Welcome to the first part of a brand new CelJaded list for Top 100 Video Game Bosses. This initial post contains entries #100 to #91.
Spoiler alert: This post may contain spoilers for the video games it references.
#100 – GSC-WT …For Sol-Feace
Developer: Wolf Team | Year: 1990
Sol-Feace has suffered its fair share of infamy over the years partly because of its status as a Mega-CD pack-in game and partly because of it not being very good. As a quick port of an old Sharp X68000 title, Sol-Feace is hardly groundbreaking and its boss battles are merely competent instead of exemplary.
The GSC-WT is the game’s primary antagonist and final boss encounter. This homicidal computer system has really got it in for humanity and after fighting through a legion of mechanized troops, the big showdown is set between your heroic spaceship “Sol-Feace” and the GSC-WT itself. Shoot ’em ups of this style are notable for their bullet-spewing baddies, and yet this boss is a total pushover!
There’s almost no challenge to this encounter as the rickety robot organism that crawls out of the mainframe’s central core is shamefully weak and incapable of any ranged attack. The only thing that players need to do at this point is stay back and casually blast this grotesque abomination out of its misery, as its awkward claw swipes and slow advances pose almost no danger whatsoever.
Most critics will comment on how lame and disappointing this boss is considering it’s meant to be the climactic final battle. That’s true in essence, but if you really think about it, this at least represents a bold decision in terms of narrative. The animated introduction movie informs us that the GSC-WT was force-fed a virus prior to the game beginning, so it kind of makes sense that it would be still be recovering by the time Sol-Feace makes its final approach.
Wolf Team were experienced developers; they clearly went this way for a reason and sussing out the answer to that question is part of the fun here. Did they want you to feel guilty for destroying this pathetic thing? Did they want the player to enjoy one last power trip before the credits rolled? Or did they just screw up entirely?
Whatever the reason, Wolf Team defied conventions here and in doing so created something a bit more mysterious and memorable than usual.
#99 – Locomotive Breath …For Gynoug
Developer: Masaya | Year: 1991
In relation to his work on Night Dragon, artist Tony Hough remarked: “I think you’d be hard pressed to find a fantasy artist of my generation who wasn’t influenced by H. R Giger!!”
Anyone who has played Masaya’s obscure shoot ’em up called Gynoug would agree with him as it’s extremely easy to see where the inspiration lies. From angry floating heads and a warped fetus thing, to this bizarre train with a man’s head, Gynoug is blessed (or is that cursed?) with some wonderfully twisted Gigeresque boss designs and they make a much bigger impression than the mediocre gameplay ever could.
#98 – Giant Baby …For Zombies Ate My Neighbors
Developer: LucasArts | Year: 1993
An obvious nod to that Rick Moranis movie, this titanic toddler is easily the most memorable enemy in the cult action game Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
The baby’s sprite is so huge that it barely fits on the screen and it is genuinely terrifying the first time you see it rampaging about the level with a bottle full of acid milk!
#97 – Master Mold …For Marvel Trading Card Game
Developer: Konami | Year: 2007
Just thinking about this one is enough to set my teeth on edge. It makes sense that a final boss version of Marvel Comics‘ massive Sentinel ruler would be hard, but Master Mold redefines the concept of difficulty on a turn by turn basis.
Master Mold begins the battle with some ludicrously unfair bonuses and beating it will push players to the very limit. Your deck of hero cards in this ropey CCG adaptation needs to be 100% optimized because anything less than absolute perfect play here will result in defeat. Even if you take advantage of the game’s poor AI, this battle is still going to be an uphill struggle and completists will actually need to beat it twice; once for each campaign story!
Make no mistake: this is one fight that casual players have absolutely no business walking into!
The challenge level is borderline impossible and the tedious gameplay is also rubbish, but for the committed players who somehow made it this far, Master Mold is a fitting Marvel villain to take top billing and it’s one that will have you shaking with adrenaline should you finally manage to land the killing blow.
#96 – Mutoid Man …For Smash TV
Developer: Williams | Year: 1990
Smash TV is one of those arcade games whose name is likely to prompt cheers of adulation and groans of despair in equal measure. You can’t deny the game’s charming run and gun premise, but the rage-inducing difficulty level will gobble up your good will faster than the cabinet can gobble up your spare change.
When quizzed on the subject of Mutoid Man (Smash TV’s absurdly difficult first boss), co-creator Eugene Jarvis admitted to satisfying his own boss’s brief when instructed: “I want you to take $5 from the player right now.” (!!)
#95 – Flight Attendant …For D2
Developer: WARP | Year: 1999
This boss is going to be a controversial entry because although it may be memorable, it’s not exactly one that’s in the best taste. Indeed, quite why players needed an eyeful of undead bra straps in the pre-battle cutscene is anyone’s guess, though it can’t quite spoil the incredibly creepy vibes that soon follow.
The battle itself is another crappy shooting gallery that defines much of the combat in D2, but you can’t fault some of the wonderful nonsense that the Flight Attendant spews during the battle:
“Is everything alright, ma’am? Our current location is above Canada from the Pleiades star cluster on red high heel shoes. The turbulence is the original ETA at St. Charles… autopilot engaged… we’ll be right on schedule… please bring your seat to the upright position… ARRRRRRGHHHHHH!!!”
#94 – Eliza …For Gokujou Parodius
Developer: Konami | Year: 1994
Speaking of poor taste in video games; it’s Eliza!
There’s not really much else to say about this boss. She’s a half-naked mermaid with a fish called Neil on her head who attacks using dainty laughter. What else do you say about that?
It’s weird. It’s memorable. It’s Parodius.
#93 – Bellyache …For Splatterhouse 2
Developer: Namco | Year: 1992
This gruesome fatty was the only boss from Splatterhouse 2 that I could actually defeat when I was a kid.
Bellyache gets bonus points for the amusing pre-battle cutscene where three hapless zombies walk into his lair only to be devoured off-screen. Hilarious!
#92 – Frostfire …For City of Heroes
Developer: Cryptic Studios | Year: 2004
As the villainous leader of The Outcasts, Frostfire was one of the very first Elite Bosses that players came across in the (now defunct) superhero MMORPG, City of Heroes.
During the first few months of release, the arduous ‘Take out Frostfire’ quest was disproportionate to the level of most players attempting it. Thus Frostfire became rather infamous in certain circles as it wasn’t uncommon for him to wipe out an entire team of unsuspecting heroes all on his own!
#91 – Thunder …For Turok: Dinosaur Hunter
Developer: Iguana Entertainment | Year: 1997
It’s funny that the penultimate boss fight of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter outdoes the main event in every department. Indeed, battling the Campaigner can only feel like a let-down after facing off against his near-invincible pet T. rex who breathes fire and shoots lasers out of a bionic skull plate.
Every child who played Turok sat waiting for the eventual Tyrannosaurus sighting and even though only cheaters will have made it this far, the battle certainly lived up to expectations nonetheless!
Continue to Part 2