Boss Fights—who needs 'em?

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Hmm, not too sure about all that attention being paid to that poor chimp's butt, but maybe that was an ass fight instead of a boss fight?
You take that back! :p

I guess it looks weird without context but
that fight in particular stands out because every other boss in the game to that point has you learn patterns of attacks so that you can time a series deflects correctly in order to break an opponents guard. Guardian Ape throws that out the window and forces you to run and dodge fast then pick your time to deflect. It also fakes you out after you kill it the first time, and comes back to life with a completely different move set. I probably fought that boss 30 times, and thinking about it is making want to play the game again.

Shortly after the Guardian Ape depending on your route, you come across a fight with 2 of them at the same time. Feels totally hopeless, except once you start to fight, you realize how much better you've become at the game and actually two of them at once is possible (The game also has limited artificial levelling up). Thats the thing with Fromsoft, for those who get into them they don't get boring, when you die its 99/100 your fault for mistiming something, and when you win its only because you got really damn good at the game.

Fromsoft bosses=Best bosses.

Right, that is one of my main preferences and experiences, I'm not into fantasy or syfy much.
If you can beat them the same way you beat earlier smaller mobs, then yes—but that would be poor design.
That makes things much more complicated. When you are trying to base things on something close to reality then just about everything has been seen and done before. I dont know how much people are playing COD, Battlefield or other military style games for the campaigns at this point. I'd hazard a guess that theres not too much more to mine from that kind of setting that hasnt been done multiple times before.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Why have a boss fight?

When you watch a fireworks display, they shoot them off one or two at a time - until the end, when they shoot off many as fast as they safely can. Imagine the first Star Wars movie if they defeated the Death Star half way through, then spent the last half hunting down small groups of TIE fighters. It's simple drama - you need a big finish! You can have a little epilogue afterward, but keep it short and sweet.

The big finish doesn't have to be a boss fight. If you've made a really good story, it can be done with drama. You need something to really crank up some form of intensity, though, or it just... ends, leaving everyone with a "is that it?" feeling.
Right, that is one of my main preferences and experiences, I'm not into fantasy or syfy much.
OMG! Now you are getting controversial! Phew... I think I need to keep some smelling salts at hand before I read these forums. ;)
 
The big finish doesn't have to be a boss fight
Of the type which people have objected to earlier in the thread, right. It needs to be:
It's simple drama - you need a big finish … … or it just... ends, leaving everyone with a "is that it?" feeling
Absolutely agree, the big fireworks finale. Clearly, it's all about that is implemented.

I need to keep some smelling salts at hand
Clutching pearls works too.
 
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...slowly sneaking up on a guy I was supposed to kill for a quest, made it onto a rooftop or ridge above him and jumped down for the kill... Only for a cut scene to kick in where I slowly walked up to his face and started talking to him.
Oh I HATE that. If it were a TTRPG people would be like "Why are you railroading us?!" I think I ran into something like that in GTA4, I didn't want to shoot a guy, so I somehow.... tricked him into drowning? I punched him and he fell into the water or something, I forget the specifics; point being, I didn't get my gun out. But then a cut scene kicked in acting like I'd shot him and that my gun was the incriminating weapon, and I'm just like "NO."

(IIRC, I stopped playing the game at that point and never went back, which in hindsight was an overreaction, but at the time I was fed up with games not factoring in actual player choices.)
 
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Early levels take out squads of light soldiers. Middle levels, increase their numbers and introduce heavies and elite. Keep ramping up, until the final epic battle which has 10 heavies and 5 elites, and you have to devise various strategies and tactics to triumph—almost definitely dying a few times while you innovate and learn.

Wouldn't that be more satisfying than dodging some personified mountain until you can land 100 hits?
It also almost never makes sense from a story perspective: why even HAVE all these useless mooks around if you've got a walking TANK who can take out anyone and everyone who comes along? (Other than you of course.)
 
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Jan 23, 2020
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Good boss fights seem practically impossible to do for most developers, but if it can be done well, praise is deserved. Examples from western game developers are very few and far between, with the only names that I can think of off the top of my head are Killing Floor 2's Hans Volter and the Patriarch (KFP is okay, the other two bosses are pretty bad) and Dawn of War II: Retribution's Azariah Kyras. However, those fights are really only the exception rather than the rule and the bosses that we've seen in western gaming in the past 20 years has me thinking that good boss design is something that's inherently Japanese.

Even if we take Japanese games into consideration, I kinda feel like Bandai Namco Studios is falling behind with their boss designs, with Tales of Arise's difficulty balancing being pretty much all over the place on Moderate and just before you get all six party members (and then another wall when you hit the wind region), you will hit a wall in terms of difficulty due to one very specific boss that I probably shouldn't name at this point. Though likewise with how good boss fights are the exception for western developers, games like Kingdom Hearts III, Code Vein, and all games developed by PlatinumGames that are NOT published by Activision are examples that Japanese games are very much capable of delivering the best boss fights the industry has to offer.
 
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I found a sort of final boss fight that you wouldn't mind, @Brian Boru

To get to the final tech stage in Craftopia, you have to defeat a level 60 or greater Hydra. Had never fought one before. I thought, 'This is going to suck.' To make a long story short, my melee attack, which I've spent the last 2 days refining and experimenting with (there are endless variables) did 86,000 damage and one shot the hydra. Best boss fight ever.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
The boss in Fallout 3 was just some guy. He may have had a commanding presence, but he was a trivial opponent in battle.

I took down XCOM's final boss in my first turn (maybe second turn after getting into position on the first?) by using two snipers. There was a big room full of nasties, but the credits roll as soon as you kill the boss. XCOM 2's final fight was far more satisfying.
 
boss fight that you wouldn't mind
Hmm, well… ok, let's see:

one shot the hydra. Best boss fight ever
Oh hey now, congrats… and you're making a compelling case.

I've spent the last 2 days refining and experimenting with (there are endless variables)
Oh man, you should've quit while you were ahead. Oh boy yeah, talk about blowing a big lead!

On the upside, you also one-shotted the case you were trying to make—so great job, keep refining, it's working :p
 
Oh man, you should've quit while you were ahead. Oh boy yeah, talk about blowing a big lead!

On the upside, you also one-shotted the case you were trying to make—so great job, keep refining, it's working :p
Not for me. All the variables and trying different things makes the game more fun.

Also, LOL at my "one-shotted". I would edit it, but I'm finding it too funny. Amazing how my brain tanks at the end of the day.
 
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I took down XCOM's final boss in my first turn (maybe second turn after getting into position on the first?) by using two snipers. There was a big room full of nasties, but the credits roll as soon as you kill the boss. XCOM 2's final fight was far more satisfying.
XCOM 1's final boss is pretty great, I think. Sure, there was this big room full of nasties, but I felt like XCOM's balancing is such that it was a nice mix of playing it safe and having to take risks. For me, the risk associated with a 13% chance to mind control the boss is one that DEFINITELY paid off. First off, you get to use his cool abilities on the boss' minions. Second, your MEC Trooper Colonel would just melee him to death while the boss stands at an exposed position.
 
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Depends a lot on what you define boss battles. For example, a slightly harder enemy to avoid game repetition I believe fits perfectly fine! Now a hardcore enemy that appears and forces you to memorize its moves and the holy bible makes a person frustrated and I am not a fan of such a thing.
But it really depends. The variety factor is what makes 'boss fights' "worth".
 

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