Friday, August 19, 2011

Best Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Three

This article features spoilers, so please tread carefully. Warning given.

It's time for five more classic boss encounters with this installment of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History, and what a way to end the week! If you missed out on past entries, check out Part One and Part Two at their respective links. With that out of the way, let's get to kicking some boss butt!

Big Baby Bowser - Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (SNES)

After the primary battle against Baby Bowser in his playpen, the sinister magician Kamek uses his magic to transform his master into the gargantuan you see in the picture above. The quickly matured Bowser slowly marches forward, and if Yoshi does not stop him, Bowser will smash the platforms Yoshi is on, immediately killing the green dinosaur.

So how do you defeat this giant koopa king? Large red eggs fly in from side-to-side over the bottomless pits. Yoshi must collect these, aim carefully, and target Bowser, chucking them far into the background, hoping they connect. Hitting Bowser with one causes the tumultuous turtle to fall into the background more, giving Yoshi and Baby Mario some more time to work with. Meanwhile, the team must watch out for falling rocks and other debris. After enough eggs have smashed into Baby Bowser, he'll be defeated, Kamek will scamper off, and Yoshi and Baby Mario will rescue Baby Luigi and the stork that was transporting him. All in a day's work for one of our heroes, even in diapers.

Wizpig - Diddy Kong Racing (N64)

Wizpig is a tyrannical interdimensional pig who travels from planet to planet, laying waste to each once he's had his fun of them. Arriving on Donkey Kong's planet, Wizpig arrives on Timber Island, puts a spell on some of the inhabitants, kicks the island's genie from his mountain home, and turns anyone who goes against him into frogs. Timber the Tiger has had enough. He enlists the help from his friend and nearby neighbor, Diddy Kong, to collect four pieces of the Wizpig Amulet to open the way to face Wizpig.

In Diddy Kong Racing, the player faces off against Wizpig twice. The first time features a daunting kart race in the rain where following the perfect racing line above speed-boosting zippers will barely guarantee victory. The second race takes place in Future Fun Land, Wizpig's home, and it takes place in air. Through avoiding flying meteors, zooming through caverns, dodging dangerous lasers, and hot-stepping it through the final stretch, Wizpig's heavily-guarded throne room, Diddy Kong and friends defeat the evil porker, saving Timber Island from the brink of extinction.

Ultimate Bowser - Super Mario 64 (N64)

Players battled Bowser many times in the past, but in Super Mario 64, this was the first time they had done it in three-dimensions. Mario previously beat down Bowser in the Dark World and over the Fire Sea. Now it's time for the final showdown in the sky. The same concept works on Bowser as it did in the previous battles-- run around to Bowser's backside, grab his tail, rotate the analog stick quickly, and chuck Bowser into one of the various scattered mines around the arena. It's harder than it sounds. You need to time it just right.

Bowser's no slouch this time around either. Mario needs to chuck him into a mine thrice in order to finally put the king of the koopas in extended vacation. Every time he is slammed into a mine, Bowser smashes part of the arena apart, eventually turning the arena into a star-shaped platform. There's little room to maneuver, to run around Bowser and grab his slimy yellow tail, and Bowser spins much faster than in prior encounters. The koopa king also breathes out fire in battle which can cook the portly plumber's hind parts in an instant, making this one dangerous fight. After three throws into the mines, Bowser surrenders, Mario puts on his wing cap, and flies off into the sky, back to Peach's castle for his reward-- some cake.

Sigma - Mega Man X (SNES)

After dishing out damage and defeating his dog and taking out Sigma bot-to-bot, Sigma will literally become a-head of himself and enter the large, ominous machine in the background. The battle to restore peace to the world will begin. Sigma's weakness is Armored Armadillo's Rolling Shield weapon. Players can either wait for one of Sigma's hands to come down to leap upon, or they can time it just right and scale up the wall as X, dodging the hand completely. X can't stand on the hands willy-nilly as they will shoot out thunderbolts from the center. X can either jump off or take damage. By far the most deadly move Sigma can deliver is a fire breath attack that sweeps the floor. This move does a lot of damage to X, so fill up on sub-tanks definitely if you're not that confident in your abilities. Deal damage to Sigma's head as that is the giant robot's weakpoint. Once his life meter trickles down to zero, the leader of the Mavericks will be defeated, and Dr. Light's dream for a world where humans and robots can live together in harmony will be one step closer to fruition. ...Until Mega Man X2 and the ensuing sequels, of course.

Dr. Nefarious - Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal (PS2)

The dynamic duo of Ratchet and Clank have had a grand adventure together. Sure, they've explored perilous planets and had to tolerate that dolt, Captain Qwark, but now they've reached the climax-- the battle against Dr. Nefarious! The battle begins with Nefarious leaping around the arena, chucking bombs at the pair of heroes. He also spins around and shoots out a purplish beam that Ratchet must hop over. This is all the while doing damage with some high-powered weaponry of the awesome kind. Once Nefarious is downed, he'll beg for mercy. This, however, is merely a ruse as he retreats. Ratchet and Clank must pursue, dodging Nefarious' purple laser and stampeding through blockades of big bots.

Once the two reach the second platform of the fight, Nefarious will go back to his old tricks... with some new ones, too. He'll create multiple images of himself which will charge toward Ratchet as well as have the images claw at the heroic lombax. Jumping into the air is a beneficial way of dodging this assault. The mad robotic doctor will also shoot out bombs that once they hit the ground will produce massive shockwaves that must be hopped over to avoid massive damage. As Nefarious' health bar disintegrates into nothingness, the final stage of the fight will commence.

Dr. Nefarious will summon his butler, Lawrence. The pair will enter a gigantic robot and begin blasting at Ratchet and Clank. Luckily there's a ship nearby with one-hundred health points to save the day. A simple strategy is to circle 'round Nefarious' robot, never releasing the trigger to fire shot after shot into the bot. This allows Ratchet's ship to escape the barrage of missiles being fired at it, and enables Ratchet to finally take down Dr. Nefarious and Lawrence, restoring peace and order to the galaxy.


That wraps up Part Three of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History. Do you like my picks? Let me know in the comments section. We'll see you in the coming weeks for Part Four!

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