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Friday, April 8, 2016

That One Boss Vol. 1

World of gaming is full of bosses and as expected, not all bosses are created equal. Some boss fights are easy while others are hard but still doable. And then you've got bosses that make you want to let out a Super Saiyan rage scream. Sometimes it can be bad programming, a bug, a glitch or sometimes the boss is just stupidly hard. Much like That One Level, That One Boss is something to dread.

Yellow Devil - Mega Man (NES)

The original Mega Man is still regarded as one of the toughest games in the series and for lots of good reasons. There are no E-Tanks, Mega Man's increased falling speed is a bummer and a few of those Robot Master stages holding nothing back. Then you've got the Dr. Wily stages, which aren't exactly a breeze either. The true measure of skill comes not from besting the mad doctor. No, that is reserved for the boss of the very first stage of his fortress, the Yellow Devil.

When the first boss of a villain's lair is harder than anything else inside the place, you know you're in some serious trouble. The Yellow Devil makes his way into the chamber by assembling himself piece by piece. You are not invulnerable as he's doing this so you must avoid his fragments until his complete. Once the Yellow Devil is whole, you'll see his weak point, a single red eye. His eye isn't exposed for very long. More than likely, you'll only have one chance to damage him before he disassembles himself to move to the other side of the room.

The most difficult part of this fight is when the Yellow Devil breaks down to move to the left or right side of the chamber. Every time he does this, you have to avoid his fragments, which come flying at you at alarming speeds. Many of your attempts to take this guy down are more than likely to end in failure until you figure out his pattern, which is thankfully the same every single time he switches sides. But while knowing that his pattern never changes does help, actually getting the pattern down is the tricky part. Knowing which fragments you need to jump over, which ones fly just over Mega Man's head without hitting him, making suure you hit him when his eye is vunerable and of course, being quick on the controls are all key to defeating the Yellow Devil. Jump too soon, jump to late or not jumping at all when you need to are all fatal mistakes.

There are plenty of Mega Man players that still struggle to take this boss down without resorting to the pause glitch. Variations of the Yellow Devil would appear throughout the series, but none of them came even close to matching the challenge brought forth by the original.

Mike Tyson - Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES)

The road to Kid Dynamite was a long and hard one. Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man were some heavy hitters but even they don't have anything on the former heavy weight champion, Mike Tyson. You are truly in for the fight of your life.

Just as every other opponent has done throughout the game, Tyson telegraphs his move with a gesture. In the case of Iron Mike, winking. Unlike every other boxer, however, the speed of Tyson's punches are ridiculous. Nobody throws punches as fast as this guy. If you do not immediately dodge when Mike winks, you're going to have a very uncomfortable date with the boxing mat. The first 90 or so seconds of the match has Mike doing knockout punches, meaning with just one punch, all of your health is drained. One. Punch.

Knockout punches make trying to survive the first minute and half of a round sheer torture. It doesn't get any easier when Mike stops using one-hit KOs. Even his jabs, body blows and regular uppercuts hurt like you wouldn't believe. Little Mac's punches do so little damage to him and you probably won't have any Star Punches since Mike is using you as his punching bag.

Losing against Mike is an automatic Game Over. It is extremely rare to win this fight by decision. Mario will almost always rule in Tyson's favor. Mike probably threatened to punch the Mushrooms out of him or something.

M. Bison - Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (Multi)

Ah, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. This game revolutionized the fighting genre. Because of this game, there's a huge tournament scene for fighting games. I guess you could say that this game is also the reason final bosses in fighting games are what they are. Before Shao Khan and SNK bosses, there was M. Bison, the boss that stole countless quarters and induced controller throwing fits of rage.

Your journey to reach Bision is no easy task. The three bosses that stand before him, Balrog, Vega and Sagat are worthy enough to have their own spots here on this very feature. But Bison is in a class all by himself. You know terms like owned, wrecked, destroyed, bodied, no holds bared beat down? All of them and every other word that sums up utter defeat is what Bison will do to you.

If various mediums have taught us anything, its that antagonists wearing capes are bad news. When the villain throws off the cape, it is very bad news because it usually means a serious beat down is about to ensue, Oh, look, Bison is wearing a cape. And he just took it off. The words "Oh crap" spring to mind.

Bison has a move to counter whatever you throw at him. Use a projectile? Head Stomp. Going for the anti-air move? Scissor Kick. Try to distance yourself away from him? He'll use his Psycho Crusher to clear the gap. Try to block his melee attacks? He'll throw you, breaking those lovely statues in the process. On top of always being prepared, Bison is extremely aggressive. If you don't come at him, he will come after you. You'll need some skill and a lot of luck to beat this guy.

The End - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Multi)

Metal Gear Solid 3, arguably the best game in the Metal Gear saga has some pretty cool boss fights. Each one is an encounter different from the last so no two fights feel the same. The "fight" with The Sorrow is different depending on how many soldiers you killed, if any. The Finale battle with The Boss among a field of white flowers can either be fought from a distance or up close and personal with CQC. And then there's the fight everyone seems to go ga-ga over, the fight with The End. I see so many claiming this as one of gaming's greatest boss battles. Whenever I play Metal Gear Solid 3 and I know the fight with The End is coming I let out many frustrated sighs.

You search four huge forest areas to find The End. He's quite the elusive fellow and how he manages to be so spry for a man of his advanced years is beyond me. I mean, the guy is wheelchair bound when the game introduces him and yet he gets all jazzed at the prospect of one final hunt. Eh, it isn't like this is the first time something in a Metal Gear game hasn't made a lick of sense.

My problem with The End isn't that the actual fight against him is hard because, in all the times I've fought him, I found nothing difficult about beating him. Hunting for this old man is BORING. I've been angry and frustrated during many bosses fights in all the years I've been playing games, but rarely have I felt bored out of my mind. You go around the the woods looking for this old geezer, spot him, shoot him and he runs off so you can do the whole thing all over again until he's dead. The End is so good at hiding and so quick at getting away that the fight against him drags on and on. I cannot fathom why anyone can find the fight against this decrepit old man enjoyable. But I know I'm in the minority, so more power to those people. I just wanna put a bullet in his brain and be done with him.

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