While most normal people are outside enjoying cookouts and beer on Memorial Day, I’m inside spending some quality time with Mortal Kombat (Don’t judge me!). It’s been a while since I’ve played the game, so I figured I would fire it up and go about saving Earth Realm once again through the game’s ladder tournament. I quickly made my way from tier to tier, ripping apart the likes of Mileena, Kano, Quan Chi and the rest, but when I reached Shao Kahn at the very top, I hit a brick wall. I just could not beat him, constantly being bested by his slew of cheap attacks, his laughter getting further under my skin after every lost round. In my frustration, my mind started to wander and think about other boss fights that are lessons in irritation. I share five of them with you now.
General Ramm (Gears of War)
Ramm was the final boss of the first Gears of War and he was a pain in the ass, to put it mildly. Not only was he nearly indestructible, but he also had his own flock of Kryll at the ready. To make matters worse, the environment that you fought Ramm in was comically tiny, requiring pinpoint precision when bouncing between cover to avoid Ramm’s devastating attacks. But let’s be honest, controlling Marcus or Dom with any sort of grace in the original Gears of War was a task fit only for the gods.
William Birkin (Resident Evil 2 – Leon A)
What do you get when you combine a countdown timer, the horrendous controls of past Resident Evil games and a boss that moves faster than a dog? One of the most frustrating final boss fights of all time. The final fight of Resident Evil 2 marks one of the few times in history that I wound up and threw my controller directly at a wall. The tank-like controls of the early Resident Evil games was not made with this kind of agile boss in mind. The five minute countdown timer didn’t help the situation either, adding another layer of pressure to the already intensely frustration fight.
Shao Kahn (Mortal Kombat)
Well, this one’s a given since it lead to the creation of this short list. Look, I love the new Mortal Kombat, but NetherRealm dropped the ball in developing Shao Kahn’s move-set. He has roughly three attacks that he spams constantly. This is made even worse by the fact that you can’t really dodge them and each one removes roughly a quarter of your health bar. Facing off against Kahn is like playing the worst kind of button-masher. You know the type I’m talking about, the one that actually turns you off from a game. Yea, that’s Shao Kahn in a nutshell. Come to think of it, that pretty much sums up all the major boss fights of Mortal Kombat.
Silver Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
This boss fight made me lose sleep as a child. Silver Sonic is responsible for me never being able to beat Sonic 2. Hell, I never even got to see what the final boss of the game — undoubtedly Dr. Robotnik in some form — looked like. As if this battle wasn’t hard enough, the fact that there were no rings to pick up meant one hit and you were instantly dead. God, I hate you, Silver Sonic. Go die in a fire.
Atoq Navarro (Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune)
Don’t get me wrong, the first Uncharted is one of my all-time favorite games. But that doesn’t change the fact that the final fight on the ship was incredibly frustrating and took a lot of wind out of the finale’s sails. It all starts with a fire-fight gauntlet that requires you to die repeatedly in order to learn every position of every enemy on the map. You need to get this section down to a science if you hope to pass it. Then, after you’ve replayed that portion roughly 50 times, the true finale kicks in and it’s nothing more than a string of quick-time events. What the hell, man?! Naughty Dog could have at least made the effort worth our while.