If you’ve ever played a game, even a primitive one, then you’ll know that one of the highlights are the boss battles. These epic conflicts requiring patience, skill, focus, and all the various things you’ve learnt throughout the game so far make for (sometimes) the most exciting and climactic showdowns.
However, there are times where these adrenaline fuelled clashes of plot, power, and finger dexterity have negative effects on our self-esteem and our progression through the game. I myself have been known to launch the odd controller here and there (with age comes wisdom and I no longer do that … that and the fact that money is actually important in adult life and things need replacing…)
So, I thought I’d share with you the 8 most memorable times I gave into my inner Hulk and dismantled something, bruised my knuckles on a nearby wall, or just sat and wept as my character slumped to the floor in virtual agony ...
- Viper - Titanfall 2
I know Bill will shudder when he reads this … Viper is the cocky, flying rocket launcher that makes a mockery of your playstyle in the recent release Titanfall 2. Not only does he miraculously summon a couple of lackeys onto the external face of a spaceship-carrier, thousands of feet in the air for you to deal with, he recharges his super weapon quicker than you could say ‘Oh, what a pri…’.
- Jenny O’ the Woods/ The Caretaker/ The Toad Prince – The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3 is one of our favourite games of all time … In fact, it is probably a game that makes most people’s favourites list. However, there are times in the game where I just absolutely despaired… The aforementioned trio of nasties made my life a living hell - little did I know there were simple tricks to defeating them (like actually using Yrden). So, there I was, rolling and bashing seven shades of shish kebab out of this drooling, nightmarish creature when all the while, a simple spell made it 100 times easier… And don't even get me started on that bastard Toad...
- Flemeth - Dragon Age: Origins
Ah, one of my other favs. I love this game so much, however, the first time I played it, I did not expect this frail, old lady to turn into a draconic dumb-head (not so dumb … I’m just trying to be PC). What followed was a myriad of failed attempts to subdue this monstrous mother of the woman who helped me ‘get comfortable’ in my bedroll around the campfire… Note to all: when you meet the parents of your lover, gf, bf, fling, etc - be sure to ask if they’re secretly a 20ft tall dragon of untold power. It could save your life.
- Terramorphous The Invincible - Borderlands 2
The only one on the list that I did not manage to defeat. Borderlands two saw me grind many hours away to the tune of funky weapons and pumping battle music. During the final stages of the game, I happened upon a dip in the landscape. Naturally, as an inquisitive (brash and stupid) player, I marched straight into the hollow only to find a 40ft spikey, tentacled worm of inexplicable proportions. I’m not exaggerating - he was the bullet sponge of bullet sponges. He soaked up my powers and ammo like they were sprinklings of dust below an overpowered Dyson.
- Demogorgon - Baldur’s Gate II
So many good games in this list! I’ve gone on about this one a fair bit, but shizz got real when I entered the final stage of the Watcher’s Keep. Now, getting to the final and lowest level of this tower is no small feat, but when you get there the fight that follows is just disgusting. Some of the bouts you have in this game are tough - like the first time you meet a lich or Nizidramanii'yt (say that really fast 10 times). If it’s not the minions he spawns slowly ending members of your party, it’s an aura of flaming death, or one of his other brutal spells of despair-inducing destruction.
- Death - Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen
As the name would suggest, this dude would rather you were stiff and cold rather than chilling, adventuring, and meandering your way around his domain. Needless to say, he’s a complete and utter horrible person … being … thing … It took varying techniques of trying and failing before I stumbled upon a bridge. Who knew that if you were to ever meet death, he just needs to fall off a bridge and you’re free to go. I never did find out what loot was available but the XP was quite nice.
- The Ender Dragon - Minecraft
Back in the day, when I thought my little wooden hut with a stone tower was a remarkable feat in Minecraft engineering, it was quite common for me to get lost in precarious and dangerous situations with minimal equipment and not a lot of brains. One fine day, I found myself in a mine and then a temple and then a room with a crazy colourful square in the middle. After some time working out what on earth this thing was and how it worked, I found my way into the realm of The Ender Dragon … No more words … Just pain and sadness ...
- Atheon/Crota/Oryx/Skolas - Destiny
I spent unhealthy amounts of time on this game - I really did; but of all the big, mean and horrendously powerful buggers on this list, it was this quartet that gave me the most sleepless nights and contributed the most to my alcoholism (I’m not really an alcoholic … It’s also not a condition that should be taken lightly … Bad James). But the essence of what I’m saying rings true. All of them had a serious grudge against you winning the day, which was counter-productive for us spods who had formed a merry band of players in order to beat the raid. Then Bungie, in their infinite wisdom, took away the burn skulls! So much hatred … so much rage …
It’s done. It’s over. Now, I’m hollow and sad. The sense of victory is a small recompense for the extreme emotions and negative experiences I’ve just put myself through...
You’ll have to forgive me for all the … ellipsis, but after writing this list and reliving the moments, I genuinely think I need a few glasses of Old Fashioned. I’ll leave you to mull this list over. If you’re willing to risk reliving those horrifying moments in games that you’ve probably tried to forget then let me know on Twitter @MugwumpBlog