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Author Topic: Notable examples of boss/enemy design  (Read 22576 times)

finale

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Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« on: January 23, 2008, 11:36:27 pm »

This thread is for posting bosses or the occasional enemy that were designed to do something we think is unique and cool/unfair(same diff) in games we have played. I love bosses with a passion, so I'll start us off with a couple. Obviously, expect uberspoilers all over the place.


FFXII - In a game which defied a lot of previous Final Fantasy design specs, one of the most notable differences was the inclusion of a graphic lifemeter that hovered above the head of enemies. With the casting of Libra(a truly ubiquitous spell), all enemies and bosses in the game had an exact numeric representation of their remaining life above their heads. Although some enemies autohealed once when they died or reached a health threshold, there were no exceptions to this- except the final boss- The Undying.
The Undying, the third stage of the final fight, has no lifemeter, and is far stronger than the previous two forms- when my friend first came the Undying, it was only after spending time waiting to see the cinematic attacks on the previous forms, before putting them out of their misery. By contrast, the fight with Undying was a grueling 35 minute fight that required several changes in tactics. The neat thing about Undying was how effectively it suggested that it was immortal by its design. No lifebar, plus a relatively high defense value, meant that players felt like they were missing something. Just to make things even better, when it hits 20% of its life, Undying activates a set of spells that render it immune to all damage. These spells last for a while, and it gets to continue attacking. While these methods are a bit cheap, they do give the final battle an epic feel that has been lacking in a lot of RPGs.

Growing Threat- an enemy-only ability, this one-use technique, found in several unique enemies, and most alarmingly in the ultimate secret boss, Yiazmat, DOUBLES the level of the monster, with proportionate changes to all its stats. This is unavoidable, and beautiful. Yiazmat activates it soon into its fight, and all of a sudden does ~3000 more damage per attack, among other advantages. Another example of FFXII's cheap, yet epic boss design.

Dagnarok

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 11:49:20 pm »

FFXII - In a game which defied a lot of previous Final Fantasy design specs, one of the most notable differences was the inclusion of a graphic lifemeter that hovered above the head of enemies. With the casting of Libra(a truly ubiquitous spell), all enemies and bosses in the game had an exact numeric representation of their remaining life above their heads. Although some enemies autohealed once when they died or reached a health threshold, there were no exceptions to this- except the final boss- The Undying.

The Undying, the third stage of the final fight, has no lifemeter, and is far stronger than the previous two forms....

Some of the SNES RPGs I played (back then and now) had lifebars.  Some of the more recent games I played (Enchanted Arms) had lifebars as well.  Made things a little interesting, but I feel it made fighting a little too predictable.  I suppose it's a matter of taste though. :P

One series of games I played (Breath of Fire) did some weird things with lifebars.

In the first installment (SNES), all enemies had visible lifebars that changed color after a certain point, and was only visible when attacking or -most importantly- selecting the enemy.  However, during (most) boss fights, after the boss took a certain amount of damage, the lifebar would only show a sliver and wouldn't decrease until the boss died.

On the GBA remake, the lifebars on bosses would disappear after they took a set amount of damage.

In the second installment (SNES again), the first time you encountered any enemy, they'd have a black lifebar with a '?' on it; as in, you didn't know how much damage they actually take.  However, after defeating them once, their lifebars changed to red and you could see how much damage you're actually inflicting on them.

All bosses had the 1st-style mentioned lifebar for the entire fight, which kinda made them pointless, if you ask me. :P

I never played the GBA remake, so I can't any comment in relation to it.
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Kayin

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2008, 01:45:02 am »

Let me just start by sayng ALL of Yoshi's Island and Shadow of the Collosus... Lets see some classics.

Psycho Mantis (Metal Gear Solid). Everyone loves that one. It's just such a weird ass idea.

Fire Leo(Viewtiful Joe). Fire Leo is awesome as he requires a lot of puzzle solving to figure out and is STILL hard afterward. He's not necessarily unique, but there is something just fantastic about that boss fight.

Pumpkin Head(Bunny Must die). It's a fucking Danmaku shooter. Only you can Parry. It's just fukcing sick.

Ganon(Wind Waker). I loved this fight because, even though it was pattern based and sort of easy, it protrayed it's self in a way to really feel like a slugfest of a fight.  It was a unique in how it approached the end boss more as a cinamatic fight, then a true final challange. Everything about the fight and setting was just masterful.
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UltraJMan

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2008, 02:10:38 am »

I'm with Kayin on the Yoshi's Island bosses, amazingly designed even if they were easy, they still took thought.

A more recent one is the last boss of Contra 4, sure it's easy once you get it but there's one attack I guarantee everyone dies to their first few shots.

Wario Master of Disguise did some clever stuff... Noitu Love... I could go on all day heh.
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dsk

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2008, 10:19:57 am »

Smithy, from SMRPG. He had a few "Heads" that changed his stats. He had a Witch head or something that rendered him immune from magic, and a Tank head that boosted his defense to the sky and added a powerful cannon attack.

Also, The End. Epic.
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MaxX

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2008, 02:20:15 pm »

I'm with Kayin on the Yoshi's Island bosses, amazingly designed even if they were easy, they still took thought.

A more recent one is the last boss of Contra 4, sure it's easy once you get it but there's one attack I guarantee everyone dies to their first few shots.

Wario Master of Disguise did some clever stuff... Noitu Love... I could go on all day heh.

That boss is really no different than the final boss in Contra 3, infact he's a nerfed version of the final boss in contra 3.
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Dagnarok

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2008, 06:34:02 pm »

Smithy, from SMRPG. He had a few "Heads" that changed his stats. He had a Witch head or something that rendered him immune from magic, and a Tank head that boosted his defense to the sky and added a powerful cannon attack.

Also, The End. Epic.

Yeah, the final Smithy fight was awesome. :)

I have to ask though....  What on earth was his whole 'shredder' technique when he was... I'm guessing... a giant shredder?  I have no idea what that move does.  Is it supposed to eliminate any bonuses or something?
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dsk

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 07:20:36 pm »

I have no idea. Played it a long time ago. I'll do my research.
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Shazarava

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 09:05:31 pm »

Definitely the ending boss for KH2.I forgot his name since i havn't played in so long, but it was pretty epic.
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Tamua

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 09:14:26 pm »

Xemnas
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finale

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2008, 10:17:00 pm »

Although I hated KH2 as a whole, and IMO the fights against Xemnas felt too disjointed, I did enjoy the general design of the Org members. Fighting reactive, variable humanoid enemies with wide movesets doesn't happen nearly enough in any genre.

dsk

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2008, 10:33:47 pm »

Smithy, from SMRPG. He had a few "Heads" that changed his stats. He had a Witch head or something that rendered him immune from magic, and a Tank head that boosted his defense to the sky and added a powerful cannon attack.

Also, The End. Epic.

Yeah, the final Smithy fight was awesome. :)

I have to ask though....  What on earth was his whole 'shredder' technique when he was... I'm guessing... a giant shredder?  I have no idea what that move does.  Is it supposed to eliminate any bonuses or something?
Directly from Wiki
"In this form, Smithy is able to change his head into four different heads. The Tank Head allows him to use immensely powerful attacks, including Magnum, an instant death attack. The Magic Head gives him magic attacks of the highest level; among them, Meteor Swarm, Arrow Rain, Sword Rain, and Spear Rain. The Mask Head is not very powerful, but has very high defense, thwarting most attacks. The Treasure Chest Head allows him to inflict any status ailment upon the entire party. In addition to all these attacks, Smithy's Body can attack separately, although if damaged enough, it will be temporarily immobilized, stopping it from attacking and locking Smithy into his current form for several turns."
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Saiai

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 12:02:17 am »

Finale: That's why Metal Gear Solid is so popular? >_>
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finale

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 02:11:48 am »

Yes, but I never found the combat to be very enjoyable in MGS. It may have had something to do with how ridiculously overwrought all the characters are.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 02:19:27 am by finale »
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dsk

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Re: Notable examples of boss/enemy design
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 10:58:51 am »

I completely dislike the combat in MGS, but it fit in boss battles, I wonder why. When I was at alert, I used to freak out, because I had to run, I couldn't just stay and fight. Slightly subverted in 3, with the CQC and all, but still...
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