Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights, #8


As we work our way up through the bottom tier of our list of the The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights, it’d dawned on me that our previous 2 entries both earned their slots, partly through an element of “cheapness” in their attack patterns.

While far from the cheapest or most annoying bosses of all time, (hence their low placement on the list) it’s hard to look at the Yellow Devil and Shredder and not say to yourself:

“Man, there’s just no good way to fight these guys without getting dick-slapped here and there.”

That being said, while I admit, wholeheartedly; that the next entry on this list isn’t anywhere near as annoying as the 2 bosses that have preceded him, I’d argue that he was the more difficult, and the more thrilling challenge overall.

Our #8 entry on our list of the Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights is:

#8. Sigma – Mega Man X

Pictured: X doing battle with Wolf Sigma, the nefarious Maverick's final form.

The Mega Man X series has produced some of gaming’s best boss fights.

Fighting a futile battle against the indestructible Vile in his robot ride armor was an experience few gamers will forget their first time around.

You can't beat him in the beginning of the game. Trust me, I've tried.

Similarly, fighting Zero, the protagonist’s partner and close friend; yielded real drama in my young imagination (mostly because of the simple, but AWESOME music) way back in the day.

By the way, the only reason you’d ever have to fight Zero in Mega Man X 2 is either because YOU SUCK, or because you’re lazy.

My guess is that guy was lazy.

Despite all this, in terms of both drama and overall difficulty, no other boss in the X series ever sucked me in and tested my platforming skills quite like Sigma in the original Mega Man X.

BAD ASSSSSSSSSSS.

While many would dispute Sigma’s placement on this list, one has to understand that, at the time of the original Mega Man X’s release; the gauntlet style of final boss encounter that has since become his signature was in the process of being pioneered.

Like many contemporary games, fighting Sigma is a multi-stage affair involving 2-3 back-to-back fights of ascending difficulty.

Sigma is relatively difficult in all of his appearances, with the notable exception of X 2 and 6 where he was a total pussy; and truth be told, I was actually tempted to put his iteration from X 4 on the list as opposed to the original.

The kicker however, was the fact that 2 out of Sigma’s 3 forms in X 4 were pathetically easy, making for an experience where all of the difficulty in the battle is reserved for the very end.

Even so, that last fight was pants shitting-ly insane:

Unlike in X 4 though, the battle is very much pants shitting-ly insane all the way through from start to finish in Mega Man X 1.

Oddly enough, the first fight with Sigma in X 1 is against his robot dog, Velguarder; who sadly did not become a recurring element of Mega Man X universe, despite having a pretty badass design.

INSUFFICIENTLY BAD ASSSSSSSSSS.

Given his extensive range of context sensitive attack functions, and tricky wall climbing dash, Velguarder can be pretty tough; however after you’ve spent about 20 seconds with him, or put some Shotgun Ice up his ass, usually he folds pretty quick.

Despite this, the dog is a credible threat that, if able to get the drop on you enough times; can sufficiently gimp your life meter for the battles to come.

Next up is the big boss himself, Sigma armed with a pimp-ass beam saber:

Sigma, about to put the hurt on, the wall, apparently.... Seriously, I don't know where the X sprite is in this pic.

Similar to Velguarder, Sigma has the capacity to dash onto the walls and basically follow you wherever you go; however his movement speed is actually a bit slower.

The tradeoff is, Sigma’s sprite is about twice as big as the dog’s, and he does quite a bit more damage.

While he can be strung along and forced into chasing you up the walls in a diagonal fashion, on occasion Sigma breaks his pattern and plants his feet for a devastating slash with his beam saber.

Seriously man, while it’s entirely possible, and indeed, necessary; to make it through Velguarder and Sigma without using a sub tank, one hit from the Chartreuse Beam Saber of Ultimate Destruction is good enough to nearly cut your life bar in half.

IN HALF!

In other words, if you’re planning to fuck up against Sigma, do so without sitting on his fiery, lime-green popsicle of Death.

You see, the really hard part about fighting Sigma, is the fact he forces you to enter into the battle thinking 2 steps ahead of yourself.

The fight in Mega Man X is 3-stage gauntlet, and with (ideally) 4 sub tanks AKA 5 total life bars at your command from the start, you have to be judicious with your life refilling or face the consequences in the form of getting to the finish line, only to run out of gas.

By far, the most frustrating part of fighting Sigma is getting to his final form, using all your sub tanks on a good effort, only to lose and realize that your sub tanks won’t refill automatically on your next life.

That being said, as mentioned earlier, it’s in your best interest to get past both Velguarder and Sigma’s first form without using a sub tank, as the final boss, Wolf Sigma; is one mean motherfucker that’ll wreck your shit, and then shit on your shit that’s just been wrecked.

SERIOUSLY:

Like the Yellow Devil from #10, Wolf Sigma is one of those nasty fuckers that won’t let you hit him until he’s good and ready.

His attacks are numerous, constant, and savage enough to take a third off your life bar every go; and the only way to get at his weak point (read: THE FACE) is by jumping on and riding his quick moving claws that are trying to kill you all the while.

Like most Mega Man bosses, Wolf Sigma has a weakness, in the form of the Rolling Shield; however it can take awhile to figure that out your first time through.

Put it this way:

You’ve got 8 weapons at you’re command at this point in the game, and that means you have to survive to hit Sigma with each them almost 8 times to test out the Rolling Shield.

That means you need to eat a lot of Wolf Sigma claws, lightning, and fire breath before you figure out his weakness, by which time you very well may have burned through most of your sub tanks.

While not exactly the hardest boss of all time, Sigma’s debut in gaming will always stick out in my mind as one of the more taxing mind games I’ve encountered in an action game.

3 fights, all in a row, and you’ve got to ask yourself, “Do I go all in, or will I do better next time?” all the while.

Of course, you could be a bastard and just use the hadouken to plow through the first 2 fights… but not third.

Capcom wanted to make sure you’d suffer just a little bit, even if you decided to cheat…

Filed under: Games, The Top 10 Hardest Boss Fights, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Isaac Frost Might Be One Of The Hardest Bosses I’ve Ever Fought

So, I’ve owned, and have been playing the shit out of Fight Night Champion for a few months now.

While my first impression of the game was rather poor, after several hours tooling around in the demo; I finally decided to break down and buy the game.

After having gotten the hang of the new control scheme, (for like the 4th time in the franchise’s history…) the game opened up, and now I’m proud to say it’s one of the better games in the series.

In either case, it’s not everyday boxing videogames aimed at hardcore boxing fans are released; so even if the game was utter crap, I still probably would’ve picked up Fight Night Champion from a bargain bin at some point.

Anyway, over the past few months I’ve obliterated a handful of people in online play, I’ve rewritten history through countless bouts against the CPU; but as of now, I’ve yet to complete the game’s much lauded Champion Mode.

For those who are unaware, Champion Mode represents a first for the series, in that it serves as a sort of pre-arranged campaign mode, complete story cutscenes between and during bouts, featuring it’s own cast of characters.

Sadly, the actual narrative is kind of lame, with most of the characters being shallow stereotypes of the genre, and much of the dialogue coming across as more than a little inorganic due to the rather forced inclusion of exposition-y game speak.

"This guy's gone down on body shots in the past! You should hit him with body shots this round! Body shots kid, remember? Body shots!"

At the end of the day, Champion Mode ends up being a slightly watered down version of Soulblade’s Edge Master Mode, or Street Fighter Alpha 3’s World Tour Mode.

Basically, one plays through various boxing matches as the character Andre Bishop, though several matches require the use of specialized tactics or the completion of certain in-match achievements in order to win.

While limited in the sense that I’ve played similar, and better modes in games from 15 years ago; Champion Mode was a welcome addition to the franchise, though with one little catch:

They made the “last boss” too fuckin’ hard!

The “last boss” of Fight Night Champion is a massive, tattoo bearing, short-haired motherfucker named Isaac Frost.

I’d make a joke about how Frost looks more than a little more like a UFC spokesmodel, or I don’t know, RANDY FUCKING ORTON; than a heavyweight boxer, but doing so would be beneath me.

... I'll just let the picture do the talking.

I’d also make a joke about the plausibility of an unbeatable white American heavyweight champion in this day and age being slim to none, but some would perceive that as racist.

I’d perceive that a statement of fact, but to each his own…

Like any “bad guy” in a boxing story, Frost is a massive prick, though seemingly for no other reason than the fact that he likes being a prick.

The man has zero backstory, so there’s no real explaining his prick-ish demeanor; but the point is:

Frost is an ass.  You’re supposed to hate him.  In spite of all this, he also happens to be a FUCKING BEAST in the ring.

Thanks Google, now I know that there actually is a game called "Beast Boxing."

That last part serves as my reason for not having beaten Frost as of yet.

I don’t know if it’s brilliant programming on the part of the folks over at EA Montreal, or really fuckin’ cheap programming; but Frost is a fuckin’ force of nature to contend with.

He’s very tall, making his long strides more than a match for your best footwork.

He’s a genius at cutting off the ring, leading to more than a few instances where he actually tricks you into stepping right into his fists.

His punching power is off-the-fucking-charts, making 2-3 consecutive punches a recipe for putting you on queer street, or flat on the mat.

And on top of that, his AI is entirely based on the Fight Night engine, meaning his actions are engineered to be unpredictable.

While most videogame bosses typically hold all of the above advantages in terms of attributes, the one thing that really makes Frost unique, at least to me; is the fact that he doesn’t have any set attack patterns.

In short, like any fight in a Fight Night game, the battle with Frost plays out like an actual boxing match.

There’s no golden mechanic for winning the fight, with every engagement serving as a moment-to-moment clash of wits.

I’ve always made it my business to win underdog fights against the computer in Fight Night games, largely because I derive a great deal of satisfaction from winning said bouts; but fighting Isaac Frost is an entirely different affair.

Like many fights in Champion Mode, you’re expected to take on Frost in several stages, employing different tactics as the rounds go by.

The first 2 rounds see you dancing around Frost and basically trying not to get hit.

Pictured: What happens when you try to hang back on tall guys.

I can usually do this without going down, but not always.

The next 3 rounds require you to land a total of 75 heavy body blows on Frost, and that’s as far as I’ve managed to get against him.

I’ve tried stepping into his chest to diminish the punching power of his long arms, but usually I get caught by an uppercut.

I’ve tried leaping in after one of his jabs to hit him while he’s pulling back his punches, but I usually get caught by an uppercut.

I’ve tried hanging back and using my head movement to counter and then step around him, but I usually get caught by an uppercut… Among other things.

Pictured: Me.

The point is, Frost’s punching power is so dominating, and his punch accuracy so sharp, that I simply can’t find a way to get inside on him without getting brained in the process.

After much frustration, I’ve come to the conclusion that Isaac Frost may be one of the most difficult boss fights I’ve ever run across.

Oh well, at least I can still enjoy the game without beating him…

Filed under: Boxing, Games, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Play Contra III: The Alien Wars, Part VI

It’s been a long, ass-poundingly tough road, but we’ve finally reached the end.

That’s right, in the cock-fight that was Azn Badger vs. Contra III, the Azn Badger won.

After 6 stages, and an ungodly number of boss fights and curse words, it’s finally over.

That being said, I made an effort to check my ego at the door for this video, so please enjoy the video, I actually had some fun making it for a change:

Filed under: Games, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Let’s Play Robocop, Part RAWK!

Well folks, it’s been a long time coming, but the Azn Badger has finally redeemed himself.

Ladies and gentleman, after weeks of diligent Rocky IV-esque caveman training, the Azn Badger has finally beasted the ever-loving fuck out of Robocop on the NES.

Just like Rocky, true victory (not that pussy-ass moral/spiritual victory shit) eluded me until the unnecessary, but awesomely over-the-top 10 minute rematch fight.

Rocky II: Stupid Movie, Great Fight...

Not that the final boss fight takes 10 minutes to complete, but you know what I mean…

Anyway, despite suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of a RED ED-209, (10 times as dangerous as the normal one!) prepared to wowed as the Azn Badger claims his revenge in form of a quick and brutal pwn-session!:

Filed under: Games, Movies, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Boss Music #5: The King of Fighters 2000

SNK has a long history of being regarded as a fringe gaming company in the U.S.

None of their products and franchises really seriously broke into the mainstream, and in fact most of them started out as lame rip-offs of other, often times better; games.

Despite this, nearly every arcade on the planet has at least one of SNK’s distinctive red arcade cabinets sitting somewhere in a dark corner.

FUCK. YEAH.

SNK games are, for lack of a better term, the perfect gaming choice for the modern American hipster.

SNK games are relatively well-known, behind the times in terms of technology, and often regarded as “under-appreciated.”

Do the fucking math.

*Sigh* I just don't "get" it...

One of SNK’s flagship titles, The King of Fighters, had it’s debut in 1994.

If you want to nit-pick though, 1992’s Garou Densetsu AKA Fatal Fury, was actually the first instance in which The King of Fighters tournament was used in an SNK game.

Just figured I’d throw my nerd cap on the table for all to see.

Hah, thought I was kiddin', didn'cha?

The basic premise of virtually every King of Fighters game, is that of a one-on-one fighting game, with the added feature of both sides consisting of 3-man (or woman) teams.

Each battle is carried out in elimination style, with the victor of each match remaining in the fight to face the next members of the opposing team until they themselves are eliminated.

Between matches, a fraction of life energy is awarded to the victor to give them a fighting chance against their next opponent.

If only my 1997 had been this cool...

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of The King of Fighters series, has always been it’s massive gallery of characters.

Among the linear King of Fighters games, meaning not including any of the spin-offs, there have been well over 100 characters rotated through the roster.

The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match currently holds the record for most number of characters in a King of Fighters game, with a staggering 66 individual combatants.

Jesus fuck that's a lot of people.

Over the years, the gameplay of the King of Fighters series has gone through subtle changes, but has never really attempted to change it’s stripes.

’94 got the ball rolling and introduced us to the series’ protagonist, Kyo Kusanagi, as well as the manually charged super combo meter.

Terry Bogard layin' down the smack on Chang (he's Korean.)

’95 gave us the “oh my God, why didn’t they have this the first time around” team editing feature, as well as gave Kyo a rival in the form of Iori Yagami.

Just a little bit ghey. Just a bit.

’96 gave us simplified controls, and featured GEESE HOWARD.

THE MOTHERFUCKING MAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNN......

GEESE HOWARD automatically elevates any game he’s in to “legendary” status.

’97 represented the culmination of the series’ first (and best) story arc, the Orochi saga; as well as introduced the popular “Advance” and “Extra” styles of play.

Orochi: Evil Demon, Final Boss, and Wearer of Slacks.

It also represented the only instance in series’ history in which ambience was used instead of music for many of the stages.

That was dumb.

’98 was the first game in the series to not have a storyline, instead it was a “dream match” scenario where characters were inserted into the game based on their popularity.

’98 was, in my opinion; the best game in the series up until 2002: Unlimited Match.

Once again here's Chang (the Korean) about to get blasted by Takuma Sakazaki.

’99 gave us 4-man teams and the retarded “strikers” system, as well as the equally retarded “Counter” and “Armor” modes.

It also made drastic changes to the games’ roster, and replaced the main character, Kyo, with K’.

Kind of want to hate him, but I have to admit, he's actually kind of pimp.

While ’99 kind of left a bad taste in my mouth, The King of Fighters 2000 was easily on of my favorites in the series.

I’d rank it just behind ’98 in terms of badassery.

Kind of like how I'd rank Hard-Boiled just behind The Killer in similar terms.

While the gameplay was largely unchanged from ’99, SNK made the wise decision of trimming some of the excess fat in removing the “Armor” and “Counter” modes.

Seriously man, those were bullshit.

Pictured: "Counter" Mode

2000 had a lot going for it: a good roster, great music, and gameplay that was more of the same, but tweaked to perfection.

It’s easy to see why 2000 ended up so good, as it would be SNK’s last real King of Fighters game they would develop before the Korean company, Eolith, bought them out and started raping their franchises.

Hmm, I wonder why Metal Slug 4 would replace Tarma, their coolest character, with Trevor, a KOREAN?

How could you replace THIS, with THIS!!!!???

On the same note, I wonder why King of Fighters 2001 would introduce us to May Lee, a KOREAN?

Well, at least she has a Kamen Rider henshin belt.

Not only that, but I wonder why in King of Fighters 2002, Kim Kap Hwan, SNK’s resident KOREAN who hadn’t received a sprite overhaul in years, would suddenly receive some of the most detailed and smooth animations in the franchise history?

From this...

...To this.

*Ahem!* Bullshit aside, King of Fighters 2000, as well as Metal Slug 3, which was released the same year; had some serious love put into them, and stand as some of; if not the best entries in their respective series.

Kind of like THIS was the best in it's franchise.

The final boss in The King of Fighters 2000, was the mustachioed, dress wearing baddie, Zero.

Pictured: Tom Selleck in a dress.

Technically his name is actually “Clone Zero,” as he is merely a clone of white-haired, dress wearing baddie of the same name from King of Fighters 2001, but whatever.

It’s kind of funny though, Clone Zero has more moves, and is way more difficult to beat than the original Zero, largely because Zero was only a mid-boss in 2001.

Anyway, in case you didn’t know, King of Fighters games, and indeed SNK games in general; have a reputation of populating their games with broken-as-fuck final bosses.

I'm lookin' at you Magaki, you goofy-ass, queer bag of shit.

It’s kind of easy to see why though, seeing as SNK games are primarily arcade games, and in that sense, any way you can squeeze quarters out of your customers is a good way to make money.

I suppose having stuff like this in your arcades would boost sales as well.

Oh yeah, and from a gameplay standpoint, one has to take into account the fact that King of Fighters games have the player going up against the final boss with 3 different characters to their 1.

Despite the numbers advantage though, King of Fighters bosses have always been almost sinfully difficult to overcome.

Many cite ’99’s Krizalid as being one of the harder bosses in the franchise history.

Wow, now that is a fruity coat.

To be honest, I myself didn’t have too much trouble beating him through simply hanging back and Terry Bogard-ing or Joe Higashi-ing his ass.

Personally, I found Goenitz from ’96, Orochi from ’97, and Igniz from ’01 to be far more difficult than Krizalid.

Though Omega Rugal from 2002: Unlimited Match shits on all of them, end of story.

The beast himself.

In terms of difficulty, I would put Clone Zero somewhere on the upswing of the middle-tier.

I’ve had rounds where I went to town on his ass and swept him with one guy, and I’ve also had rounds where he took out my team without breaking a sweat.

Fighting him is kind of a toss-up.

If he hangs back and tries to counter you with his skirt attacks, then chances are you can chip away at him and eke out a victory.

Believe it or not, this is actually a GOOD sign.

If he goes offensive on you, and starts spamming his unblockable shadow punch, then you’re in trouble, ’cause you just know his black hole super combo is gonna’ come out just when you least expect it.

THIS is when you're in trouble.

Of course, despite Clone Zero’s bi-polar fighting style, one plus to the experience, is the truly awesome background music of his stage.

The fight takes place in some sort of deep, dark dungeon, and the music is appropriately moody.

The music is pounding and ominous, lending itself well to Zero’s overwhelming strength advantage over your team, while at once maintaining an energy that fits well with the fighting game experience.

In other words, unlike say, Kain R. Heinlein’s overly dramatic and nearly non-existent theme from Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Zero’s music keeps the player from getting bored.

Another example would be Orochi’s theme from King of Fighters ’97:

Both themes are good, but seem to put too much emphasis on the dramatic aspect of the situation, rather than matching the intensity of the gameplay.

Anyway, that’s King of Fighters 2000, someday I’ll do a 2002: Unlimited Match article, ’cause Krizalid’s remixed theme in that is easily one of the best boss tracks ever in a video game.

I won’t post the link, ’cause I’d like to save it for another day, but definitely check it out.

Filed under: Best Boss Music, Games, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donate