Video games have long pitted hero against villain, building up to a final battle that will be remembered long after the console is packed up and stashed in the attic. It is in these epic circumstances that we have saved the Mushroom Kingdom from Bowser, ended Ganon’s tyranny, foiled Robotnik’s plans and mopped up Liquid Snake. Yet not every journey ends with a confrontation quite as satisfying as these. So to you final bosses whom I have tirelessly given my time and patience, I have enclosed my open letters.
Tabuu (Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Wii)
I’m not even sure what you’re supposed to be. Maybe Nintendo was going to include Geist in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, then decided against it when the game bombed, only to reuse the sprite to get revenge on me for not buying it.
Either way: I know you and I’m ready for anything you throw at me. That is except for the Off Waves which have ruined my perfect Boss Rush attempts one time too many. You. Are. Cheap.
Your soon-to-be-emancipated Smash Brother
Blue (Pokemon Red & Blue, Game Boy)
To my childhood rival: Blue,
Always have to be one step ahead of me, don’t you Blue? You’re not on this list because you’re tougher than Lance. You beat him once. You’re on this list because I hate you and so does everyone else.
Your own grandfather likes me better than you, dude. He can’t even remember your name! Oh and also I killed your Raticate.
The Infallible Red
General Akhboob (Total Carnage, Arcade)
Reporting for duty,
There is something about you, General Akhboob, that makes me feel like I’ve met you before. Let me shoot that stupid smirk off your face and see if it jogs my memory.
Dammit, you’re Hitler! If I had a Deutschmark for every time my enemy turned out to be Hitler in disguise, I’d have…no money at all because Germany uses Euros now. Well at least I’ll finally get to kill you once and for all. Not like your skull is going to come back and haunt me. Ah crap, it’s right behind me, isn’t it?
Gute nacht dummkopf,
An American Patriot
Undead Core (Cave Story, PC)
To the core of my problems:
Finally, I’ve defeated Misery and the Doctor. Time to rescue Sue and get out of here! Or a big, hairy, half-eaten candy could possess Sue, bring Misery back AND make me fight both while trying to kill it. Did your mother give you that name, “Undead Core?” Well unlike her, I have legitimately never beaten you. One day, maybe. At least there isn’t an even harder, “true” final boss hidden elsewhere in the game, right?
A robot or something
Skedar Leader (Perfect Dark, N64)
No, that’s fine. Just keep the shield up “Skedar Leader.” If only your passion for rhyme was also a passion for not being a coward! At least you’re holding up better than this game has. The only thing perfect about Perfect Dark is your ability to stand on a platform and get shot while taking absolutely no damage. You stay here; I’m going to go check out the multiplayer options.
Until we meet again,
A disinterested Joanna Dark
ExDeath (Final Fantasy V, SNES)
Oh good, you’ve allowed yourself to fuse with some type of space tree. Let’s overlook the science behind a tree that does not need water or soil to survive. Does the underside of your tree-jaw have teeth too? Am I supposed to be scared of those? How could they even be used to bite anything?
Aww did I offend you? Going to turn into something else? Ah, I see, a random assortment of rotting monster carcasses including a one-eyed cow skeleton with a snake coming out of its clavicle.
An increasingly unimpressed Bartz
Kalibrax (Xena: Warrior Princess, PlayStation)
My fair Kalibrax,
Way to break the stereotype of games based on licensed properties, Kalibrax. You’re just another invincible final boss that can only be defeated in a gimmicky way, despite the fact I’ve spent the entire game gathering upgrades that are now pointless. It’s my fault for expecting any more of you. Then again are you really the final boss or are you just a means to an end for the real challenge: clunky dodge controls and imprecise AI?
See you in hell,
A strong female lead