Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Best Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Ten


Okay. Now has everyone who doesn't want to see spoilers exited from this article? Good. The ever-popular Best Boss Battles in Gaming History is back with its tenth installment! Who knew that an innocent little article regarding fun boss fights could grow to be a series that has reached ten parts? Regardless, it's time to get serious with five more exquisite encounters against creatures and villains both big and small. On this part of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History we have bosses from Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon! If you missed a previous installment of this series, check out the links below!

Bowser (Super Mario Galaxy - Wii)

We kick off the tenth installment of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History with a familiar foe, Bowser. Mario (and Luigi) face off against the King of the Koopas thrice throughout Super Mario Galaxy. The final confrontation with the Mushroom Kingdom's villain is the greatest of the trio, and it takes place upon three different planetoids. 

The first phase of the ultimate battle with Bowser has the tyrant launching himself into the air and stomping to the ground three times, each stomp emitting its own shockwave that runs the length of the planetoid. Mario needs to leap over these or be in the shock of his life. After this, those who still have a fresh memory of a past battle with Bowser in the game will be reminded of a prior encounter. Bowser curls up into a rocky ball and tries to run over Mario. By timing his spin move correctly, Mario can hit Bowser's ugly mug when the Koopa King rolls to him with his face is wide open. After getting hit, not only will the choir chime in (an awesome touch), but Bowser will spin on his shell. Another hit by Mario, and the process will repeat itself again. 

This time after Bowser is damaged, the rivals will fall down into the atmosphere of another planetoid. The surface of this planetoid has a plethora of stringy green objects, that when hit by Mario's spin attack, act like a slingshot. When Bowser is close to one of these, Mario can spin into them and hit Bowser. Once more, Mario's rival spins on his shell, ready for the portly plumber to pop him. If Bowser is allowed to, he can shoot out a flurry of fireballs across the planetoid's surface. After a second go of his regular pattern, again the two combatants fall to another planetoid. This time, it's the final showdown.

This planetoid has multiple weak spots to it. The goal here is to have Bowser leap onto one to break it, exposing the lava inside the planetoid, and causing the tyrant's tail to catch fire. This allows Mario an opening to spin attack Bowser, making him vulnerable while he spins around on his shell. In between openings, Bowser spews forth a bevy of fireballs and even chases after Mario as he rolls around in his shell. Once the final hit has been made, Bowser falls into the hot sun below. The galaxy is saved! Great job, Mario!

Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker [HD]- Wii U, GCN)

Seeking the power of the Triforce to ravage Hyrule, Ganondorf is one step close to his master plan. However, a young boy named Link and a princess named Zelda are close behind. Thinking all hope is lost, the player gets greeted by the King of Hyrule himself, who calls upon the Triforce's aid to heal Link and Zelda. The final battle for the fate of Hyrule now begins!

This battle by its lonesome wouldn't be so interesting if not for the fact that it's not fought alone. This time around Zelda is no longer a damsel-in-distress. She is right alongside Link within the battle, shooting Light Arrows into the back of Ganondorf to daze the villain. This allows Link free reign to take some shots. The battle is sword against sword, power against courage in a Legend of Zelda battle that many fans persist is one of, if not the, coolest encounter in the series's illustrious history.

Perhaps the coolest part is something totally unexpected in a Zelda game, much less a Nintendo game of all things. Link's final hit has him slamming the Master Sword into Ganondorf's head, turning the power-hungry soul into solid rock. It's an epic (excuse us for using that overused word) conclusion to an epic game.

Galactus (Marvel VS. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds/Ultimate Marvel VS. Capcom 3 - PS3, 360, Vita)

Mario merely had to face Bowser to save the galaxy. The heroes and villains from the Marvel and Capcom universes have to face the galaxy destroyer, Galactus. The hulking monstrosity calls in two clones of Marvel and Capcom characters to toy with the player's three fighters. It's important not to take much damage on this opening stage or else it will make the encounter with Galactus all the more intense and challenging.

Once the two wannabes get defeated, Galactus himself enters the arena, looming over the player like a New York City citizen looking up at a Manhattan skyscraper. Galactus has plenty of tools in his arsenal to defeat anyone that dares face him. While he could his whole body to devastate the player, all he needs is his two hands, and he utilizes them quite well. He smashes foes with a pound of his hand, he flicks foes aside with one finger, he punches his enemies to a pulp, and he unleashes powerful lasers from his fingertips. 

The battle with Galactus is listed on Best Boss Battles in Gaming History because it's a fight against a larger than life character, and it's memorable because of that. It doesn't hurt that Galactus is a cool character, and the battle with him is challenging for all the right reasons.

King K. Rool (Donkey Kong Country - SNES)

One of the more memorable 16-bit battles comes from a game we showcased in our last SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGM segment. The fight against King K. Rool in Donkey Kong Country is cleverly done, and it's not because of the attack patterns of the boss. No, it's because of what happens two-thirds of the way through the battle. More on that in a little bit.

At first, the konfrontation (get it?) has King K. Rool chucking his crown at the Kongs, a tactic that he uses after every round of moves. One jump on his head when his head is exposed makes the king of the Kremlings charge across the screen. Another successful jump means he does this twice, back and forth. Finally, a third successful jump his pattern switches up.

He now leaps across the screen, signaling other ships in the armada to rain down cannonballs from above. Fortunately enough for Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong, they are relatively easy to avoid, as they fall in a line, one after the other. There's just enough time to roll past a cannonball that is about to fall from above. As King K. Rool chucks his crown and gets hits, the cannonballs fall down across the screen twice and then three times. Then comes the truly genius part of the fight.

Players see Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong celebrating the defeat of the now-downed king. It seems the battle is over. Heck, the screen darkens and they are greeted with a credits screen. However, something's a bit off... The names are all Kremlings, and soon enough, the screen returns to normal and shows King K. Rool standing on both of his feet, ready for more. You can be sure that unsuspecting players will get tripped up at this final phase of battle. King K. Rool jumps up and down, requiring the Kongs to roll underneath him as he passes by. Successive hits means K. Rool's jumps will be spread out across a smaller distance. The final hit puts legitimately puts the Kremling King down for good. Your banana hoard has been returned to you, Donkey Kong, and well deserved, too. 

King Boo (Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon - 3DS)

From one king to another, we shift from DK Isle's Kremling King to Evershade Valley's ultimate foe with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. King Boo is the final foe that Luigi must face to restore the Dark Moon and transform Evershade Valley back to its rightful, less scary form. If Luigi fails, he, his friends, and the rest of the world will be turned into paintings for King Boo's wall. 

King Boo comes out of the darkness, after having a little fun making Luigi uneasy. Soon, the arena lights up, floating in some kind of otherworldly realm, surrounded by emptiness. An electric fence appears around the battlefield. It's go time, Luigi! 

Each time King Boo smashes his body into the ground, it causes spiked balls to fall from the sky. These roll around as Luigi's weight shifts around the platform. Another body slam by King Boo sends the balls high up into the air. The objective here is to see where the spiked balls will fall through looking for their shadows and luring the angry king of the Boos into one of their landing sites. This will daze King Boo, allowing Luigi to struggle to suck him up inside his Poltergust. 

After being humiliated once, King Boo seeks vengeance. He tilts the remaining pieces of the battlefield over, sliding Luigi into a hallway. King Boo makes chase, meaning Luigi needs to hightail it through the hall, carefully weaving through obstacles that will slow him down, allowing the final boss to catch up to him and damage him. 

Luigi leaps through the window and ends up at another battlefield suspended in the air. Now, the Boo boss unleashes lightning onto the arena, turning several squares into low-traction sand, slowing Luigi down significantly if he crosses over them. This isn't the only new trick to King Boo's repertoire. He can lunge at Luigi, taking down the courageous plumber's health in the process. However, the same attack strategy as before works. You'd think someone who could plot an evil master plan could smarten up and adapt quickly, wouldn't you?

Angered beyond control, King Boo destroys the battle area and summons another hallway to chase Luigi through. Once the green clad plumber survives this challenge, the final fight is on! King Boo will let loose a load of lightning bolts on every square of the battlefield except one. Luigi must swiftly move to that square to avoid taking damage. This occurrence happens three times. Then, it's time to teach the bad Boo a lesson by having a spiked ball fall on his head, allowing Luigi enough time to suck him up with his trusty Poltergust, take the final piece of the Dark Moon, and save his older brother from yet another painting!

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