Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Top 50 Most Memorable Final Fantasy Bosses: #20 to #11

Thanks again for joining me for Part 4 of 5 of my Top 50 Memorable Final Fantasy Bosses listing. Today we go from #20 to #11. If you missed the other parts then click here for #30 to #21, here for #40 to #31 and here for #50 to #41. Onwards we go!

Remember, this will list will talk about spoilers, so if you’re worried about that, then don’t take the chance! Anyway, enjoy!
#20 – The Dark Aeons

Game: Final Fantasy X
Other names: Dark Valefor, Dark Ifrit, Dark Ixion, Dark Shiva, Dark Bahamut, Dark Anima, Dark Magus Sisters
When do you fight them: They’re all optional superbosses, some are available earlier than others, the earliest probably around two thirds through the game
Location: Besaid, Bikanel Island, Thunder Plains, Macalania Temple, Zanarkand Dome, Mt. Gagazet and Mushroom Rock Road respectively
HP: 8,000,000
Difficulty: 9

Note: All the Dark Aeons vary in health. Above is the highest his health for a Dark Aeon, which is Dark Anima.

I did consider putting the Dark Aeons in their own individual entries but in honesty, the battles don’t deviate too far from each other and frankly, individually, they probably wouldn’t make my Top 50. But then you can’t talk about the epic boss battles of Final Fantasy without mentioning them. They are tough. They are badass to look at. And most importantly, they are memorable as a collective.

The Dark Aeons are Yevon’s response to Yuna “turning traitor” on their religion and its teachings. They are the most powerful summons in the game, and are put in different parts of the world of Spira to hunt Yuna and her guardians down. They are all some of the strongest bosses in the game and they can all easily wipe your party out in one move if you’re not careful.

To take on the Dark Aeons you need to grind your parties stats. And A LOT. You can barely take on Dark Valefor, the weakest of the aeons, without grinding. Dark Valefor alone is probably harder than any boss in the main storyline. And they only get harder from there.

I mentioned in my entry for Penance (at #43) that I used an X-Ploder cheat disc to get to him. To get to Penance you need to defeat every single one of the Dark Aeons first. And without using the X-Ploder cheat disc, I’d have never been able to achieve that feat. I think, non-cheating aside, I’ve only been able to beat Dark Valefor, which is a little underwhelming. But they’re all tough and are certainly very memorable when it comes to the epic bosses of Final Fantasy.

#19 – Diamond Weapon
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Other names: None
When do you fight him: Close to the end of Disc 2 (of 3)
Location: Off the shore of Midgar
HP: 30,000
Difficulty: 7
Now you might think I’m crazy, putting Diamond Weapon higher than Emerald Weapon, Ultimate Weapon and not even putting Ruby Weapon in this list. He’s arguably the weakest of the four, he certainly has the least HP.

But that’s exactly why he’s the highest in the list. Unlike the other three, Diamond Weapon is the only Weapon you HAVE to defeat in the game. You had an encounter with Ultimate Weapon earlier in the game and he was tough, but he flees. Diamond Weapon gets taken apart by you, and then finished off by the cannon at Junon.

But when he rises from the sea, stomps through the sea towards Midgar shore and fights you – it’s just so intense. This is another scene I can’t wait to be remade in the FF7 HD Remake. It’s almost Godzilla-esque, how he does it and it’s so impressive. You’re thinking, okay, here we go! Before taking him on, and your adrenaline is pumping.

Truth is, he is the weakest Weapon and he’s not that difficult. If anything the battle is underwhelming. But I’ll never forget the feeling I had, getting pumped up to take on Diamond Weapon. It was certainly a memorable moment and a memorable boss in the game.

#18 – Seymour and Anima (and two Guado Guardians)
Game: Final Fantasy X
Other names: None
When do you fight him: Towards halfway through the game
Location: Macalania Temple
HP: 24,000
Difficulty: 7
Note: Seymour has 6,000 and Anima has 18,000. You fight Seymour first, when he loses half of his health Anima is summoned, and when defeated, Seymour comes back.

This is the first time you fight Seymour, the first of four times. Even though the other three boss battles are more “epic” in presentation, for me, the first time you fight Seymour is the most memorable. Why? Because of Anima.

You see Anima in Luca, a good few hours of gameplay before this moment. She’s an epic Aeon, a demon of grotesque and powerful strength, and destroys loads of monsters with a blink of an eye… literally. Seymour at that point you think is a good guy but it turns out through the course of the game how truly evil he is. Anima is his Aeon, so you knew if you crossed him, you’d cross her.

Going against Seymour in himself isn’t an easy task because he uses strong magic and is protected by two Guado Guardians initially. Every time you hit any of them, they counter with Hi-Potions, and if you try to hit Seymour they protect him. You have to Steal from the to get rid of their Hi-Potions, then you can take them down. While this is happening Seymour is hitting you with magic spells so you are supposed to protect yourselves with Nul-Blaze if he uses Fire spells, Nul-Shock if he uses Thunder spells etc.

Halfway through the battle he summons Anima and this is where you’re thinking, “okay, here we go”. Going against Anima is so intense. 18,000 HP is a lot for this stage of the game so taking her down is so tough. Take in the fact that she casts “Pain”, the same move she used in Luca to destroy the monsters with a blink of an eye, immediately knocking out one of your party members. She also takes turns Boosting her Overdrive bar, and when it fills up she uses Oblivion on you.

Now this is where the “most memorable” moment comes in. Overdrives, you may know, are usually the strongest moves in an Aeon or party member’s arsenal. So we always wanted to know what Anima’s overdrive would look like. And, as I said, I come here today writing spoilers, Oblivion is horrific. You find out that the Anima you’ve been seeing… is only half of her. You are taken underground to meet the other half of Anima, who is more monstrous than the one on the surface. She also has hands, chained, and breaks through of her chains to beat the holy hell out of you. The attack is really powerful and can easily instantly knock out your entire party if you’re not using Shell or have low HP. It’s an incredible moment seeing Oblivion for the first time.

Seymour comes back when (or if) you defeat Anima and his magic spells are even more powerful and he casts two in one turn this time round. He’s a lot harder again. This whole battle is tough, very tough, if you’re not careful and haven’t prepared properly. But the main reason this Seymour battle is higher on the list than any other, is because of Anima and Oblivion. They create an epic boss fight, one that lives long in the memory.

#17 – Humbaba
Game: Final Fantasy VI
Other names: Phunbaba
When do you fight him: On the World of Ruin, completely optional, four times, so in the last third of the game
Location: Mobliz
HP: 26,000
Difficulty: 7

There’s been countless boss battles throughout the Final Fantasy VI that are scripted, or that are meant for you to lose. Humbaba is definitely one of the more memorable ones.

You go against Humbaba four times, although they’re all optional. Humbaba plays a significant part in the recruiting of Terra on the World of Ruin, so most players, even though this segment is all optional, will do it.

The first battle he’s completely invincible. He actually has 60,000HP in this battle, not that it matters because nothing you hit him with will work. It’s why I’ve not put his HP down as 60,000 above, because it’s technically not true.

The second and third battles while you can hurt him, you can’t defeat him because he’ll run away or eject party members from the battle. It’s only the fourth and final time you can finally defeat him and recruit Terra into the party.

Why is he so memorable? It’s mainly the storyline attached to these boss battles. He himself as boss battle isn’t specifically memorable, but his image, this gigantic green monster bullying Terra and causing havoc to the survivors of Mobliz is what makes him memorable. Terra’s struggle and eventual courage to fight only to get knocked down, beaten up, made miserable before finding her inner strength to take the fight to not only Humbaba but Kefka too, is what makes it memorable. He’s a horrible green giant of a monster bullying everyone and anyone, and at first he does seem invincible. You do doubt yourself whether or not you can beat Humbaba at all, because it does take those four attempts to do so.

#16 – Ozma

Game: Final Fantasy IX
Other names: None
When do you fight him: Optional superboss available through most of Disc 3 and any time on Disc 4 (of 4)
Location: Chocobo’s Air Garden
HP: 55,535
Difficulty: 9

Of all the superbosses that I have actually beaten, this has been the hardest. I haven’t beaten Penance or some of the other modern FF superbosses.

This one took me around 7 years to beat, if I remember correctly. He just kicked my ass, every time I went against him. When you see his HP as 55, 535 it doesn’t sound like a lot but don’t forget that in FF9 there are NO moves that break the 9,999 barrier limit. So again, that doesn’t sound bad, it only takes 6 attacks of 9,999 to beat him. But keep also in mind that he heals himself very regularly, and pretty much any time he gets attacked, he gets an attack in, that’s also in front of any of your party members, practically meaning, your four characters could certainly hit him for 9,999 in their first go, but in that time he has four turns to attack you. He has an arsenal of moves that could wipe your party out in one go, and as I said, he heals a lot too. What this does is makes the fight almost pot-luck, because when you’ve got your four attacks in, chances are you’ll need to heal, depending on what moves he’s actually used on you. He’s just an absolute bastard to defeat, but it makes that battle so much more memorable overall.

#15 – Barthandelus

Game: Final Fantasy XIII
Other names: Galenth Dysley
When do you fight him: Three times in the game, around a third through the game, around two thirds through the game and one of the final bosses of the game
Location: Palamecia Airship, Oerba, Orphan’s Cradle
HP: 5,227,500
Difficulty: 7

Note: You go against him three times, and his health is different each time. Above is the highest his health gets to, which is the last time you go against him.

I really don’t get why Barthandelus is not remembered as good as a villain as well as other villains throughout the series. For me Barthandelus was tremendous. I actually had no idea that Galenth Dysley was going to be the main villain in the game, and even if you did see it coming, no one could have expected to see him turn into something as epic as Barthandelus. For me, the design for Barthanedelus is one of the most complicated designs they’ve created in Final Fantasy history. All the upside down hanging bodies on his sides, his creepy face, the fact that he looks like a machine but moves around like a four legged beast is all brilliant.

He’s a tough bastard too. I lost many times going against him both the first and second times you go against him. He’s actually easiest the last time you go against him, perhaps it’s because he was part of the final boss. Either way for me I really feel both Galenth Dysley and Barthandelus don’t get enough credit as creations, bosses and villains of the Final Fantasy series and for me his design and difficulty makes him exceedingly memorable.

#14 – Lost Number
Game: Final Fantasy VII
Other names: None
When do you fight him: Completely optional boss battle, any time towards the end of Disc 1 and any time during Disc 2 (of 3)
Location: Nibelheim Mansion
HP: 7,000
Difficulty: 7
Lost Number is actually one of my favourite boss battles ever. I can’t put my finger on why, but I love going against him. I think it’s because he has three different forms, he provides just enough challenge and of course, he leads the way to being able to recruit Vincent as a member of your party.
That being said though when I first when against him he was tough. Very tough. And he can provide a lot of difficulty if you’re not sure what you’re doing. As I said earlier he has three forms. The first form is half and half of the other two forms. The red side is his magic side and his purple side is his physical side. When you get him to half of his health, he’ll either turn completely red and use only of magic attacks or completely purple and use only physical attacks. This is determined by what move you used last on him when he hits half health (so a magic attack for magic and a physical attack for physical).
Whatever you do – DO NOT use a physical attack on him to turn him completely purple! His purple physical side is far stronger than his red magical side. He can easily waste 2400 HP with his Lost Blow move, and chances are you won’t have close to that type of HP yet when you get to this point in the game.
Generally speaking Lost Number can provide the right amount of challenge but if you’re a FF7 veteran he can be taken down with relative ease. He’s still lots of fun though and he looks pretty awesome. He’s certainly one of the most memorable boss fights of FF7.

#13 – Edea and Seifer
Game: Final Fantasy VIII
Other names: Edea Kramer, Sorceress Edea, Matron; Seifer Almasy, Sorceress Knight
When do you fight him: The final boss of Disc 1 and the final boss of Disc 2 (of 4)
Location: Deling City, Galbadia Garden
HP: 23,400
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.

I thought I’d put Seifer and Edea together because, to be fair, you go against them both one after the other on Disc 1 and then together on Disc 2. That 23,400HP above is the maximum HP of both Edea and Seifer, individually it’s 16,000HP and 7,400HP respectively.

Going against Seifer and Edea, specifically the first time, are very intense. It’s mainly for the storyline, the actual boss fights aren’t too hard. But it’s the story that drives the adrenaline in these boss fighters, going against Seifer, your long term rival is fun and a proper “bring it on moment” but then when Edea steps in, you know that things are getting serious. You’ve never fought a sorceress before Edea and you just don’t know how hard the fight is about to go down. Seeing what Edea did to President Deling only an hour or so of gameplay before the final boss of Disc 1 shows you how much of a threat she is.

It’s a shame the fights aren’t more difficult than they are, but that’s cool, because it’s the aura, the intensity and the rivalry and duty to protect the world that makes these boss fights very memorable.

#12 – The Turks

Game: Final Fantasy VII
Other names: The Investigation Sector of the General Affairs Department, The Department of Administrative Research; Reno, Rude and Elena
When do you fight him: Throughout Disc 1 and Disc 2 (of 3)
Location: Sector 6 Tower, Gongaga, Rocket Town, Gelnika Ship, Sector 8 Tunnels. Only Sector 6 Tower and Rocket Town are mandatory, the others are completely optional
HP: 83,000
Difficulty: 7
You go against The Turks a maximum of five times, although only twice are the battles mandatory. You go against Reno on his own, Rude on his own, Reno and Rude together, or all three of them at different times. Above is the highest combined health they go to, which is the last time you go against them. Reno has 25,000HP, Rude has 28,000HP and Elena has 30,000HP in this fight. This is the only time you can fight Elena.

The Turks are awesome. It’s funny because when I was a kid playing FF7 for the first time I didn’t like them and found them to be annoying. But as an adult, fully aware of the fleshed out storyline and understanding of who The Turks are and what they’re about, they’re brilliant. Fighting them is always fun because the battles generally aren’t too difficult and always seem light hearted in nature. It almost feels like The Turks are more rivals than enemies. They’re doing their job for Shinra, and rarely sway away from their duty.

I put down 7/10 for difficulty for one reason. The last time you go against them (completely optional) is actually quite a difficult task. They all absorb a different element and their attacks are quite strong. Other than that one fight they’re actually very easy every time you go against them. Always fun and definitely memorable.

#11 – Trance Kuja

Game: Final Fantasy IX
Other names: Kuja, Angel of Death
When do you fight him: Second last boss of the game
Location: Crystal World
HP: 55,535
Difficulty: 7
Kuja is one of my all time favourite villains, he gets some stick because of his feminine looks but for me he’s as absolute bastard but does his villainy with such grace I can’t help but love him. When you go against him at the end of Disc 3 (of 4) you can’t help but think, this isn’t the first and only time you go against him right? So when he discovers his Trance, and destroys Bran Bal, Pandemodium and in fact the planet of Terra after being defeated you’re thinking – now this is the guy I want to face.

So at the end of the game we go against Trance Kuja – who let’s be honest, SHOULD have been the final boss of the game, because Necron sucked and had virtually nothing to do with the plot of the game. He’s a tough cookie but there’s harder bosses in the game to be fair, put it this way I’ve never lost this fight before.

But it’s memorable in the way that Kuja is an incredible villain, he looks pretty badass in his Trance form and his attacks look glorious. But the most memorable thing about this battle is the boss music. My oh my I love me some Dark Messenger. It’s one of my all time favourite Final Fantasy tracks. Going against Kuja in itself gets the adrenaline pumping but that music behind him enhances the experience twofold. It’s just a fun, exciting battle that should have ended the game.

Well here we are then. Tomorrow I’ll be revealing my Top 10 Most Memorable Final Fantasy Bosses list. I hope you’ve enjoyed the list so far! Please join me for the finale tomorrow!

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