That being said, I can think of no better source of motivation, than to start up another epic Top 10 list!
As you’ve probably guessed from the AWESOME banner at the top of this post, this time around our list is focused on a subject that is very near and dear to my heart: videogame boss fights.
For better or for worse, boss fights have been a staple of game design for nearly as long as the medium has existed.
Perhaps a product of the “quarter munching” aspect of arcade games, boss fights were at initially characterized as a clash with a unique character, who’s attack pattern and/or attributes often caused them to represent a significant spike in the games’ difficulty level.
Nowadays, what with the advances in technology and a fairly consistent trend towards favoring narrative based gameplay, boss fights have become increasingly irrelevant.
Hell, I remember reading an article on Kotaku awhile back positing the possibility that boss fights may be an unnecessary artifact carried on from a bygone era of gaming.
Despite being a fascinating read, the viewpoint of said article largely applied exclusively to story driven games, games that boss fights would feel “tagged on” or extraneous in.
For whatever reason, I can’t find the article in question, but oh well; you get the gist of it.
Personally, my background in 8 and 16-bit gaming has left me with nothing but fond memories of battling big baddies at the end of every level.
Maybe it’s just the old school gamer in me, but I play most games expecting there to be big ugly dude with a bloated life bar at the end of every stage, level, chapter, episode, or what have you.
For me, boss fights are both the final obstacle prior to advancement, as well as, on occasion; a reward in and of themselves.
Good boss fights represent some of the finest moments in gaming history.
Bad boss fights can be anywhere from disappointingly shallow, to controller smashing-ly hard.
The latter, largely represents the contents of this list; though not entirely.
Tough boss fights are just another part of gaming, as natural pressing the “A” button to jump, and the “B” button to kill.
That being said, let’s get this party started as we delve in to the 10th hardest boss fight:
#10. Yellow Devil – Mega Man
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve played plenty of harder games, especially on my NES, however in terms of hard boss fights; few put fear in my heart the way the Devil did.
When I was a kid, I never beat the Yellow Devil.
Encountered in the first stage of Dr. Wily’s fortess, the Yellow Devil was a wretched beast that kept me from beating the original Mega Man until well into adulthood.
Fighting the Devil was a fairly straightforward experience, but one made difficult by the tedious nature of the bosses’ pattern, as well as his fearsome attack power.
Basically, the original Yellow Devil only had 1 attack in his pattern, but it was a real pain in the pass.
Check it out here:
Disassembling his mustard-y yellow form into a series of cubes, the Devil launches his body, piece by piece; from one end of the room to the other.
While in flight, all of these pieces serve as dangerous projectiles that must be avoided by the player through careful jumps of varying heights and timing.
The actual pattern of the pieces’ dispersal isn’t quite random, however it’s complicated enough to the point of being easier to dodge through reflex than memorization.
The real problem with this pattern, is the fact that damage can only be dealt to the Devil one shot at a time, for only a brief moment following the completion of his reassembling phase.
Many bosses throughout gaming history have employed the annoying as fuck pattern characteristic of, “You Can Only Hit Me After I’ve Slapped You With My Dick For 5 Minutes” but few have done so with the audacity of the Yellow Devil.
With a rather potent weakness to Elec Man’s Thunder Beam, the Yellow Devil doesn’t take all that many hits to kill, however the time one has to devote to frantically hopping about in order to get into position to deliver said hits; more than compensate for any weaknesses he may have.
I was usually good enough to get close to taking out the Devil in Mega Man, but it wasn’t until I was much older, wiser, and entirely less interested in achieving victory that I would actually conquer the beast known in the states as the Rock Monster.
That being said, I feel the Yellow Devil’s #10 slot on this list is entirely warranted, however imagine my disappointment when I stumbled across the glitch/exploit featured in the video below: