NiGHTS is one of the most innovative and original game ideas out there, about an exiled inhabitant of the nightmare worlds who wanted to stop them from taking over dreams and reality. Naturally a good start to find the freakiest/original bosses in games, one of them being Puffy. A female rabbit-thing who bounces like a ball across rooms. You have to grab her rounded legless underside and slam her through a part of the wall, eventually reaching the last part where you shut her into a box. Now of course the bosses are rather odd, and among them are Klawz the firework-wielding cat and Jackle the card-wielding freak, but really, I can understand those two. Cats are evil as we all know from Tom & Jerry, and jackals are one of nature's great jokers or jerks. This is a rabbit that BOUNCES with no legs like a ball, and oh yes, let's not forget the opera that plays while you fight it. An operatic bunny that bounces like a rubber ball.
We all remember Dark Link (probably) from Ocarina of Time and how much of a pain he was, back with more skill each time and even doing that Matrix-sword-standing thing that REALLY grates your teeth more than the end of the Matrix "trilogy". Well he wasn't the first evil reflection that came around in games. Before him there came the Mirror Prince. Before the Prince was editing stories he told and pretending he had a bad memory due to you failing to work time correctly and die many times, he was in a pretty decent side-scrolling puzzle-action game of an unnerving time limit and weak legs. Halfway through the game, a mirror blends itself into your own reflection, and the game automatically draws out a sword in battle. But how do you defeat your own reflection? He hits you everytime you hit him, he moves and runs the exact same paces as you, and he only dies, when YOU die. And that's not something you want to do in this game. But there IS a strategy, albeit I dunno how you figured this out. You have to not fight your own reflection, put away your sword, and walk into it. Embrace yourself. Yes, and just like that your reflection just vanishes inside you like a ghost, but without all that nasty possession and that cold slimy feeling you get in your liver.
Celestial objects in videogames always seem to be rather....threatening. There's the Sun in Mario Bros 3, the Moon from Majora's Mask, and then there is both of them in Kirby's Adventure. Seriously, what is WITH celestial objects in videogames always wanting to KILL YOU (and which were surprisingly absent in Mario Galaxy, because I was all panicky to face the GIANT ANGRY SUN that never came). However unlike the Mario Bros Sun, or Legend of Zelda's Moon, these two are actual enemies you face off against, the final bosses of Butter Building. When you fight them, one of them goes into the sunset/dawn sky as its partner battles on ground. The sun, Mr Bright, goes into the sky to turn it into morning, shooting powerful heat rays while the moon, Mr Shine, shoots cutting blades or charges you. The moon goes into the sky to turn it into night and shoots stars at you while the sun on the ground charges at you. A pretty formidable team when they're working together and are apparently so popular they got back in another game, Kirby's Dreamland 2 where they have their nearly-brutal Eclipse attack. Basically Mr Bright scorches the entire land with burning heat except for one area of it that Mr Shine illuminates. Again, sun and moon hate anything on land. The two are a formidably tough battle but the everchanging scenery of night and day is pretty cool for a NES game to see, and it's not very often you're fighting two of the most well-known and most influential celestial bodies of space.
The Goemon series have always been weird to say the least. And out of all the...weird bosses, the final one is the strangest of all. Even though this list could just have been full of Goemon bosses, one in particular has to make this in a world where you're a heroic thief armed with a pipe trying to save Japan from being turned into one giant European-style performing stage by the Peach Mountain Shoguns of the Flake Gang. Their two leaders have this final weapon, a rather huge performing robot like something out of a Japanese Shakespearean play (already you know this is going to be epically tripped-out), armed to the teeth with an array of weapons from nasal bullets to meteors, and you fight him in your giant Goemon-esque robot called IMPACT. The battle rather plays like a first-person beat-em-up, and while this is the third battle as IMPACT, it's definitely the longest and strangest of all. The game itself is a strange twisted tale in Edo-era Japan (that's basically the age of Samurai to everyone else) and what with these......European aliens trying to take over, it just gets a lot weirder. Believe me, you have to see it to understand it all. Maybe it's some witty allegory to the Japanese of losing their culture to the West. Or maybe it's a modernised rendition of a classic story. Or it's just an original wacky story about a guy who wacks people with a pipe and a fat friend who is a bit TOO comfortable with his body. Either way, not many games in the West can compare to its craziness, because Japan now practically own the word. Also, D'etoile is French for "star", and not "trippin' out on meth ", apparently.
While TECHNICALLY a boss battle, it doesn't play out like one. The Sorrow is the ghost that follows around with Big Boss, and was a powerful spirit medium and psychic who fell in love with Big Boss. He took his own life for her and has since then floated unfulfilled with her as perhaps a guardian angel. Sylvia Plath WISHES to be this sad. And when you face him, Snake is pretty much ALMOST dead, practically beaten to the very inch of his life, and Snake must wade through the river of all the enemies he has killed in the course of the game (the ACTUAL number of the enemies you killed as well as how they died are shown in this stage), while all the time avoiding The Sorrow's attacks, a sort of ghostly blast. When you reach the very end...you die. Yes I'm serious, you die. Well, if you paid attention to the game you'll know what to do won't you? You're a spy dammit, think like one. But really, you're wading through a river of the dead chasing a ghost....not even Fatal Frame gets that freaky, though it does get close.
Giant hands. Not many people have tried to even begin to decipher what their purpose is in the universe of Smash Bros. Are they the hands of a God? What kind of God? A grand celestial being battling brave warriors? The hands of a child from reality playing with toys within his imagination? Or even just the hands of a grand sorcerer bent on controlling their worlds? Whatever the case, one is calm and collected, while the other is jerky and maniacally spasming in anticipation, ready to slap you, pummel you, shoot you, clap and punch you dead off the stage. These strange godlike hands while not immortal are certainly a presence that has unconsciously slipped into gamers' minds as a mystery no one will ask. And why should they, since nobody really has a straight answer? Not even Brawl gave much of an explanation on it.
Treasures of the Deep was a deep-sea diving treasure-hunting game involving the occasional shooting with nets, harpoons or bombs in various underwater enrivonments ranging from recovering Hitler's gold in the Ionian Sea to a deep sea rescue operation in the Sea of Japan. Now and again you do face some strange creature of the depths, be it a giant octopus or something more supernatural like a serpent guardian. Out of the veritable oceanic menagerie is one particularly weird boss. During a recovery mission in the Bermuda Triangle, amid the hallucinations of strange lights and ghost viking ships, you face off against....a UFO. Yes, a flying saucer out of the sky and into the water floats above your main objective and blasts you with lasers, forcing you to utilise all of your most powerful weapons to eliminate it and blow it out of the water back into the sky from whence it possibly came. The game is not even joking about it, it really is a freaking UFO (well sorta but still!) trying to stop you recovering a certain plane's contents and shooting lasers at you all the while. This is the kind of stuff conspiracy theorists orgasm over, it's weird but awesome. Seriously, can you even try and expect something like that?
Diseases and viruses are nothing but mindless cells who live only to replicate and survive. As much as we like to call certain ones evil such as cancer, they have no morality or any brain. But then came along the Gangliated Utrophin Immuno Latency Toxin, also known as G.U.I.L.T, a man-made disease which was pretty much created to kill. Of course man-made weapons have advanced in the modern age but this is ridiculous. They all look like Galaga understudies and employ different tactics ranging from swimming around under the flesh of an organ occasionally lacerating it like a steel shark in an ice lake to creating a petrifying wall around an organ turning an operation into a sort of mathematical puzzle. They're not only one of the most hated things in videogames but also reflect the mystique and the public's fear of diseases if they didn't do biology in high school. These things are alive and almost are sentient in the way they consciously seek out the perfect spots in the human body for higher fatality rates. They're not diseases. They're practically blood-cell sized space ships blasting through the human body as if Fantastic Voyage turned into the last part of Star Wars. But then considering how the old shoot-em-ups such as R-Type always seemed to have giant brains or hearts as final bosses, it's all starting to become too clear. Oh dear god, you're killing R-Type ships, aren't you? Freaking R-Type ships.
While Earthbound is in itself a very strange game, the main enemy ruling over it all is moreso. Giegue in the original Earthbound Zero/Mother is an alien being who comes to Earth in revenge against the humans, two of whom in the 1900s betrayed his race and studied their secret PSI powers without permission. While one of them did betray his race, the other did not and raised Giegue like a son, which forced him to separate himself from humanity for 80 years in preparation for the invasion. While the enemy itself is not as strange as the other nominations of this list, the battle itself is. You face Giegue/Giygas on the very peak of Mt Itoi, the last stand against the world itself, a strange symbiotic creature in a pod who doesn't even have music in his battle but rather a creepy sci-fi blinking sound. His attacks are inexplicable and incomprehensible to describe, and nothing can harm him...except the power of one special lullably he remembers when he was young (so his father took him into the city to see a marching band-oh wait sorry nevermind) and one which forces him to remember the love one human showed him. He at first blocks this mentally against you several times with the strength of denial that would be found only in Fred Phelps and Bin Laden, but enough singing makes his heart unbearably weighed down with emotional agony, and he then leaves, swearing to meet you again. And it seems he does in the second game, where he has gained so much power he has literally gone insane, all the while murmuring strange disturbingly painful mixed messages of pleas, friendship and offence. Singing won't work here, but it's even weirder what you have to do here, though it's certainly something you would do when faced with impossible odds, regardless of who you believe in. And if you do it enough times, it can really work. But seriously to have this happen in a videogame is very...well, WEIRD, yet amazingly ingenious.
Now most enemies you defeat by well, hitting them or something. But this extra-dimensional boss from the first Star Fox game on the SNES was rather odd. It was a boss, a fully optional secret boss that you only obtained via the hard route to the Asteroid Field and bringing forth the presence of some silver bird (and that's not some term for a sexy older lady, I really mean a silver bird), but this boss you couldn't just blast the weak point of. You gambled to beat him. Seriously, the boss is a giant slot machine that you shot the arm of and the only way to actually BEAT it is by hitting three lucky 7s. This could take 10 seconds or 10 minutes, and it only damages you if you get an Andross face in the slots whereby it will shoot missiles at you. But seriously, how much weirder can it get fighting a giant slot machine in a circusy outer dimension while When The Saints Go Marching In plays in the background? While it is a very very unorthodox enemy, it's still a boss that for those who found it will always tell you of the agonising moments in figuring out a way to destroy it, which is truly nothing but pure luck, like how you defeat a slot machine in real life. And seriously, WHY that song other than its childish rhythm? The whole thing is like an LSD trip you gave to your li'l brother and if it wasn't for the hilarious experience, would have been tragic and disturbing. Of course I'm never gonna go to Vegas now until I can purchase some form of laser blaster.....or at least bring my NES ZAPPER.
Back in the days of old videogames, bosses did not have to make much sense because the stories never did. A superspeedy hedgehog fighting a robotic army and their egg-shaped creator? A modern ninja facing a metallic dragon made entirely of Russians? Even some games today have some nonsensical bosses like SIN from FFX or really anything out of Metal Gear Solid. But we honour the truly freakish, the truly original, the truly messed-up-the-bazooka bosses of yesteryear for the ones of today. Keep on trippin', everyone!
List by TheYithsRevenge (05/20/2009)
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