called Nemesis! With a monstrous humanoid form, incredible regenerative abilities, and a hulking rocket launcher Nemesis was created for one mission: the destruction of the S.T.A.R.S. team.
Jill Valentine is one of the last survivors of the S.T.A.R.S. team and fighting for survival after the outbreak in Racoon City. It isn’t long until she runs into this behemoth. Nemesis isn’t the type of enemy that you can knock down for good. His abilities allow him to get back up, dust off, and resume the chase. And chase he will! Through out Jill’s escape, the beckoning howl of “SSSTTTAAARRRSSSS!” will be the precursor to a “you better run for it” sequence. It isn’t until the very last moments of the game and a nuclear bomb to the face that Nemesis gives up. I say gives up because some of the fights with this monster leave one thinking “He can’t possibly live through that”. Then as the game progresses, there he is to mess your stuff up!
Starring in my favorite Resident Evil title, Nemesis is definitely my favorite Resident Evil boss.
The Cyber Demon
In the early 90’s gaming was just starting to get big. The PC at the time was the preferred gaming method and was years ahead of the current consoles. One company in particular called id Software changed the face of gaming forever with a little title known simply as DOOM. Not only ushering in the era of first person shooters, Doom also gave us multiplayer over the internet. This company’s previous title, Wolfenstein 3D, set the tone for Doom, but it was Doom itself that made first person shooters popular.
The basis for the game was simple. A teleporter accident on a Mars base had occurred and the legion’s of Hell were released. As the sole survivor, Doom Guy, as he was never officially named, has to fight the hordes of demons if he ever wants to get back to Earth. The demons that appear came in all shapes and sizes but the most memorable was the gigantic guardian of the Tower of Babel, the Cyber Demon! The Cyber Demon in appearance is very animalistic looking like a cross between a goat and a bull. The demon’s arrival at the Mars base also gave them access to advanced technology and weaponry. This where this demon gets it’s name. One of it’s hoofed legs was replaced with a cybernetic version and one of it’s arms replaced with an extremely powerful rocket launcher.
This monster is surprisingly fast and will sneak up on you just to liquify you with rockets that put yours to shame! Doom is one of the greatest games of all time and it’s Cyber Demon easily one the best bosses of all time.
As I previously mentioned, id Software made a game called Wolfenstein 3D before Doom. This game was also one of the first first person shooter games and delt with a subject everyone is familiar with, World War II. This of course meant that the main antagonists of the series were the Nazis.
A captured American spy is imprisoned in Castle Wolfenstein. To escape the castle, B. J. must take on the Nazi regime and ultimately do the impossible: take out Adolf Hitler. Upon reaching the last level of the third episode, the player is haunted by ghost like “fake Hitlers” that fly at you and shoot fire. The Fuhrer appears finally in a mechanical suit armed with four gatling guns that will rip right through B. J. if even one step is mistaken. If the player survives round one, Hitler drops the mech suit and assaults the player wielding two smaller gatling guns.
Often thought to be the ultimate bad guys, taking down the Nazis is always fun! Even today they live on but few games ever had you go up against the big man himself. After defeating Hitler, he bellows goodbye in German and melts into a pool of blood; probably the most satisfying scene ever! The game even recaps those few seconds by turning to the dethcam which shows his demise once more, up close, and a tad slower allowing the player to take in every detail.
I would love to thank the people at id Software for not only giving us these games but also giving me two of my favorite bosses!
Gideon Gordon Graves
It wasn’t until the release of the game that I entered the world of Scott Pilgrim and his fight with said world. The game was a very old school side scrolling beat’em up game that older gamers fell immediately in love with. The story itself is so wildly ridiculous it’d be hard not to make a game out of it. I’m sure my readers are pretty familiar with the basic story ( And if not, check it out! I was skeptical of Scott’s charm but I was very wrong! ) so I wont go into that. Instead I shall briefly go over my history with the game.
After being introduced to the game, I joined my brother in our first play through. He played as the lead Scott, and I tagged along as Stephen Stills. The game was challenging but the two of us made it to the master mind behind everything, Gideon Graves! No matter how hard we tried, whether it be Gideon’s power or the weird glitches that caused us to disappear at times, Gideon could not be stopped. Then we learned about the food items and the game became slightly ( And by slightly, I mean a lot! ) easier. Ever since then, I loathed this man! When we finally defeated him and were no longer scared of his wild abuse of power, it was like over coming life’s biggest hurdle, whatever that may be to you!
Not only that but continuing the game’s constant references to older games, it was hard to ignore Gideon’s resemblance to Sephiroth and Dr. Wily. Oh! Did I mention he also seems to have a very Technodrome like base? Yeah, to anyone who has played the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Arcade Game, the journey through his final level will appear very familiar!
My hatred for this douche-bag and my love for beating him to a pulp in a style that only the world of Scott Pilgrim can produce, are what make Gideon Gordon Graves one of my favorite bosses.
Well folks, that’s it. Ten of my favorites! These days it seems like developers are getting lazy with boss fights which in turn is making people wonder “Do we even need them?” It’s a shame really. For as long as there have been video-games, there have been bosses. Donkey Kong, the Centipede from Centipede, Bowser ( Or Koopa as he was called in my day! ), they all paved the way for the evolution of games and to exclude characters like these would be just wrong. Think of it this way: who would Commander Shepard be without Reapers to fight, Optimus without Megatron, Warrior of Light without Chaos?