The Devil earned his spot on the list through the frustrating nature of his borderline random attack pattern that made battling him a test of reflexes and coordination rather than memorization.
Appropriately enough, battling the #9 entry on the list requires a similar range of skills, however coming out on top is measurably more difficult given their more aggressive stance.
That being said, the next entry on our list of the Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights is:
#9. Shredder – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game
If there’s any one, constant truth about arcade beat ’em ups, it’s that you can always expect to face a cheap-ass boss or 2 at some point within them.
Wind blows, water flows, Mr. Shadow dies by the power of Leeloo and Corbin Dallas’ love, and arcade beat ’em ups have cheap-ass bosses.
In the age of the beat ’em up, no other company stuffed their games full of quarter munching bastards quite like Konami.
Don’t get me wrong, Konami was also one of the best when it came to cranking out beat ’em ups, but whether it be Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Turtles in Time, The Simpsons, X-Men, or Metamorphic Force; virtually all of Konami’s beat ’em up bosses made use of an infuriating attack pattern that was entirely beatable, but rarely without the use of a continue or 2.
While I highlighted the arcade version of the Shredder in the pic above, make no mistake, he’s equally tough on either platform, though arguably more so on the NES.
Unlike the Yellow Devil from yesterday’s entry on the list, I’ve beaten Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game numerous times, mostly in my early childhood; however on every occasion I’ve had considerable difficulty in challenging not only the Shredder, but virtually all of the end level bosses.
As mentioned earlier, fighting the Ninja Turtles arcade game bosses is mostly a reflex oriented experience, much like fighting the Yellow Devil; however the difference in difficulty lies in the aggressiveness of their attack pattern.
The Yellow Devil has only one attack sequence, that if you can endure for long enough; (which in my youth, I couldn’t) will lead to your eventual victory.
Shredder, along with virtually all of the Konami arcade game bosses of the day; doesn’t have a distinguishable pattern in his attacks, but instead forces you to enter into a war of attrition with him.
The bosses in all of these games have superior reach and damage dealing ability to your player character, and attack in such a way that there really is no good way to ensure dealing damage to them without taking some yourself due to their split-second reaction times.
Did I mention virtually all of the Shredder and his buddies’ attacks have priority over your own, and have the nasty tendency to fling you across the room or knock you out of the air every time they hit you?
As with yesterday, check out this video to get a feel for what’s it’s like to tangle with the Shred-Head:
It looks dumb, but the player in the video above’s incessant use of the JUMP KICK is basically one’s only viable option in Ninja Turtles 2, especially against the Shredder.
Think of it like a nightmare scenario where you’re fighting a counter-puncher who’s not only got your number, but also has 20 lbs on you.
You’re only real option is to try and remain elusive (read: JUMP KICK) and take potshots at distance, however inevitably; no matter how fast or accurate you are with your attacks, Shred-Head is gonna’ find you and put the hurt on you.
Such is the frustration of doing battle with Konami’s quarter munching stable of assholes.
While one could argue that virtually all of these bosses deserve a spot on this list, I’ve always felt that Shredder’s multiplying ability and one-hit kill anti-mutagen beam put him over the top.
That’s right, Shredder can indeed multiply in this game!
AND kill you in one hit at any given moment!
So imagine every nasty detail I mentioned above, coupled with the fact that during the course of the battle you have to contend with 2 Shredder’s on the NES, and up to 5 in the arcade; any one of which can take a life away with one blast of the blue laser from their hands!
Imagine being like 5 years old and having to deal with that bullshit!
While the arcade version may put you up against 5 Shredders, I honestly think the NES version is more difficult.
When you face 5 Shredders, you do so with the help of 3 other players; not to mention the arcade Shredder has a less overbearing style of attack that rarely knocks you across the room, making it easy to simply swarm him and trade blows until he folds.
Given the lack of an option to pump more quarters into the machine for extra lives, as well as the Shredder’s slightly more annoying style of attack; I’d say the official #9 entry on this list would have to be the NES iteration.