We’ve scraped the very bottom of our brain-barrels, dug up long-buried memories and relived painful encounters just so we could bring to your attention some of the most memorable boss encounters in Nintendo’s illustrious history. Think you can handle the painful memories? Here comes the Boss Rush...
Super Mario World
Likes: To see you cry
Dislikes: Fair play
Magikoopa says “I’m not Kamek. Not yet anyway.”
Defining moment: The precursor to Kamek, Magikoopa was an indestructible mini-boss appearing in fortresses and castles in Super Mario World. Magi had the ability to turn blocks into Koopas and, as though clairvoyant, had a knack for launching his magic attacks exactly where you were about to jump, or warping into the space you were walking into at the worst possible moment. We can’t think of a single Mario enemy who’s used up more lives in one sitting.
WTF?! Controversially, we’re going to say that the bosses in Super Mario World were completely and utterly rubbish. Yes, even Bowser. They were surprise-free variations on the Tilty Room, Flat Room and (ugh) Pipe Room themes, and most could be defeated in seconds. Magikoopa, massive irritation that he was, was probably the toughest enemy in the game. Why Bowser never gave him his own castle is anyone’s guess.
Dislikes: Eggs, fun
Grunty says “I’m not pretty, I’m quite a mess. What do I hide under my dress?”
Defining moment: A boss battle memorable for two reasons. One, it wasn’t a boss battle and two, it provided 100% enjoyment-free gaming. It was a stupid quiz where you have to navigate a board and answer questions or play minigames. The skull squares were the worst. Make a mistake on these for an insta-death, forcing you to restart from the beginning.
WTF?! Sometimes the questions could be ridiculously hard. Being shown a random texture, for example, and having to remember where you saw it. But the really horrible questions came on the Grunty Squares. These would be questions about Gruntilda herself, which you could only know by seeking out her sister, Brentilda, hidden in ten places around the world. Just to make things even more annoying, the answers were randomised. You couldn’t use a guide to beat it, as the answers were unique to each person’s save file.
Likes: Touching cloth, potatoes
Dislikes: Open-skull brain surgery
Akiba says “You think you’re better than us because we’re old men?”
Defining moment: Figuring out how to kill them. You get a rather vague clue before the boss encounter but it’s easily missed, buried under Killer7’s avalanche of nonsensical vocoded babbling. That’s okay, though, because the solution is obvious – shoot Akiba’s tie so that Kuruhashi turns around to adjust it, thereby exposing his think-box for some lead-to-brain interfacing.
WTF?! The duo’s only attack is a constant barrage of deadly spinning potatoes, giving only a small window of opportunity to deliver a tie-brain combo. Reload is the killer here. Miss a shot and you’re guaranteed to get a spud in the face.
Sin and Punishment
Likes: Apocalyptic planet-killing
Achi says “What’s best for me is all that matters.”
Defining moment: The epic, climactic battle of (arguably) the N64’s swansong saw Saki defending the Earth from Achi’s fake Earth. Don’t worry, it doesn’t make much sense to us either. Standing between the two worlds, you’re thrust into what can only be described as ‘Missile Command: From The Planet Wrong’ – a tense, pad-clenching planet sandwich, where you have to shoot down a never-ending hailstorm of meteors and missiles to protect Earth’s fragile health bar.
WTF?! “When I was little I always wanted to be a cop,” says Saki at the battle’s end, when, after as touching a scene as could be rendered in N64’s spiky, angle-o-vision, the end sequence cuts to Achi floating in space, blathering on about Saki’s blood and the enemy being God. You have to wonder whether anyone, even devs Treasure, had any idea what was supposed to be going on by this point. Most players were just too exhausted to care.