Monday, August 23, 2010

Top 9 Easiest Boss Fights Ever (Retro Repost)

Note: This article was originally published as part of my time as an Associated Content Featured Contributor to the Video Games Section. Associated Content was later bought by Yahoo! and renamed Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo Voices shut down in July of 2014. This article is being republished here on The Code, backdated to its original date of publication to remain as a record of my writing.

In most video games, boss fights are used as a level's penultimate challenge. A challenging boss fight will give the player's reflexes and gray matter a good workout. A difficult boss fight will make you feel like you
 are climbing the rungs of the ladder of progress. The following nine boss fights, however, feel more like speed bumps. Read on for the ten easiest boss fights in video game history.

9. Mysterio
Game: Spider-Man 2 

Spider-Man faces a bevy of colorful and intimidating villains in Spider-Man 2. Mysterio makes a grand entrance-- or, as grand as you can be while holding up a convenience store. His metallic voice and outlandish costume recall classic science-fiction B movies, and while he dramatically declares his intent to destroy Spider-Man, you see his life bar fill up one, twice, and then three times. You'd be forgiven for assuming the battle might take a few tries.

However, just one swift punch will send Mysterio flying across the room, down to zero health-- and down for the count. He even begs you not to hit him again.

8. Old King Coal
Game: Banjo-Tooie

Some boss fights can be easier if you know what patterns to avoid, or the right weapon to use. The fight against Old King Coal takes this to new heights. If you stand on any of the half dozen or so large black coal platforms, his area-of-attack power to superheat the ground will not affect you. His erratic and random dashing attacks will always just barely miss you. And if you have any Ice Eggs handy, they will do a whopping 5 points of damage against him, more than even the powerful Grenade Eggs, reducing Old King Coal to dust in no time flat.

7. Chloe Walsh
Game: No More Heroes 2

Chloe Walsh seems like she'd be a challenge at first glance. She can spit poison acid, scream to unleash a sonic wave and even shoot laser beams from her eyes. However, these attacks are clearly telegraphed, easy to avoid altogether, and do very little damage. Her total health is so low that you can defeat Chloe in about 50 seconds. On the hardest difficulty mode in the game.

6. Lanmola's Shadow
Game: Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening 

Lanmola's Shadow is the second-to-last form that the final boss Nightmare takes in Link's Awakening. In the Lanmola's Shadow form, the boss becomes a very fast enemy that zips around the small room that Link is trapped in, and if you use Link's trusty sword, you will spend a sizable amount of time dodging out of the way and then waiting for just the right moment to swipe at its weak point with your sword. If you use any other weapon you have, though-- a Bomb, a swing of the Magic Rod, one hit from the Hookshot, or even a love tap from the humble Boomerang-- this form can be defeated in a single hit.

5. Flash Man
Game: Mega Man 2 

Flash Man has the power to stop time, but if you have the Metal Blades, this boss won't even have a chance to blink. Once you get the Metal Blade power up in Mega, the Blue Bomber can cut swathes of destruction, reducing regular enemies and mid-bosses in the various stages to a bucket of bolts easily. However, the Metal Blades also make fighting the boss Flash Man a joke. If you start the battle with the Metal Blades, you can simply enter the boss battle room, fire them in straight line and defeat Flash Man without having to take a single step.

4. Cloud N. Candy
Game: Yoshi's Story 

This boss is a large smiling cloud that takes up a quarter of the screen. His offense consists of a single weak hop that gives you plenty of time to dodge or slip under. And Cloud N. Candy isn't even good enough to be defeated by the normal method of throwing a baker's dozen worth of eggs at the boss. No, instead the way you beat this boss is by licking it to death, watching it get smaller and smaller. If you somehow bump into him and take damage, don't worry-- every single lick of Cloud N. Candy heals you!

Of course, as much as a walk in the park those previous six bosses were, they did offer a modicum of challenge. They were capable of dealing damage. At least the bosses you've read about so far could theoretically defeat the player. These final three have earned their spots because there is absolutely, positively no way that you can lose to them at all.

3. Bob The Goldfish
Game: Earthworm Jim 

Normally, when you bump into a boss or touch it in any way, you will lose health. In some games, any contact with the enemy results in instant death. But when facing off against Bob the Goldfish, bumping into him is the key to defeating him. You win the "fight" against Bob by making Earthworm Jim run into the table Bob the Goldfish's bowl is standing on, sending the goldfish's bowl careening off the table and shattering on the floor. And if you just stand there and do nothing? Bob is content to just stay in his bowl. He's a goldfish, after all.

2. Golem Overlord
Game: Chrono Trigger

This spiky, demonic-looking boss talks a good game. He start a 5 second countdown to a powerful attack... that he never executes. Why? Because he's afraid of heights. That's right, this boss will stop attacking you to
 tell you he's afraid of heights, so you can whack at him like he was a really ugly piƱata until he dies. In fact, the Golem Overlord will never lay a hand on the party for the rest of the battle. And if by some twist of fate you have not managed to inflict enough damage to defeat him after a certain number of rounds, the Golem Lord will harmlessly self-destruct.

That's right, the Golem Overlord will actually defeat HIMSELF.

And while these previous two video game bosses were both incredibly easy and impossible to be defeated by, there's only one boss in the history of video games whose ease of defeat and inability to defeat you actually cheapened the impact of the game's story. The easiest boss battle in video games history goes to...

1. Sephiroth
Game: Final Fantasy VII 

The very last time Cloud faces Sephiroth, a battle that is mano-a-mano, Sephiroth is just a human. Cloud is fully healed with his Ultimate Limit Break, Omnislash, already enabled. It would certainly make sense that Cloud could vanquish in one hit his hated rival by using his ultimate attack. In fact, it makes this symbolic battle a little dramatic and poignant. Or, at least it would be if it wasn't also true that any attack you made at all would finish Sephiroth in one hit. The simple low level fire spell. A simple swipe of the sword. And if you just sit there and let Sephiroth attack you? Cloud will automatically launch a counter-attack, even if he doesn't normally have that ability. 

No matter what you do, Sephiroth cannot defeat you, and will fall in a single hit. This takes what could have been a more dramatically satisfying battle and robs it of its essential climax. It also makes the final appearance of Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII the easiest boss battle in history. 

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