Welcome one and all! Today we will be discussing my personal
definitions of some video game terms. This time we will be reviewing the term “boss”.
When I say boss, I don’t mean the man or woman with the fancy suit and a cop of
their favorite coffee, I mean a video game boss, a challenge. What are bosses?
Well Read on and find out. Please note this list contains spoilers so read at
your own risk.
Boss – A boss is usually a very powerful enemy that is
encountered during key moments of a game, such as at the end of a level or
dungeon and so on. They challenge the
player and can test the players skill to see if they are up to par. Most video
games that feature enemies have bosses. They are often unique enemies or characters and are rarely encountered more than once.
Sub-Boss – Some people consider Sub-Bosses and Mini Bosses
to be the same thing, I differentiate them. From my perspective a Sub-Boss is
just a slightly stronger than average enemy that is usually just stronger than
other enemies in the level. Some enemies I consider Sub-Bosses include the
Lizafos from Ocarina of Time and the Black Knights from Dark Souls, strong enemies
like Deathclaws from Fallout and Dragons from Skyrim could qualify as well.
Mini-Boss – Mini-Bosses are often powerful and unique
enemies that do not act as the boss of the level but can act as a halfway
challenge. Sometimes Mini-Bosses may require special abilities or techniques to
defeat them. Almost every Final Fantasy game has an example of a Mini-Boss,
another example could be shadow Sora from Kingdom Hearts or most of the stage
one bosses from Sonic 3. The Zelda series also has plenty of mini bosses such
as phantom Ganon from Wind Waker.
Unwinnable Boss – The unwinnable boss fight is exactly as
the title suggest. A boss that you have little to no chance of defeating and
being defeated is usually what is meant to happen. Also referred to as a hopeless
boss battle, these are often used to drive the plot along. Some Examples can
include the first battle with Zeus in God of War 2 and The Wizards Dragon from
the Borderlands 2 expansion Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep. However, in
some rare cases these bosses can be bested, though it does little to alter the
story other than perhaps a slight cutscene change, though in very rare cases it
can alter the story dramatically. Examples of these include the first fight
with Leon and Cloud from the original Kingdom hearts, or some of the bosses
from certain Dragonball games.
Joke Boss – A joke boss is usually an end level boss that
has build up only to be defeated so easily that it is humorous in effect. These
bosses put up very little resistance and go down incredibly easily. These
bosses are completely pathetic and nearly virtually impossible to lose against,
in a way, you are their hopeless boss fight. Some examples include Bob the
Goldfish from Earthworm Jim, The Leader from the Incredible Hulk and Mysterio
from Spider Man 2, all of them go down in one hit and do not fight back.
Boss Rush – A boss rush is often a grueling gauntlet a
player might have to face where they fight previous bosses, one after another
with little time to rest between battles. Usually by the time this happens the
player will be quite adept at the game and the bosses will not be as
challenging as they were during the first fight. The Mega Man series and Shovel
Knight both make these rushes mandatory to beat the game, while other games
offer an optional boss rush mode to test the players skill.
Penultimate Boss – The penultimate boss is the boss before
the final boss. This should not be confused with a final boss that has multiple
stages. The penultimate boss may be the main bad guy’s right-hand man or
something, and they serve as an appetizer for what is to come shortly after. In
most cases there should be little time and distance between both bosses, maybe
a level at max, but they are to signify the end of the game. Some examples of a
penultimate boss include Kuja from Final Fantasy IX, Saix from Kingdom Hearts 2,
Father Balder from Bayonetta and the Col. Volgan fight from Metal Gear Solid 3.
Final Boss – This is simple, the final boss is the last boss
of the game, the end. This is where the story wraps up for the most part. Some
games outright end at the final boss while other games continue after the final
boss’ defeat. The final boss is the last mandatory challenge and can be the
most difficult foe in the game. Examples can include Ganon, Bowser, Ocelot from
Metal Gear Solid 4 and Gwyn from Dark Souls.
Secret Final Boss – Also known as the true final boss. This
boss can only be accessed under certain circumstances and will otherwise not be
encountered. This may mean the game must be beaten on a certain difficulty
level, or with a certain clear rate. The secret final boss is usually alluded
to in the endings or hints are dropped regarding their existence at later
points of the game. They are not necessarily optional, as they more often than
not must be defeated for the true ending. Examples include Red from Pokemon
Gold and Silver, Zero from the Kirby series and Terranort from Kingdom Hearts
Birth by Sleep.
Optional Boss – As the name suggest, these bosses are not
mandatory and can be skipped entirely They are usually challenging foes that
hide various rewards. Most linear games rarely have optional bosses, as they
tend to be found in open end games and RPGs. Not much to say here other than
they are a normal boss, but optional. Examples include the Wither from
Minecraft, the hunts from Final Fantasy XII, and bosses such as the Ancient
Dragon from Dark Souls II.
Superboss – The superboss is often the most powerful boss in
the game, more powerful than the final boss. A superboss will test the skill of
the player and serves as the ultimate challenge. Superbosses can have tons of
health, can dish out some heavy damage and can overall be an extremely challenging
task to undertake. These are end game bosses and can require hours if not days
of preparation. Examples include the Emerald and Ruby weapon from Final Fantasy
XII, Sephiroth from the Kingdom Hearts Series, and Culex from Super Mario RPG.
Raid boss – Like a superboss, only harder. Raid bosses often
require multiple people to defeat and can be among some of the hardest bosses
out there. They are often found in MMOs and other multiplayer games. These
bosses require coordination and teamwork to defeat. While in some cases they
can be taken down solo, it is often recommended to have a group. Some raid
bosses include the invincible enemies from the Borderlands series, C’Thun from
world of warcraft, and the pandemonium warden from final fantasy XI. These
bosses often call into question just how far can a boss go before its
considered too much?
Thanks for reading, maybe you learned something! I don’t know,
but I was glad I was able to share!
1000 NOTES IN ONE DAY?! THANK YOU ALL! THIS WAS A HUGE MILESTONE FOR ME!