Boss'd for business
When did boss encounters become so damn strenuous? It all used to be so easy. Laugh at their jokes, massage their egos, compliment that wacky taste in ties. Nowadays it's all 'reflexes this' and 'tactical assessments that'. Whittle down this health bar, memorise that pattern, target those glaring vulnerabilities. I tell you, I've never met a real life leader with that kind of flashing weakspot, though I have met one or two with a weakspot for flashing. Heyyooo!
Alright alright, let's move on before someone reports that last gag to the wordsmith's guild and gets me permanently disbarred Today's big ol' list of things takes a good hard look at some of the boss battles occurring outside our borders, and asks - what if they weren't? What if some of fiction's baddest bosses were actually battling away inside of a video game? How would they fight, and how could they in turn be fought? The answers to these questions and many, many more await!
The Mountain (Game of Thrones)
Four-time winner of the 'worst babysitter in Westeros award' and Good Horsekeeping's 'Massive Bastard of the Year' 2011, Ser Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain, aka 'biggy', aka that one bloke who keeps scaring off his actors, is not a man to be taken lightly. Speed is the key here, so be sure to use your superior fleet of foot to keep him off-kilter, utilising 'Viper's Strike' and 'Sister's Kiss' to deal out valuable chip damage.
After Ol' Greg suffers roughly 80% damage he'll begin to play possum. Avoid the urge to use 'Interrogate', as The Mountain is immune to all loot-dropping gambits. Instead fire back with 'I Wasn't Dorne Yesterday', a special attack that deals out massive ranged damage. Rinse and repeat until Clegane drops below 5% health. This will prompt a brief cutscene in which The Mountain, (now really more of a small knoll or hillock) will admit to his misdeeds and offer to teach you 'Smashy, Squirty Egg Face'. Decline the offer, before finishing him with your 'OberynOut' ultra combo. Seven blessings be upon you!
Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
Yippie ki yay, you've only gone and made it to the final boss fight, you great big hero you - and no, Karl's Quick Time Event doesn't count. Congratulations are in order. All that's left to do now is to stick a bullet between Hans Gruber's Prussian peepers and jog off back to NY. The scene is set. With Holly in danger and Hans about to make off with his millions, it all comes down to this one slow-mo shoot-out segment patterned after the ending to every Call of Duty ever.
Nailing the timing on this one can be a wee bit tricky. Going too early will force Gruber to repaint the plaza in 'Holly's noggin pink'. Going too late will result in a hundred 'happy trails' all emanating from McClane. Instead wait until Hans has begun to turn his aim on you, but just before youre actually in his sights. Unholster, aim and fire - go for body shots to ensure the quickest hit, before turning the next bullet on Hans' henchman. Say something snappy before rushing to the window to confirm your kill. Hans will be hanging on to holly's wristwatch so you'll have to hammer the action button to shake him loose. Good stuff - that'll teach him to fake a god-awful American accent in your house. Completing this level will bag you the 'Roy Rogers, Actually' silver trophy. Good for you.
Emperor Commodus (Gladiator)
Formed in 1968 at Tuskegee University, Alabama, this soulful sextet enjoyed several hit singles, including 'Nightshift', 'Easy' and 'Three Times a Lady'. Oh, no wait hold on. No no, that was actually 'The Commodores' My mistake. The man you'll really be fighting is evil Emperor Commodus, a cruel and chaotic despot with absolutely zero relation to the music of a young Lionel Ritchie. Anyhoo, it seems his imperial majesty has decided to pimp slap you in the middle of the arena, and wouldn't you just know it - the sneaky bugger refuses to play fair. So, after giving you a right royal shanking in the freight elevator, it's finally time to tango.
Annoyingly, Commodus' underhanded exploits have caused you to lose 50% of your starting health points, with the remainder steadily decreasing as the battle wears on. What that means is that you'll only have around 4 minutes to finish mad Joaquin before bleeding out entirely. Fortunately for you, Commodus is a fairly predictable opponent - more used to stabbing on granddads than hell-bent Australians. Avoid his initial flurry, before turning that knife back on himself. It's a g'day to die, mate.
Mr Joshua - (Lethal Weapon)
Like all of the man's movies, Lethal Weapon 1 was actually scrounged together from bits of old Gary Busey home videos. Hell, even Mel Gibson wasn't involved in the project until Mr. Busey decided to torture him on a whim. The screenwriters just wrote around it. Sadly for you, stage 10's depiction of Busey - now going by the screen name of 'Joshua' - is even less interested in following the rules. Adopting the same tactical bastardry of many of his fellow fighting game bosses, Joshua simply refuses to adhere to the laws of justice, physics or sanity. Your best bet is to aim swift kicks at his midriff, hoping to mad max out your combo metre and send him into a state of Frenzy.
While in Frenzy Mode, Joshua will be too busy gurning at the screen, flailing around and frothing at the mouth to pay too much attention to you. Capitalise with 'I'm Not Too Old For This Shit' and press your attack with a quick assist from Murtaugh - any assist will do, but for maximum effect utilise the 'Trish's Cooking' combo. Joshua will likely reply by powering up his Psycho Shield - DON'T let him get it to maximum or he'll launch the unlockable 'Dental Frenzy' - a super move that sees Busey's teeth gaining sentience and annihilating the entire planet.
Curse you Moriarty, curse you in all of your ebullient Irish glee. As the world's premiere 'consulting criminal', Jim Moriarty is a natural rival for the great Sherlock Holmes, but a tad overpowered where the average gamer is concerned. Suffice to say that this rooftop encounter is a real head-scratcher from start to finish, foregoing any actual fisticuffs for a dialogue-heavy set piece. Be assured that every single decision you've made up to this point will play a part, so If you've been following along closely then congratulations
"That tells me you're risk averse, also good at following orders, perhaps a history in the military or private security, no - too simple, the pie stains on your shirt indicate a lack of the necessary self-discipline, also hygiene. Glasses indicate eye strain, faint thumb scarring denotes frequent reading, but not of bound books - magazines, guide books. You follow guidebooks. You tell yourself you're in it for the story, not the decisions. The bruising on your palms bears resemblance to the contours of a game pad - you've squeezed the controller tightly on many occasions, but why? Frown lines indicate constant stress, lack of success. You cant bear to tackle the titles themselves, so you demand assistance. That's it! You'reyou're absolutely rubbish at games. "
The Trinity Killer (Dexter)
Chapter four comes to a close with the dastardly Arthur Mitchell, aka 'Trinity' lying atop your cellophane-clad table. Having already outwitted Dexter on a number of occasions, Trinity receives a +5 boost to 'Coercion' and a major buff to 'Psychological Strength'. Convincing him of his crimes wont be easy, but bagging that x10 'Psych-out' bonus will go a long way towards unlocking the 'Dark(est) Passenger' achievement, so go all out. Opting for Trinity's claw hammer (in place of Dexter's default knife), will score you an immediate x12 'Justice Points', while refusing to start up his model train set will also bag you an additional 8.
Remember, your goal here is to keep evil Arthur alive for as long as possible, all while causing him as much harm as necessary (don't worry, he definitely deserves it). To that end try to avoid nicking any of his vital organs, as even so much as a light graze will squash your combo. For additional points try thinking creatively - pull out those nose hairs, tickle his feet, make many-a derogatory comment about 3rd Rock From the Sun.
Nurse Ratched - (One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest)
With your escape now all but assured, Cuckoo's Nest decides to throw one last curveball your way - a showdown with the despicable Nurse Ratched. There are a number of ways this scenario can play out, so pay close attention. Firstly, by combining the cigarettes and the glue paste you can enrage Ratched to the point of being sent 'upstairs'. This will result in an immediate lobotomy, which locks out all actions save for the 'drool everywhere' function.
Option two involves handing the cigarettes over to Ratched along with the signed apology note. If you do this Ratched will be pleased, but insist on returning you to your quarters, undoing much of your progress. The third and final alternative is to dive at Ratched and clank her over the head with the iron pipe. If you handed the chief a piece of gum earlier in the electrotherapy stage he will join you by throwing a water tank at the orderlies, skittling them and allowing you to take their keys. Combine them with the front door to receive the coveted 'A ending'!
The Trucker - (Duel)
Technically speaking Steven Spielberg's Duel cant actually be beaten, at least not legitimately. This psychological driving title is all about endurance. You drive for a while, worry for a bit, and end up trading plenty of paint with a rust-covered demon truck. The longer you survive, the higher you score, but no matter what you do, truckasaurus will find you, and it will kill you. That is unless you hit upon this most excellent of exploits, which turns the title's unstoppable trucker into a white-hot pile of trash.
When the truck first appears in your rear-view mirror, start looking out for a nearby canyon or mineshaft - anything with a large drop will do - and no, dubstep doesn't count. Next, lure your opponent to the ridgeline of said canyon before turning 180 degrees and driving directly towards him - a ploy that's commonly referred to as 'chicken', or more often-than-not 'moronic dead teenager'. Time it just right and you can leap from the vehicle directly before impact, causing the truck - as well its mysterious occupant - to go cascading over the edge. Bonus points are awarded for looking like an anaemic Burt Reynolds.
The boss wants a word with you
"Wow, what a truly magical adventure" said each and every one of you. If you have any suggestions for other fictional boss fights leave your suggestions in the comments box below. Ciao.
But wait! Come back! Before you go, check out some of our other, related conceptual nonsense. Have a look at What if video game characters were sold in a pet shop?, and maybe Video game characters' school report cards. They're both 100% guaranteed to at least make you go "Hmmm".