Three Pro Gamers On The Hardest Boss Fights In Gaming History

Three Pro Gamers On The Hardest Boss Fights In Gaming History

Life is full of beautiful, satisfying milestones. The day you get your dream job, your wedding day, the birth of your first child — you know, all that good stuff. But none come close to the feeling of finally, finally, wiping the shit-eating grin off of that boss that has been plaguing you for days. Who’s laughing now Ripper Roo?! Huh? That’s right punk.

Sorry, got a bit emotional there. Anyway, bosses right? Can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. The frustration and constant death makes that moment of victory all the sweeter, and anyone who plays games has their own personal boss horror story. But what about the pros? Are they humans just like us, or are they immune to the perils of nightmarish boss encounters? We asked a few to find out.

Bloodborne, Portal 2, DOOM Eternal (Iamfallfromgrace)

What do you think are the top five hardest boss fights in gaming history? What made them so hard?

In my opinion, the Souls games harbour some of the toughest boss fights in gaming history. The funny thing is, it’s usually only on your first playthrough that you truly struggle with any of these bosses. Once you’ve beaten them once, you know the strategy and they’re almost ‘easy’ the second time around. Nameless King is known as one of the most annoying bosses in DS3, but I think mileage may vary depending on your playstyle. I found Darkeater Midir much tougher than Nameless King. Ornstein & Smough, Knight Artorias and Manus Father of the Abyss are 3 noteworthy bosses in DS1 that I think most people would agree are just plain rude.

I’m not sure if it’s widely agreed but the fight at the end of Portal 2 was pure chaos as you’re bouncing around trying to dunk the cores. I was incredibly stressed out during that entire fight, which is definitely what the devs were going for.

Death will see you now.

What are some boss fights that were your own personal hell? What are your best tips when it comes to taking on boss fights? (I know every game is different, but maybe you have some tips that can be broadly applied?)

Orphan of Kos from Bloodborne will forever remain one of the most painful boss fights for me as it’s a screeching, naked fetus wielding its own mutated placenta that it uses as a giant club (and tears pieces off to use as an explosive projectile). I fought this boss over multiple Twitch streams and I think it took me roughly 6-7 hours to finally put them to rest. The feeling of elation that I felt when I saw PREY SLAUGHTERED on the screen was like no other. Their attacks were difficult for me to process as the entire fight felt chaotic and helpless and that damn placenta that it swung around like a meaty wrecking ball gave Orphan insane reach.

Darkeater Midir in Dark Souls 3 was the first time in the entire game that I truly felt helpless. The other bosses challenged me, but Midir became my nemesis. I tried summoning friends to help me, but that just buffed their HP and made them harder to take down. I eventually got the win, after quite a number of hours trying. The thing that made Midir so difficult for me was the chaotic nature of the attacks. Most of the bosses in Dark Souls 3 feel quite calculated and their patterns a little more obvious, but Midir just felt like a big ol’ angry dragon, which admittedly was awesome, but made them very unpredictable.

The Dark Lord from DOOM Eternal was a tough one for me. I got so tired of him constantly summoning other enemies and, in the chaos, failed to recall the basic mechanics of using the smaller enemies on the outside of the arena for replenishing ammo and shields. He’s so damn aggressive and puts a lot of pressure on you that it’s easy to be thrown and get beaten down. Contrary to Dark Souls bosses which will just one-shot you and send you back to the bonfire, this fight felt like a never-ending battle. But, as with Dark Souls, once you know the pattern it’s relatively easy to see the method to put an end to the Dark Lord.

Oh my god just die already.

Mr X from Resident Evil is a little different to the others in this list. Sure, his final form as the Tyrant bullet sponge on the moving platform was tricky, but for me it was the always looming side to him that makes him worthy of being in this list. The anxiety that he brings by always being in earshot is more than can be said for a lot of other antagonists in gaming.

My best tips for boss fights would be deep breaths! Something that all boss fights have in common is that they try to throw you into a panic. We all know the feeling, you’ve got that magical pixel of health left and the boss’s health isn’t looking too flash, either. Your heart is pounding and your hands are shaking out of control. This is what the devs want, they want you to feel these feelings. If you can, take a deep breath and try to approach the boss fight in a logical way. How is the boss moving? When are windows of opportunity for you to get some hits in? Do you need to block, dodge or counterattack? Once you understand these things, all you need to do is be able to pull it off from a mechanical standpoint and you’re golden.

What do a lot of people get wrong/not consider that may be holding them back from conquering tough bosses and becoming gaming gods?

I think self-belief plays a huge part in it. Sure, the fight may be tricky from a gameplay perspective but some people don’t even give it a go! I was one of those people. I always thought, ‘Nah, I’m not good enough at games to beat any Soulsborne!’ but here we are, with all but Sekiro under my belt. At the end of the day, they’re just programmed characters in a virtual world and they can absolutely be conquered by you and your awesome human brain. It may take a few hours, you may swear your head off, but the feeling that you get from finally getting that victory screen makes all of that hardship worth it.

Do you have any other funny/interesting anecdotes regarding boss fights? 

There are many clips of me falling to my knees after failing to get that final hit in, trading with Kalameet in DS1 for the final kill and nearly crying after spending those painful, loud, hours fighting Orphan of Kos. One upside to playing all of these games live on Twitch is the video evidence of me succeeding, or failing very very hard.

Curse-Rotted Greatwood, Dark Souls 3 (Muselk)

What do you think has been the hardest boss fight in your gaming history?

For most people, the bosses in Dark Souls 3 are hard, but definitely beatable. I, however, am one of the most impatient gamers of all time! I can’t resist charging in, swinging wildly, which in a game like Dark Souls DOES NOT WORK. It was the 3rd boss of Dark Souls 3, the Curse-Rotted Greatwood, which finally made me throw my controller across the room and give up trying to beat the game.

What made that fight your own personal hell?

Beating Dark Souls bosses requires patience, timing, and paying lots of attention to what attack is coming next. As someone who mainly plays shooters, I have no patience, which led to me dying repeatedly to this boss for almost three hours.

What are your best tips when it comes to taking on boss fights? (We know every game is different, but maybe you have some tips that can be broadly applied?)

Even the most difficult bosses of the most difficult games have set attack patterns and signs which show what attack to expect next. Take your time to learn those patterns and stay focused during the fight. You may fail your first few attempts, but after a while, you’ll know every move the enemy will make, before they even make it.

What do a lot of people get wrong/not consider that may be holding them back from conquering tough bosses and becoming gaming gods?

Staying calm is key. The angrier and more frustrated you get, the harder it becomes to focus, think, and ultimately conquer the enemy.

Tell us one crazy/funny moment from a difficult boss fight you’ve had.

In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, you are made to fight an incredibly tough Guardian ape. I spent over an hour learning his attacks and failed countless times. After finally beheading the boss, I was celebrating over its body, until with no warning, the headless ape picked up its head, stood back up, and started attacking me again with a completely full health bar. Needless to say, a lot of controllers were broken that day.

Never trust a headless ape.

The Eyeball, Pandemonium (TheMasterBucks)

What do you think has been the hardest boss fight in your gaming history?

This is super, super random. But an old PS1 game called Pandemonium. At the time I thought it was impossible but I somehow managed to pull it off at the age of like 10 and I remember vividly doing laps around the house when I finally beat that damn boss.

What made that fight your own personal hell?

Just attempt after attempt getting so close and bottling it right at the end. I had sleepless nights. It honestly took me months and it was on my mind the whole time until I finally beat that f#$ker.

What are your best tips when it comes to taking on boss fights? (We know every game is different, but maybe you have some tips that can be broadly applied?)

Sometimes there’s nothing wrong with taking your time and being reserved in a fight. Keep on your toes but not rushing in and getting bodied 8.6 seconds into your fight is the best way to go about it.

What do a lot of people get wrong/not consider that may be holding them back from conquering tough bosses and becoming gaming gods?

Opening their minds to new approaches. Sometimes we get too focused on trying to beat a boss one way thinking it’s the only way or best way. But there are normally different metas and tactics there so keep your options open.

Tell us one crazy/funny moment from a difficult boss fight you’ve had.

Going back to that final boss from Pandemonium. I managed to pull off a one in a million way of trapping the boss and taking almost half his health off without a scratch. That was my best shot of taking him down and I managed it with one life left. The craziest moment for sure. The limbs were unreal!

Comments

  • Orphan of Kos? Seriously? That thing was pathetic and one of the easiest boss fights in the game, you just need to make sure you take out the chime maidens first. Once you do that it turns about as quickly as the hour hand on a clock and its attacks can be seen about 2 weeks in advance. Of all the bosses in Bloodborne, you chose that one? 6-7 hours to beat it? What?

    One of the toughest bosses I’ve fought, especially in a 16-bit game, I think would be Phalanx’s final form in Demon’s Crest. Even when you know how to beat it, it’s impossible to not take damage. The floor is literally lava, there are constant moving platforms that can push you out of position, homing attacks that relentlessly chase you, lightning bolts, a laser, and touching him does damage too. You need to get up high enough to hit his head but the platforms can be destroyed by his attacks, and he’s only vulnerable to attack occasionally when he’s about to fire his laser thing. Honestly, this fight is bonkers stupid.

    Hitler in the original Wolfenstein 3D would be right up there too. I don’t think I ever managed to beat him without using cheats at the time.

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