Welcome to Awesome Boss Battles in Gaming Part III. This time braggart robots, fat robe-wearing overlords, dinosaur kings, giant mechs with vendettas against rodents, and winged beasts are the order of the day.
Vile - Mega Man X (SNES)
After going through one of the most devastating-looking first levels in video game history, Vile appears before X and swiftly and merciless beats the circuitry out of him. Usually the first boss fight in any game is easily winnable. But there isn't a single thing you can do to stop Vile from pummeling you. Most games these days would have a scene like this play out in a cut scene but by allowing you to be in control during the fight, even though you ultimately lose no matter how hard you try, that feeling of helpless is driven home much better. Zero has to step in and stop Vile from killing X, clearly demonstrating the power gap between the two.
Once you've taken out the eight Mavericks, found all the armor upgrades, gotten all the Sub-Tanks and Heart Tanks, you head to Sigma's Fortress. Upon making your way inside, who should greet you but the guy that gave you quite the whupping, Vile. Zero tells you that he'll face him in combat but the red reploid is quickly overpowered. Vile boasts that his Ride Armor is more than a match for X. But hey, you've gotten much stronger. The fight will be different this time, right? Nope. Despite your increased abilities, Vile still mops the floor with you. Once again, Zero steps in but this time he gets far more destructive with his help, trying to take out Vile in an explosion. Zero takes out the Ride Armor, but Vile is still standing, while X looks like he's seen better days. Suddenly, X rises to his feet, shrugging off all of the damage Vile has dealt to him and recovers his lost energy, much to Vile's surprise. After looking like a scrub twice, it's time to dish out some long overdue payback.
Vile has been a source of agony for you since the game began and he's always boasted about his superior combat skills at every opportunity. So when you finally get the chance to shut this guy up, it really is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world. Vile is weak to the Homing Torpedo and Rolling Shield. For super special enjoyment of ending his smack talk, one-shot killing him with the Hadoken can't be beat.
Wart - Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
World 7, the final world of Super Mario Bros. 2 thankfully only has two stages as opposed to the usual three. However, those two levels are far more longer and much more difficult than anything the game has thrown at you up until this point. I guess that's to be expected of the final levels, but when the bird head door betrays and attacks you? That's just sick and wrong. Ahem. The battle with Wart is the ultimate challenge in Super Mario Bros. 2. Like most children, Wart hates veggies and the imprisoned residents of Subcon have a machine in Wart's chamber that shoots out his Kryptonite. But you can't just toss vegetables at him and call it a day. Unlike all the other bosses in the game, Wart can only be damaged when his mouth is open and when he does open wide, he shoots bubbles which can destroy the veggies you toss at him if your timing is off. Those bubbles have a surprisingly far reach, too, so choose your hiding spots carefully if you're on the defensive. He may be a fat tub of lard, but Wart is no pushover.
King Dodongo - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64, 3DS)
The second dungeon you explore as Young Link is the Dodongo's Cavern, home to, you guessed it, dodongos. Dodongos have appeared as bosses in the original Legend of Zelda on the NES. Since the N64 was a huge step up from that system, the sheer size King Dodongo can be downright intimidating when you first see him. The fight takes place inside a cave with a lava pool in the center. When he isn't rolling around the room trying to flatten you, he loves to roar and this is your chance to attack. King Dodongo has a rock hard hide and your sword is initially useless on him. His insides, however, are all soft and gooey and as the old man once said, dodongo dislikes smoke. When the big guy lets out a roar, toss a bomb inside, wait for it to explode, which will cripple him for several seconds, giving you time to hack and slash him in the face. This battle can go by pretty quickly, but's it's always been one of my favorite encounters in Ocarina of Time.
Death Egg Robot - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (GEN)
The Death Egg, in spite of it's Death Star size and resemblance is quite the small level, the smallest of the whole game in fact. It does, however, house the largest boss of Sonic 2. After you dispatch Silver Sonic, Robotnik makes a run for it (he somehow manages to outrun Sonic) and jumps into his Death Egg Robot, a towering mechanized version of himself. The weak point on the Death Egg Robot is the stomach, which is closely guarded by the clawed hands. Attack at the wrong time and you'll lose a life. This can be a troublesome fight since you have no rings but more often than not impatience is what kills the player here. Not content with simply trying to crush Sonic by foot, Robotnik will also fly up into the air for several seconds and try to bring the full weight of his machine on top of him. Those arms can also be fired off as projectiles and they happen to be quite speedy. As much as I enjoyed the final battle in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, the final bout with Eggman in Sonic 2 easily tops it.
Mana Beast - Secret of Mana (SNES)
Secret of Mana had a ton of bosses, some of which were recolors of existing bosses but the final boss was a beast, both figuratively and literally. Taking up most of the screen, the battle with Mana Beast is waged on top of the Mana fortress, the very thing the creature is out to destroy. While the Mana Beast is only trying to restore Mana, the Mana Beast is a beast of pure rage, wrecking everything in it's path. Randi is at first reluctant to fight the Mana Beast but realizes that if he doesn't, the creature will bring about the end of the world.
The Mana Beast has three attacks but given the beast's size, those attacks can really hurt. One attack is a swooping attack that can knock all three characters off their feet. Another assault comes in the form of a spiral flame that damages the entire party. The only attack that strikes one character is the Lucent Beam but it can still kill a party member who's HP is too low. Since Randi is the only one that can use the Mana Sword, he's really the only one that can seriously damage the Mana Beast. Purim and Popoi should cast Mana Magic to revive the Mana Sword as well as healing and support spells.