Ahh, boss fights – it’s something only games can do; spend hours pumping experience points into your team to build them up for a massive encounter, reach the end of a difficult level and face off against an imposing big-bad – it’s a glorious moment. Sometimes, though, it all goes wrong, and you find yourself sat in a tedious battle with a boss (in it’s seventh form) for hours and hours and hours. We collected the bosses we’ve begrudgingly spent the most time with for your viewing pleasure.
1. Elizabeth [Persona 3]
Only during a player’s second cycle of the game (read: New Game+), the ultimate secret boss of Persona 3 is Elizabeth, the erstwhile servant of the Velvet Room that holds the demon compendium for her master, Igor. Like the game’s protagonist, Elizabeth can wield a variety of Personae, and dealing with her 10 well-selected minions is an incredibly difficult task. Worse yet, if Elizabeth feels threatened, she can unleash a duo of attacks dishing out 9999 damage each – killing you and setting you right back to square one. Great. Throw that in with an exceedingly high evasion rate and you’ve got an incredibly frustrating boss battle.
2. Mael Radec [Killzone 2]
We were surprised that an FPS came up when we were compiling this list, but Colonel Mael Radec – Helghast leader and founder of the Radec Academy – couldn’t be left out. If it was just you and him, one-on-one, we’re sure he wouldn’t put up too much of a fight. But alongside his constant waves of Helghast soldiers, the boss fight becomes ridiculous (particularly on the Elite difficulty). There’s a trophy available for players that manage to take out Radec in under 20 minutes – the developers knew what they were doing when they coded this big bad.
3. Jergingha [Wonderful 101]
The Wonderful 101’s final boss, Jergingha, is actually the mobile headquarters of The Guild of Evil Aliens Terrorising Humans with Jiggawatt bombs, Energy beams, Ray guns and Killer lasers (handily shortened to GEATHJERK). A button-mash fest of the highest order, this entire battle can take up to an hour – at times it literally becomes ‘mash A to save the Earth!’ This is even referenced in a very self-aware way during a cut-scene, mid-fight. Jergingha is voiced by Steve Blum, too – the fight never gets boring when you get to listen to his dulcet tones.
4. Senator Armstrong [Metal Gear Rising: Revengance]
Another Platinum Games title, another lengthy boss battle with an emphasis on QTEs. The battle with Senator Armstrong may not actually be that long in the grand scheme of things, but the fractal nature of the encounter makes it feel far more protracted than it actually is. The fight has a sort-of rhythm to it; button-mash, cut-scene, button-mash, cut-scene, arena battle. Rinse and repeat. It’s not a bad fight, all told, but the constant shift of combat and relentless power metal soundtrack really starts to grate after a while…
5. Penance [Final Fantasy X]
With 12,000,000 HP, Penacne is a true superboss. He is accompanied by two arms that act independently to the main core (which regenerate when defeated) and absorbs all elemental damage. To make matters worse, Penance’s second form is keen on using the Immolation technique – inflicting damage and draining all MP. You only stand a chance against Penance if you acquire each character’s Celestial Weapon, and spam Rikku’s Overdrive to create major buffing items. (If that all sounds like too much work, you can just use Yojimbo’s one-hit kill Zanmato move… but that’d be cheating, right?)
6. The Immortal One [Lost Odyssey]
Overlooked by many because of its position as a JRPG on the Xbox 360, Lost Odyssey contained some of the trickiest secret bosses of the last generation. The Immortal One makes our list because of its ludicrous 175,000HP and insistence on casting regenerative magic on itself. It also had the ability to reverse all buffs on your party, making The One the most infuriating battle in the whole game. There was a secret win condition on the enemy, too – win within 30 turns – that we always thought was impossible until we saw someone manage it online…
7. Boss Rush [Okami]
Okami’s bosses were never particularly renowned for their difficulty, but at the end of the game – in a very Capcom tradition – all of the previous major enemies are thrown at you, all in more powerful forms. This wasn’t a particularly difficult endeavour, but failure was most often prompted from losing concentration and making a stupid error – getting sent right back to the beginning of the whole rush. It was a relief when the final big bad finally showed his face – it meant you were nearing the end of this tedious campaign.
8. Dark World Dr. Fetus [Super Meat Boy]
If clearing the game regularly isn’t enough for you, then going back and winning each level in Dark World will open up Dr. Fetus’ Dark World Boss Stage. The walking homunculus will chase you down with missiles for the first half of the level as you avoid the usual array of meat-slicing deathtraps scattered amongst the terrain. After that, you must make your way to the exit with Bandage Girl on your back. Granted, the level itself isn’t that long, but most of the time spent on this boss will be figuring out the right path through the deadly contraptions laid out before you, all whilst dodging those bloody homing missiles…
9. Yiazmat [Final Fantasy XII]
It’s not really a surprise that two Final Fantasy games made it into this list, is it? Yiazmat will take you at least an hour if you’re fully levelled, buffed and ready, but usually he’ll take longer to vanquish. With over 50 million HP, Yiazmat holds the record for having the most health of any Final Fantasy enemy (in the PAL release of the game, you could only inflict 9999 damage at a time, too, making this battle far more difficult than it should have been). With attacks that inflict instant death or petrification, too, Yiazmat truly is one of the cheapest bosses around.
10. The End [Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater]
The world’s greatest sniper and mentor to The Boss, The End is actually quite merciful; if he spots you in the wilds of Sokrovenno, he won’t shoot you down – no, that’d be too easy. Instead, The End will tranquilize you and send you back to the jail in Graniny Gorki. This makes this fight incredibly long if you don’t have the patience to take it slow and steady. (This whole encounter can actually be avoided, though; either by setting your system clock forward, killing The End of old age, or by sniping him out of his wheelchair earlier on in the game).