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I've been wanting to do this blog for a while, so let's get right to it. Some video games are great. Some of them have satisfying endgames. But some games, those really throw their all into the fight once the final hour has arrived. In this countdown I'll take a look back at my favorite endgame bosses (1 of which is not technically a final boss but is the conclusion to said game), and in the comments below, feel free to share what your favorites are!
10. The World Ends With You
After you defeat the Game Master of the third and final Reaper's Game, you come face to face with the Conductor of the game, Megumi Kitanji. He's passionate about what he's trying to do (spoilers aside) and he's going to do his best to stop you from beating him which would result in his objective not being met. He confronts you himself, and after beating him once, he transforms into his Noise form, a giant serpent called Anguis Cantus.
After defeating HIM, he transforms AGAIN after transforming with someone else (spoilers withheld), to a more dangerous serpent Noise called Draco Cantus. The entire last day builds up to this climactic fight, and it has a few small twists to the battle formula and is one of the only fights in the entire game you'll mostly be tackling with just Neku by himself. Needless to say, it is one epic fight and I can't say much more without giving away very important story elements.
9. Pokemon Black/White
Normally, Pokemon games end at the Pokemon League of a given region, and your journey ends when you defeat the Champion. BUT NOT THIS TIME. After defeating the Elite Four, a castle comes out of the ****ing ground and surrounds the Pokemon League. It's N's castle. you have to confront him one last time, in what is an epic fight between truth and ideals. After that, his own father and a member of the Seven Sages of Team Plasma, Ghetsis, flips out at N's defeat and fights you himself after revealing the full intention he had for Team Plasma, and you take him down and bring an end to Team Plasma for the time being.
This endgame blew my mind despite being 19 years old at the time I played it and having been into Pokemon for over 11 years. I thought Pokemon was falling into a routine, and while I really liked Cynthia in Diamond/Pearl, I was waiting for when there'd be a twist to the plot somehow. And in Black/White, N's success with the Pokemon League up until you beat him was a welcome change and not actually fighting any sort of Champion for a final boss with Ghetsis was really cool too. N having a legendary Pokemon helped crank the intensity up to eleven.
8. Kingdom Hearts II
HOW OVER-THE-TOP CAN YOU MAKE ONE STRING OF FINAL BOSSES? First you go through a strange city, then you fight Xemnas in a weird knight form. Then you have to fight him on a giant Nobody dragon. Then you fight him in the knight form AGAIN but you're falling from the sky but you look like you're flying and you have to make your way to him. THEN you fight him finally in his usual form but in a different white/black cloak in a strange void of nothingness. AND I MIGHT BE MESSING UP MY ORDER BECAUSE THE ENDGAME JUST CONSISTS OF SO ****ING MUCH.
The first Kingdom Hearts almost made it to this list too because of how over the top it was, but few endgames can boast being that exaggerated as Kingdom Hearts II. And you get the epic partnership of Sora and Riku, who was reformed from falling into darkness in the first game and now a sweet dark hero type character. It just screamed awesome for me. Cheesy admittedly, but still a great way to wrap up the game.
7. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
I love NMH2. I really do. It took the solid foundation of the first, and made it better. It did away with the unnecessary hubworld fluff (as novel as it was), and polished up the rest of the game. And the entire game revolves around Travis' thirst for vengeance against Jasper Batt Jr. and how he killed a good friend of his. Travis relunctantly assassinates his way through the top ranked assassin's a SECOND time, and learns that Jasper Batt Jr. himself is the top ranked assassin. He confronts him. After learning what his identity was (which surprised him), you begin the epic final boss fight with him.
And that boss fight ends up with three phases. You first fight him inside a small car and have defend yourself and make openings to hit him. After that, he makes himself buffer though some power and larger, and you fight what essentially is an evil superhero (looks like a superhero, but really isn't). After warding off attacks and knocking him down again, he increases in size AGAIN, in a parody to how final bosses progress in other games, and he's literally this giant balloon version of himself, and you fight him on the top of his destroyed office building. It's a challenging fight, but it's soooo satisfying when you finally bring him down.
6. Dark Cloud 2
Few games are beloved to me as Dark Cloud 2, and the game did a great job of wrapping up its story. You fight Emperor Griffin in his palace, only to learn that a dark creature had parasitically taken over his body and controlled him to do everything that he did. You then go through a weird dream realm and fight a bunch of bosses, and you confront the Dark Element, the real "Emperor Griffin", while it threatens to DROP THE FREAKING MOON ON THE PLANET. No, I'm serious, Majora's Mask is not the only game to have the threat of the moon being used as a weapon. Dark Cloud 2's world also had 2 moons, 1 of which was to be used to destroy the planet by the Dark Element.
You have a pretty good view of the second, fake moon and you have a tense countdown of 5 minutes to kill the Dark Element. The battle takes place on a small space of floor inside the strange colorful place near the top of the long spiral that you climbed up on the way. It's pretty atmospheric and the fight itself, which has the Dark Element switching its cloak coloring to grant immunity to long-ranged or close-ranged weapons (since the two main characters get 1 each) was a nice twist and added strategy.
5. Sonic & Knuckles
I have a hard time loving bosses in platformers because they tend to lack the intensity of a well-established RPG fight. But Sonic & Knuckles, which wraps up the Death Egg saga of the Sonic game timeline, ends beautifully. First you have an ordinary boss fight in the Death Egg Zone, which following that you chase Eggman before he jumps into his Death Egg Robot, and you have to hit the fingers of the hands he's using to try to crush you.
When that fails, he destroys pieces of the Death Egg as he follows you and attacks you with fire from his robotic nose (I'm serious), and a charged laser beam from the Master Emerald he's using for energy for the robot. In order to damage him you have to hit the Master Emerald's holding machine carefully and bounce off it before you fall from the platforms the robot's knocking down in its wake. And if that's not enough, destroying the robot doesn't end the game. Eggman tries to get away with the Master Emerald riding his little ship, and you get to chase him down and hit him while the rest of the Death Egg falls apart behind you.
Leaving out the Doomsday Zone which is a whole 'nother layer added on entirely, this is one of the most epic endgames I've ever gotten to experience in a platformer, and while I tend not to give Sonic & Knuckles enough credit, it did wrap up the Death Egg saga in a very cool manner.
4. Touhou Shinreibyou ~ Ten Desires
Not all of you know Touhou so here's a video link to the boss fight, because this might be hard to imagine what I'm explaining otherwise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIZG7Rb8yMk. Good? Okay. So the plot here is Reimu found a weird disturbance and had to find out why spirits were flying around everywhere. She finds Toyosatomimi no Miko and a small group of people who practiced Taoism and tried to become immortal (and had people stop believing in them, sending them to Reimu's world, Gensokyo), and then Reimu (or whatever girl you pick) confronts Miko. After this, an Extra scenario can be unlocked, where Reimu goes to the Moriya Shrine and is intercepted by the playful tanuki girl Mamizou. And this fight happens.
IT ****ING HAPPENS. I love the playful music, and the entire theming of Mamizou's attacks is just bizarre in the coolest way possible. Her normal, non-spellcard attacks, she doesn't fool around with and literally just hurls large orbs every ****ing direction, but her spellcard attacks feature her bullets TURNING INTO LIVING THINGS, including gingerbread man looking humanshapes, frogs, birds, and dog-things. Land, sea, air, human. And to turn it up to 11, one of her spellcards has her transform into REIMU HERSELF and shooting trademark amulets at you, as well as leaving behind frogs which explode into amulets (as opposed to the feather-like bullets they normally explode into).
I've only ever beaten her one time, but fighting her is so satisfying. And I have a thing for tanukis ever since Super Mario Bros. 3 and Mario and Luigi being able to turn into them through that power-up. And Mamizou delivered.
3. Chrono Trigger
After going through time many many times you finally get to fight Lavos in the Black Omen, and you learn that there's more to Lavos than that exterior meteor monster you've seen all game. Not only do you fight a boss rush of a lot of the game's bosses with Lavos as the proxy, you get to fight Lavos itself normally, then you fight a strange Cell-like creature inside of Lavos. You go INSIDE OF LAVOS when you finish this beast off because its head retreated into its body. And then, after THAT, you fight its core: a weird alien being and 2 small bits accompanying it...
Until you learn the twist that ONE OF THE BITS IS THE CORE AND THE ALIEN ISN'T THE REAL TARGET. Many gamers who are genre-savvy get thrown for a loop when they learn Lavos' last form isn't the unique alien creature, but actually one of those bits. And until you start throwing attacks around, you have no way of knowing, adding to the tense challenge of finally ridding the planet of the horrible beast. To accompany it, the background spans through space-time and you get to see the various settings you've been to, which influence some of the core's attacks. Really cool indeed.
2. Final Fantasy VII
You dive deep inside the earth through the North Crater to fight Sephiroth for real. You defeat JENOVA for the 4th and final time, and then you face Sephiroth, who was turned into some strange monster. You get to tackle the fight with multiple parties if you want to. Then when you think Sephiroth's defeated, he becomes an angellic god-like... thing, with epic latin choir accompanying this. It's one of the coolest final bosses I've ever gotten to play, and while a lot of people like to mock it nowadays, I like to give credit where its due; if not for this game, I wouldn't have played any other Final Fantasy titles, and Sephiroth is an awesome villain. I found the final boss fight with him highly dynamic and entertaining. It helps that his forms gain stats depending on whether you used the gamebreaking summon on JENOVA before him or if you have any Lv.99 characters.
1. Pokemon Gold/Silver
Yes, wrapping up our countdown is another Pokemon game. And no I'm not talking about Lance here. I'm talking about the game's TRUE final boss. You've collected Kanto's badges after defeating the entire Johto region, and been given permission to venture to Mt. Silver. You traverse the eerie, dark cave. You reach the last room of the final dungeon of this 60+ hour Pokemon game, and you see nothing but a single path forward and black void surrounding you (assuming the original here, for atmosphere). You reach the other side to see a trainer standing there, and approach them. All they say before you're rushed into a fight is "..."
This is how the epic final battle of Gold/Silver pulls you in. You fight not just any trainer, but the hero of the entire Kanto region from 3 years ago. You're fighting a former champion that stepped down in order to continue growing stronger. You're fighting a trainer that was the FIRST to mess with and successfully defeat Team Rocket. And you get that epic Champion Battle music that Lance got along with Red holding nothing but Pokemon obtained through events in Yellow (Espeon implied to be the Eevee from Celadon). You get to know why there's only 1 Snorlax in Kanto. He has the second one.
Red is in himself an epic character in Gold/Silver for being a hero 3 years before you began your journey in Johto. And you get to fight him. Not many games can make a new installment and have the game wrap up by BEATING THE FIRST GAME'S PROTAGONIST. But to this day Gold/Silver are my favorite games in the series, and not only was the pacing of the game great, but having Red as its final fight just makes it that much more awesome.
It's a series that is one of the most unique turn-based RPGs gamers could pick up today. It's survived for 15 years. This year actually marks its 15th anniversary for American gamers. The series has grown over the years, with new regions to explore, Pokemon to capture, and trainers to battle. The spin-offs have given fans of the series new ways to experience the Pokemon world, with series like Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Being a longtime fan of the series myself, I can never help but imagine what the series would be like with new twists.
Pokemon began as a pair of monster-collecting RPGs in 1996 in Japan as Pocket Monsters Red and Pocket Monsters Green. You play as a boy named Red from Pallet Town on a quest to become the best trainer and capture all the little monsters in the world. But you also have a rival, Blue (Green in Japan), who is the grandson of the starting town's professor, who is one step ahead of you at every turn. You even have to take down a criminal organization along the way. It was a simple formula that worked very effectively. Characters were portrayed well and the games had a good atmosphere. And this formula continued as the skeleton for every main series game that followed.
We're up to the fifth generation now, which is already coming to an end with the announcement of sixth generation games Pokemon X and Pokemon Y. Each generation of Pokemon has introduced some new things, but the games have largely retained the same flow and have yet to take large leaps in story and characterization, which has slowly turned some potential players away. Pokemon could use some fresh new ideas to help propel it to new heights.
Picture this: you keep the basic formula of having 8 Gym Leaders, and a Pokemon League with an Elite Four. But instead of the plot centering more on this "be the best" goal, the Gym Leaders are secretly all villains part of an underground organization which works similar to Team Rocket, and the Elite Four, who are without a Champion, ask for your help to get rid of them since they can't do it themselves or there could be a region-wide uproar. They're simply powerless to do much outside of try to find help. There's more plot involvement which uses the basic Pokemon formula. Rather than discard what makes Pokemon so simple but inviting, it could just be improved upon with a more engaging story.
Pokemon Black and Pokemon White are a great example of where a little bit of better storytelling can go; Team Plasma's attempts to control Unova and N's involvement in the entire scheme and being tricked by his own father all add interesting pieces to a puzzle that you get to experience. In the sequels, players got to see how all this turmoil changed Unova, from Team Plasma's splitting up to Alder's resignation as Champion. But it could have been even better.
But not to stop there, the atmosphere could be fixed to work with this new angle. Parts of the region look decayed, the environment is being tampered with as this villainous team is working towards its goals. The only safe havens are the Pokemon Centers scattered around the region, which are no longer in the cities but are found only on different routes to help drive the point home of a region in the midst of chaos.
Every previous region in the Pokemon world has felt very secure even with the bad guys running around and trying to cause trouble. If Game Freak really wants to write a good plot where there's conflict between the villains and the hero, they could add in atmospheric changes too. It could completely change the feel of the game, while keeping it wholely compatible with any other games and retaining the same formula that works so well. There could even be more Pokemon that look manmade which have been let loose to add to this. Your rival in this game could be the leader of the criminal gang for a plot twist! There's so many possibilities here.
After 15 years of Pokemon, I'm sure longtime fans are looking for something new. The spin-offs are a good sign of where we could see the main games look to for their next adventures. Pokemon Colosseum may not have been the best Pokemon game, but it had very good ideas for a story that could work in the main series as well. The main series could take a cue from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon and make the legendary Pokemon more involved in the plot. It's good to see that with other developers, the series is branching out with games such as Ranger, Mystery Dungeon, and Conquest, and this is something the Pokemon series really needs: branching out into new horizons.
The universe of Pokemon really is something that has a lot of potential that have been so far left untapped. If Game Freak can create a game like Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver, or Pokemon Black/White and their sequels, they can definitely stretch out even further and create a Pokemon game with story as powerful as a Final Fantasy title. And they wouldn't even need to ruin their game or change its structure at all to do it.
Okay, so one night I downloading Mega Man 3 off the eShop because I had the spare money and I had the first 2 already. I was always interested in Mega Man but never spent too much time on it. Until now. I've been listening to the music from the 8-bit games (including 9, A LOT of 9 actually, and 10), and playing the first three Mega Man games on my 3DS. I've beaten Mega Man 2 on Normal (the English equivalent to an Easy mode that was never in the Japanese Rockman 2), and will likely be taking it on on the legitimate Difficult setting sometime soon, where it'll be on equal footing with all other Mega Man games. I decided I'll talk about each of the first three games, since I'm at least at the Wily Stages in all 3 of them. Let me say first that as a newbie to Mega Man, the 3DS' ability to savestate is a godsend for helping me improve at this game without the frustration of having to start allllllll over again from the beginning of a stage (continues or no).
Beginning with the first game! I like the music, some of the stage music is really nice, and while the boss music is chaotic and repetitive, I like it too. The lack of E-Tanks in this game adds a bit more challenge. I like the variety of the Robot Masters (bomb, cutter, ice, electricity, fire, and... muscle? ) with Guts Man, Bomb Man, Cut Man, Fire Man, Ice Man, and Elec Man. I like the atmosphere of the game and it's definitely a hell of a lot of fun. Guts Man's stage gives me heart attacks with the early-level segment with the platforms that drop in some spaces (after the first).
My only real large complaint with the first game outside of nitpicking is that unlike other Mega Man games after it, stopping after a run causes Mega Man to slide slightly. It's not in any other Mega Man game and it may not be very noticeable, but it interferes with a few of my jumps in some stages. Other than that it's a solid game overall despite anything else I could say about it.
Mega Man 2
OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS DELICIOUS. Awesome variety in Robot Masters (this game has Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Wood Man, Crash Man, Heat Man, Flash Man, and Quick Man), awesome music (of all the music in the classic series, it's either this game or 9's that pleases me the most), and great power-ups (Metal Blades are so f***ing broke it's hilarious, and Quick Boomerang laughs at tanky enemies but taking them out in so few hits). I really love the level design, as most to almost all the levels are pretty ambitious and well-thought-out.
I can't find much to complain about 2, honestly. It's awesome. The fact it has an easier difficulty to allow newer players to come in and play without the scary high difficulty the series is typically known for is a blessing, and with everything that makes it such a great game compounded altogether, I must say it's a damn shame I never played it sooner, it is the best platformer I've played in a long time, and only truly surpassed in my own opinion by Super Mario Bros. 3.
Mega Man 3
The third game in the series really stretches out gameplay a bit with a few additions. Rush makes his debut in this game (and he's awesome, by the way), 8 new Robot Masters which are pretty cool (not as cool as 2's , but we have Hard Man, Top Man, Snake Man, Spark Man, Magnet Man, Gemini Man, Shadow Man, and Needle Man), and Doc Robots which appear occupying 4 of the 8 Robot Masters' stages after their defeat who use the powers of the Robot Masters from 2. This game also introduces Proto Man, who calls himself Break Man at one point in the game.
Mega Man 3 has some good music, really tough bosses and challenging stages, interesting level theming and design, but overall the game can't compare to Mega Man 2 when everything's put together, simply because everything 3 does, 2 does better. But 3 is still a really good game and I like it more than 1 so far.
I'm really excited for Mega Man 4, Mega Man 5, and eventually Mega Man 6 heading to the eShop. I'm going to be buying Mega Man 9 and Mega Man 10 on WiiWare soon as well (WiiWare because the Wii Remote sideways feels right for this kind of game). While the games are challenging, the style of the games has drawn me in and I wonder why I didn't get into the series sooner. I've also been playing Zero Collection on DS a bit and hope to play Mega Man X sometime in the near future (my friend owns a copy of it and an SNES so I should have no problem).
Anyway, that's all for now. See ya next blog. Hope you've all been well and take care!
My Recent Reviews
The final race I could record with my camera. Boy what fun. :)
The second to last race I could record with my camera with the AONU members.
Race 5 of 7 recorded races with friends from All-Out Nintendo. This was one of my favorite courses right here.
May 23, 2013 3:58 am GMTCloud_765 posted in the topic MS's Don Mattrick: "If you're backwards compatible, you're really backwards on the union board The AONU Board
May 23, 2013 2:19 am GMTCloud_765 began Following Sonic: Lost World
May 22, 2013 4:38 am GMTCloud_765 posted in the topic Thoughts on the Xbox One? on the Otaku Underground board
May 20, 2013 3:43 pm GMTCloud_765 added Mega Man 5 to their owned game list
May 9, 2013 7:15 am GMTCloud_765 posted in the topic The Yu-Gi-Oh! thread on the Otaku Underground board
May 7, 2013 4:42 am GMTCloud_765 posted a new blog entry entitled Top 10 Endgame Bosses
May 7, 2013 12:42 am GMTCloud_765 gave Mega Man X a score of 9.5
Apr 27, 2013 5:54 am GMTCloud_765 posted in the topic Playing the nostalgia card on the union board The AONU Board
Apr 27, 2013 5:53 am GMTCloud_765 posted in the topic Playing the nostalgia card on the union board The Great Nintendo Board
Apr 27, 2013 5:20 am GMTCloud_765 posted in the topic AONU's Top Handhelds of All Time ~ RESULTS on the union board The AONU Board