Final Boss Battles - Thrilling climax or lame cop out?

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mickyplankon

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#1 mickyplankon
Member since 2005 • 194 Posts

Hi all,

following my last debate which centred on mutiple plots and endings, i wanted to open up another one on final boss battles. These seem to be the stalwart of single player action/adventure games for years now. Some games do it well, but others it just seems like the inevitable grind at the end of an otherwise very compelling game. Portal 2, Uncharted, etc are examples of the latter.Im generally a completionist but im finding final boss battles more and more arduous to get through. ARE FINAL BOSS BATTLES BECOMING ANTI - CLIMATIC?

Does anyone else agree? Do game climaxes need a rethink? Are there any games that do it particularly well? Any that feel like a particular cop out?

Thats enough questions - let the debate commence!

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wiouds

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#2 wiouds
Member since 2004 • 6233 Posts

It realy depend on how the the boss battle is set up.

If it easy to win then it not that good. There need to be an effort into winning the fight else winning the fight is worthless.

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deactivated-59b71619573a1

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#3 deactivated-59b71619573a1
Member since 2007 • 38222 Posts

Some games are better with bosses (God of War III) its what the games are based around and they make sense. But for most games they are not needed. Like uncharted. They don't work. Some games need the bosses and an ending battle. But most other games don't need them at all

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Hatiko

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#4 Hatiko
Member since 2006 • 4669 Posts

They need to make boss battles less about decreasing the lives of the boss. It has been done to death. Mix it up. Make something happening during the fight that makes it difficult but exciting. Make it in a collapsing bulding so there is a time limit and things are breaking so it isn't just one fight on one plane. Make it at an erupting volcano so that you also have to avoid lava.

I think the endings of MW1 and 2 were epic but those weren't bosses but final sequences that had a fitting ending for the villian. It kept me guessing weather I would succeed or not.

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Black_Knight_00

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#5 Black_Knight_00
Member since 2007 • 74 Posts
What I HATE is when the final boss is so hard it stalls you on trial and error for hours when all you want is to see the ending. Dragon Age is a perfect example of this. Heavenly Sword is another
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Hatiko

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#6 Hatiko
Member since 2006 • 4669 Posts

What I HATE is when the final boss is so hard it stalls you on trial and error for hours when all you want is to see the ending. Dragon Age is a perfect example of this. Heavenly Sword is anotherBlack_Knight_00

I hate when they do that and force you to watch unskippable cutscenes over and over again. Like in Onimusha, jeez, that boss had an insta kill attack that didn't matter how far into or how early in the fight you were or how much life you had, he would just pick you up and breathe fire and you are dead. And then they force you to go through the spiral again and watch the cutscene, it's only 3 minutes of your life, but when it grows to 30+ minutes of doing it over and over again, it gets annoying. Lesson: Have checkpoints right before the boss fight not at some random save spot that makes me fight easy to kill enemies for no reason, and have skippable cutscenes, ya, make them unskippable the first time, but after let me skip.

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Sharpie125

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#7 Sharpie125
Member since 2005 • 3904 Posts

Hate them. I've not played one boss battle that I've *enjoyed* especially on harder difficulties. Gears of War 1 is probably the most enjoyable to me with General RAAM, but otherwise in RPGs or whatever, I think they're just awful. I'm looking at you, Dragon Age 2.

Mass Effect 2 would have been better if it'd just been the suicide mission, then a chain of awesome explosions Michael Bay style instead of the end boss. Halo 1 rocked this, with a pretty thrilling chase.

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wiouds

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#8 wiouds
Member since 2004 • 6233 Posts

... but otherwise in RPGs or whatever, I think they're just awful. I'm looking at you, Dragon Age 2.

Sharpie125

I love the bosses in JRPG they are just innovative and fun to fight. On the other hand, I find WRPG bosses are some of the worse bosses from any game. They are so out dated and repeat the same ideal for the boses.

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Archangel3371

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#9 Archangel3371
Member since 2004 • 37829 Posts
I love final boss fights so I'll say it makes for a thrilling end to a game. The more the merrier.
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evilgamer22

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#10 evilgamer22
Member since 2009 • 2408 Posts

As someone else stated, it depends on the game. Sometimes a final boss just isn't needed for a good climax, but in other games it might be. It is also important that if a final boss is incorporated into the game that it makes sense story wise and that it isn't too easy.

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vadicta

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#11 vadicta
Member since 2007 • 4354 Posts

I'm a huge fan of boss fights in general. Great bosses can absolutely make a game for me. They give me a reason to keep coming back to play it again and agian. The problem nowadays seems that final boss fights aren't so much difficult or interesting as just broken up into a lot of parts. It seems every final boss fight is prefaced by a boss that you think is the last one, but is too easy, so they give you another that's not much harder, but then break that one into peices to give you the illusion of an epic scale.

I'd rather if games would focus on one part for one final boss and make it really great.

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turtlethetaffer

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#12 turtlethetaffer
Member since 2009 • 18973 Posts

I've found that most of the time, final bosses are awesome.

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Euaggelistes

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#13 Euaggelistes
Member since 2009 • 1826 Posts

I guess it depends on the genre. Platformers and RPGs need boss battles.

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IndianaPwns39

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#14 IndianaPwns39
Member since 2008 • 5037 Posts

Totally depends on the game. Some games have this recurring antagonist and this epic build up to a finale. I really like when the last boss is challenging, but not cheap.

However, there are some games that just shouldn't have end bosses. Uncharted comes to mind, as both of them are terrible. It didn't fit the game, and while Lazarevich in UC2 gained some powers, it still just felt like fighting a normal enemy and so you just ran in a circle. There's also one at the end of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, which is basically a fight where you just keep getting rid of a normal enemy's armor pieces. I think a game that doesn't have boss fights to begin with suffers when it tries having an ending one (minus Alice: Madness Returns). The escape sequence in the original Halo was the perfect ending substitute for a boss fight, as someone else mentioned.

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JayQproductions

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#15 JayQproductions
Member since 2007 • 1806 Posts

Capcom and the Japanese are the WORST at boss fights, 90% of them now a days consist of shooting glowing red orbs on the enemies body. I can't even remember the last game that had an enjoyable boss fight. most games either avoid boss fights completly or it's one big gimmick.

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LoG-Sacrament

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#16 LoG-Sacrament
Member since 2006 • 20397 Posts

with the common "this guy is my enemy. i must fight him" conflict, there arent a ton of different ways for it to go. you can make a good storytelling argument against it, but storytelling isnt always the main goal. for instance, dmc3 was all about combat and i couldnt imagine the letdown if i went through the whole game and didnt get a big fight at the end.

but yeah, storytelling game developers should always keep in mind that a boss fight is one of many different ways to handle conflict. all stories dont have to be the hero vs the villain. combat doesnt have to be at the heart of everything in every game either.

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deactivated-5d0e4d67d0988

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#17 deactivated-5d0e4d67d0988
Member since 2008 • 5396 Posts

Final Fantasy XIII- OH LOOK I'M A GIANT SPINNING FACE LALALALALALALALA

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JustPlainLucas

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#18 JustPlainLucas
Member since 2002 • 80434 Posts
I can't think of a specific example, but I hate when I'm deprived of a final boss fight. I spend an entire game chasing after someone and then all of a sudden, some deus ex machina happens and he gets away, or is killed by me in a cutscene. I HATE when the game takes away something I should have had control in. Also, I hate when the final boss does nothing but summon minions as you. It's very annoying because I have to divert my attention from the boss to these stupid little peons that do nothing but waste my time.
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romainsimoni

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#19 romainsimoni
Member since 2002 • 1955 Posts

Everybody thank Mario for the awesomeness of his bosses. Maybe thank Zelda too.

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Business_Fun

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#20 Business_Fun
Member since 2009 • 2282 Posts

Every disappointing final boss fight that has ever existed is negated by the mountain of awesome found at the end of Bayonetta. A struggle of truly biblical proportions that makes any of the God of War boss battles look about as exciting as coverage of the Winter Olympics.

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BoSnerdly

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#21 BoSnerdly
Member since 2011 • 184 Posts
Generally speaking, I find myself annoyed by boss battles. Can't really remember ever enjoying one of 'em, but I can list a few that really pissed me off (bad way to end a good game).
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pills4louis

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#22 pills4louis
Member since 2011 • 1331 Posts

Nier - Shadowlord fight

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor - Deko fight

DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu Black Label - Zatsuza fight

Bayonetta - Jubileus fight

No More Heroes - Henry fight

There's still some hope left for epic finales.

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Archangel3371

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#23 Archangel3371
Member since 2004 • 37829 Posts
Yeah that Jubileus boss fight in Bayonetta was CRAZY EPIC. Fantastic game.
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jadaski1

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#24 jadaski1
Member since 2010 • 110 Posts

Yeah that Jubileus boss fight in Bayonetta was CRAZY EPIC. Fantastic game.Archangel3371

The Jubileus fight was somehow even more over-the-top than the rest of the game, AND IT WORKED!

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Megavideogamer

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#25 Megavideogamer
Member since 2004 • 6554 Posts

Only if the final boss is interesting. You should want to not have to kill a compelling villian.

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pills4louis

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#26 pills4louis
Member since 2011 • 1331 Posts

Only if the final boss is interesting. You should want to not have to kill a compelling villian.

Megavideogamer

Every single boss fight in Nier, right there. (on New Game+)

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topsemag55

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#27 topsemag55
Member since 2007 • 19063 Posts
Drakensang - River of Time. The final boss battle took roughly 30 minutes or more to finish.
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wizdom

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#28 wizdom
Member since 2003 • 10111 Posts

It realy depend on how the the boss battle is set up.

If it easy to win then it not that good. There need to be an effort into winning the fight else winning the fight is worthless.

wiouds
I agree, boss fights are good when done right, the problem is that most boss fights are freaking terrible and easy, but overall I don't mind them though.
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YouVandal3

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#29 YouVandal3
Member since 2007 • 1616 Posts

Some games are better with bosses (God of War III) its what the games are based around and they make sense. But for most games they are not needed. Like uncharted. They don't work. Some games need the bosses and an ending battle. But most other games don't need them at all

seanmcloughlin

Borderlands - perfect example of terrible ending boss battle. what a joke.

Portal - perfect example of better ending boss fight

Totally agree about uncharted 2.

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Venom_Raptor

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#30 Venom_Raptor
Member since 2010 • 6959 Posts

Not all games finish with a boss battle, some just conclude with an exciting scipted event or quick-time events in a cutscene.

My favourite boss fight was the final boss in Dead Space, and that was an awesome ending.

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Bubble_Man

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#31 Bubble_Man
Member since 2006 • 3100 Posts

Most single-player games involve going up against a villian. Not having a final encounter with said villian would leave me dissatisfied. Of course some game series, like Halo, have you facing an opposing group or organization instead of an individual.

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anthonycg

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#32 anthonycg
Member since 2009 • 2017 Posts

Final Fantasy XIII- OH LOOK I'M A GIANT SPINNING FACE LALALALALALALALA

October_Tide

I see your spinning face and raise you a thingamajig.

Yu Yevon

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no_more_fayth

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#33 no_more_fayth
Member since 2010 • 11928 Posts

A lot of RPGs are guilty of this, but I hate defeating the final boss in one hit or one turn.

Like really?

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WhiteKnight77

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#34 WhiteKnight77
Member since 2003 • 12605 Posts

I guess it depends on the game. Duke Nuke 'em sure, but games like Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six should not. In some RTS's they make sense as it could be disguised as a counter attack. Personally, I would like to see developers start using their head to come up with something a bit better than a boss battle to end a game. RSE used video to end the games showing the results of your actions during the campaign which wasn't so bad.

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Bubble_Man

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#35 Bubble_Man
Member since 2006 • 3100 Posts

[QUOTE="October_Tide"]

anthonycg

I quit playing Final fantasy after X-2. Wow, bosses have really gone downhill since Sephiroth's one-winged angel form.

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JustPlainLucas

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#36 JustPlainLucas
Member since 2002 • 80434 Posts

Every disappointing final boss fight that has ever existed is negated by the mountain of awesome found at the end of Bayonetta. A struggle of truly biblical proportions that makes any of the God of War boss battles look about as exciting as coverage of the Winter Olympics.

Business_Fun
Yeah, that was an EPIC climax! :lol:
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Qixote

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#37 Qixote
Member since 2002 • 10843 Posts

More often than not, final boss battles are disappointing, lame, and unimaginative.

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Qixote

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#38 Qixote
Member since 2002 • 10843 Posts

I don't think they need to be particularly difficult or overly challenging to be good. They just need to be interesting and fun. Portal is a prime of example of final boss level done right. It makes the game end on a satisfying note.

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EXEraserVS

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#39 EXEraserVS
Member since 2011 • 346 Posts
Some final boss battles are not climactic at all, which makes the entire game disappointing. I don't like that. Even if a game is setting up for a sequel, it has to go out with a bang. I notice Japanese games have better boss finales than western games. I think I played so many western games where there was a cheap battle or even no boss battle at all, just ending abruptly.