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Friday, October 7, 2016

That One Boss Vol. 2

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.

Boobeam Trap - Mega Man 2 (NES)

I love Mega Man 2 but I've made mention that the game's faults are not pointed out nearly enough. It has some positively splendid level design, memorable Robot Masters and a ridiculously catchy soundtrack. But the game us also very cruel to players that get a game over and it has one boss in the Dr. Wily stages that is just flat out badly designed. Aggravation, thy name is Boobeam Trap.

Make it past the invisible floors over spike pits, elevator rides surrounded by Tellys, a gauntlet of Sniper Joes and you'll come face to face with the boss of Dr. Wily Stage 4, Boobeam Trap, a highly unusual boss. Boobeam Trap consists of five turret-like guns that fire off unbelievably fast, near unavoidable shoots at you every few seconds. It doesn't matter where you are in the boss chamber, the shots will always lock on to you. As far as I know, the only way to avoid being hit by these things is to use Mega Man's teleport whenever you pause the game at the right time. Doesn't make Boobeam Trap any less annoying, though.

This is the first boss in the game that can only be defeated with a specific weapon, in this case, the Crash Bombs. None of your other weapons, including the Mega Buster, will work. If you aren't aware of how many Crash Bombs you can use before the weapon's ammo is depleted, the answer is seven. Wanna know how many Crash Bombs you gotta use to defeat Boobeam Trap? Seven. That basically means, no screw ups here. While there are only five targets you need to destroy to defeat the boss, you have to use a few of your Crash Bombs to get to said targets. Not all of those barriers need to be destroyed so beginners can get tricked into wasting valuable Crash Bomb energy. Bear in mind that Crash Bombs take a few seconds to detonate so you will be vulnerable to attacks. Oh, and these things cause a lot of damage when they hit you.

If you die on this boss, which is more than likely to happen for novice MM2 players, you'll be sent back to the stage's midway point and have to farm for Crash Bomb ammo and Dr. Wily Stage 4 is not a particularly fun stage. When I found out that I needed all my Crash Bombs to beat this boss as kid and that I had to farm for more energy, I was silently livid. I had no more Energy Tanks and any desire I had to press on further to beat the game was gone. I turned off my NES and walked away. I don't care how much you love this game, Boobeam Trap is just a poorly designed boss that should in no way be defended.

Moldorm - The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

Often considered the greatest game in the long running Legend of Zelda Series, this is certainly one of the overhead or 2D Zelda's best outings. But as great as it is, it also has a few things I detest. The Water Dungeon in the Dark World can suck it and Moldorm is the type of boss that no one should ever have to deal with, especially in a game as polished as this one.

Moldorm, a big worm-like creature, awaits Link at the end of the Tower of Hera. The Tower of Hera is an interesting dungeon. The game already established that Link can at times access floors below him without taking stairs, but in this dungeon, it really becomes pronounced. You see, it is the floor falling mechanic that makes tangling with Moldorm so frustrating.

The battle with Moldorm takes place on the top floor of the Tower of Hera with an inconveniently placed hole in the center and no walls surrounding the combat arena. Moldorm's only weak point is his tail. Touch any other part of him by attack or from collision damage and Link gets knocked back, which can easily fling you into the hole in the center or off the side of the platform. Now you actually won't die from falling off the arena. You'll have to climb to the top floor again, which is pretty painless. What is not painless, however, is when you get back to Moldorm. Whatever damage you inflicted on Moldorm will be reset and you'll have to start the battle from scratch. This happens each and every time you fall off the platform. To make matters worse, Moldorm moves faster the more damage he takes. When he's almost kaput, his movements become really erratic and you really don't want to fall off that platform when he gets like this. Moldorm really isn't even a tough boss, The conditions that you have to fight him under make him a chore even for players that have run through the game numerous times.

Mr. Sandman - Super Punch-Out!! (SNES)

Seeing someone use their incredible, well honed skills in a Punch-Out!! game is really something. These kinda of players can knock out the toughest of opponents in seconds. To the rest of us that aren't Punch-Out!! masters, guys like Aran Ryan and Great Tiger are still going to give us trouble. Mr. Sandman has always been a nightmare for me to face in both the NES and SNES version of Punch-Out!! (haven't faced him in the Wii game yet), but he really left his mark on me in Super Punch-Out!!

Of all the characters that could have been the final opponent of the Major Circuit, they just had to choose Mr. Sandman. The Punch-Out!! games are full of fierce fighters, but Mr. Sandman wears that tough exterior all around him. I forgot he was from Philadelphia, which actually explains a lot. A lot of hard cases came out of Philly, so it all makes sense that Mr. Sandman is mean personified.

Mr. Sandman can take a punch just as well as he can give one. You may as well be hitting the guy with crumbled up paper because your punches do so little damage to him but his punches do a lot of damage to you. Unless you mix up your punches from highs to lows, you'll have a hard time connecting. Mr. Sandman doesn't unload everything he has right away.  No, he saves the really hard hitting stuff for later. The big guns I speak of are three nasty uppercuts in a row. I've never had a boss make my arms hurt from just trying to topple them but Mr. Sandman is a special kind of opponent and as much as I hate him, I must give credit when it is due.

Jinpachi - Tekken 5 (PS2)

Heihachi has seldom been a pushover when he's a boss in the Tekken games. So I guess it only makes sense that his old man, Jinpachi is one tough bruiser as well. But where as Heihachi took some degree of skill to topple and wasn't possessed by an evil entity, Jinpachi is not only revved up on some of that evil energy mojo, he's really, really cheap, too.

Jinpachi's blows are like a bomb going off right in front of your face, taking off huge chunks of damage if they connect. You may think keeping your distance would be a wise idea, but I've often found that when you put distance between yourself and Jinpachi, you're screwed. Jinpachi has a devastaing projectile that can spread across the whole screen for anyone that likes to play keep away. This thing does so much damage that it's on par with M. Bison's Psycho Crusher from Street Fighter Alpha 3. You wanna win against this cheepo, stay on top of him an don't give him a chance to breath.

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