Nintendo's most iconic Boss encounters

Memorable, weird, and intimidating stage-enders


Likes: Spinning
Dislikes: Mad ‘skillz’
Onboard computer says “WARNING! No refuge!”

Defining moment: Ikaruga’s core mechanic of dodging or absorbing black and white bullets by switching your ship between the two colours turned the humble vertical shmup into a brain-polarising, high-speed action puzzler. Level 3’s boss saw you trapped inside a spinning wheel, black and white gunfire raining down on you, forcing you to switch, switch, switch from black to white while attempting to take it down.

WTF?! In a cruel twist of fate, if you managed to defeat it you were faced with the harsh realisation that Zura was just a taster (a tutorial, if you will) for Level 4. Affectionately known round these parts as the ‘Soul Crusher’, Level 4 was an entire level of swirling, twisty-skippy gunfire. Only harder. And longer. It’s here that most people give up, and the savants soldier on, proving their dominion over mortal man.


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