For those video games that actually have endings (sorry Atari and Intellivision) the climax of the experience is getting to, and beating the Final Boss.  It’s the whole point of the game. Whether if it’s old-school platformers or new-school SciFi epics, when it comes right down to it, the Final Boss is usually the most memorable part of the game.  So we at the Trench were wondering, what are each of our favorite Final Bosses?

ED’s Pick

For me, there’s  no game like The Legend of Zelda.  A masterpiece of programming! Multiple dungeons, and upgrades for weapons, armor, and gear. Hours upon hours of gameplay. Secret tunnels… I could go on and on about how revolutionary this game was. But what it truly gave us was an endearing enemy that has spanned two and a half decades. My favorite video game boss: Ganon!

ganonIn the original LoZ you knew from the start what you were walking towards.  It was in the book, it was on the screen during the scrolling storyline before the game started. There was a monster at the end of this book, and folks, it sure wasn’t Grover! Ganon, the giant frightening hog-faced wizard who had stolen your babe, Zelda! And boy howdy, when you got to the end, the frigging guy was INVISIBLE! It’s not like video games today where there is a set strategy. You had to swing wildly with your magic sword in hopes of hitting the invisible digital image BEFORE you could actually inflict damage on the man-pig. And forget the whole affair if you didn’t get the magic sword, OR the silver arrows, two upgrades you easily could have bypassed if you wren’t being thorough.

Yes sir, this bad guy was the first serious contender in the video game industry. And after you beat him once, he kept coming back, year after fitful year! I could wax poetic for pages about my love of Zelda, and doubtless I will again in the future. But for now, step back for a moment, and fondly remember the first fearful time you stepped into the final room in the dungeon under Spectacle Rock, and clashed weapons with Ganon for the first time. I was scared shitless, and I bet just maybe, so were you!

Mike’s Pick

After dozens of hours playing a game that blew my mind from the Start Screen, and following one of the greatest video game stories ever told, Mass Effect rewarded me with a supremely satisfying  Final Boss fights in the form of Saren.

mass_effect,_saren_arteriusPerhaps the main reason I loved fighting Saren so much is because of the story wrapped around him.  If it weren’t for the epic science fiction tale, brought to life with groundbreaking morality-based interactions, I’m not sure if the buildup to, and eventual battle with Saren would be as indelible in my mind.  But it most definitely is!

By the time you fight him so much has happened in the story, and so many terrible things have transpired because of Saren, that getting a chance to kick his ass is all you want.  Well, it’s all I wanted, anyway.  And the battle doesn’t disappoint.  Sure by the end of the game you should be pretty powerful (Singularity was WAY overpowered) but there was still a bit of challenge left.  Saren was lighting fast, really strong, and could easily take you down if you weren’t careful.

With so much time invested, so much story experienced, and so much moral investment in the world, I had more fun fighting Saren than I can remember ever having with any other Final Boss fight.  It will always stick in my mind as one of my favorite gaming moments!

Steve’s Pick

Andross_FireFox64When choosing a final boss that reigns over all others, I had to take into account both the difficulty of the final fight and the creativeness that was put into it. My all-time favorite gaming system of my childhood has to be the Nintendo 64 and Star Fox was a game that I just played over and over again. It never got old, I would sometimes beat it twice in one day. So… naturally, my most memorable final boss of all-time would have to be Andross.

Once you finally reach the end of the game and meet Andross, he appears as a giant floating head that constantly tries to chew you up and spit you out just like in the original Star Fox. But this time he also has two giant hands that are constantly swinging and swatting at you. Trying to avoid his slaps and giant vacuum mouth, all while attempting to shoot him, is enough to make you rage quit.

The best part about this final battle is that you have the ability to fight two different versions of Andross at the end of the fight. As you beat him down to almost complete defeat, he will turn into either a robot or a giant brain, these are determined by the route in which you chose to travel to Andross just before the battle.

In my opinion, Star Fox has one of the best final boss battles of all-time. It can make you scream and curse at the TV, but offers amazing relief once the mission is accomplished.

Ryan’s Pick

American McGee’s Alice is by far my favorite game of all time, the story was wonderful, and the game play was the perfect mix of platformer and third person shooter. My freshmen year of college was spent playing the game many times with my roommate, through all hours of the night, sitting watching and playing. The game is actually just as much fun to watch someone play as it is to play in person. The game just brings back memories, especially the final boss battle against the Queen of Hearts. I remember playing it for the first time and dying over and over again. It was frustrating and required a good bit of strategy.

1815887-queenofhearts.jpg  600×322The best part, she has two forms in the final battle. First she is sort of an octopus looking thing that protrudes from her throne. She has a wide range of attacks but by far the most frustrating one is where she sucks you in to her tentacles’ and squeezes the life out of Alice, you best not have a low life bar when this happens or its lights out. I died a whole bunch from this one. After you defeat her first form she mutates into this massive tentacle beast and the whole level shifts into a platform based ring of stone with the Queen of Hearts in the middle. She keeps up the attacks and you continue to inflict a little bit of damage to the Queen. There is a little hidden toy on this stage, it is a blunderbuss that shoots a cannon ball, find that and killing the Queen gets a whole lot easier. Watching the Queen of Hearts die is very gratifying, especially since she beheaded the Cheshire Cat. I did not like that, he was a great character in the game!

This final boss fight will always bring warm fuzzy feelings to me and make me smile. There are many memories of beating the Queen of Hearts over and over again. I even get to do it now with the inclusion of American McGee’s Alice as a downloadable game with Alice: Madness Returns.

image source: [zeldaelements] [monkeyboxgaming] [cutsandtentacles]