5 Bosses That Gave Me a Serious Kicking – Bullied by big bosses.

Not so long ago, I talked about how looking at guides for games is absolutely fine.  I even included Dara O’Briain’s remarks on video games being the only form of media that denies you access to more of it unless you prove you’re good enough.  I mentioned how there really should be ways for anyone to experience the stories that games provide.  But that’s not how games work (well, most of them anyway).  There are bosses.  Those big chaps and chapettes placed in your way to test you on everything you’ve learned so far.  Sure, you’ve eliminated those enemies, mowed down the mooks and bested many baddies, but can you face down this ridiculous robot?  That colossal creature?  Those ferocious fighters?  Alliteration aside (ha!), let’s have a look at some of those end of level guardians that have given me a serious run for my money.

Earthworm Jim
Bob the Goldfish was not one of the toughest.  His level was a pain though.

Some rules as ever.  Only one boss per franchise and only bosses I have faced and defeated.  Oh, and if you’re offended by crude language, this is one of very few posts I write that will contain swearing.  Because, seriously, some of these guys are absolute dicks.

Psycho Mantis – Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid (1998)

Let’s start light.  Because Psycho Mantis isn’t terribly difficult once you know what to do.  In fact, I technically didn’t find him all that difficult when I played this, but I’ll explain that in a moment because I recognise why this clown is so difficult.  You see, you can’t shoot him.  He dodges everything as though he can read your mind (he can because Metal Gear Solid is insane) and react before you fire.  Not only that, he will also attempt to control your companion, Meryl, and attempt to have her kill herself.  The strategy to defeat him, as I’m sure many of you will know, is to swap your controller from port one to port two on your console, thus confusing Psycho Mantis and allowing you to shoot the crap out of him.

Metal Gear Solid
Sadly, the memory card reading trick didn’t work in the PC release.

In terms of boss battles for the era (or indeed any era), this was very inventive.  And if you don’t know how to beat him, I can see how this could be incredibly challenging.  Now, on to how I managed to beat him.  I played this on PC, in which to defeat him you need to play using the keyboard.  I did not have a gamepad for the PC and used the keyboard for the whole game so he proved to be only mildly challenging.  Still, I thought this boss should be included due to the potential challenge.

Ornstein & Smough – Dark Souls

Dark Souls
Dark Souls (2011)

Alright, let’s get this two bastards out of the way.  The Dark Souls original gank boss.  The multi-man brawl that From Software have tried to emulate ever since.  One of the hardest bosses in the series (I know there are others that people consider harder, but this pair whooped me for hours).  Bosses in Dark Souls are no joke, but here we have two hard ones at once.  One (Executioner Smough) is big, powerful, and capable of destroying the pillars that provide cover.  The other (Dragonslayer Ornstein) is quick, powerful and has wide sweeping attacks that are hard to dodge.  Keeping an eye on both of them whilst trying to land even a couple of hits to whittle down their health is extremely challenging.

Ornstein and Smough
Can you guess which is the slow, powerful one?

Oh OH, and once you beat one of them, the other grows to twice the size and becomes even more powerful.  Just to make sure you get no breaks.  Because letting up just isn’t Souls style.  If you defeat Smough first and take on a doubly powerful Ornstein then prepare for the battle of your life because he is an utter arse once powered up.  The gorgeous journey through Anor Londo up to this point simply cannot prepare you for the pummelling you’ll face here.  Victory is unbelievably satisfying, even though it took me summoning two phantoms to help with taking them down.  I love this series, but there’s no way I’m going back to take them on again.

Lou – Guitar Hero 3

Guitar Hero III
Guitar Hero 3 (2007)

This is a weird one to include, but it is a boss battle.  Guitar Hero 3 had a story mode of sorts, with your band being confronted by the devil (Lou) for a final face-off.  Boss battles in this game were in the form of songs in which you and your opponent you play sections against one another, with powerups allowing you to disrupt the other player.  Attacks could make notes become invisible, or one of your strings to break which makes playing a section correctly much harder.  The final song was a rather creative rock cover of the rather excellent The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band, with a ton of notes everywhere.  Playing this in the game was hard enough, but throw in disappearing notes and buttons that temporarily won’t work and you have a recipe for plastic guitar breakage.

Seriously, this is rather good, and the Guitar Hero 3 version is pretty good too.

No meaning to brag, but I was pretty good at games in this series.  I could rattle through most songs on expert mode without too much trouble.  But this.  This song with those stupid attacks was near on impossible.  I eventually beat this, but only by swallowing my pride and dropping down two difficulties to normal.  I know, I still feel the shame burning me now.  I really liked the plastic instrument craze, but this boss battle song crap can piss right off.

Shao Kahn – Mortal Kombat 3

Mortal Kombat 3
Mortal Kombat 3 (1995)

I was torn between Shao Kahn and M. Bison from Street Fighter 2.  I went with Shao Kahn because he’s such a cheap git.  M. Bison can be beaten with careful zoning and good positioning.  Shao Kahn needs Sub-Zero and a shit ton of luck.  Shao Kahn can practically dash right in front of you and send you flying.  Over and over again.  Along the ground or in the air.  The dash attack also breaks your block.  Oh, and he has projectile attacks which he can spam.  Plus a hammer attack that can stun you.  So my experience was something like this: jump attack lands on Kahn, hammer to me, dash attack me into the corner then I die.  This happened many, many times.

Shao Kahn
I’m not sure if this is Shao Kahn or Triple H arriving at Wrestlemania.

I know I finally beat him based entirely on luck.  Sub-Zero could freeze Shao Kahn in place, allowing an upperful (one of the most high damage single attacks).  I used that and resorted to staying crouched and hoping an air dash attack would come my way, allowing another free uppercut.  It went like this for a long, long time until I finally bested him.  A dishonourable victory perhaps, but that’s what he gets for being such a wanker.

Yellow Devil – Mega Man

Mega Man
Mega Man (1987)

Oh this guy can just fuck right off.  Cheap, extremely hard to dodge, takes ages and can pretty much only be beaten by luck, glitching, or having more patience than Jesus.  In fact, I’m pretty sure Jesus would just switch the game off and play something else.  Like Doom.  Anyway, the Yellow Devil is one of the final bosses you face in Mega Man and it is a bastard of one.  He starts by flying in piece by piece from the left, and good luck if you don’t know the pattern by heart.  You’ll almost certainly get hit by one or two pieces (suffering significant damage) before he opens his eye for a split second to fire.   I hope you were paying attention in that one second as that’s the only chance you have to damage it before the pieces fly to the other side of the screen.  Repeat until you die.  And I did.  Repeatedly.

Mega Man
Ah, the Thunder Beam. Yellow Devil’s only weakness. Especially if you glitch it…

To be fair, with enough care and attention Yellow Devil can be taken down.  It’s just the number of times you need to face it before you have the patterns down.  And once you lose all your lives its back to the start of a long and difficult level to get back for another go.  That’s the bit that irritated me the most.  Once I got past that, I managed to wear him down.  But getting to that point was a trial.  This was not the last time this boss appeared in this (or other) series.  The music was pretty exciting for the battle too.  At least, the first few times.

Some (dis?)honourable mentions.  Vicar Amelia from Bloodborne took me a long, long time to get through.  She hits hard, moves quickly and could heal most of her health back mid battle.  If you couldn’t out-damage her heal you didn’t have a hope.  Another boss I had to summon for.  Then there’s Capital B from Yooka-Laylee.  I think I’ve made my feelings on this arsehole clear before.

Yooka Laylee
Don’t look so smug you utter bastard.  I got you in the end.

Who’s kicked your ass repeatedly in games?  Don’t feel the shame, share below and feel better about yourself!  Carrying that defeat around will just bring you down, share it with the group…


36 thoughts on “5 Bosses That Gave Me a Serious Kicking – Bullied by big bosses.

      1. Yea there were some random ones that seemed unfair so it was a bit too frustrating. Which was a shame because the track was killer

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That Psycho Mantis fight was amazing. I remember thinking how cool it was that once you used the port on the right, he couldn’t read your mind, like all of a sudden you were using the right side of your brain instead of the left (because I’ve apparently been a super nerd since I was a little gamer).

    I hated the Flemeth boss battle in Dragon Age: Origins. The difficulty spike was ridiculous, even on “casual.” It never mattered how over-powered I thought I was, because my Warden was handed his/her butt over and over again… But it was clever, because I thought she was harder to beat than the archdemon at the end, and Flemeth was a dragon who had been a human, and the archdemon was “just” an animal, so from a lore standpoint I guess it made sense… And from a “how many swear words do I know” sense it was pretty illuminating haha

    Oh! Also Star Wolf and his gang at the end of Star Fox 64. Ugh… so much rage over a fox and a wolf in a dogfight…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My Dark Souls run was weird in that I beat many bosses considered to be the hardest in the game on my first try (the Capra Demon, the Four Kings, and Ornstein & Smough among them), yet it was the ones considered relatively easier such as the Gaping Dragon and the Bed of Chaos that gave me trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also beat Four Kings in my first go, but Bed of Chaos was an odd one and came down to luck quite often. Did you walk on the right bit of ground? Did the game decide that random tentacle made contact or not?
      In (sort of) the same series, I’m rather ashamed to admit that the Cleric Beast gave me a lot of trouble.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. +1 for Ornstein and Smough, seriously fuck those guys.

    An encounter that recently has given me a bunch of grief is Shadow Madarame in Persona 5, had to bust out a guide for that one. Great article btw!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel so game-ignorant because I’ve only played and fought two of the bosses on this list! I couldn’t hate Yellow Devil anymore, definition of an unfair and un-fun boss. Capital B was pretty tough too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mother Brain’s red dot army in Metroid did a number on me. I had to use the infinite health cheat to beat it, haha. Also: The optional bosses in Lightning Returns kicked my ass several times, the second last boss in FFVIII beat me, and it took me far too long to figure out how to take down Braska’s Final Aeon in FFX.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never tried Lightning Returns so I’ll take your word for that. But the whole series’ optional bosses are always a pain to beat. I like that they keep them optional though. Having said that, Jecht in FFX beat me down more than a few times.


  6. Well I feel like a total dork as I’ve only played one of these games! Mortal Kombat 3 was tough no matter how you sliced it. I used to read the PRIMA Strategy guide in middle school at lunch just to learn all the moves for everyone, lol.

    To be honest, I always picked SubZero too, because of that ridiculously cheap freezing move. That’s probably the only way I beat anything remotely difficult in that game! Oh, too tough? SubZero it is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh and I almost forgot, I’d say the hardest boss I’ve fought to date was either Disciple Lorithia or the Final Boss from Xenoblade Chronicles. Quick story…

      After taking a long hiatus from the game, I quickly learned that I needed to learn how to use a character that I had neglected thus far (Melia) due to her superior DPS if I wanted any shot of taking down the near-endless string of boss fights, and after a several month break from a game, let’s just say I had a lot of re-learning to do. I had to go back and do some grinding, which didn’t actually take that long, but the bosses are ridiculously tough towards the end.

      Anyway, what I intended to be a ~5 hour run to finish the game turned into 30 more hours in the course of 2 weeks. I couldn’t sleep until I beat this game. Most of the bosses took dozens of attempts spanning several hours to take down. It was brutal but I’d never felt so accomplished after 85 awesome hours! Great great game.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard lots of praise for it but I suspect it’s one I’ll never play. I may watch a Let’s Play to get some sort of experience of it at least!
        Oh, and Sub-Zero was a great choice in MK3, unless you wanted to see other characters’ endings!


  7. I can’t be the only one who thinks Captain B looks EXACTLY like Gru from Despicable Me. I know someone has to have mentioned this before. I was thinking “What game did you fight Gru as a boss? Isn’t Gru a villainous protagonist?”

    Anyway, that one thing you said, “…video games being the only form of media that denies you access to more of it unless you prove you’re good enough. I mentioned how there really should be ways for anyone to experience the stories that games provide.” Yesss, this right here! This is why I love let’s plays, because I’m kind of a noob with certain games, but I want to experience/see their story.

    I think I finally beat Lou in Guitar Hero, but it took me quite a few tries. That was a tough fight. I could only ever play that game on medium. I could never get the fingering down for the fifth fret to play hard.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Even things like Dark Souls could have a pedestrian mode in which the game is super simple. Furi had something similar where the bosses pose little to no threat but you couldn’t get achievements which is a fine compromise to me!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m okay with that! I think it’s a good idea to have difficulty levels in games, because the hardcore, over achiever gamers will want to conquer all, and it also gives everyone something to strive towards. I don’t like games that are difficult just for the sake of being difficult or have too steep of a difficulty curve. I like not wanting to put the controller through the TV :p

        Liked by 1 person

  8. ORNSTEIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I finally killed him last, i’m on something like my 7th run through, amd this is new game+ as a Dex Warrior and am totally overpowered.

    The Yellow Devil is such a horrible boss.

    I agree on Lou, though never beat him on Very Hard as I couldn’t get passed Rain in Blood despit being able to play it for reals.

    Personally I’d add Thunderbird/Shadow Link from Zelda 2.

    And any Sub Boss in Mortal Kombat. I can’t beat any Goro/Kintaro/Muntaro type, nevermind the final boss.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. … good point… 🤔 Heihatchi from Tekken 3? Not sure if he counts as a boss though. I know that whatever you had to face at the end of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 ruined the game for me.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I can say (aside from the Guitar Hero one, which I’ve never played) these are all some tough as nails bosses. Yellow Devil had me throwing many a controller. For me though, the toughest foes in Bloodborne were the first and last DLC bosses. Good lord, the Orphan of Kos was a nightmare! Never would have beaten him if I didn’t have my brother’s help (I don’t mind admitting I need to summon frequently in the Souls games, and it’s a good thing my brother knows these games so well).

    However, THE hardest boss I have ever fought in a game has to be *drumroll* Dr. Wily in Mega Man 7. I have beaten almost all of the mainline Mega Man games, but not 7. On the whole, it’s one of the easier Mega Man titles (and an underrated one, along with 8). But once you get to the final boss, the difficulty spikes beyond the stars. I still can’t beat the final Dr. Wily fight of Mega Man 7. I’ve tried. But I can’t do it. I like to brag that I’ve platinum’d Dark Souls 3 and Bloodborne, but MM7 Dr. Wily… that’s a whole other beast entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also summon regularly, especially in Bloodborne which was brutally tough in places. I had far more success in Souls though.
      I never did get to play MM 7 or 8 (which is why I’m happy about the new legacy collection) but I’ll check out the MM7 boss out of interest. That series is better known for brutal levels than bosses, just look at the insanity of that Mr Perfect achievement in MM10!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfair is probably why. The power ups were what made them objectionable to me. The playing was fun, but it became frustrating when the notes would vanish and such.


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