Monday, May 7, 2018

Best Boss Battles in Gaming History - Part Nineteen


  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (NSW, Wii U)
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (NSW)
  • Kirby: Star Allies (NSW)
  • Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)

SuperPhillip Central loves to celebrate the best in gaming. There's enough negativity out there in the industry and hobby already, so why add to it? The best in gaming this time? The best boss battles of all time! This series of articles started on July 29, 2011, and it's only gotten stronger since then, accumulating bosses from modern games as well as those of the retro variety. The long-recurring segment is back with five more epic boss battles that either: pose a sizable challenge, are rewarding to play, are pure fun to play, or are a combination of all three.

Before we get to the next five boss entries, take a look at past installments of Best Boss Battles in Gaming History!

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six 
Part Seven
Part Eight
Part Nine
Part Ten
Part Eleven
Part Twelve
Part Thirteen
Part Fourteen
Part Fifteen
Part Sixteen
Part Seventeen
Part Eighteen

Since there are spoilers for recent games, check out this article after the break!

Molduga - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (NSW, Wii U)

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a sensational game, and it's no wonder why it was SuperPhillip Central's Game of the Year for 2017. One of the reasons I love the game so much is its openness. I'm not just talking about being able to go anywhere you'd like--though that is something I do admire about Breath of the Wild as well--what I mean especially is how there are a multitude of ways to get something done in the game.

There is just so much to see and do in Breath of the Wild's Hyrule that many players have invested 200 hours into the game and still haven't discovered everything. What one player might find easily, another might not stumble upon it until much later in their play-through, if at all.

This goes into the mid-bosses that are sprinkled around the unforgiving expanses of Hyrule. The particular mid-boss that I'd like to nominate for Best Boss Battle in Gaming History is the colossal Molduga, a colossal creature that carves a path through the Gerudo Desert's underground, as if it was swimming within the sand. This monster detects sound quite easily, and when it does, it will quickly burrow its way to the surface at the spot the sound was heard. Such a sound it might hear? Footsteps traipsing across the sand, perhaps.

What is there to do, then? Molduga won't get to Link if he's atop a rock or off the desert sand in any way. When Molduga launches up into the air out of the sand, it's a prime opportunity to roll a bomb its way, detonating it when it gets close. The explosion will stun the massive desert worm, enabling Link to give it everything his offense has got, whether it be melee or ranged attacks. Our hero can't dawdle around attacking for long, as soon the sand beast will gain consciousness once again and perform a powerful spin attack to all nearby surroundings. However, with enough persistence and enough patience, Molduga will go down, and victory will be Link's!

There are four Molduga within Hyrule, and each one needs a healthy dose of preparation to survive. The scope of the battle and the sheer size of the creature make for one heck of a series of showdowns. Really, there are other mid-bosses that could take a place on this list of best bosses. Perhaps a certain final boss or a lion-like warrior could be in a future edition?

Stormbird - Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)

A rare but very dangerous sight, the Stormbird is a gigantic avian monster of a machine that is the supreme being of the skies. Fights against Stormbirds are always frenetic and intense, provided you, playing as Aloy, can pose a challenge to one of these nightmares of flight. Able to dish out a plethora of devastating, different attacks, Stormbirds are not to be trifled with, especially on harder difficulties in Horizon: Zero Dawn. After all, they are one of the biggest types of enemies in the game.

Stormbirds have a great advantage of being high in the air, terrific for picking off prey from above. However, on the occasions that their prey has some fight in them, Stormbirds will take to the ground and attempt to ram its opponent, bash it with its big beak, or worse, land on top of its foe and go to town on it.

The various methods to take down a Stormbird are plenty. It's up to the player, really, and that's what makes Horizon: Zero Dawn so special of a game. Its combat has so much freedom to explore the possibilities and tackle foes which ever way the player desires and/or is most comfortable with. Does the player opt to rip off its chest plate and aim directly for the creature's heart, dealing the most damage this way? Do they use the Ropecaster to tie the Stormbird closer to the ground so it can't use its height advantage? The possibilities are many in Horizon: Zero Dawn, and the Stormbird is one of the vanilla game's fiercest foes to fight.

Brigadier Mollusque-Lanceur - Super Mario Odyssey (NSW)

The Seaside Kingdom, specifically the Bubblaine area, was once a peaceful and serene tropical setting. The sun shined brightly on the beige beaches, and the denizens were in a state of pure bliss every day. That was until Bowser's airship arrived, causing problems for Bubblaine--a particular one being a giant octopus who has set himself up on top of the kingdom's prized fountain, the same fountain that gives the Bubblaine water its special bubbles.

After Mario goes around Bubblaine and knocks four corks from the stopped-up surrounding fountains--each cork hits the octopus directly in the head--the surly sea creature gets mad. REAL mad. So much so that he becomes a literal hothead with lava coating the surface of his head.

Thus, it's time for Mario to get rid of this octopus, Brigadier Mollusque-Lanceur, for good! One of the most enjoyable aspects about the boss battles in Super Mario Odyssey is how they incorporate different captured enemies and have you use them to defeat the boss. This is also the case with Mollusque-Lanceur.

Surrounding the fabulous fountain resting near the center of the entire kingdom are enemies called Gushen that squirt out damaging cascades of water at Mario when he gets too close to them. When Mario captures one of them with Cappy, he turns into a Gushen, able to use this cascade of water to not only spew at enemies but also to gain altitude for a limited amount of time (whenever his Gushen form's mouth empties completely of water).

The objective of this fight is to use Mario in Gushen form and wash the top of the constantly moving Mollusque-Lanceur's lava-covered head. Once removed of lava, the top of his head can be ground pounded down on. This is necessary to do multiple times, with each round making Mollusque move even faster than before and shooting out more dangerous spiked sea shells at Mario. When the final ground pound connects to Mollusque-Lanceur's squishy dome, the villain takes a vacation from causing trouble... for now. With a boss battle that incorporates a cool capture ability and takes place along the entirety of the kingdom, one of the 3D Mario games' largest battlefields, I absolutely love taking on Mollusque-Lanceur in Seaside Kingdom.

Void Termina - Kirby: Star Allies (NSW)

Kirby games are known for their ridiculous final boss battles, and after last edition's Best Boss Battles in Gaming History showcasing the final boss of Kirby: Planet Robobot, I think you can see why. The tradition of crazy final bosses continues with the latest game in the Kirby franchise, Kirby: Star Allies.

The final boss is a five-part fight against the so-called Destroyer of Worlds, Void Termina. The initial battle takes place in a 3D, rotating arena in space with Kirby and his allies riding a special friend vessel to launch beams of energy at the boss's exposed weak points. This is all the while avoiding its large-scale attacks that can cover a lot of territory. Each weak point lights up and allows the player to hone in automatically each time they fire, just so the weak point is within their sight. Therefore, there isn't the headache of trying to avoid attacks while jumping and moving while trying to aim with perfect precision.

After enough damage is done to weaken Void Termina, its mask comes off, revealing a hole into its body. There, Kirby and his team of allies do battle with the dark soul inside in a traditional 2D boss battle. This boss has a small number of attacks at its beginning, but it'll gain more (I mean, MUCH more) on Kirby and allies' next engagement with the creature.

The dark soul gets tired of taking damage and the Kirby crew is pushed out of Void Termina's body. It sprouts wings and the battle begins anew, now with a flying target and new attacks to contend with. The same principle to the encounter remains the same, however: lock on to each weak point and destroy them. Then, Kirby will get a second chance to enter Void Termina's body and take care of the soul inside once and for all. ...Or maybe not?

The soul pops out of Void Termina's body and unleashes a massive beam. Kirby's flying vessel does the same, and the two beams clash with one another, requiring some button mashing. Each successful beam that blows back into Void Termina's soul only makes it madder. Finally, it lets loose a humongous, forceful beam of energy. Kirby and crew alone can't win on their own!

Thus, all of the allies that Kirby met up with on his adventure team up and unleash an even bigger blast, submerging the dark soul in blinding light and eviscerating it completely. The dark soul and Void Termina are no more, and while the final boss battle in Kirby Star Allies doesn't reach Planet Robobot levels of awesomeness, it's still one heck of an anime-inspired finish all the same.

Ridley - Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS)

Samus Aran's mission is complete. She has defeated the Queen Metroid and exterminated every last Metroid from planet SR388, save for one, an infant Metroid that takes a liking to Samus, thinking she's its mother. The two get ready to escape the planet when all of a sudden a familiar danger comes soaring in, Ridley. Quite the change from the Game Boy original, if I do say so myself.

The final boss battle in Metroid: Samus Returns against Ridley is a three-phase fight. Generally, battles against Samus's nemesis Ridley are always a tough battle of endurance, and this one in this Game Boy re-imagining of Metroid II: Return of Samus continues this welcomed trend. Through using his sharp, pointed tail to jab into Samus and the ground she walks on, jetting forward in hopes to pin Samus against a wall to do major damage, and spewing out his hazardous breath in multiple ways, Ridley is one tough customer.

The third phase is, of course, the most climactic, having Samus utilize the game's new mechanic, a counterattack, used when Ridley charges forward in one last ditch effort to defeat his nemesis. With correct timing on the counter button, Samus brings up her arm, knocking Ridley back, before leaping atop the winged beast and letting loose a barrage of missiles. The baby Metroid comes in with the assist as well, draining Ridley's health to give Samus an edge in combat and some hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. With Ridley then incapacitated, Samus and her new Metroid friend take off from planet SR388 to report back in to the Galactic Federation.

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