Monday, January 23, 2017

My Top 50 Most Memorable Final Fantasy Bosses: #30 to #21

Hey again and thanks for reading the third of five parts in my Top 50 Memorable Final Fantasy Bosses listing. Yesterday we covered from #40 to #31, and the day before we started from #50 to #41 so today we’ll countdown the next 10!

Remember, this will list will talk about spoilers, so if you’re worried about that, then don’t take the chance! Anyway, enjoy!
#30 – Jenova-BIRTH
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Other names: Jenova Birth
When do you fight him: Around halfway through Disc 1 (of 3)
Location: Cargo Ship en route to Costa Del Sol
HP: 4,900
Difficulty: 5

Jenova-BIRTH isn’t really one of those battles on this list because of how difficult they are, but certainly about how memorable they were from a storyline and visual perspective. Basically Jenova is Sephiroth’s mother, and you’re running after Sephiroth throughout the first half of the game. You know Sephiroth is bad news and that he’s incredibly powerful, so you know when you first see him it’s going to be something special.

This is the moment you see Sephiroth for the first time (or so it seemed, but that’s a tangent I’m not going to go down, if you know the story then it doesn’t need explaining). So you see THE Sephiroth on this Cargo Ship, after he has slaughtered all the men on the ship (which, thinking about it, is going to be INSANE in the remake). And you’re here face to face with him finally and he attacks you. And you’re like, here we go! And instead of fighting him, you go against Jenova, in a blue grotesque alien-like form. But it’s still an epic fight, going against Sephiroth’s mother for the first time, and hearing Jenova’s theme is also glorious. It’s just an amazing moment in an amazing game, and you’re really pumped for it when it happens, the first time round at least anyway.

#29 – Ultros
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Other names: Orthros
When do you fight him: Four times all on the World of Balance, so all in the first two thirds of the game
Location: First on the Lethe River, then at the Opera House, then in the Esper Caves and finally on the airship along with Typhon
HP: 22,000
Difficulty: 6
Note: You go against him four times, and his health is different each time. Above is the highest his health gets to, which is actually at the Esper Caves, the third time you go against him.

Ultros is also in my Top 50 Favourite Final Fantasy Characters list, getting to #14 which is pretty damn high. Fighting Ultros was just fun. So much fun. He’s one of the best comic relief characters in video game history and despite the fact that he is for the light-hearted parts of FF6, he can pack some punch if he wants to. But it’s his hilarious one liners, mid-battle and out of battle that makes him so memorable. His love for women, his hate for Sabin and just generally his tenacity in following your party to try and eat you and only to fail each time.  Back in 2010 when I did my Top 50 Final Fantasy Characters list I said that he needs to be used in other games in the series, similar to Gilgamesh is. It turns out he has started appearing in He truly is a memorable boss in the series.

#28 – Cagnazzo
Game: Final Fantasy IV
Other names: Kainazzo
When do you fight him: Probably about a third into the game
Location: Baron Castle
HP: 5,312
Difficulty: 6
When I played FF4 I was in my teens and had played quite a few of the more recent games by then. I had my doubts about the King of Baron being a protagonist but I could imagine those who played FF4 as a kid for the first time being fooled by him. When he turns into Cagnazzo it’s still quite something. Sometimes confirming your suspicious on a plot twist early can ruin the surprise, but Cagnazzo is a horrible creature, and visually he’s a heck of a monster. Battling him is not that hard, he goes down relatively easy, but regardless, when I think of FF4 and the memorable moments in the game, Cagnazzo disguising himself as the kind and the reveal of that moment always sticks with me. I always think back to how I’d have taken it, had I been around 8 or 9 years old, I probably would have been shocked, and that image just sticks with me.

#27 – Sinspawn Gui
Game: Final Fantasy X
Other names: None
When do you fight him: Twice straight after one another, around a third into the game
Location: Mushroom Rock Road
HP: 12,000
Difficulty: 7
I mentioned earlier that Seymour Flux is the true test to whether or not you’ve grinded your character’s stats well enough by Mg Gagazet, but Sinspawn Gui is also a major test far earlier in the game. The difference really is that Sinspawn Gui doesn’t offer the same threat that Seymour Flux does.

What he does offer though is a VERY long fight, if you’ve not levelled up quickly enough by that point. He’s a major step up from every other boss fight up until this point in the game, and it can take a good 30-45 minutes to take him down if you’re not advanced enough. I remember the first time I went against him, it did take this long, and it’s a heck of a slog. Not to mention the fact that after this fight you have to fight him a second time, it becomes a very memorable fight. At least the second time round he has half the HP and Seymour helps you and kicks ass with his spells! But yes, Sinspawn Gui lives long in the memory as a boss that’s tough to take down, and gives that true first test of FF10 in terms of boss fights.

#26 – Gerogero

Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Other names: Fake President Deling, Fake President
When do you fight him: Around halfway through Disc 1 (of 4)
Location: On the train (in Timber)
HP: 3,650
Difficulty: 6
Note: All enemies on FF8 have varying stats depending on what level you are. For the sake of this listing I’ll be putting down the maximum HP that the boss can have.

Gerogero is one ugly mother. Honestly, in my opinion when it comes to the grotesque monsters of the whole series, Gerogero is up there with the worst looking. It’s one of the reasons why he is so high in my Most Memorable Bosses list. Another reason is because he actually is quite a difficult battle, or at least he is if you’re not experienced with FF8. I’d rate him at a 7 instead of a 6 if you couldn’t just use a Phoenix Down on him and he’ll KO instantly! It’s a tactic I’ve never used actually but it’s worth mentioning. If you do go down the hard route then he has a lot of HP and his attacks can hit hard. He uses loads of status attacks like Silence and Berserk, and his “Brrawghh!” move can put your characters on Slow, Curse, and Blind. Using Esuna or Remedies makes these statuses go away but they do slow you right down. In a nutshell he’s a pain to deal with if you slog with him, but mostly he’s a really ugly, horrific monster that lives long in the memory as one of the most grotesque monsters in Final Fantasy history.

#25 – Guard Scorpion
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Other names: None
When do you fight him: First boss of the game
Location: Sector 1 Reactor
HP: 800
Difficulty: 6
For so many people – this is where it all began. It certainly did for me. So many people played their first RPG as Final Fantasy VII. Other people say this is the best RPG game of all time. No matter what you may or may not think, you can’t argue that you don’t know who Guard Scorpion is, if you’re a Final Fantasy fan. The first boss of the biggest FF game of all time.

Is he that special? Certainly not. He’s a big machine and he’s quite easy to defeat. But he’s certainly memorable because he’s the first one for so many people. Of course, the most famous thing about Guard Scorpion is the mistranslation that I, and many people fell for. "Attack while it's tail's up!", Cloud says. So I, and many people did. And a huge laser attack fell upon us, crippling our HP. I actually did lose this battle the first time I tried. Then I did the opposite to what they say, and low and behold, Guard Scorpion doesn’t attack me. It’s a strange mistranslation that caught so many people, but it doesn’t matter, it’s still funny. So it’s the symbolism behind Guard Scorpion that leads him to being halfway on my Top 50 listing, rather than the fight itself. Other than that laser he’s very easy to defeat.

#24 – Bahamut
Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Other names: None
When do you fight him: Completely optional, towards the end of Disc 3 or on Disc 4 (of 4)
Location: Deep Sea Research Center
HP: 90,000
Difficulty: 7
Note: All enemies on FF8 have varying stats depending on what level you are. For the sake of this listing I’ll be putting down the maximum HP that the boss can have.

Again this isn’t specifically about the boss fight as it is more about the enigma surrounding the boss fight. Getting to Bahamut is a task in itself, and when do you go against him he’s a tough fight. Basically you have the option to go to the Deep Sea Research Center, which is on an island on the corner of the World Map. You can only access it with the Ragnarok airship. When you get there the first room inside of the centre has a large blue light, and every time to step closer to it you have random battles. After a certain few steps, a voice asks you some questions, and if you answer correctly, you have to battle Ruby Dragons (which are very tough in themselves), if you answer incorrectly you have to start again. After three or four sets of questions, and you’re finally close to the blue light, you get to battle the mysterious creature asking the questions – which turns out to be Bahamut. It’s just very ominous and it gives you chills – it’s certainly memorable.

As for the fight, he is tough as I said, but if you’ve cleared the Ruby Dragons you should be able to deal with him as well. For the record I love Bahamut, he’s such a cool dragon, and FF8 Bahamut looks incredible, or at least, by 1998 graphics standards he did!

#23 – Gi Nattak (and two Soul Fires)
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Other names: None
When do you fight him: Around two thirds through Disc 1 (of 3)
Location: Cave of the Gi
HP: 5,500
Difficulty: 6
Like Gerogero, this is an undead boss that you can defeat in one hit by using a curative item on him. So again I’d rate the difficulty 7 if it wasn’t for the fact that an X-Potion will do the trick. But! BUT! I didn’t know that for a long time, so he’s definitely a memorable boss for me. In fact, in terms of FF7 bosses, he was a massive stumbling block that I struggled to get past. I don’t know why but I really did struggle on him. It’s probably the combination of him and the Soul Fires together. The Soul Fires constantly cast Fire2 on you, and sometimes possess your characters and use it on them multiple times. Gi Nattak has a strong physical attack too which can easily take out a character if they aren’t healed up. There’s nothing specifically special other than that, but for a novice RPG player playing his first Final Fantasy game, he gave me a heck of a challenge and thus is very memorable in my eyes.

#22 – Sin

Game: Final Fantasy X
Other names: Jecht, Braska’s Final Aeon, Overdrive Sin
When do you fight him: Technically throughout the game, the epic battle happens towards the end of the game
Location: On the airship
HP: 140,000
Difficulty: 6
Note: As stated you technically go against Sin, or at least parts of him, multiple times. Above is the highest his health gets to, which is the final time you fight him.
This article is mainly about the boss fight rather than Sin in itself. There’s so much to talk about when it comes to Sin you might as well just play the game if you weren’t aware of it. But in a nutshell, you see Sin throughout the game and he wreaks havoc across the world of Spira, and has done for 1000 years.

When you actually take the fight to Sin towards the end of the game, it’s pretty damn epic. You first have to take apart his arms, one by one, and then that’s when the real fight begins. He has so much energy that he literally, draws your airship towards him and threatens to blast it away with a gigantic ball of energy. That happens over a period of time and until that actually happens, you have to defeat him. If he blasts that ball of energy, it’s Game Over. So it’s a race against the clock and you literally have to throw everything including the kitchen sink at him before he opens his mouth.

Depending on how much grinding you have done, 140,000 is a lot of HP to take down in a short space of time. I can’t say I’ve actually lost this battle however, every time I’ve gotten to this part of the game I’ve been strong enough to deal with him, hence the 6/10 difficulty rating. But it’s still epic, and seeing him defeated is a memorable moment in itself, and to be fair, considering how much you’ve wanted to take the fight to Sin throughout the game, the payoff is well worth it.

#21 – Elvoret

Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Other names: None
When do you fight him: He’s the third boss in the game
Location: Dollet Communication Tower
HP: 3,523
Difficulty: 7
Note: All enemies on FF8 have varying stats depending on what level you are. For the sake of this listing I’ll be putting down the maximum HP that the boss can have.
You’d think that when you play FF8 for the first time, you’d play some storyline, go against your first boss, progress a bit further and go against the second boss and it’d be relatively easy up until that point. But no. That’s not the case.

Elvoret is a Grade A bastard. Why Squaresoft decided to make the second boss in the game so hard I really don’t know. It’s not necessarily that he’s super dooper hard, but he packs some punch. His Storm Breath attack cripples your party’s HP. It’s just harsh. I mean you can deal with him relatively well – luckily you can Draw Double magic off him so you can use Double spells on the party and against him.

But on top of his harsh Storm Breath attack is his HP. Why on earth did they give him so much HP for only the second boss of the game?? It may not look like a lot but when you’re attacking for around 80HP per attack, and your GFs are wasting around 300HP, he can take a while to bring down, when you’re constantly healing on top of that too. It’s just a harsh battle, so early on in the game. It took me ages to take Elvoret down the first time I went against him, and it takes even longer if you’re trying to Draw 100 Doubles for every character too. It’s just harsh, unnecessarily harsh, but it certainly is memorable. Bastard.

30 down, 20 to go. Join me tomorrow for Part 4 when we reveal what memorable bosses I rank from #20 to #11!

Click here for Part 4, counting from #20 to #11.
Click here for Part 5, counting from #10 to #1.
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